Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Reader Mail: Goth and Religion

Hi Mary Rose I am a sixteen year old girl who lives in a very small town anda religious house where I go to church every Wednesday and Sunday and wealways pray over our meals and my father is a leader in the church I waswondering if you clear up my confusion if Goth is religion therefore itwould be sac religious for me to be looking into dressing Goth anddecorating my room gothic I'm not sure if I am very much into Goth I do likethe casual Goth outfits and the like so I'm very confused about what Ishould do please write me back with some advice :) 
-eagerly awaiting your response 
lilvamp


Hi Lilvamp!

Simply put, the answer is no. Goth is not a religion,Goth is a style of dress, a type of music, and a subculture for people who enjoy those things together, and there are Goths of every major religion. As long as you're not openly antagonistic, you're likely to meet and make friends with Christian Goths, Muslim Goths, Jewish Goths, Pagan Goths, non-religious Goths, and more.

I don't want to generalize too much about your family and home town but you might face some raised eyebrows because the media tends to wrongly associate Goth with satanism/paganism/the occult, etc. You might want to read up on the history of the subculture, even a quick browsing through the Wikipedia page should help, which will give you something to respond with if they ask questions. If you keep up with other important things (going to church, maintaining good grades, minding your manners, etc.) then it's likely that the people around you will eventually get used to how you dress and not give you any more trouble.

I hope that helps!

As always, send any questions or subjects for me to write about to me on my contact page or in an e-mail to theeverydaygoth@yahoo.com

6 comments:

  1. personally I like the idea of a inquisitor-type, avenging angel of death, super-christian goth. fiery gates of hell, etc.

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    1. I like it and at the same time I live in fear of it.

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  2. Growing up Catholic, I always thought I had some good ol' Goth street cred. I mean, we have all those *perdy* windows and our nuns dressed in black. Of course being Catholic in the South which is mostly Protestant is problematic. I was told I worshipped statues and whatnot.

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    1. Yes, Catholics do get all the best Gothic imagery I feel, but that certainly doesn't stop me from loving all of that too!

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  3. I would also recommend accessories related to lilvamp's religion, if she is worried about public perception or rude comments. Cross necklaces can go with almost any outfit (I'm assuming some denomination of Christianity here, but I could be wrong), tend to reassure panicky churchgoers, and can be a marriage of her faith and the goth aesthetic. They don't have to be included in every outfit, of course, but a couple of kickass cross necklaces are a great - and very goth-applicable - addition to a christian's jewelry box.

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  4. Excellent advice to your correspondent :) Goth is not a religion, and you get Goths of most religions or none. While you do get more Pagans and suchlike involved in the subculture than in the mainstream population, percentage wise, you don't have to be Pagan, or a Satanist, or into the Occult to be Goth, and they're definitely not synonymous. If those around you are afraid you're entering the occult, then just stay away from incorporating pentacles/pentagrams, moons, inverted crosses etc. into your fashion, and carry on as before. As Mary Rose said, keep your grades up, your manners polite, and unless you plan on leaving your church for other reasons, keep going to church, and hopefully people will be more accepting. I've also noticed that the sorts of Goth fashion that err towards the formal rather than the punky tend to be more accepted - velvet blazers, long skirts, lace trimmed shirts, etc.

    The Gothic aesthetic owes a HUGE debt to European Christianity, especially the Roman Catholic Church - pointy arches, beautifully carved angels, black-letter fonts, decorated crosses, etc. - it's all from an ecclesiastical aesthetic tradition. I'm not sure how well that sort of thing will go down if you're in a more Evangelical or otherwise Protestant denominational area that's deliberately moved away from that aesthetic, but Anglicans (especially High Church Anglicans) and Catholics have a lot of things in their religious art and architecture that you can draw on if you follow those sort of denominations. If you're going to incorporate your faith into your fashion, just be careful you don't accidentally wear something in a way that people might interpret as sacrilegious.

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