[T]hese women’s use of the veil serves to differentiate them from the secular world around them. In the days of [the critic’s] grandmother, the goal was to assimilate to avoid the dangers of xenophobia. In today’s world, the goal is different—it is to avoid assimilation with the godless and insane society around us and (in the timeless words of St. Peter) to “save ourselves from this crooked generation” (Acts 2:40). From her words one might imagine that [the critic] was stuck in the past, facing the challenges of yester-year when the assimilation of immigrants was the pressing need. But now, and at least since the late 1990s (when she said the headscarf appeared in her world), the challenge for Orthodox women is to build a healthy counter-culture in which to live and raise their children. If they choose to make the wearing of a veil when in church one component of that counter-culture, who is [the critic] or anyone else (including me) to say otherwise? The words “a woman’s choice” can and have been horribly misused, but surely here is one instance where a woman’s choice ought to be respected.
I hope this suffices to mollify the critic (on at least one of her criticisms).
* * * * *
Learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.
(David Foster Wallace via Jason Segedy, Why I’m Leaving Twitter Behind.)
By modernity, I mean the project to create social orders that would make it possible for each person living in such orders “to have no story except the story they choose when they have no story.”
Stanley Hauerwas, Wilderness Wanderings