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.

A naturist’s view on religion

Naturism and religion.

Yes. It had to happen as it’s a topic of discussion wherever I seem to look lately. There are Christians against and in favour of naturism. Muslims in favour of and against naturism. I’m not going to delve into the pros and cons that every available religion has on naturism because that would be a waste of time. Only a few of them have no problem with it, I’m sure.

So why can’t you be naked and religious?

First off: I am not religious. I’m spiritual, which is something else.

Naked Indian Yogis.

I’d be in their league if I had to choose something. Luckily I don’t have to. On to some of the things I don’t get about nudity and religion.

Christianity

GotQuestions:

Although the world’s standards may permit or even encourage nudity, the Bible has a different perspective. It is true that the first humans were created unclothed by God (Genesis 2:25). Adam and Eve were innocent in their nakedness, but after the fall everything changed.

So basically nudity was fine. Their god, and that of many others, created the people in his image. Initially they were nude. Gives reason to think.

Of course this is all metaphorical (except for those who take the bible literally) but still there is strife between pro and con nudity Christians.

Islam

Wikipedia:

The intimate parts of the human body must, according to Islam, be covered by clothing. Exposing the intimate parts of the body is unlawful in Islam as the Quran instructs the covering of genitals, and for adult females the breasts. Exposing them is regarded as sin. Precisely which body parts must be covered varies between different schools of Islamic thought.

This is a bit problematic when several schools in one religion don’t agree on what’s what.

In general

I think everyone should be free to decide whether or not to dress. Regardless of religion.  However I also think everyone should not interfere with people who think differently. If you want to wear long, black clothes in the heat of summer, by all means, but don’t push your opinion of “how it has to be” on others. Your religion, your beliefs, your way. Not others, not mine. I know Christians who are against nudity. I know Christians who are fine with it. Bottom line: be happy being a Christian and don’t bug each other.

Adam and Eve

Same thing in Islam. There are lots of nudists in countries like e.g. Egypt. They’re forbidden to be naked outside. They meet up in the dark, in apartments, so they can spend some nude time together. Why can’t other Muslims just let them be?

Honestly folks, if nudity is such a big deal in the eyes of your gods, then your gods should prove their allmightiness by changing peoples minds. Not letting you, the people, fight this out.

Note that this is not every naturist’s view. It’s mine. Just so you know. I’m also not digging deeper in other religions. Feel free to do so if you want to know more.

Religious politicians vs. the sauna

Yes, we’re at it again. Time for politics in the Netherlands (city council elections). And the SGP party (heavily reformed Christian) in the city of Apeldoorn wants a ban on all public saunas and nude beaches.

God

These people don’t want to be confronted with nude people. The fact that nude beaches are well indicated doesn’t matter, the fact that saunas are controlled and you have to pay to go in there doesn’t matter. God doesn’t allow nude buttocks, it seems. (Why don’t they have a problem with Eva’s breasts being shown everywhere, I wonder?)

They don’t want to be confronted with nude people (how often do you run into those in the street during the week?). Well, I don’t want to be confronted with sermons and other religious outbursts during the week. (Thanks for that, Rob Meerwijk.)

God, so they say, gave us clothes to put on. (Uhm, it’s bad weather that made that happen, Google “Climate change”, guys.) Kind of hypocrite to blame their god as he first ‘created man after his own image’, and that man was… naked!

Dutch links to the matter: one here, another one here.