So I was at the mall today (indoor play areas good for toddler when its been raining nonstop!!!). In the food court I saw a muslim mother with her daughter. The mother was in the burka, but the young daughter was in a spaghetti strap tank top. It reminded me of a family I had seen to the zoo earlier in the summer. This was a conservative christian family - all the women in long skirts, with the triangle do-rag headcovering, but also all wearing spaghetti strap tank tops. Now I personally I have nothing against spaghetti strap tank tops (I wear them), I was just involved in evangelical youth ministry too long. The residual gut reaction to the most sinful piece of clothing a girl could ever wear is hard to overcome.
My point is - isn't the point of burkas, headcoverings, and long skirts modesty? Aren't they there so as not to tempt men or as we have translated in our bibles "for the sake of the angels"? But when they become just another form of legalism to check off the list while the person participates in other forms of assumed immodesty what's the point. (for that matter what's the point of using a do-rag or doile as a headcovering anyway). If one is convinced of a certain standard of modesty I would hope they would live up to it. If they don't think wearing cultually accepted clothing, why retain other symbols of modest clothing that seemingly stand in contrast to the rest of their wardrobe. So in the rambling post I'm just wondering about the hierarchical importance of symbols, rules, conviction, and generally accepted styles.