The Gospel Truth

Body and Soul: The Naked Truth

June 24, 2014
3 Comments

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.

 

 

 

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Too Big to Fail?

May 11, 2010
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While that scary phrase too big to fail has become part of the national idiom, I want to give it a broader application.

It has usually referred to big US companies, mostly banks and brokerage houses.  Some, such as Lehman’s have been allowed to join the dinosaurs while most have received the bail-out, a nautical term that usually refers to sinking ships.

I want to raise a new question:

IS THE WORLD TOO BIG TO FAIL?

You think that’s a bit over the top?  My pessimism, which to me is really negative realism, have finally driven me over the edge?

Last year I had to stop listening to Glenn Beck because he was too apocalyptic.  Now my fear of the emerging spiralling collapse has rendered me absolutely Panglossian!

Debt has always troubled me.  I never have been in debt.  My family was never in debt.  The only debts we have are the recent credit card balances and we always pay them on time.

I don’t like to borrow money.  My father would lend money to relatives but he never borrowed anything, not even to buy our only home (I was two at the time.) with cash in 1945.

Maybe as a result Economics has always baffled me.

It is so complex a subject the economists don’t really understand it themselves.

Isn’t there an aphorism that says that if one laid all the economists end to end they would point in millions of different directions?

I did manage two “gentleman C’s in the subject as a freshman at Holy Cross.

I do remember three things that probably constituted my grades: 1) supply and demand b) guns and butter c) if you want less of something, tax it;

The first one refers to productivity.  If the consumers like a product and want more, the producers will make more.  Now everything is made in China or Vietnam and it doesn’t seem to help us here much here.

If something is scarce then it will rise in value based on the same principle.

Lyndon Johnson virtually destroyed the second principle with the Vietnam War.

With reference to guns and butter government revenue is a zero sum game.  If you spend more for buttery domestic goods, you can spend less for deadly guns; or vice versa.

Johnson said something to the effect  praise the Lord and pass the margarine!

As a result we got our first large deficits since WWII.

As for taxation, that’s the one I think I understand the most.  If you want more people to work, you lower their taxes and the taxes on their employers.

I think after a certain point–maybe 10% most people don’t like to pay taxes.  At higher rates people will not work as hard or do a lot of over-time.

Our tax system is very unfair as it is and it bodes to get worse.  According to the equal protection provision of the Constitution, which does not apply to Arizona, those who have to bear the lion share of taxation are being cheated.

That number of real taxpayers is dwindling as I write.  It stands at about 52% now.  When it goes under we will have a situation where more than half the population lives off the sweat of the other half.

That’s the formula for a tyranny that we have not seen since the colonial days.

The system we have now is called Progressive, named after the period in American history when the country first took the socialist path that it is now running down.

Glenn Beck has been the most proficient commentator in exposing this period, though he gets some of the details wrong.  TR was almost as bad as his cousin.

Progressivism is a misnomer. There was absolutely nothing about it that had anything to do with progress… except we progressively get into more and more debt!

LOOK FOR PART II-–The Progressive Income Tax that isn’t!


Free Will: The Battle of the Blogs

February 8, 2010
43 Comments

The Only Choice!

To anyone who has been following my series of exchanges with Duane Graham, of the Erstwhile Conservative, the key issue that we have been sparing on is abortion, especially with regard to free will.

During our early exchanges, I told him my belief on free will: free will is a faculty of our human nature but that doesn’t mean it is sacred or holy.  Like all gifts from God, the ability to reproduce, think, run etc, they can be used for His greater glory or to enhance our own ego.  The choice is ours.  Just because it comes from God does not mean by any stretch of the imagination that all exercise of it are sacred as well.

Our blog debate really took off when he said that God was Pro-choice.  I have heard that canard before but never encountered anyone who wanted to try to logically prove it. As this fallen-away conservative–was he mugged by a banker–wrote:

It appears to me that God values our capacity to make free choices above all else. He made us free moral agents, which has to say something about what he thinks about free moral agency, correct?

I mean, surely you wouldn’t argue with the logic that we can know something about what God values by the choice He made in creating us and giving us free will, would you? No, of course not, because that is exactly the point you made about the morality of choices as opposed to the “indifferent” and “existential act” of choice itself.

So, now that we have agreed that God’s decision to let us decide for ourselves what is right and wrong is a reflection of his preference for “choice,” we can then move on to just how we, as civilized folks, decide how to proscribe the choices of members of our civilization to preserve our society. That, of course, is a complicated issue, but at bottom it involves a collective decision as to just what is “right” and just what is “wrong.”

Originally I almost missed this little example of advanced legerdemain. As I retorted:  God is evil because He gave us free will?  He is pro-choice since he gave free will–the choice to do evil…on the surface he might sound like that to you but the definition of pro-choice tries to take morality and goodness out of it.  I think it is obvious which side of the choice God and his followers favor.

The metaphor of Eden was you have free will but there will be serious consequences if you eat the apple.  That doesn’t sound like I am personally opposed but you can choose to do what you want.

Graham’s ideas seem to parallel those of the mentally lapsed Catholic, Nancy Pelosi, the current Speaker of the House.  I shutter every time she exercises her vocal cords.

Pelosi and Graham believe that their God-given right of a free will, which is probably the highest power that distinguishes us from the lower class of animals, buttresses every choice they make, elevating in to sacred heights.  It sounds like a power rivaling the divine right of kings that eventually drove Europe to centuries of strife and bloody revolution.

As Graham answered me on his own blog God freely chose to create us with choice-making abilities at least similar to his own. Therefore, I am entitled to believe (if I accept Christian theology at face value), that such a “gift” is sacred.

You rightly say that the exercise of such free choice is not in itself sacred. Hammers are sacred and using them to build houses is also sacred. But using them to beat sense into Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity is not, no matter how much I may wish it were.

I really don’t know why liberals or libertarians  have to use violent examples to get their point across…and they accuse conservatives of extolling “hate,” but that’s a matter for the couch or the confessional.

As I replied I seriously doubt that God is indifferent or neutral on “choice.”  Sure he gave us choice but He means it in a different context of what pro-choicers mean it…unless you want to be cynical and accept the belief that most pro-choice people actually favor the abortion choice over that of life…making their position of the opposite of God’s…for too many different reasons than I can enumerate here.

A Show of Freedom

My blog battle neatly segues into my attendance with my #1 son, Mark at the Glenn Beck Show Friday night at the Chaifetz Center on the St. Louis University campus. A group called the Constitutional Coalition, which had a number of educational events going on around the city last weekend, sponsored beck’s appearance.

There was a lot of flag-waving, loud applause for everything from the convocation, pledge of allegiance to the singing of the national anthem…traditions that seem to be as lacking in the White House as Christmas was this past year.  They did everything you would expect, except pass pitchers of tea around the aisles.

Michelle Bachmann, the lovely Congresswoman from Minnesota warmed up a crowd that was already on fire with anticipation.  Glenn Beck is the hottest thing to hit conservatism since Rush Limbaugh first opened his mouth in the late 1980s.

Beck was magnificent and in his strongest element. He used the stage like a Shakespeare actor entranced in a dramatic soliloquy about the meaning of our country and the direction it has taken, replete with the elements of a profound tragedy as he tearfully got down on his needs and extolled the right to fail.

Beck is first of all an excellent teacher who uses his rostrum as a bully pulpit to preach his gospel of Trinitarian American values–life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which Bachmann had reminded everyone was originally supposed to be “property.”  These are the basic rights of every human being who is conceived in the world.  Only America’s vaunted experiment in liberty has been able to make them the centerpiece of its national mystique.

And for that reason Marxists have targeted them, or what Glenn calls “progressives” who have used evolutionary powers, instead of pure Marxists’ revolutionary powers.  (Think the frog in the boiling water!) They hate the freedom of our system because it infringes on their power quest.

At the Coalition luncheon on Friday they played Michael Moore’s screed on capitalism, where he was quoted as saying that you couldn’t regulate capitalism because you can’t regulate evil. So to the left free choice or free will is evil and has to be eliminated from human nature.  This is the essence of liberalism or its own alias–progressivism.

Right now we are laboring under the most anti-business administration since FDR’s 2nd term. It is wonder businesses are fleeing this country because the people in power literally hate capitalism and will do anything and everything to undermine it.

The left seems highly conflicted on choice.  When it includes anything other than slaughtering millions of innocents in the womb, they are opposed to it–think school choice, freedom of assembly etc. This is a far cry from Graham’s belief that free will is sacred.  I have always contended that liberalism is a mental illness.  Maybe this is proof of it.


In Defiance of Gravity

December 28, 2009
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People are dying!  They are falling, tripping or being pushed from high places and the sudden impact is prematurely ending their lives.  Planes are plunging to the earth and erupting in flames.  Rocks and avalanches are destroying communities and burying unsuspecting climbers.   We must stop the madness before it kills us all!

Our leaders must stop the gravitational pull of the earth, which is a direct result of billions of humans walking on the earth.  We must repeal gravity before it’s too late!

No I haven’t fallen off a bar stool—not yet.  This is just my way of saying that all this silliness about global warming and climate change is an absurdity that millions of intelligent people have been conned into believing by a government and a media with ulterior motives. To say anything different to me is sheer madness and just exposes one’s gullibility or indifference to truth.

While my total science education is woefully lacking I do know how to read and think.  I also know how to ask questions—logical questions.   When the experts fail to answer in a direct manner or try to divert my questions I am convinced that they either do not understand the question or are hiding something. That’s when I start to smell either ignorance or deception.

The first thing to understand is that global warming has little to do with science.  Like evolution it is junk science masquerading as metaphysics and logic.  Nature is a greater threat to the planet than we are.   It is just the arrogance of man’s own self-importance that assumes he can destroy the globe.  Man may be able to kill all the people but the earth will be here long after he have departed.

The second thing to remember is that 35 years ago “scientists” where warning us about a new ice age that threatened to freeze our cities and block out the sun in some kind of nuclear winter.

When the ice age failed to materialize quickly they turned their attention to global warming. It is not rocket science to say that climatic changes happen over millennia, not decades.

This unadulterated balderdash persisted for over 20 years until scientists could not deny any longer that during the last 10 years the earth had actually been cooling.

When questions arose as to how this could happen—given all the raw scientific data that had been filling the mainstream media for decades, they had to go to their conference rooms to come up with the real danger to humankind and that was

CLIMATE CHANGE

Now all the members of the power elite have come together to warn us of the dangers of climate change, which they have not really defined.  Is it just another word for global warming?   Or is it something else?  Is global warming not a grave threat any more?  Just what’s going on?  Do they ever admit they were wrong—like the liberals on Joe McCarthy?  Does being a liberal means that you never have to say you are “sorry?”

Climate change then is apparently their new mantra for man’s destruction of Mother Earth.  I think it makes as much sense as trying to repeal gravity.  Human beings cannot change Mother Nature.

Big Business is on board with Big Media and Big Government.  Sadly to say I think Big Church is also a member. The Catholic Church through its bishops has become an acquiescent player in this issue when I believe they should be leading the fight to expose this political/economic scam for what it is—sheer madness.

Now I am not saying that the Catholic Church should be against the reasonable protection of man’s natural habitat.  I fully accept the teaching that we are stewards of the earth and have a duty not to waste its resources nor unnecessarily pollute its natural beauties.

Does this mean I will throw away my car keys, stop traveling in a jet, go without electricity and return to the cave of my ancestors millions of years ago?  I don’t think so and neither should any rational human being.  But many of the people pushing this environmental agenda think we should all do just that!

The American Catholic bishops set down their basic principles in 2001. I have not seen any revision or addition and so I am assuming this is still their guiding document.  The statement of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, entitled “Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence and the Common Good,” asserts that the United States, because of its wealth, its position in the world and its record as a heavy producer of heat-trapping, or greenhouse, gases, must play a special role in protecting the planet.

This of itself sounds like an endorsement of man-made global warming.  The Catholic Church has always prided itself of being the custodian of truth but by being even a passive participant in this falsehood undermines that claim.  No wonder so many people misunderstand her teachings on papal infallibility.

The report also goes on to say that this issue is “not about economic theory or political platforms, nor about partisan advantage or interest group pressures. It is about the future of God’s creation and the one human family.”  That may be the idea of the Church but to the other members of the Green Coalition it is ALL about economics and politics.

To utter such a profoundly false statement just underscores my belief that Church leaders should not give opinions about things that they do not understand.

I strongly suggest that everyone who wants to understand the totality of what this coalition is trying to do to us read Steven Milloy’s’s book, Green Hell.

This is not the time to blindly accept or trust what our leaders tell us on this junk science.  As Glenn Beck says “we must question boldly and without fear.”  That is our solemn duty.


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 bbprof@sbcglobal.net

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