Student Tests Sister's "Modesty is Relative" Theory, Wears Swim Trunks to Mass
Following an argument with his sister over what she planned to wear to mass, Mike Hodges,19, donned a pair of swim trunks and attended the evening service last Sunday with his family at St. Joan of Arc Church in Marietta, Geo.
"Mandy had on this tight, low-cut, short dress, and when I told her she needed to wear more clothes, she gave me that whole 'modesty is relative' crap," said Hodges, who is a freshman majoring in philosophy at Georgia State University. "So I said, 'So it is, huh? Well, I will wear this to mass,then,' and held up a pair of swim trunks. She just looked at me like she didn't believe I would do it, so then I had to."
Although Hodges' parents said they agree with his point, they said they wish he had made it in a less conspicuous way. "It was pretty embarrassing," said Don Hodges, Mike's father, and a partner in the Sims,
Warren and Hodges law firm in Marietta. "I literally saw two people gasp when they turned around to make the sign of peace."
Fr. Tim Baranski, associate pastor at St. Joan of Arc said he noticed Hodges, but didn't say anything to him out of charity. "I didn't know if maybe he just wasn't having a bad day. Maybe he forgot to do the wash. Who knows? I am just happy to see young people at mass."
For his part, Mike says he is unrepentant. "Next time she says she can wear what she wants because modesty
is relative and girls in France walk the beaches topless, she can just think of me in my swimming trunks at mass."
Hodges' best friend, Sean Tucker, said he totally agrees with what he did. "If my friends and I want to see half-naked girls, we don't go to bars, we go to mass. Hey, there's no cover charge. But having said all that,I don't want people looking at my sister or cousins like that, but when I talk to them about it, they won't listen."
Seventeen-year-old Mandy, meanwhile, said she plans to change churches. "I am so humiliated," she said."I think I hate Mike's guts."
Hodges said he promised not to bring out the swimming trunks again until the family's trip to Jekyll Island in August. "That made mom really happy. Plus, they really keep it too cold in church for me to do that
again anytime soon."