The Gospel Truth

Body and Soul: The Naked Truth | June 24, 2014

The other day a headline in USA-Today caught my eye. It was entitled Naked TV Taking Off. There seems to be a plethora of participants sans clothes programming under the heading of Reality TV that tapes middle age men and women in various motifs trying to act natural.

According to journalist Ann Oldenburg as Survivor, the granddaddy of all survival reality game shows, kicks off its 28th season Wednesday (8 p.m. ET/PT), a new wave of survival-TV series is rolling in. Among them: Fox plans a show that will play out over the course of a year; a second season of Discovery’s titillating Naked and Afraid arrives in March; and Syfy’s Opposite Worlds gets ready to crown a winner.

Each episode chronicles the lives of two survivalists—a man and a woman—who meet for the first time and are given the task of surviving a stay in the wilderness naked for 21 days. After they meet in the assigned locale, the partners must find and/or produce water, food, shelter, and clothing within the environment.

The events of each couple’s quest play out in a single episode. Partners strip down and meet each other. They are provided with rough cross-body satchels containing a personal diary/camera—for use when the camera crew is not there at night—and a map. They all wear identical necklaces with a center bead, which is a microphone, and some personal jewelry is allowed.

I saw a two-minute clip of this show and it was tame by anybody’s standards. Sure there are a lot of bare bottoms but any hint of genitalia is blocked by mysterious white light balloon, giving lie to the advertisement that this is a reality show.

The above article also pointed out: We’ve got The Bachelor. And we’ve got Naked and Afraid. So why not mesh the two?

VH1 has just announced it has given the green light to Naked Dating, a one-hour weekly series that will explore the art of romance free of pre-conceived notions, stereotypes — and clothes.

No jewelry, no phones and no conventions of society to get in the way.

Each episode is its own date, following a man and a woman as they each date two different suitors. At the end of the episode, the two will analyze what they’ve learned and decide on whether or not to move forward with their prospective love matches.

But of course this will all be done in an exotic locale and everyone will be naked.

I even found a website devoted to Naked Yoga.

On the surface all this appears to be innocent and relatively harmless.

I know that many will signal this as further proof that Western Civilization as we once knew it has officially ended. Nudity is everywhere–stage, art galleries,dance recitals, theater and movie theaters.

Perhaps something different is going on. During my formal history studies I learned of the Pendulum theory, which held that life and history are always changing. Both are in a constant state of flux, heading into the future.

When it comes to ideas, trends, fads and historical movements at some point it will reach its end and start coming back to the other direction.

Now this is not a perfect theory when applied to American social mores but it does offer some insight.

Our society has become so satiated in a sewer of pornography and perversion that it has suffered an overload that threatens the emotional stability of millions of Americans and their families.

Since the human body has been a battleground for many of these searches, what better place to look for the harmony of body and soul that seems to have vanished from our culture.

According to Bobby Schindler’s article on the legal murder of his sister Terry Schiavo, namely the Dehydration Death of a Nation, …we have become a nation that spends billions trying to find the perfect while ignoring the condition of our collective soul.

Perhaps the pendulum has gone as far as it can go. Just maybe this flood of naked TV programs that do not seem to appeal to the prurient interests of men and even some women will help them extricate themselves from the moral morass that has entangled their souls.

During the 16th century Western culture suffered an overload of rituals and devotions to the human soul that furthered devalued the importance of the human body.

In this ignoble attempt its leader saw fit to throw the body’s Creator out with the medieval bath water of Puritanism, Jansenism and Gnosticism—all which thought the body was an evil mechanism created in the devil’s workshop fraught with temptation, sin and eternal death.

This situation gave birth to the Enlightenment that led to Sigmund Freud and Alfred Kinsey and the so-called sexual revolution that threw the human soul out the window.

What we are experiencing now is their thinking taken to its inevitable logical conclusions of sexual excess, and perversion.

Both these historical events appear as a complete rejection of the perfect union of man’s body and soul into one indivisible human being,

Perhaps Naked Yoga with its visible pudenda and phalli is a new attempt to bring the body back to its Edenic status and total integration.

I think this was signaled in Saint John Paul II’s work of the Theology of the Body, which sought to bring back a human way at looking at the human body.

Saint JP II urged people to treat the bodies of others as being a person and not a thing.

I have not seen a truer indictment of America’s culture of death than this basic statement.

Along similar lines there is the story of Junior Lindsey Stocker, who failed a dress code check at Beaconsfield High School in Quebec.

Stocker tried to explain: when I started explaining why I didn’t understand that rule, they didn’t really want to hear anything I had to sa… I felt very attacked …adding that many of the rules in the dress code appear to specifically target girls.

She left the classroom and printed off about 20 posters inspired by an image on Tumblr that read: Don’t humiliate her because she is wearing shorts. It’s hot outside. Instead of shaming girls for their bodies, teach boys that girls are not sexual objects” and posted them around the school.

In my opinion her shorts were not immodest or suggestive.

This is the pure personalism of the late saintly pope. Her adult message to schools was that they should teach boys to respect their female classmates as persons and not sexual objects.

Perhaps Naked Yoga and the naked TV shows are secular attempts to tap into this corporal theology.

If one looks at these men and women in their natural state doing nothing more than very athletic yoga exercises, one should be thinking along with the pope and see them, not as naked objects but as beautiful creations—all made in the image and likeness of God.

According to Saint John Paul II this by no means signifies that impurity of body is identified simply with partial or total nudity. There are circumstances in which nudity is not impure. If someone uses it to treat the person as an object of pleasure – even if it is by bad thoughts – he alone is the one who commits an impure act. Impurity of body only occurs when nudity plays a negative role with respect to the value of the person. One can say that what happens then is a de-personalization….

I think the bifurcation of man’s body and soul probably happened during the days of St. Augustine. He had been a subscriber to the Manichean heresy in the 5th century that saw the human body as detestable and a vehicle for temptation, sin and eternal punishment.

Many of the hang-ups good Catholics suffered from and still may suffer from can date back to this time.

Of course this does not mean that we should deny sin and that we are free to express our sexuality in any way that we wish.

Sin flourishes when we treat others as things!

The truth of these words was echoed in an interview of Glenn Beck on Fox recently where the social commentator said, religion teaches us to love people and use things. Today’s society teaches us to love things and use people.

If a woman saw a man as an individual, she would not flaunt her sexuality in his face but dress with a modesty that flatters her entire body without emphasized her erotic zones.

What we need today is a healthy attitude toward the human body. If humans, especially the sexually high-wired American male can ever learn to substitute love and appreciation for women and their bodies the world would be a nicer place and we would all be that much closer to Eden.

 

 

 


3 Comments »

  1. I only read the first one about Naked. I think Our Lady said through Jacinta that fashions in the future would displease Our Lord. Or something to that effect. I am so disgusted with TV programs but can find a few decent things to watch by careful selection. Pax

    Comment by Mary B. Lachney — June 25, 2014 @ 3:51 pm

  2. “American male can ever learn to substitute love and appreciation for women and their bodies the world would be a nicer place and we would all be that much closer to Eden.”

    And if men were angels instead of men communism would be the perfect system.

    Men are going to relate to women as sex objects when the women are not special to them. When the woman becomes special to the man is when he will see her as the integrated body/mind being to be appreciated in the whole true sense and in a way which takes on the emotional trappings of a “holy” thing.

    You can’t see anything illuminated by light unless there are edge-revealing cues of darkness/shadow. The darkness forming the shadows and edges of the special relationship a man and woman have together, recognized in the religious estate of matrimony, defines and accentuates that special estate and forms the contrast by which this estate can be “seen” and appreciated for the special thing which it is.

    People are all individuals and though there may be some basic similarities the set of things which consist of acceptable and unacceptable between two people in a committed relationship may vary considerably and what’s acceptable in one relationship my be a “deal killer” in another.

    Science has a holy grail in the hard sciences, a “unified field theory”. Physics depends on the principle that what the laws of thermodynamics dictate on the earth will also be true on the other side of the galaxy or from one batch of cyprofloxin in one retort to another.

    But humans are not retorts full of batches of chemicals which must be homogenized for the sake of mass production and profitability–not here at least; maybe in Japan where the nail which sticks up must be hammered flat…

    I think you’re searching for a universality in the way people can be induced to relate to one-another. It smacks to me of a loss of individuality. The huge amount of variability in each individual due to the many possibilities of how base pairs may combine makes each individual a unique experiment in survival in the natural world and the social world alike. Those “experiments” which find success will conserve their genes and those which fail will not. In this way we constantly refine our behavioral traits and so when child is born now we don’t have it examined by the elders for any sign of imperfection and go throw it off a cliff if it’s imperfect as was apparently done long ago in a place named Sparta.

    But back then that passed for the height of enlightenment.

    To try to standardize all interpersonal relations might provide a simplification of them and make “things” easier, but it might also threaten to stagnate progress.

    We already have laws to regulate interpersonal relations to within that which is practical in order to maintain civilization. That’s bad enough and it’s *so* bad that those familiar with the process of making law say it’s like making sausage, not something to be observed by the squeamish in either case.

    We could have greater harmony if we’d just select certain examples of humanity who are thought to represent the “ideal” and continue replenishing the numbers of humans to comprise a practical civilization through eternally cloning those ideal types. Those people would all know what to expect from one-another and to a large extent might even be constantly finishing one-anothers’ sentences, so close would they be and so predictable to one-another. Undoubtedly this would contribute to peacefulness and a state of being in human society closely emulating the ideal depicted in mythical Eden prior to the “fall of man”.

    Remembering the population and variability between the individuals inhabiting Eden was 2. And Eve must have literally been a clone of Adam—and his biological sister too, for that matter… It would be a lot simpler homogenizing that populace than the one currently extant globally.

    But I don’t think there would be much progress in human behavior after the institution of such a simplification.

    Are we so perfect now that we’d like to freeze what we are in time forever and ever?

    There are some sets of general behavioral norms which do relate to the physical body and can be generalized in broad groups–races. When such generalized sets of behavioral norms relate to broad groups you’ll find strife and friction occurring when these broad groups are intentionally juxtaposed with one another in a society and that only leads to chaos. While it may be possible for an accommodation to occur between two diverse individuals, if there is any basis for such an accommodation, multiplying the attendant difficulties of finding such an accommodation by numbers of individuals in even two small racial groups would be a job which would boggle the abilities of even the literary device, the computer Deep Thought, in Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

    ( pleasant musical interlude )

    Would that it were true that differences between individuals of all races are vastly greater than those between populations of one race or another but it’s not true. If it were then differences in skin coloration and whether we have hollowed-out backs on incisors or solid filled-in ones would be of little consequence and there would be no more reason to segregate races from races than there would be to do blood typing prior to transfusions if everyone had been transfused with a mixture of types prior to the formation of their immune systems.

    But we were not all so-transfused and there has been no “transfusion/confusion of the “nations” such that no differences occur to any good effect.

    And there are different types of people in other senses within races and so there is no “universal person” or unified-field-theory of how to relate one person to another possible or desirable either between individuals in one race or between races.

    To find two individuals whose highly-variable characteristics can fit together in a manner which would result in that special harmony which verges on the “holy” is a matter which can only be handled by the individuals in question as they meet and reject one after another potential mate. Schemes to try to standardize this and treat everyone as *functional* equals ( frequently confused both unintentionally and intentionally as being the same as equal-under-law ) really only get in the way of the ages old process which has served us so well up ’til the point various crafty peoples and cabals began trying to mass produce or cohere human behavior in a manner which is profitable to the enterprise of concentrating power from many into the hands of the few.

    I’m sorry, but in the real “grown up” world I don’t think any of us wants to live a “T-ball” existence and I don’t think it would or could work, or not for long. There are just some of us who are better-off warming the bench. Nobody’s going to change that, it’s just our nature. Not everyone can sing. Not everyone can play. Not everyone can relate to others successfully either in the male/female sense or sometimes even in a more generalized sense. The noted curmudgeon and rear-end of a certain hard-working type of equine hybrid farm animal Jim White used to say “you can’t fix stupid”. Well, there are other things you also can’t fix, much though you might like to. They may not be “broken”, but only functioning correctly to prevent the conservation of certain genes and their related behaviors which do not merit conservation. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”.

    There’s an old saying. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. You never get the purse and only succeed in irritating the sow mightily.

    I don’t see much value in trying to standardize interpersonal relationships beyond having law that governs such interactions to what is practical in order to maintain peace and “domestic tranquility”.

    Since you mentioned Freud, let me respond by stating that not only is a cigar *sometimes* only a cigar, but it is almost *always” only a cigar. Maybe William Jefferson “Clinton” [Blythe] thought it was something other but consider the source…

    We are what we ( as individuals ) are and to attempt to impose schemes to “universalize” us will lead only to more and more sorrow and chaos. Look around you at thousands of years of trying and see if you think things are getting better. I don’t. I’m *not* a photon bouncing back and forth between two highly-polished mirrors parallel to one-another to within a fraction of a wavelength of some standard “color” of light and I resent and reject being treated thus.

    You’ll observe that the ability of law and the courts to function has deteriorated markedly since abandoning the basic practice of enforcing law and delving instead into the slippery slope of practicing medicine ( psychology ) without a license. I’m talking about obscenities like hate-crimes laws and a plethora of other attempts to enforce what’s called “political correctness”. We’ve been converted from the land of the free and home of the brave to the land where nobody is free to open their mouths and even express an opinion lest they be dragged into the public square, tied to the virtual wheel and virtually flogged until they recant and conform to the “universal ideal of behavioral norms”. We’ve just seen two good examples lately from the world of professional sports and from the entertainment industry.

    http://variety.com/2014/biz/news/gary-oldman-rant-mel-gibson-anti-defamation-league-1201245418/

    ( interesting to see Ibrahim FoxOmeni pontificating about a supposed “canard” about control of the media when he himself conspired to attempt to have film exhibitors refuse to exhibit a Mel Gibson film… )

    and the ever-popular:

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/26/us/nba-team-owner-alleged-racist-remarks/

    The above on it’s face being a “good example” of how nature has imposed yet another “spontaneous abortion” on what might otherwise have accommodated into one of these “holy” unions between two individuals. Yet there are overtones of the top-down imposition of a behavioral standard in-play there too and perhaps the team-owner’s girlfriend may have been acting more under the influence of what Carlos Castaneda’s composite character Don Juan Matus called the “foreign imposition” ( top down world-views taught or imposed ) rather than her own innate natural inclinations. So this may demonstrate the destructive nature of such top-down impositions militating against what otherwise might have been a successful union between two individuals “finding their way” through life.

    While we squander all our valuable energies on trying to pre-plan and enforce a scheme of idealized “psychology” our technological progress is stagnated for “lack of interest” and the improvements in our actual conditions-of-living which could serve to “float all psychological boats higher” are put on the back burner. Checked the U.S. balance-of-trade lately?

    There really hasn’t been an important breakthrough regarding our information technology since that horrible racist William B. Shockley and his team at Bell Labs brought forth the economically-practical unijunction transistor upon which almost all subsequent advances have been mere embellishments and outgrowths. That happened a long time ago. But we sure have done a lot in service of ( supposedly ) trying to make people happier through pre planning and applying the violent force of law to their attitudes… I haven’t seen a big improvement.

    Every big flood reminds us that try as he might with his levees and hydrology man cannot tame huge natural rivers and the weather patterns which support them. And we’re also giving ourselves an on-going object lesson that human progress which has had to be entrusted largely to natural processes through most of the history ( and rise ) of our species cannot be controlled and planned any better than rivers and floods.

    “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. The ages old process of *individuals* seeking other unique *individuals* and finding a male/female accommodation, where possible, which will work to the extent it produces a *family* whose end result will be the conservation of the genes of the two individuals founding it has worked well for eons. It’s ridden over any impediments through time of societies which raised what we consider to be the vice of objectification of the body to the status of a virtue and every other amateurish attempt to cohere natural human behavior to a “unified behavioral field theory” whose main aim really is always to facilitate the concentration of power from the hands of the many into the hands of the few.

    Unfortunately we’ve come to a pass now where our technical skill in using science to effect such an end–or try to—is empowered to make the attempt far more seriously and effectively–effective in the sense of imposing “fixes”, but not in the sense of success in producing the seductively–stated goal or end.

    It may not be too late to stop it now before it does truly become too late.

    This is no original thinking on my part. Many authors have stated similar concerns in famous works of literature. People talk about them and revere said authors and pay them lip-service but then they go right on trying to homogenize the human psyche.

    It’s spiritual fascism. As stated before this form of fascism is not satisfied merely to concentrate only t means of production of material goods into the hands of a central authority, but even the spiritual and sexual means of production of humans themselves. Talk about objectification of the human body! How many times have I heard so-called conservatives patiently explain how the allowance of individuals to take individual control of their reproductive behavior is a danger to the society because it (supposedly ) threatens the production of a large number of potential job applicants related to the relatively static number of jobs and harms the “bottom line” of those who exploit labor to concentrate wealth in a relatively small number of hands–and thus power?

    Sorry Bill, but I don’t think I can sign on to the view you seem to be expressing about the use of mass media to effect some sort of supposed mass enlightenment in a realm where, really, individuals must find their own individual way.

    The oscillation to which you are referring seems to me to go back-and-forth between the imposition of “teaching” individuals to navigate the mate selection process according to the sought aims of some authority, which may not state it’s true agenda, or else the total destruction of the natural mores in the hearts of men and women for finding an accommodation and founding a family. Between these two extremes short shrift is given to allowing the individuals to do what individuals have successfully done during most of the history of humanity where humanity made it’s greatest strides from the most mean animalistic existence to something any creature would prefer, once it sees it. Why do you think two of the smartest animals, dogs and cats, have amalgamated themselves to us and made themselves into our pets?

    They didn’t do it lately, they did it a long long time ago.

    They did that at a time when the technologies for trying to influence human behavior for selection of a mate individual-to-individual was not yet suffering from various schemes to cohere that behavior into something more serving of some despot’s agenda than that of progressing forward socially psychologically and intellectually—the naturally-occuring Self-Evident *Responsibility* of Man.

    And what a happy world the steady increase in the ability to effect mass control or influence over such natural human behaviors—literally definitive of what it means to *be* human—have wrought., Everywhere I look, happiness and harmony abound. IDF goons happily and harmoniously cooperate together to force muslim children to go first into buildings felt possibly to contain booby-traps and I.E.D.s. Mass nearly institutionalized abuse of women occurs in societies where being modestly covered is the LAW ( so that we don’t objectify a woman’s attractive body-parts, of course–just ask them and they’ll patiently explain that is the reason they impose those laws! ) and happy happy happy.

    Why, I’m so happy that I’m just constantly weeping tears which *must* be tears of joy! What else *could* they be?

    That is the oscillation I see–on the one hand imposition of ideas which derive from the virtual opiate, religion, and on the other hand the destruction of any natural-occurring human ability to use discrimination in selecting mates and associates through the profligate use of one of the most sociologically-deadly deleterious substances ever discovered, marijuana.

    Guitar strings vibrate/oscillate too. I don’t know for sure but I strongly suspect that in that brief instant when one breaks it probably continues to oscillate until it comes to rest against some object which finally deadens it’s oscillations. We may all be riding the historical broken guitar string right now as it oscillates towards it’s inevitable state of the homogeneity of it’s states of being of it’s various component parts—the enforcement of sociological equilibrium between all the elements of said broken string as it crashes into whatever immovable/immutable verity which eventually brings it to rest. What will that be like?

    Well, when it comes, if it comes, it will be so quick you won’t have time to react. You won’t be able to slip away to some other safe-haven where some protection from that collision between oscillations from one folly to another are *not* so violently dampened—to where the string has not yet broken. Brazil? Shall we all wish we were racing cars and singing about watching a “billy boil” on the beach in Australia? I don’t think there will be time.

    “people are people so why should it be, you and I should get along so awfully?”

    These are lyrics quoted from a song by a group which rose to notoriety during a time when I was searching for novelty and running away from the stagnated “album rock” which had become the standard fare on FM radio in this market, Depeche Mode.

    As you can see by the “reasoning” of the individual posting that song on you tube and subsequent comments at odds with his world-view the central observation in the song lyric has not helped perfect anyone’s understanding of what’s “going on”.

    There is a famous quote credited to FDR ( and highly disputed by his apologists ) to the effect that:

    In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.

    Franklin D. Roosevelt

    http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/f/franklind164126.html

    The refutation, for whatever it’s worth:

    https://www.metabunk.org/threads/debunked-in-politics-nothing-happens-by-accident-fdr.336/

    Whether FDR said it or not it’s repeated over and over because to those of us used to living in the real world it has the “ring of truth” to it. The answer to Depeche Mode’s question is that it was planned that way. Maybe those planning it that way did not intend that end, maybe they did. But if individuals and individual races had been left to their own devices there’d be a lot less reason to ask it.

    Comment by James Stenzel — June 27, 2014 @ 11:57 am

    • Dear Jim:

      Again I am overwhelmed, not just by your loquacity but by the depth of some of your points. There is so much there I feel like the proverbial mosquito at the nudist colony. I think my die or that of the late saintly pope’s is a standard of basic Chrustian morality put in new wineskin. Of course men will continually breech its precepts as they are now without even knowing it. But I believe that many, especially those burdened by an addictiion to prn can remove the shacklews of their moral slavery and find a new freedom in the beauty of the female form.

      And as for reproductive rights, I plan to write an essay on free will. My CHurch sometimes contradicts itself with addressing our free wills but seems to feel uncomfortable under its exercise.

      Freedom to choice does not belong in the generic category of “freedom”. It is the imposition of one’s will on the life of another human being. Granted ta tiny human being but one with eparate DNA that is growing by the second at warp speed.

      That is a serious violation of human freedom which is ther ability to do what is right, not the license to avoid responsibility and destroy even nascent human life. If it were not human life—wacko choicer Molly Yard said that women didn’t know what they were having. It could even be a gaot. I don’t think that has ever happened.

      The only baby in history that deserved being aborted was Posemary’s. BB

      Comment by Bill Borst — June 27, 2014 @ 1:51 pm


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About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at bbprof43@gmail.com

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