Wednesday, November 21, 2012

No Nudes is Good Nudes

As you may have heard, the city of San Francisco has recently prohibited public nudity, except under certain specified circumstances.  Like a parade.

All of which reminds us that, before Florida became the crazy uncle of America, there was California.  One of America's biggest cities used to let you run around in your birthday suit, and now it won't -- except if you're in a parade.

Comments at Gawker are pretty amusing.  Most people seem relieved that they won't have to see naked people, especially old an/or fat ones.  A few people are defensive, claiming that "the human body isn't indecent" and so forth.

Honestly, we're sympathetic to both sides.  The human body isn't indecent; God made it, and did a pretty good job.  On the other hand, the human heart is indecent as hell, and nothing provokes its indecency like thinking about sexytime.  Concupiscence is the ten-dollar theological word.  It isn't that our sexual impulses are sinful, but that they are so strong they will drive our thoughts away from everything else -- like driving, prayer, and not committing adultery. (Also, ick.)

Here in New York, of course, we have a two-pronged assault on this sort of silliness.  Prong One:  it's cold.  Hey Mr. Exhibitionist -- not so much to exhibit now, is there?  And Prong Two:  Fashion Week.  We fetishize clothes. Not everybody, to be sure -- and certainly not Father A. -- but just enough to matter.  When looking good is part of the local culture, most people realize that nakedness is not their best camera angle.

So for all the disappointed nudies in the Bay Area, we can offer only this cold comfort:  Yes, your bodies are wonderful, marvelous things.  And wouldn't they look better in a well-cut suit?


DrAndroSF said...

Living in the very SF neighborhood where these (mostly) dudes, er, hang out, I can assure you that very little lust is inspired. They're rarely the kind of guy you would ever ask to unclothe himself. Au contraire.

My cranky old Canon Law prof once said, "Public nudity is a sin, but may be so for differing reasons. Prior to age 25, it violates the virtue of chastity. After age 25, the virtue of charity."

Pretty well sums it up.

I found your blog because a friend saw your Politics. Sex. Religion. tag. Mine's the same, though of a rather different spirit...

Father Anonymous said...

Yes! My concupiscence remark was a sidetrack. So far as I can tell from reading about the San Francisco situation, it is indeed the virtue of charity whch is at stake. Nicely done.

I just checked out your blog -- it's an interesting read. We're like funhouse-mirror versions of each other. But, like you "I do my ranting here so I don't lose all my friends."