In the past, as I have noted, a favorite Anglo-Catholic hobby was to provoke Protestant authorities by worshipping in a catholic manner.
Having no Protestant authorities to provoke, and thereby defend the Catholic Faith, I’ve needed someone else to oppose. Living in a secular world, I decided to provoke a secular authority according to a secular aspect of my rule of life.
In a time when practicality, informality, intersectionality and other -alities rule the day, I decided on a secular discipline so impractical, so formal, and so fussy that everyone who wasn’t “in the know” would think I was a total moron.
I wore a necktie to church on Sunday mornings, and didn’t take it off for the rest of the day. That went over well in college!
The Evangelicals thought I was a Mormon; everyone else thought I was a nut!
It’s like being a cavalier, but you don’t need the hat.
Everybody’s situation is different, but I hope I can inspire others to accept the discipline of wearing a necktie to church, respectability be damned (Unless they are clergy. Then they shouldn’t).
As I’ve said, we can forge counter-cultural community without getting “cult-like.” It’s about the little things. If all we do is maintain our pre-existing cultural standards, we’ll set ourselves apart drastically. Custom is organic, and neckties aren’t yet dead anyway.
What’s the alternative? Make up harsh new “holiness standards” that nobody agreed on, like the Charismatics? That’s arbitrary. Take standards from other cultures without knowing how they work, like some Orthodox converts? That’s ridiculous.
Tradition doesn’t work that way.
And wearing a necktie to church is not only a powerful way of witnessing to a society where casualization has followed secularization. It’s also a powerful way of saying, “This isn’t normal, but it should be. And it was. And you kinda know that, don’t you?”
What do you do to provoke progressives? Does it work?