Nudity and religion

Religion in (my) school

Religion keeps confusing me. I know I’ve been at this before, but it is something so incomprehensible to me that I want to address it again.

When I was 15 or 16, which is quite a while ago, I made sure the catholic church removed me from their subscription list. I’d gotten into arguments with the priest who, in school, taught religion and got thrown out of the classroom quite often ‘for asking the wrong questions’. Even at that age I was aware that, if someone who is supposed to be a professional at his job (priest is a job, right?) and he can’t answer the most obvious of questions, then there’s something wrong with the background of his job.

It was around that time that I discovered nudism (as it was still called back then). That was the straw that broke the religious camel’s back: I asked the priest why Adam and Eve had decided to put on clothes when being naked was so much more comfortable.

This was the result, as it were. Words like ‘insolent’ and ‘blasphemy’ (that last one threw me, still does) were the last ones from the priest before I left that class forever.

The library was my friend after that.

Because of this ‘insolence’, I had to report to the headmaster, for being thrown out yet again. I explained my side of the argument, the priest called me a liar and Satan’s child (yay me!), and the headmaster decided I should stick to the library from then on and leave religion class behind me. In that library (yes, the school library) I read a lot about all kinds of religions and even more about nudism. Even back then, in the 1970s, our schools were so liberated.

Since being naked felt much better than religion, I read up a bit about the combination. Since the priest had gotten fired up so much, there had to be something.

Religion: the practice of shame and guilt (a.k.a. control)

Religion, for me (and many others), is the ultimate form of controlling others through shame and guilt. In Christianity, everyone’s born with guilt. The original sin. In Islam the body has to be covered all the time as that is ‘the law’ (of Islam), and exposing one’s ‘intimate parts’ is sinful.

Sin, according to Wikipedia, almost always refers to religion. Almost always? Yes, there is a trigonomy function written as sin as well, but that’s not the one on display here.

So, sin is a human invention. Sin is an offence to a God or divine law. It’s interesting that there are Christians and also Muslims who are naturists, despite their godly laws of sin and guilt and shame and what not. And the good thing for them is: their god hasn’t struck them down for being disobedient. Insolent. Shameful. Guilty. Any ‘striking down’ so far has come from people who stick to their holy books, be it verbally or literally (using techniques involving throwing rocks etc.).

Rocks should be used to hike over. Naked. Without the burden of some religion or god hovering over you for doing ‘the wrong thing’. Because being naked is natural. It is how we’re born.

Author: Paul

Promoting the clothes-free lifestyle.

16 thoughts on “Nudity and religion”

  1. My faith is in God, who sent his only son to die for the sins of the world, a God of love, whose words do not condemn me, but reinforce the love he has for all humanity. Religion is of man, is fallible, and most often does not represent the very God they profess to believe in, far too many religious people believe more in their beliefs than what God actually told us. I am a believer, but I will not tell you or anyone else what they have to believe.

    1. There is something that confuses me. Your god loves everyone so much that he kills his own son for us. Does that mean he doesn’t love his son, or did he/god already know his son would survive? In that case, wouldn’t it be more like a coma than death?

      It’s good that you don’t tell others what they have to believe because then it would not be belief. Then it would be indoctrination.

      1. Growing up in Catholic school, no doubt you are aware Christian doctrine teaches physical death and physical resurrection of Jesus, not swooning (syncope/coma). A perfect God, cannot tolerate imperfection, and fallen man is hence judged on the weight of his own offence, violation of the divine plan for the good of the creature and creation. A perfect judge finds guilt and demands death, the complete punishment of violation. Jesus pays that penalty in our place, divine mercy, and we are adjudicated not guilty by virtue of propitious payment. We can only be redeemed if we accept propitiation, i.e. the mercy afforded us. Otherwise we reject payment and remain condemned. None of this should be new to you, whether you agree or disagree with the belief itself. I find your ignorance seems a bit feigned or contrived. Perhaps I’m misjudging how much you were taught.

        You are correct; religion does seek to control, and usurps the relationship of the individual to God through faith. God certainly sees our body and soul in their naked, exposed states. St Paul said we are clothed in Christ’s righteousness. I don’t need clothes to testify of God’s redemption of my soul, but I need God’s gift of mercy and grace if my imperfect and aging body is to be redeemed later.

        1. I did grow up in a Catholic school and environment. That school is what got me to see that god does not exist and religion is a man-made thing. Yes, I am an atheist. I don’t judge your desire or need to ’embrace god’, but for me the idea that an infallible god needs to kill his own son for something that apparently 2 people did, long time ago (and the rest of humanity, including buddhists, muslims etc has to feel guilty about that until the end of times) is at least a bit weird.

          If this god’s plan is infallible, he should already know the outcome, so why push out that plan in the first place and put so many people through the emotional/sinful guilt-wringer? Why build a complete universe ‘in seven days’ when he knows where it ends already? To prove he’s right? Doesn’t that make it science?

          And yes, christianity has a doctrine. Doctrines are teachings and instructions that should not be questioned. I’ve stepped away from that doctrine over 40 years ago, ever since I began questioning it and saw its flaws and illogical bits.

          Stay naked, Joe. Good luck. I hope you achieve what you’re after. 🙂

  2. Interesting,I had the same question,when I was about 11.It was just after 5th grade.It came up after one of our teachers at the end of the school year showed the class her vacation pics.The last was her nude on a lounger.This was a slip up,but the pic clearly was not meant to be sexual in any way.I remember she apologized not for the pic so much but for possibly offending anyone.This being a private Catholic school,she was soon fired.It caused me to ask what would’ve happened had there been no apple? As it was summer there was no school,so I asked my grandfather.He couldn’t give me a definite answer.I finally came to the conclusion it was the disobedience that was the issue,not the nudity after pondering it for several years.
    Sorry for the long winded comment.It’s good to know I”m not the only one who had this question.

  3. Paul, you need to differentiate organized religion from faith and Christianity. I agree with you about most of your points including the fact that religion has been used for centuries to control society. Nudity and sex have been the top two items to label as sins and to use as shame. There are theologians that question how some doctrine entered the Bible or how translations were made. There are many articles and research papers written to support nudity and naturism in Christianity. The fact is that is all boils down to whether you accept God and Christ in your life. Joe M did a great job stating what faith is all about.

    1. Christianity is about faith and trusting god, right? And it is an “organised religion”. Of course not every organised religion is christianity, as there is also islam and a host of others.
      Perhaps it is a difference between how Americans perceive religion, christianity and faith and how people in Europe do (over here they are far less ‘fearful’) that I don’t see what you’re aiming at.

      1. Sorry if I wasn’t as articulate as I should have been. I am differentiating the practice/teaching of religion from the actual belief, faith, and trust in God. My contention is that over the millennia the actual teachings and learnings from God have been misinterpreted and purposely misconstrued to manipulate society. Those alterations are why we make nudity shameful dating back to Adam and Eve. Today I see alternations to religion being made to accept certain societal practices that were once sinful and taboo. The word of God is not living like the English language. It is final.

        When I read the Bible, I try to understand the origin of the chapter and how it may have been changed for the times. I have a strong faith in God, but I am skeptical of what is documented in the Bible. Not every word is from God as we know, and its creation was very controversial at the time. Man has a natural tendency to corrupt things; whereas, God is pure.

        This is what I keep in mind when I justify enjoying life naturally with my faith. This is why I agree with most of your comments when I apply them to religion and not faith in God and his word. Please keep up these thought provoking articles.

        1. I see where you’re coming from now. Thank you for clearing that one up.

          Presuming (from my point of view) that god is real and has some plans, I can without a doubt see that such plans are different from what the old folks wrote down. Yes, these writings are used to manipulate, and they are also used out of context time and again. (I love how Jehova Witnesses try to trump me with those.)

          Thank you for this discussion, and stay naked and happy!

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