Species Identification

It’s March already, and I thought it would be a good idea to do a quick refresher on your common Christian species identification.

You know, brush up on that skill set so as we shed our winter coats and reveal the fashions beneath, you can easily identify us.

First, the Disclaimer:

It is possible that my perspective may be slightly offensive to certain species, but please take it with good humor.

Let’s begin-

Basic Baptist- The females may or may not be wearing a skirt. If wearing makeup, it will most likely be applied very liberally. You may find yourself wondering if an entire tube of mascara depleted in one application, and whether or not the object of your curiosity will be able to reopen their eyes after blinking.

Basic Catholic- A cross on a chain around their neck will possibly be the only indicator of their belief. After all, they were baptized as a baby, so no need to attempt a Christ like lifestyle.

Basic Name It and Claim It Christians- I don’t think they call themselves that, but they are especially noticeable because of their constant insistence that God is like a fairy godfather, and will grant then whatever they choose if they only believe hard enough and give enough money to the preacher on TV. If they are not millionaires, it must be because they haven’t given enough to their church.

Disturbingly, this bears an uncanny resemblance to the child sacrifice that the ancient idol, Molech, required. Back in the day if Molech didn’t grant you what you wanted, you must not have sacrificed enough children.

Basic Hutterite/Amish- To be honest, I don’t know enough about these reclusive species to be entirely accurate. You might run into these guys at the farmers market, they will be selling farmers market things like veggies, turkeys, and furniture. Their gentlemen will probably have beards with no moustache, and wear suspenders or vests. The ladies will be wearing dresses of an identical styles and head coverings/bonnets. Hutterites are allowed to drive cars and live in closed colonies, whereas Amish are strictly horse and buggy types.

Basic Mennonite- The strict ones are almost Amish in appearance, but closer examination reveals subtle differences in style, and allowed colors and prints on the fabric of their dresses, maybe even electricity in their homes. Modern Mennonites will dress very conservatively, and are not limited to one style of dress. The ladies will, of course, wear a tiny bonnet for their head covering, which makes one question how well it can possibly serve it’s purpose.

Basic holiness Pentecostal/Charismatic Christian- For the ladies, skirts or dresses must always be worn, the length of such should always below the knees. Sometimes the ladies are required to have a bonnet or scarf for a head covering over their bun. Blouses should be in an unattractive print and style, with sleeve length to the elbow or below. Wedding rings, wristwatches, and in some places, a small gold cross necklace are allowed.

Basic Holiness non-Pentecostal Christian- I have the most to say about this because I am one. For the ladies, skirts or dresses are always required, the length of such should always below the knees. No sleeveless or cap sleeves. The closer that sleeve is to your elbow, the closer you must be to the Lord. Most likely, no head covering is required for the ladies. Often, no wedding rings even if you are married. Wristwatches are allowed because they are useful. The men generally have conservatively short haircuts, but aside from this and the lack of tattoos and jewelry, they are impossible to differentiate from any other non-Amish species.

If you are from certain congregations, you should never forget to wear the following: A mid-calf length skirt with pleats and buttons down the front, along with your socks and tennis shoes. Or socks and Birkenstocks/sandals/crocs. Just don’t forget your socks. And you should perhaps wear them over your pantyhose. You should also remember to wear similar, but noticeably different floral prints together, and your blouse should always be an unattractive print as well as in a style from the 1980’s. If you sit in the back at church, you may notice that aside from the few non-conformists, every bunhead’s bun is eerily identical.

That was a lot to review, and I bring it up because I find all of the above slightly amusing. I dress the way I do because I believe that I should be modestly attired. I could list off all of the reasons that I feel that way and you would quit reading right here.

Maybe you quit halfway up the page and didn’t even get here.

One last thought-

There are wonderful, sweet, sincere people I know or have met who fall under every category that I’ve just poked fun at, and it really only takes a few bad apples to poison the opinion of the general public. Just because you can now recognize species doesn’t mean you should use that knowledge to judge the character of each individual, because Christian or not, we all deserve a fair trial.


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