Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In the News: Cheerleaders and Modesty


More and more often you hear of Christian young ladies participating in cheerleading activities. Is there anything objectionable about cheerleading? Well, yes and no. There is nothing objectionable in leading cheers at football games and other school events. However, too often cheerleading includes two things that a Christian girl should have no part in: 1) Immodest dress; and, 2) Lascivious choreography.

A recent article that appeared on the internet reported that Piedmont High School principal Traci Williams (San Jose, California) enforced a long standing ban on the wearing of miniskirts by requiring the school’s cheerleaders to wear sweatpants under their cheerleading uniforms.

The school dress code requires that skirts reach down to mid-thigh. Other students who violate the code are required to go to a special building and remain there until their parents bring suitable clothes. Senior cheerleader Antonia Bavilacqua contends that an exception should be made for the cheerleaders. As reporter Cameron Smith writes:

Now Bavilacqua is leading a charge to try and get Williams to ease up on her enforcement of the rule, citing both a prior case in Florida, common sense (another cheerleader cited the weather concerns, saying “It’s 95 degrees outside”), and fashion sense as reasons to allow the cheerleaders to wear their uniforms in school one day a week.

It isn’t difficult to see the intellectual vacuity of the young lady’s reasoning. The school dress code is in place to restrict students from dressing in a lewd or provocative manner. And yet, on the basis of temperature (by the way, the other students are hot as well), school spirit, or (of all things) fashion sense, an exception should be made for the cheerleaders. The arguments are absurd. If there is any legal basis for a dress code in public schools, (and some deny there is), then the cheerleader and sports uniforms should conform to the code.

Of course, the application for Christians is clear and forceful. Circumstance does not change the acceptability (or lack thereof) of a person’s dress. Christians who would never be seen in immodest dress on any other occasion seem to think it acceptable if at the swimming pool, leading cheers, or engaging in sports activities. Parents want their children to fit in, and will acquiesce to pleas from them with regard to basketball or volleyball shorts, or cheerleading uniforms. There is no valid reason for such compromise.

There is a reason why beach volleyball is so popular, and why the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is the magazine’s annual best seller. It is because of the provocative dress and sensual appeal of women who participate. Any Christian mother or father who would allow their daughter (or son) to dress immodestly, whatever the occasion, should be ashamed, and will answer to God for their decision.

This article is not intended to establish what constitutes modest dress, as indicated in scripture. This we have done in other articles and sermons, and we will make the points again in the future. The point of this writing is to remind Christians to cover their thighs, midriffs and chests whenever they are in public. God always demands modesty in dress and decorum! There are no exceptions.

No, it is not wrong to be a cheerleader, or to play volleyball or basketball or softball. But, it is wrong to act or dress lewdly — ever! Unfortunately too many Christians either don’t see, or refuse to acknowledge this truth.