Understood, it promptly discarded Christ’s commitment to poverty, but it clung closely to sexual asceticism as a

disciplinary instrument in a disintegrating society.” 261
169. Repression of nudity is still used nowadays as a way to further a repressive political agenda.
Considering nude beaches, Patrick Buchanan, on PBS’s “McLaughlin Report,” said, “I believe we must let
the liberals do it, if they wish to do it. Afterward shoot photographs and use them in attack ads.” 262 The right wing
Christian Coalition uses blanket approaches on only nudity and other matters of “morality” to drum up support for their
cause. Their method, as described by ACLU Executive Director Ira Glasser, is “to prey upon the fears of millions of
Individuals who are all too willing to think that sacrificing personal liberty will help solve our nation’s problems.” 263
A Missouri legislator, in 1993, introduced a bill that would have made nearly all public nudity–and even some
nudity in the house–a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison! This bill was luckily defeated, though by a
Small allowance. Similar bills have been proposed all over the state in recent years.264
170. Much of the origin of repressive attitudes toward nudity may be followed to the political setting of the
early church and church-state, though not the teachings of Christ Himself.
The first writings of the Christian church reveal no signs of the negative attitude toward sexuality and

nudity which so qualify later years. This negative outlook grew slowly among some sections of the religion, but
was by no means universal. For some, asceticism signified a means of remaining pure for the impending return of
Christ. For others, it was a reaction against the hedonism and homosexuality common in Greek culture, or against
the sexual excesses of the dying Roman Empire.265 For some, it grew from a mix of Christianity with the
legalism of traditional Judaism; and for several, it developed out of preexisting personal and cultural biases. Clement of
Alexandria, in the late 2nd century, and Thascius Caecilius Cyprianus, in the mid 3rd century, both condemned the
nudity common in Roman public baths mainly because it offended their private notions of female modesty. (In the
same era, Tertullian was condemning girls as the “gateway of the Devil.”) Jerome, in the late 4th and early 5th
centuries, also condemned naked bathing, especially for women. He considered pregnant girls revolting, and felt
that virgins should blush at the very concept of seeing themselves naked. On the other hand, in exactly the same interval,
Jovinianus, a Christian monk, campaigned actively in favor of the public bathrooms. In http://rudenudist.com , the decisive actor in the
controversy was Augustine. He was a strong believer in the doctrine, introduced long after Christ, that the body and
sexuality are inherently sinful. (He applied this doctrine to women’s bodies and sexuality notably vigorously.)
Augustine was a clever politician. By aligning himself closely with the imperial court at the start of the 5th
century, he effectively ensured that his version of Christianity became the dominant one. By the Dark Ages, with the
Fall of the Roman Empire, the Church became the last remnant of Western civilization, with a monopoly on
education, and fantastic control over notions. Consequently Augustine’s heritage of anti-sexuality became the predominant
force in Christianity, even though such ideas are impossible to discover in the teachings of Christ Himself.266
171. The aversion of early Christian church leaders to casual nudity was due in part to an association of
nudity with paganism and homosexuality in the surrounding cultures.
In many pre-Christian pagan religions, for example those practiced in western Europe and Great Britain, nudity-
-particularly female nudity–was a powerful force, and played an essential role in pagan worship and rites.267
172. The Church’s aversion to nudity derived, in part, from its origins in the cultures of the ancient Near East,
where nakedness had signified poverty, url , slavery, humiliation, and defeat. Nude, restricted prisoners were
paraded in the king’s victory celebration, and slain enemies were stripped of clothes and armor.268
173. Before Western civilization, nakedness was a ordinary component of life and considered okay in
many conditions. However, as Freud describes in Civilization and Its Discontents, psychological repression of
the consciousness of our natural being was a vital measure in building civilization, by disciplining the majorities into
Participating in vast and self-abdicating societal jobs.269
Lee Baxandall notes that, by contrast, “the postindustrial, newly greening era offers fresh choices, a opportunity
to incorporate the natural human being with post industrial values, technology, and knowledge.” 270
174. Nudity has often been censored chiefly to prevent the tougher job of managing it.271
175. Diversion managers frequently “allow” nudity on remote shores without facilities or lifeguards, then use

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