Lunatic Fringe (God as Fashion Designer)
By Vic Tanner
There are many good, rational reasons for not believing in gods. Logically, the existence of one is very low, and scientifically there just isn’t any real evidence. But, for some reason, I always gravitate toward the really stupid reasons. Like religious clothing.
According to the Judeo-Christian myths, God created mankind naked. It was Adam and Eve’s idea to invent clothes, not God’s. God didn’t even seem to be real keen on the idea of clothes at first, but once the ball started rolling, God caught on pretty quickly.
It all started as God was strolling through the Garden of Eden one day, in the very merry month of May, and He noticed that Mr. and Mrs. Adam had figured out some sort of MacGyver-ish way to construct rudimentary loin cloths out of fig leaves, not realizing that this is exactly the sort of thing that God doesn’t like.
“Who told you that you were naked,” God scolded. (Genesis 3:11)
God did come to terms with their new found need for clothing, and he quickly whipped up a couple of matching outfits for the couple.
“The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21)
It doesn’t really say what kind of skin the outfits were made from. I would assume it was some sort of animal skin, but the Bible doesn’t outright say. He may have he killed a couple of goats to make clothes for his disobedient kids, or I suppose the garments could have been made of dried skin flakes stitched together. After all, with God, anything is possible. The great Yahweh didn’t stop there, though. Once clothing was created, the creative juices started flowing and fashion wasn’t far behind. I’m not really sure what God had in mind in the next passage, but it sounds like He had something pretty planned:
“The LORD said to Moses, Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give. These are the offerings you are to receive from them: … blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and hides of sea cows.”(Ex 25:1-5)
Yes, that does sound like it would make a killer outfit, but God doesn’t stop with the pretty yarn and “sea cow” hides. Once He gets on a roll, He gets down right fabulous:
“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, that they shall make themselves fringes on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and they shall put on the corner fringe a blue thread.” (Numbers 15:38)
It’s never been a secret that God likes fringe, He was a real child of the 60s. He’s also found of headbands, bell bottom jeans, and lava lamps. If you look real closely, God can be seen in the background during the Acid Rain Dance sequence of Woodstock.
Once the Israelites had been out in the desert for awhile and were getting settled in, it was time to make some fun yet functional clothing for Aaron and the priests. God told Moses:
“Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron, to give him dignity and honor. … Have them use gold, and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and fine linen.” (Ex 28:2-5)
“For the breast piece make braided chains of pure gold, like a rope…Make two more gold rings and attach them to the bottom of the shoulder pieces on the front of the ephod, close to the seam just above the waistband of the ephod. The rings of the breast piece are to be tied to the rings of the ephod with blue cord, connecting it to the waistband, so that the breast piece will not swing out from the ephod.” (Exodus 28:22-28)
There is, of course, nothing worse than having your breast piece swing out from your ephod. It can be very embarrassing. Though it’s not as bad as letting your hair go – that sort of thing really gets God’s goat. He’ll take that out on the whole town:
“Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons …, ‘Do not let your hair become unkempt, and do not tear your clothes, or you will die and the LORD will be angry with the whole community.'” (Leviticus 10:6)
Once Moses came down from Mount Sinai carrying two huge stone tablets with something or other written on them, the Israelites built a tabernacle (a sort of a special tent in which to house the Ark of the Smashed Stone Tablets) and, whenever God was visiting, he would use the tent as a place to crash:
“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.”(Ex 25 8-9)
“Make the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim worked into them by a skilled craftsman. All the curtains are to be the same size-twenty-eight cubits long and four cubits wide. Join five of the curtains together, and do the same with the other five. Make loops of blue material along the edge of the end curtain in one set, and do the same with the end curtain in the other set. Make fifty loops on one curtain and fifty loops on the end curtain of the other set, with the loops opposite each other. Then make fifty gold clasps and use them to fasten the curtains together so that the tabernacle is a unit.” (Ex 26:1-6)
Surely, this is a tent that would not be out of place on MTV Cribs. Eventually, God tired of the fashion game and decided to become an invisible deity with a hands-off policy. The Churches, unable to find guidance in their clothing choices, eventually went with an all black wardrobe for simplicity’s sake. God briefly reentered the clothing design field to design undergarments for the Church of Latter Day Saints, but other than that, He has mostly kept to Himself.