In Bible study last Sunday morning the subject of wearing hats in church was put out there for comments. Is it or is it not in the Bible? That certainly put a “Bee in someone’s bonnet”, I’m pretty sure I do not want a Bee in my bonnet. But, then, I’m not about to wear a bonnet either. My grandmother wore a bonnet. Maybe if I did wear a bonnet I might not have to make a regularly scheduled trip to the dermatologist.
I do have a western straw hat that I wear when I am in my “Rancherwriterpoet” disguise. One can only wear a straw hat in the summer. It bears a resemblance to the rule that says you are not to suppose to wear white after Labor Day. I don’t think that is in the Bible. If someone says it is, then, they are “Talking through their hat”. And if someone finds it, I will consider “eating my hat”.
Someone suggested that we should “Put on our thinking cap”. I haven’t had a thinking cap since the first grade and even then it was a pointed hat. I confess, I did not wear that “cap” voluntarily. The teachers of my day had a way of “wearing many hats”. I’m certain that that aspect has not changed. In some situations, the hat they wore brought fear. In my case, the most feared teacher was “Coach Knight” and his Board of Education.
Here in Texas, you will see two types of hats. The Baseball cap ( or any number of what is called “gimmee” caps) and the cowboy hat. The baseball cap does not really make you a baseball player nor does it metamorphose you into a cowboy. You need a horse for that. There are places where you can wear the head coverings and places where you cannot. For example, you can wear a Texas Ranger’s (the ball team not the law enforcement) cap to the ballpark, but if you go inside the restaurant, you must take it off. You can roll it up and put it in your back pocket. You can wear your John Deere cap to the John Deere dealer, but if you go inside the show room, you must take it off. If you step inside an elevator, you do not necessarily have to remove your hat, except if a lady is present, then of course you must remove it. A gentlemen never keeps his hat on in the presence of a lady.
Now for you ladies, you can wear your hat anywhere you want. Even into church, well, unless it is a baseball cap. They are considered unisex caps and have the same rules as the men. You can remove it and place it in your purse. Men have the same option of placing their cap in their man bag.
The other type of head covering here in Texas is the cowboy hat. Over the years, the cowboy hat has played a major part of the everyday lifestyle of both the female and the male. In the early days, the good guys wore white hats and the bad guys wore black hats. See my profile pic. Unless you are a country music star, in which case you can wear whatever you want.
Well, that brings us back to the subject at hand, wearing hats in church. Of course, you can’t wear your hat in church. If, as a child, I ever failed to remove my cap in church, well, I cannot explain the consequences in this family style writing. I can say without hesitancy, that it was much easier to remove the cap than having to stand while I ate my Sunday fried chicken, if I was lucky enough to get a piece of chicken. I did some research, thanks to a Biblical scholar in our midst. He suggested I read First Corinthians 11:1-15. I did and it makes perfectly good sense to me.
Cowboy hats should be removed in places of worship, courtrooms and generally in private homes, unless everyone else is wearing one and then it is ok to go along with the crowd Also, if you are in a restaurant that serves anything not coated in BBQ sauce, it might be best to lose the hat. Cowboy hats for ladies fall in the category as “unisex” hats and you must use the hat rack just as the men do.
The etiquette for wearing hats has changed over the years. Hats are worn less now, but at the turn of the 20th century, all adults wore hats whenever they left the house. Ladies also wore stylish hats in public, reserving the bonnets for daily wear around the house, but always with their heads covered. Gentlemen tipped their hats to ladies and removed them upon entering a building. Sadly, those days have passed us by. What we encounter today are the wearing of caps on heads in such a way one cannot tell if they are coming or going. I think maybe their heads are like owls, they swivel.
I think the lesson I learned today is the removal of men’s hats in church is a sign of honor to God. I ‘m not “Keeping this under my hat”. You can “Hang your hat on that”.I certainly hope this clears up the confusion about the wearing of hats in church.
It‘s best I tip my hat to all
It seems the thing to do
A sign of my respect
To those within my view.