I must be the only believing, garment-wearing Mormon who isn’t mad at Andrew Sullivan. I honestly don’t understand all the fuss. It seems to me that, removed from their sacred context, garments are just underwear. And really funny-looking underwear, at that. I can think of no promise made not to let others see the garment–I change in the gym locker room, and if I landed in the Emergency Room unconscious, people would surely see my garments–and I don’t believe they would be seeing anything “sacred,” any more than I am seeing something sacred when I see my orthodox friends’ yarmulkes. Underwear is generally private in our culture, so we’re *embarrassed* to have our skivvies paraded around on the Internet. And surely posting pictures of people’s underwear is in poor taste, as is the “boxers or briefs” question.
Still, I think confusing our embarrassment with religious offense is a mistake–what is holy and sacred about garments is the understanding we have about them from our experience of temple worship, and what we make of them in our covenant relationship with God. Investing the cloth itself with some sort of unseeable, unmockable holiness strikes me as superstition bordering on idolatry. And defending them with the kind of venomous ardor spewed at Andrew Sullivan this week seems both unchristian and decidedly unmormon to me.