About half an hour ago, I was sitting at a large table, waiting for the start of my second one-hour daily computer session here at the Harold Washington library. (I usually schedule a break of a half hour in-between those two sessions, for reasons pertaining to the necessities of human biology, in relation to the periodic elimination of waste products.)
At a table next to mine, I spotted a group of about seven people, probably in their late teens and early twenties, dressed in a style which could best be described as "post apocalyptic punk". In the case of the two young "ladies" traveling with the group, perhaps I should describe their style of dress as "post apocalyptic skank".
I'm generally pretty tolerant when it comes to styles of clothing, hair, etc. After all, I started high school in 1970, a year after Woodstock, and even though my commitment to Christ precluded involvement in the drug culture or the so-called "free love" of the day, I did like the hippie styles, such as long hair, beards, "love beads", bell bottom jeans and tie dye shirts. (I never had a tie dye shirt back then. Now I have two, one of which has the word "Chicago" screen printed on the front.)
However, as "intolerant" as it might sound for me to say so, someone should inform one of the young women in the aforementioned group that even though moderate cleavage is arguably sexy when seen above a woman's waist, it's considerably less sexy when it involves a person's derriere. (Butt cleavage isn't attractive on men, either. I once witnessed that phenomenon frequently when living with an extremely obese roommate named Wes, who could not be bothered to buy or wear a belt or to pull his pants up when they started to droop.) This woman also had her midriff on full display, with her stomach protruding prominently, as if to defy folks to tell her to dress more tastefully.
Another one of the women in the group was likewise dressed in punk regalia, complete with fishnet stockings which looked as if she'd purposefully run them through an industrial strength paper shredder before she put them on.
Needless to say, heavy body piercings, tattoos, fluorescent hair and other similar adornments were liberally sprinkled among the various people in that little group.
Some people would say that when folks dress that way, they're doing so in order to make "a statement". I could hazard a guess regarding what they were trying to say, but the words might not be fit for publication. Suffice it to say that those words would consist of a verbal expression of the idea which is commonly expressed in some circles with an upraised middle finger. If I'd stared at them, I think that they'd have been inordinately pleased with the attention, since it seems to me that they dress that way purposefully in order to provoke and offend other people.
Nevertheless, Jesus loves them and he died on the cross for them. It's tempting to dismiss such people as being beyond any hope of redemption, but Christians cannot afford to do that. Regardless of cultural differences, we must reach out with love to those who are alienated from mainstream society, because that's what Christ would do.