Puritanism, Hedonism, and Nudity

After writing about the naked body I got a colorful variety of responses, some in absolute and excited agreement with the concept of beauty as a response to pornography, and others who advised readers to stop reading yours truly, as I was clearly preaching heresy. As for myself, the question that arose out of the muddle was, “Why are we so confused?” Why are we so morally conflicted when it comes to nudity?

First of all, it is worth pointing out that the battleground of the Western World is being fought over this stuff. Catholic or non-Catholic, liberal and conservative, we all tend to agree on nonsexual morality. For all practical purposes, we are an anti-slavery, anti-murder, anti-cruelty, anti-bigotry and anti-poverty nation. Rather, it is the issues like abortion, contraception, prostitution, pornography, immodesty, homosexuality – issues that relate directly to human beings as sexual beings – that divide us. So I understand why any discussion of the nude form is, by it’s nature, contentious.

But I hold that this fear of nudity, this utter inability to see nudity as something beautiful except in the instance of marital union, is the result of two opposing heresies, a uniquely disastrous couple that have produced this awkward conflict in America. They are Puritanism and Hedonism.

I don’t suppose I need to prove the existence of Hedonism, that particularly cruel worldview that claims pleasure as the greatest good man can attain. It is wonderfully illustrated by the expanse of pornography available and in use. And as for Puritanism, well, America was founded by Puritans, unfortunately for us all, and their laws influence us today. Thanks to these two’s unlikely relationship, we have delightful contradictions in our society such as:

  • You can have pre-marital sex in your country before you can drink in it.
  • You can get an abortion without parental consent before you can watch an R-rated movie without a parent.
  • You are legally responsible enough to risk the lives of others in a car before you are legally responsible enough to risk your own life by smoking.
  • All employees of all businesses are required by law to was their hands before going to work but in most States, abortion clinics do not have to meet the health standards of hospitals.

So how does this ‘convergence of the twain’ affect our culture’s view of the naked form? Well, in a phrase – by confusing the crap out of it.

Puritanism – the foundation of our democracy – says that all nudity outside of the context of sex is evil. There is no innocent nudity for the Puritan. I hold that it is this puritanical strain that makes certain people cringe when they see a toddler running naked around the yard. It is the heresy that makes people freak out when a mother nurses her child in public. It is of the same stuff that possessed the reformation Popes, when they mutilated an immeasurable wealth of Vatican art by destroying, erasing or pasting over the ‘offensive’ parts of the human body. It sees Aphrodite as evil. It blushes at The David.

Hedonism, on the other hand, says that nudity ain’t worth a blush at all! It seems to be the worldview of one rebelling against Puritanism, as did Hugh Hefner, the creator of Playboy magazine. Why not let everyone wear as little clothing as they like? Why not participate in pornography? Why not seek after lustful pleasure in the naked form? Why not display sexual acts? It is all for our pleasure, and no religious bigotry will hold us back.

The oppressiveness of the one heresy leads to the filth-wallowing of the other. And they are both very clearly wrong.

Enter the American Catholic. Like it or not, both heresies are his environmental influences and affect him as such, even if the effect is positive, like a negative reaction towards porn. But he is an a clearly and remarkably unique situation, in that he is able to easily ignore them in favor of the truth. All he has to do is go to his home in the Vatican, and look up.

There the naked form is displayed as beautiful, neither an evil to be rejected, nor a worthlessness to be abused, but as a good. And thus the Catholic is called to tell, and tell well, the ripples from the rock. If one direction is needlessly suppressive and the other intolerably corruptive, where is the center? Where is the truth that the lies seek to pervert? It is in the proper view of the naked form – the naked form – as part of the human person – is beautiful.

So there you have it. Some people demanded that I erase such images as this, and those in my last post. I respectfully refuse. I understand the reaction, and it is a Puritan one. The beauty of the Church’s position on human nudity is that it meets the crisis of pornography head on. It does not simply scream the extremely ignorable statement that modern Christianity seems to be screaming – “PUT SOME CLOTHES ON!” Rather, she says, “Look. Open your eyes and look. Look at how good, how true and beautiful you are. Look at how fantastically designed humanity is. Do you not know your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit? Of course you don’t! How could you, children, when you spend your time covering them or abusing them? Try again. One more time. Instead of all this fear, look and see the beauty in yourself, in your brothers and sisters, and thus in the Creator.”

Isn’t that more like it? Instead of demanding that we cover ourselves, the Church – with it’s fantastic armory of nude art – reminds us why we cover ourselves at all. It is because we have goodness and beauty worth protecting.

  • Annacastillo13

    loved it!! as usual :)

  • Oregon Catholic

    Not sure Michaelangelo’s painting is a great example of nude art. Look at the size and detail of the body musculature and contrast that with the crudely rendered and undersized genitalia. It says to me he wanted to visually ‘skip’ that part of the body. Or perhaps he knew that anything ‘more’ would be censored.

    • Anonymous

      All classical art portrayed the genitalia that way—Greeks thought a large penis was ridiculous, that’s why Priapus was a bucolic, hick god frequently used for ribald comic relief.

      Michelangelo was in many ways a great man, but he was a Renaissance man: and despite the myth, that means “an unreflective antiquarian fetishist, blindly copying whatever the Greeks and Romans did”. He included features in his statues that had been structural supports in Roman marble, even though his era’s stonemasonry knowledge (probably acquired during the, in actuality, far-more-innovative Middle Ages) had rendered such supports unnecessary.

      • Oregon Catholic

        I don’t think you can deny that an artistic rendering that changes the proportion or size of any portion of the body does so for a reason. Obviously the genitals are being minimized as compared to the muscles which are exaggerated. To accord the genitals normal proportion and detail probably would have made the art appear pornographic and not artistic. That they were rendered at all seems to be just to avoid making it look like there was nothing there. People were well aware the genitals were shown as smaller than normal so they too understood what was being communicated.

        Contrast that with the portrayal of breasts in classical art which are very normal in size and detail. Breasts weren’t considered so sexually arousing then as they are now. There was no need to minimize them to avoid being pornographic.

        • Anonymous

          You are reading your conceptions into Ancient Greek culture. They depicted penises as small because they thought large penises looked ridiculous, not because they were worried about pornography; their view of penis size is a widely known peculiarity of their culture. And Michelangelo blindly aped their artistic canons.

          The over-emphasis of muscle, in his work, is simply a thing about his style.

          Art historians are largely agreed about the reasons for these things; I don’t automatically assume the experts are correct but the layman usually needs to make a damn good case for contradicting them.

          • Oregon Catholic

            As an RN with nearly 40 years of hospital bedside experience I can safely say I have seen a LOT of genitals, male and female. Those are very small and not average.

          • Anonymous

            Okay, then how much experience do you have looking at art? Foreshortening is a counterintuitive device that can mislead the untrained eye as to relative sizes. Put another way, when three-dimensional objects are compressed into two dimensions, information is lost.

            You are attempting to make an issue of a non-issue.

        • TallyMarx

          My Professor explained that the figure of Michelangelo’s Adam (and all of it, from the half-raised torso, to the arm so weak it must be supported by the knee, to the limp hand, to the flaccid genitalia) is lax and weak because God has not yet breathed life into the man. They haven’t touched, see? So, Adam’s genitals aren’t small because Michelangelo didn’t want to emphasize them. They are small because they emphasis what the rest of the body does–Adam’s limpness, his lifelessness.

      • Michael Demers

        I don’t think Michelangelo was “an unreflective antiquarian fetishist”.

        • Anonymous

          Not as Renaissance artists went, but since Renaissance classicism was just that—unreflective, antiquarian, and a fetish—anyone who was a part of that movement would, to the extent they followed its tenets, take on those flaws.

  • onepercenter

    It seems like you’re just writing about this topic so you can post pictures of naked people and justify looking at them. Not that they’re particularly good looking people, but still…

    We get it. There’s a difference between art depicting the naked human form and pornography. The naked human form, as created by God is beautiful, and when experienced with right purpose and intent is a good and holy thing. Yawn. Nothing new here.

    You’re beating a dead horse at this point…and quite probably something else…

    • Anonymous

      Wow, I’m glad to see this debate is being conducted on a mature adult level.

      Nobody not a 6th-grader assumes prurient motives in the posting of classic art.

      • onepercenter

        Thank you for making my point for me.

        Posting classic art is one thing. Discussing art, discussing Catholic art, discussing non-Catholic art in a Catholic context: all fine.

        A one-track mind is another thing altogether…

        • Jake E

          So his last few articles have had a similar theme, I’m sorry that is a big deal for you. Now go get some hugs, you sound like you need them.

    • Poundcake

      aw come on man, that’s so rude! you’d never say something like that to a person in real life, so don’t say it on the internet!

      • onepercenter

        Believe me, I do say things like this to idiots in “real life”, too.

        • T.D. Roy

          Now Marc is an idiot? Well, that went downhill fast. Go read the comments on his original post: some people objected to the pictures, now he’s replying to the objections.
          Why do you assume there’s only one motive for multiple postings of nudes? People have been painting and talking about this stuff ad nauseum for thousands of years, you know!

        • Anonymous

          Far be it from me to criticize anyone for being less-than-generous with idiots, but before you’re allowed to take such an attitude, they actually have to do something idiotic. This, Marc most certainly has not done. Quite the contrary, he’s addressing an issue of immediate relevance and high complexity in a thoughtful, rational manner.

          He is right, you are wrong, and your wrongness takes a very puerile form.

          So why doesn’t your middle school block blogs?

    • Jake E

      The thing I love about this comment is that it wasn’t enough to take someone’s hard work and turn it into a “yawn” because it wasn’t particularly entertaining to you, just throw a personal attack about masturbation over top of it. Because not only is it something a child would do, it also threw any credibility you had out the window. Congrats bud.

      • Deepaksingh

        Dear Jake; send me the picture of your girlfriend or wife; I will l morph it with the similar pictures of the women having natural sex or conceiving a baby. after one decade she will become a goddess and you a god and your child will become an example of next kingdom. But really i would never criticize the vagina you of your beloved; as it would be my purest love to develop my ideology of survival; as the purest form of mother. Fake idiot.

    • Michael Demers

      I think art is more than “depicting the naked human form”. I wonder what you could possibly be referring to when you say, “… quite probably something else…”? Why not call a spade a spade?

  • Aigdawg

    This is easily the most interesting Catholic blog I have ever read. And you are absolutely right on this point. Personally, I think it is primarily an American Catholic issue: the French, Italians, South Americans, and African Catholics are far less offended by nudity.

    • Anonymous

      Some of the French were, the Jansenists, who also had a presence in Ireland. It’s probably no coincidence that Catholicism in America is dominated by those two peoples: their Jansenist tendencies made them more similar to the Puritans.

      However, America wasn’t actually founded by Puritans, but by Anglicans and similar sects; until the Civil War, the center of this country was not New England, but Virginia. America being Puritan actually only dates to Reconstruction, not the country’s founding.

      • girlfromthesod

        Um. I am from Ireland (grew up in WA til I was 11, moved home to Tipperary, then moved back here to the US 5 years ago).
        Although I agree that Jansenism has had strong tentacles in Ireland, I certainly think that you are wholly misinformed if you think that Jansenist flavoured Catholicism is what made Irish Catholics ‘integrate’ more easily with their Puritan neighbours.
        I have 4 words: the North of Ireland. More recently populated by Scotch Presbyterians, the native Irish ‘jansenist’ catholics do NOT blend well.

        • Anonymous

          In America.

          The mere fact the Irish spoke English was probably a bigger factor, but Jansenism is almost certainly the reason the other big Catholic group here, historically, was the French, many of whom (with the exception of New England and Louisiana Acadians) were Jansenist.

          And between the Troubles, and the attempted genocide that provoked them, any theological-cultural similarities are ignored in favor of the differences, in Northern Ireland. But in America, the Jansenist tendencies, coupled with the guarantee of religious freedom, were almost certainly a help to Irish integration.

      • girlfromthesod

        and I actually disagree that the Irish Catholics ‘blend’ particularly well with Protestantism in general, but that appears to be a moot point.

      • http://lxoa.wordpress.com Shane

        Sorry but the idea of Irish Jansenism is a myth: http://lxoa.wordpress.com/2011/05/22/jansenism-and-irish-catholicism/

  • Aigdawg

    I am going to go out on a limb and say the reason a woman might breast feed in public is because her baby is hungry, and she happens to be in public. My wife breast fed three children, and I don’t recall her ever just plopping a breast out for public view. In fact, any time I have seen a woman nursing, it has been fairly discreet. I don’t think that is your best argument.

    • Anonymous

      You could go to a bathroom, if you’re in a building. Or you could get a nursing cover…that’s assuming that a woman who’s breastfeeding in public ISN’t using a nursing cover (which I have seen being done).

      • shana

        I’ve nursed eight babies in public, always with a blanket over us so as not to expose myself to anyone. I do know women who just don’t cover and don’t care if you see or not, but there aren’t that many nursing moms as compared to scantily dressed women who are just exposing most of themselves in public anyway.

        As for nursing in a bathroom, would you want to eat your lunch while poised over an open toilet? Mmmmm, the frangrance of urine and wet paper! I can’t even imagine trying to calm a hungry, crying child to the loud intermittant tune of WHOOOSSSH WOOOOOSH! and the wail of a blow dryer. Most women’s rooms do not provide clean, comfortable areas to nurse babies and I would never try to nurse a baby in one!

        • Anonymous

          Yeah, that’s what I was thinking, though as a dude I have no personal experience of the matter (though my mother did nurse).

        • 7man

          A blanket works in the modern world where we have air conditioning, strollers and automobiles. But in the past where mothers had to go out and about with babies and everyone walked, they likely breast fed as required.

          We cannot use our modern thinking to and apply it historically. People were practical and it was about survival. So if a woman was in public (with no private clean places) she would feed her baby in the natural way and everyone would accept and expect this. A hungry crying baby comes first.

          • Michael Demers

            Put a blanket over a baby so it can nurse in secret? Huh! Let’s grow up for a change.

          • Deep

            peeing 10 times a day would not give the same joy to your girlfriend/wife to conceive a baby. So be modern and at least let her show the pussy peeing once in a day in public so that people get inspiration of that and make nude art popular.

      • Anonymous

        Oh, I’m so sorry you brought this up on a Catholic blog. The reason I couldn’t use a cover with my son is that he was terribly prone to heat rash and overheating and would not nurse with a cover. So, if I took my older children to the park, I nursed him as modestly as I could sans cover.

        Personally, if a man has trouble with my breastfeeding a hungry infant, that is his problem, not mine. My problem is the hungry infant. And while I wouldn’t do anything to purposefully lead a man into temptation, our culture has so many corrupted men, I refuse to take responsibility for all of them. Otherwise I’d have to adopt a distinctly non-Catholic attitude, and I just won’t do that.

      • Sara Dukes

        You should Cover Your Head if it Offends You. You are the one with the problem.

      • Michael Demers

        Wow, imagine feeding a baby in a public restroom. Lighten up.

      • Laurie

        It’s unsanitary and would you want your child being fed while people are using the bathroom??? the smell??? disgusting. Now there are places that have nursing rooms – that is fine – but don’t say go to the bathroom – just the thought of it makes me want to vomit. MOST women who breastfeed are discreet – they use a blanket – and if you see anything its because you are trying to look. who’s the pervert? God made women the way he did for a reason – to bear and feed children – he didn’t provide clothing. That is on us!

  • Butterflytoes

    Savio Chris!
    Do you like eating in the washroom?? REALLY??? Why is a human infant expected to eat in the place that people go to the washroom in??? SERIOUSLY!??!?! There is absolutely nothing sexual about a woman nursing her child. I have nursed babies (two of them) and I always tried to be discreet, and it was a non-sexual act that was never sexualized by anyone around me. The female body was created for different purposes, and therefore modesty has to entail a slightly different set of standards. Lets not go back to the days when women could not nurse their children in public for fear of some man randomly sexualizing the image. Respect the “temples” that we were designed to be. Do you have children? Have you ever tried to stave off a screaming baby, so that you can find the closest filth infused washroom in which to nurse all the while smelling excrement the entire time someone else is expected to eat? Could you feed a baby in that condition? Oh hold on, you have never breast fed a baby and never will, so I geuss you would know all about feeding a screaming child in a washroom, while sitting where, on the floor or toilet?? REALLY!!! All I have to say is if the image of a woman nursing her baby is too sexual for you, YOU can kindly look the other way! Comparing feeding a child to showing cleavage is random and completely unrelated while a real human person is screaming at you for food. Oh I am a little hungry, think I will go sit on my toilet now for a little snack eh.

  • ST Brandel

    First, puritanism does not lead to hedonism, as in the first causing the latter. Hedonism would exist purely on its own.

    Second, the Church does not back up what you have written. JPII was a pope who only spoke for the Church when he spoke ex cathedra or in an encyclical or in very few other situations. There are many well-educated and respected theologians and clergy who disagree with you and him.

    Third, you have put up two straw men. First, you say those who disagree with your post are puritans, yet you don’t know who any of us are. We may drink gayly, enjoy many forms of dance and song, view nude art of our own choosing, etc. That’s a very simple way of dicounting our views. Second, the objection to your last post was not an objection to nude art altogether. It was an objection to two things:

    1) The Virgin Mary depicted nude, squirtting her breast milk on the face of Jesus from 2 feet away. This is an accurate portrayal of breastfeeding and therefore is not Truth. I am not a puritan if I am offended at seeing the most holy person, aside from Jesus, depicted in a way that can easily be distorted in minds of those less pure. Easily. And, even if some of us can look upon it and see beauty and walk away with that, many of us cannot. I do not think the Blessed Virgin, nor her Son, would want her portrayed that way. Think of what Jesus and the other New Testament writers said about modesty, chastity, and purity.

    2) More nudity is a bad way to attempt to cure a porn addiction, and it is unbiblical. First, there is not a porn addict I have ever spoken to (in my former life of sin) or heard about that would not distort nudity whenever possible. It is a compulsion the that they have created through repeatedwillful acts, and it has the capability of rewiring their brains. They don’t even need to try.

    Jesus says that if your eye causes you to sin cut it out and if you hand causes you to sin cut it off. He was saying that you need to get rid of anything at any cost that causes you to sin. It is better for you to save your soul that even keep the tempation around. Nude images are more than a temptation for porn addicts, no matter how beautiful they are or completely they portray the human form. It is like playing with fire. Can an alcoholic be cured by drinking with a group of people who drink cautiously or drink with a more full and complete understanding of the joy of drinking and its proper place? Is there any addiction other than porn that you have heard being cured by the addiction itself? Yes, porn is debasing and incomplete and lacking wholeness (shows too little, right?), but nude imagry is sexual because it shows the sexual parts of a person usually covered up. Adam and Eve covered up, and they didn’t even have porn addictions.

    Think of the saints who struggled with lust, or any other sin. They fled from temptation, and you can see it in their writings. Especially Augustine. Saint Francis used to throw himself into a briar patch when he felt tempted.

    My point is this, some people can handle nude imagry. Others should run from it, if they care at all about their eternal souls. Though, images like the one of the Virin Mary should never be viewed. That I will stand by. Our Lady deserves the modesty that she lived with in her own life – she is the Queen of Virtues and I’m sure she would never have posed for such a painting or commissioned one done. Those moment of breastfeeding are intimate, personal moments shared between mother and child, and father looking on. It’s about reverence, and I wonder about your level of reverence – you talk crass, you revel in sin you cannot commit, etc., for the prestige of readership and being a “cool Catholic” outside the fray. No doubt you’re smart and have some great things to say, but you musn’t throw out other forms of decency for the chance to say it. Reverence shows the depth of someone’s faith, the depth of their understanding that they are a small creature before the Almighty.

    TB

    • Marc Barnes

      But all beautiful things have the capacity of being corrupted by those living in sin. Language, family, sex, philosophy…you name it. Is the answer to therefore hide the true forms of these things? As a result of pornography addiction, should the Sistine chapel by whitewashed? As a result of the corruption of the doctrine of pre-destination, should Augustine be banned?

      To act out of fear isn’t to act all. While you’re absolutely correct that a man might corrupt nude art, that is the problem of the man, not the art. Getting rid of nude art, of the Virgin mary, the saints and everything else, would in NO WAY end our culture’s addiction to pornography. All it would do is leave ONLY pornographic images, and never good, true and beautiful images.

      These – the good, true and the beautiful – might be corrupted. But in order to corrupt something, man must admit the existence of something to corrupt – good truth and beauty. So the true portrayal of the naked form NEVER leads some one to sin – only it’s corruption does. Thus I still maintain that beautiful nude art is a knife to the heart of our pornographic culture.

      I think the misunderstanding – my fault entirely – comes when you think I am advocating the forced viewing of nude art to porn-addicts. No, no and no. It is better to run if you immediately begin corrupting the beautiful, as i know by experience. I am advocating a cultural appreciation for the nude form, that it might immerse us all in the true, the good and the beautiful, and foster opposition to the ugliness of porn.

    • Anonymous

      Actually, when pinkeye was running rampant through our house I would squirt my infant in the face with breastmilk because it cures pinkeye. Also, there have been times when I “let down” before the babe was close enough to latch and get him/her in the face. So, it happens.

      • ST Brandel

        Haha. OK. Funny. I’ll give you those instances.

    • T.D. Roy

      “Second, the Church does not back up what you have written. JPII was a pope who only spoke for the Church when he spoke ex cathedra or in an encyclical or in very few other situations. There are many well-educated and respected theologians and clergy who disagree with you and him.”
      JPII and the TOB movement are pretty substantial parts of the Church, man. Barnes has got some reason to claim the Church’s teaching here, and I assume he’s positioning

      “This is an accurate portrayal of breastfeeding and therefore is not Truth. I am not a puritan if I am offended at seeing the most holy person, aside from Jesus, depicted in a way that can easily be distorted in minds of those less pure.”
      Mmm…I assume you’re working on a purely theological definition of truth here. Remember the Antioch/Alexandria schools of thought on Jesus? One emphasized his humanity, the other his divinity. Some people are going to have a more earthy approach to Christianity than you – it doesn’t mean they lack decency or reverence (really, what a holier-than-thou thing to say).

      “More nudity is a bad way to attempt to cure a porn addiction, and it is unbiblical. First, there is not a porn addict I have ever spoken to (in my former life of sin) or heard about that would not distort nudity whenever possible.”
      Well, duh. I was in the Army for three and a half years. Some of those guys would say anything about anything. So, what, we leave the field to the pornographers? Take away all the real art, and that’s what you’ve got.

      Really, it’s not as though a guy looks at porn and deludes himself that it is art, or looks at art and is secretly attracted to it as though it were porn. I mean, you seem to think a guy will look at this stuff and fool himself. Speaking as a guy who’s looked at porn – for which I ask God’s forgiveness – there is not the slightest chance of confusing the two. Get real.

    • Needpeace911

      if the nudity you’re looking at is truly art, there’s no way will you be provoked.

  • Michael Demers

    I guess puritanism prevents some of the images from appearing here. I see a couple of them missing.

  • T.D. Roy

    Savio Chris, you’ve got some good questions, but I have issues with some of them.

    First, you think a woman breastfeeding in public turns a guy on? Get real. Coming from a large family, I’m comfortable with it than most guys, and even for me it’s a reality check. It doesn’t lend itself to lust, dude. Seriously.

    “Perhaps with this very reason of preventing her from being seen naked by anyone other than her parents, God even allowed the beautiful miracle of the baby Jesus passing through the belly of the Virgin Mary into this world as light passes through glass, without the labor of childbirth as all the other women in the world experience it. ”
    I’m sure you ‘highly believe’ it , but that doesn’t make it any more true. We just don’t know. Folk tradition to one side, nowhere has the Church said that the Virgin Mary didn’t have to give birth. We don’t even know if she died or not before her body was assumed! And not going through childbirth doesn’t make her a very relatable model for women, anyway.

    “who are WE to desecrate that by open displays of her nudity, even if it is just of a breast”
    Check your assumptions. The whole point of this article is to argue that nude potrayals of the Virgin do not, in fact, desecrate her purity. You’re assuming that which is to be proven.

    I think a lot of these questions come from people who don’t see, or who worry about people not seeing, the meaning in the art. That is not a negligible worry: I can fail to see the meaning in women on the street. But the answer is not to do away with either of them.

    • Oregon Catholic

      I am uncomfortable with nude art of the Virgin too. Perhaps it was not immodest at the time it was painted but I think it is easily viewed that way now and certainly any new art created would be pushing that envelope. It’s unnecessary to understanding Mary as Mother. I mean do we need to see a graphic painting of her giving birth to believe she did so?

      Re: how Christ’s birth happened, no one knows of course. However if you consider Genesis after the fall and what it says about a woman henceforth bringing forth children in pain, it is within reason to speculate than Mary, who had no original sin, gave birth in whatever painless manner was originally intended for Eve, perhaps even allowing her to maintain physical virginity, not just sexual virginity.

      • Sarah

        It also makes more theological sense that Mary shared fully in all the sufferings of humanity. She is like her son and that includes suffering the effects of sin for our redemption.

    • Laurie

      Please – there are men out there that it excites – although there are men out there that get excited by anything! It’s about self control.

      • Deepak Singh

        It is not about self control, it is about self belief. If you are a creep even without looking the porn you will get excited; why???? need of life?? success?? failure?problems??weakness??? or a broken mirror??

        what a pity???

        Life can be written in books and portrayed in pictures; not even a single life is rewritten on the books or re-portrayed.
        Criticism, may be red or white wine to drink but in the end only the mixed colors remain when we finalize the conclusion even after the end of the main sculptural.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Malcolm-Boura/100000929541416 Malcolm Boura

    Attitudes have consequences and the consequences of prudery can only be described as catastrophic. It is not coincidence that the USA, one of the most prudish of all western countries, and despite being one of the most religious, has absolutely appalling outcomes for many things to do with sex. Teenagers become sexually active younger, are more likely to be promiscuous and less likely to use contraception or protection. The consequences are predictable. Compared to the least prudish European countries, teenagers in the USA are several times more likely to have an abortion, about ten times more likely to become pregnant, and several tens of time more likely to catch a sexually transmitted infection.

    There is nothing in scripture to justify prudery although some people do try to twist the meaning to suit their own prejudices. I include bible translators in that criticism. It is often necessary to go back to the original sources to find out what it really says. It is very instructive to compare the various translations of Genesis III to find out what the fig leaves really were. The linguistic contortions in some translations to avoid the possibility that, shock horror, Eve was topless, would be comical if it weren’t so tragic. It is quite likely that the genitals were not covered either.

    It is long overdue that adults treated children and young people according to the facts, not their personal prejudices. Is personal prejudice really worth the life of even one young person? STIs kill, abortion kills, pregnancy is more dangerous for young mothers and the children of overly young mothers are more likely to have medical and social problems. Prudery is child abuse with good intentions and ignorance of the facts is not an excuse.

    • Anonymous

      Where are you getting those numbers on young people in European countries? I will accept that the rates of STDs, teen pregnancy, etc. are higher in the US (and we have far fewer restrictions on abortion than Europeean countries generally do), but are you certain the statistics are apples-to-apples, “per age category” stats? Because a lot of stats like that (our violent crime rate, for instance, though that’s lower than the UK’s) are explicable by the US having more young people.

      Even if the stats in question are broken down by age, there is no evidence that the difference is due to a “prudish” lack of education on Americans’ part. America also has a much more rebellious attitude than Europe, a dislike of rules as such, that, I think, may play a bigger part.

      • Deepaksingh

        when you have a bikini on your body you never ask a men why he get attracted to you??rather than to just get content by the sluggishness to please a man as per culture/or to surrender to desires of sex.

  • mary
  • Ercchrstpher

    Do I need to remind anyone that breastfeeding is natural and it is only our corrupt self that makes it into something not worth admiring? Your rejection of it’s beauty is just as bad, if not worse, than a lustful preoccupation with it. Admire women, do not covet them.

    • Deepaksingh

      Do I need to remind anyone that for having a baby for breastfeeding it is natural to have intercourse of a man with a women(may be anyone’s mother).Infact, it would be better to see your birth from the very begining of the intercourse of your parents; don’t worry will be only fine art . the world will gift your parents; and you like Jesus.

  • Laurie

    Amen!

    • deepak singh

      Amen ; for what?? All these are just assumption…………….
      you don’t even know the name of most youngest lady in your neighborhood.
      How you will justify a book which you even don’t know has been written in reality’; or a critic’ who prevailed in all the centuries
      considered to be the villains of all times


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