In a disturbing new development in the religious bigotry scandal in Australia, evangelical Christians have taken to wearing casual clothes in order to “fit in.”
While there have been reports in the past of this fundamentalist cohort wearing stylish clothes, though usually about four months after the general populace has moved on to another fashion trend, this latest attempt to mask the difference between ordinary Australians and evangelicals has police worried.
Thought Police Chief, Don Andrews, said that the deception was unAustralian and possibly hate filled. He stated:
“If this keeps up we’re soon not going to be able to tell them apart from the average secular Australian.”
Just today, at Leviticus 18, a new congregation in downtown Perth that boasts in nothing save Christ their Lord, members were seen slipping into the front entrance loudly and with no apparent embarrassment, with some dressed in leisure wear, and others sporting hair cuts that cost at least 80 dollars. Makeup and jewellery was also the order of the day.
And all of this is on top of a clearly reactionary move by a church that recently made headlines for being bigoted and homophobic. The Age Newspaper in Melbourne positioned themselves on a nearby grassy knoll to report – at great danger to themselves – militant ranks of innocuously dressed people mingling and laughing and hugging each other as they began their service. The Age reports:
“Hundreds of the faithful, from babies to the elderly, from students to families, most wearing casual clothes, flocked to the cinema for the evangelical-style Anglican service.”
Even the more conservative The Australian newspaper expressed concern:
The preachers and worshippers wear jeans and T-shirts; the bands play contemporary-style music.
This clearly is a trend towards a more normal way of living life and a shift away from previous iterations of fundamentalists who were known for barn-raising, churning their own butter, wearing double denim, living in the hills waiting for the apocalypse, whilst listening to Jesus Movement rocker Larry Norman’s song on high rotation “I Wish We’d All Been Ready”.
While Chief Andrews admitted this was somewhat better than the socks, sandals, leisure suits and moustacheless beards of the 1970s Baptist churches that once infested his home city, he was adamant that he would not allow what he said was a “dangerous new precedent” to continue unchallenged.
Andrew said that although he too wore casual clothes when he attended his local Catholic Mass, this was simply because “his own Catholicism” allowed it.
I too love casual clothes. I mean anyone who saw me in front of the cameras during the 950 day lockdown ( you did see me during the 950 day lockdown didn’t you?) would know that a pair of slacks and bomber jacket are my go-to’s. I particularly like the bomber jacket as it was a present from my children, who as you know attend a Catholic School.”
When pressed what could be done about this shift away from wearing a sandwich board with “The End Is Nigh” on it, towards a potentially dangerous and surreptitious approach to living life in a 21st century modern city such as Melbourne, Chief Andrews said he was looking at some options that would involve increasing the number of people in the public service in that state by 320 per cent. He concluded with one option being mooted:
Maybe something like a badge that we can pin onto those Jack and Jones slim-fit shirts some of their younger men, – who I must say have fantastic hair cuts -, like to wear. Something that makes them easily identifiable.