Religious Costumes and the temptation to be different

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Do you feel bias towards any of the religious guys, just because what they wear? I hope not, as almost all religious men (and women) make a statement through their clothes, that they are different; they are not among us, but above us.
A sampling of religious costumes, a comprehensive piece is in the making.
The clothing gives them the instant recognition that they are wise men and
women, is that needed? Shouldn’t genuine respect be earned by one’s wisdom and knowledge,
rather than external manifestation?   
I am gathering costumes/clothing worn by
religious people in every possible tradition and always wondered, what is the
need to wear clothes that differentiate you? 
 Isn’t religion about humility,
where we are all on par with each other? 

I am not talking about simplicity in clothes; these are fashion statements,
look at the hats and color theme, the beards….  They are not like us, they are different, and
wear different clothes.

Honestly, if your  Rabbi, Imam, Pundit, Pastor, Clergy, Shaman, or
Gyani, wore clothes like the audience, and gets on the pulpit, how many of you would
give him or her same respect as the one in the costume, regalia?

I have been giving talks (sermons) on pluralism
and religion, and have always wondered should I fashion myself differently than
my congregants?  No, sir/ma’m, I will not
yield to that temptation.

Your “well composed” comments with your express permission will become a quote
in the article I am writing for the Foundation for Pluralism.

Mike Ghouse is committed to finding pluralistic solutions
for any given situation; sometimes he fails and sometimes finds the solutions. Unless
efforts are made, nothing will change. Pluralism is an attitude of respecting
the otherness of others.  You can find
links to most of mike’s work at
and for almost
all of his writing.  

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