Nudism and “Clothing the Naked”

“Clothe the naked” is one of the corporal works of mercy.

When it comes to clothing the naked, I think “What about people who don’t want to be clothed? Nudists. Am I not fulfilling Jesus’ command to clothe the naked when I choose to respect peoples’ choice to go naked?”

The reason I think about such questions is: It can’t be denied that people who go naked exist. When nudists are, it seems, swept under the rug, I feel as though I am failing in my duty as a Catholic if I don’t do what I can to help such people — people who can be seen as pariahs: the kind of people whom Jesus came to reach out to.

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I myself am not a nudist, but I write about nudism.

The reason why is because, as a result of shows like Naked & Afraid and movements like Free the Nipple, I am reminded that “There are people who choose to go naked.”*

I saw, on Catholic publications, that a lot was being written about subjects like the gay rights movement, abortion, and the latest words from Pope Francis.

I saw, on Catholic publications, that a whole group of people — nudists — were, it seemed, being neglected. No Catholic, it seemed, wanted to talk about nudism. It was like Catholics’ attitude towards nudists was “Such people don’t exist.” And I wanted to change that. I felt I needed to change that. I felt it was my duty as a Catholic to say “People who go naked exist. This fact can’t be ignored. Jesus, because he said to share his teachings with all people, wouldn’t want us, his representatives on Earth, to act like a group of people doesn’t exist.”

*I don’t remember when I first realized “There are people who choose to go naked.” But I know that, for years, I had forgotten that fact. And it was shows like Naked & Afraid and movements like Free the Nipple that reminded me. I don’t watch Naked & Afraid, and though I agree with Free the Nipple’s message — the message: Stop sexualizing women’s breasts — from what I’ve seen, the methods women have used to protest the sexualization of their bodies leaves a lot to be desired:

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(I made a mistake in this post: The woman dousing the Archbishop with water is protesting because of his stance on homosexuality — her protest didn’t have anything to do the sexualization of female bodies. I think this picture still makes a good point, though: The methods people use to stand up for what they believe in can leave a lot to be desired.)

For further reading:

Am I Obsessed With Nudity?

 

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