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  • Nudism and spirituality

    It's strange how people use religion to discourage nudity. I ask these people; "if "God" created Adam and Eve in his image, and apparently they had no clothes" then how do you discourage nudity, that is non sexual in nature? Many cultures according to their religion, have no problems. Sadly in American Society we're woefully behind, culturally, socially and spirituality regarding nudity. I have friends who are christians, belong to christian nudist groups. However, you'd better believe this is not something they'd share in church. Really a shame.

    Rev.Mel J. Fleming II

  • #2
    Re: Nudism and spirituality

    I can't really comment on how people behave at church and outside of church. I say, let them live however they choose to live.

    No worries if they aren't comfortable with admitting they're nudist (or like nude recreation) outside of church. We all have secrets and keep stuff to ourselves and would rather not admit to the congregation.

    I haven't met too many people that used religion to discourage nudity. Even if they did, it's not going to stop me from enjoying nude recreation. My job isn't to make the world see the 'light' as far as nudism and their views. I'm out to enjoy it for myself and if anyone wants to come along the way, then I'm more than accepting.

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    • #3
      Re: Nudism and spirituality

      It is humanity's own inability to fully grasp the concept of, "To each his own" and let everyone person worship or not as they see fit. The idea then often extends beyond religion and into the areas of politics and general morality. I think our issues with this concept arise out of a societal need to rally others to a cause deemed "right" or "proper" by one or more persons, or small groups. This then becomes entangled in the "strength in number" mentality which drives people to believe the more that can be "won over" to a cause, the better. Unfortunately this is not always true because large numbers of people tend to reinterpret the meaning, goals or guidelines of the organization according to their own perspective.

      A great example of this is the current "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) policy in the U.S. military. If ever there was an organization ruled by clearly stated guidelines, objectives and standardized behaviors, this is the one. And yet there seems to be great diversity in the opinions of whether the policy "works" or not, is "right" or not, and how it effects the morale and day by day functionality of all its members. To me the idea of signing on to something and truly committing to it (i.e. as in swearing an oath and affirming a responsibility to uphold the rules, regulations and lawful orders), overrides individual desires and personal needs, except in the case where someone is abused or ordered to do a thing that would otherwise be completely illegal (in the civilian world).

      Talk about "unit cohesion"! What is the opposite of that? Dissension? As in, "Dissension among the ranks."

      It (the DADT practice as implemented daily) should be clear and easy to follow. If you are ordered by those you have sworn to respect to not care about something and carry on with your duties, then personal feelings be damned. There should be no room for lateral maneuvering, and yet it seems there is quite a bit (according to accounts in the mass media and the many, many "expert" opinions shared). Pundits and interviewees alike comment on this topic and how it effects "unit cohesion", but all these things just underscore how difficult it is to get ANY group of people to agree to ANYTHING!

      So where does that leave us in persuading people that nudity can be or in fact IS generally harmless, or that we as a people need to reexamine our ideas regarding naked people being solely motivated by sex, greed, or something related to social exploitation (less skilled workers being compelled into exotic/erotic dancing, etc.)? I believe all we can do is to keep writing positive articles, keeping setting positive examples (such as volunteering for charitable causes and roadside litter collection), and BE the kind of people we would have others eventually recognize us as being.

      When it comes to religion specifically, I have seen people forced to alter their behavior or face being shunned and banned from participating in an organized religious group. I cannot help but feel this is wrong. It is forcing someone to make a choice between two things they "love" or believe in highly, when the two are otherwise NOT incompatible (as has been written here). Nudists can go to church, do respect authority, clearly believe in the positive aspects of organized society, are dependable voters (I hope) and definitely lead by example -- as often as possible.

      It is rather sad when I see people being held back by our own sometimes limited abilities to BE accepting, BE considerate, SHOW tolerance and just love each other regardless of so many differences. It is socially responsible and polite to respect others when you are "in their house" but it often seems as though we do not respect ourselves collective as inhabitants of ONE planet.

      I hope this fits into this thread somehow. Kindest regards, ~


      See also:
      "Both the title of a 1946 motion picture and American standard song, the phrase to each his own generally means each person is entitled to his or her own personal tastes and opinions. This could apply to a person's choice of romantic partner or musical preference or political leanings or any other pursuit. What might appear offensive or unappealing to some may be quite the opposite for others, so to each his own." and some of the literary works of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_A._Heinlein (not always popular for some of his views!)
      Last edited by Centauri4; 01-14-2011, 11:12 AM.

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      • #4
        Re: Nudism and spirituality

        Originally posted by MasterMel View Post
        It's strange how people use religion to discourage nudity. I ask these people; "if "God" created Adam and Eve in his image, and apparently they had no clothes" then how do you discourage nudity, that is non sexual in nature? Many cultures according to their religion, have no problems. Sadly in American Society we're woefully behind, culturally, socially and spirituality regarding nudity. I have friends who are christians, belong to christian nudist groups. However, you'd better believe this is not something they'd share in church. Really a shame.

        Rev.Mel J. Fleming II
        Hmmm... You lost me with your topic title and first sentence. Spirituality and religion are two different things, and if you're a reverend you know that. And if you're a reverend you wouldn't type the word "Christians" in lower case.. twice. And if you're a reverend you would know the phrase "apparently they had no clothes" does not appear in Genesis and you might use Gen 2:25 or 3:21 as better examples to make your point. And if you're a reverend, I would assume you studied religion at some point and would have a specific example of "many cultures according to their religion, have no problems". I don't need a treatise but how about naming just one example?

        Meanwhile, take your "sadly American society" judgement and stuff it. I am an American citizen and today is the day I stand up and decide the beatings will stop.

        One post. Seems a troll.

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        • #5
          Re: Nudism and spirituality

          I googled "Rev. Mel J. Fleming, II". Google matched at least two individuals with that name. One is "Rev. Mel J. Fleming II, DD, Ph.D Organizer of Inland Empire Vampires! Goths, Pagans", who appears to be near Riverside in the Inland Empire area of southern California. His interests appear to be vampires, goth, paganism, wicca, polyamory, etc. I doubt that he knows much about Christianity in all its variety and glory. My guess is that this is the poster who started this thread.

          The second is Pastor Melvin Fleming, Jr., pastor of New Bethel Kingdom Faith Ministries, Inc., near Trenton, NJ. This appears to be an evangelical Christian church having friendship ties to many of the top evangelical Christian organizations throughout the country.

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          • #6
            Re: Nudism and spirituality

            Personally, I am now turned off by all the arguments supporting nudity, especially the religious ones. You can pick up older nudist publications and find a lot of chatter written in support of nudism mostly by men who want to see women join the camps. Now, you can read internet ramblings in support of nudism by religious zealots who want to see men and women at the resorts. It seems like brainwashing manipulations; trying to force your philosophy upon someone against their own personal code of conduct. As for me, I woke up to nudity at the resorts many years ago. It is not a problem now. I only wish that I had been born into a nudist family and gotten into the appreciation of it as a youth instead of as an adult. I did not need any argument for or against it. Maybe it is my opposition to authority and my basic rebellious nature but I have to learn things for myself. Sometimes, I choose the wrong things but I learn from my choices. Also, there are basically only two types of bodies so what is the big deal hiding it? That is more brainwashing; telling us to cover up as children. It seems so odd to hide our bodies and to not let anyone look at them.

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            • #7
              Re: Nudism and spirituality

              Nudity has nothing to do with religion. The sole purpose of religion is to relieve people of cash, whether they can afford it or not.

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              • #8
                Re: Nudism and spirituality

                I don't want to push my beliefs on anyone however I will offer my opinion.

                I enjoy freehiking AKA nude hiking in the woods. I find it is a wonderful experience and while I am out there in the beauty of nature I do feel there is a spiritual connection. I have hiked many a mile clothed as well and I enjoy that too however as most of us know there is just something more to doing an activity nude like swimming. Perhaps it is also the fact my senses are heightened I see more wildlife stop and enjoy the views often. I have to say I am inspired while out there hiking and do feel it is spiritual.

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                • #9
                  Re: Nudism and spirituality

                  Originally posted by tiger79 View Post
                  Nudity has nothing to do with religion. The sole purpose of religion is to relieve people of cash, whether they can afford it or not.
                  http://www.religioustolerance.org/nudism.htm

                  And I disagree with your very blinkered opinions on religion. Talk to anyone who has been converted to a religious cause who lived a wasteful and unhappy existence before they joined the church they attend. Whilst religion has done some damage, it has also done a lot of good for society as well. The main thing it does is hold people to a higher standard of living as opposed to self abuse.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Nudism and spirituality

                    Originally posted by williamkazak View Post
                    Personally, I am now turned off by all the arguments supporting nudity, especially the religious ones. You can pick up older nudist publications and find a lot of chatter written in support of nudism mostly by men who want to see women join the camps. Now, you can read internet ramblings in support of nudism by religious zealots who want to see men and women at the resorts. It seems like brainwashing manipulations; trying to force your philosophy upon someone against their own personal code of conduct. As for me, I woke up to nudity at the resorts many years ago. It is not a problem now. I only wish that I had been born into a nudist family and gotten into the appreciation of it as a youth instead of as an adult. I did not need any argument for or against it. Maybe it is my opposition to authority and my basic rebellious nature but I have to learn things for myself. Sometimes, I choose the wrong things but I learn from my choices. Also, there are basically only two types of bodies so what is the big deal hiding it? That is more brainwashing; telling us to cover up as children. It seems so odd to hide our bodies and to not let anyone look at them.
                    Hmmmm, another 1-post-wonder or is it? The more unpopular and misunderstood a certain philosophy is, the more proselytising it needs for people to understand it.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Nudism and spirituality

                      Originally posted by Dario Western View Post
                      http://www.religioustolerance.org/nudism.htm

                      ... The main thing it does is hold people to a higher standard of living as opposed to self abuse.
                      Dario, I think many religious tenets are not just a "higher standard" but are quite literally unattainable. It has always been odd to me the many shallow ways people are allowed to ask for forgiveness through religion. In society if you violate one of our many agreed upon laws, being caught means paying a fine at a minimum and incarceration for more serious offenses. The worst things people are punished with these days in religion is being ejected from the group, or at least being made to stand up in front of the parish and admit a transgression.

                      Perhaps religion was at one time equal to "the law" or was literally the law by which people were evaluated, judged, sentenced and punished, but I think it has been lowered substantially these days. The only people who are tormented for violations of religion in modern society are those conditioned to hold it ABOVE the common law, and this "conditioning" is used in churches and prisons to justify all manner of extreme behaviors.

                      The "spiritual path" I think more and more people are finding appealing is one that recognizes all things exist in harmony with each other, all life is sacred, and all beliefs that give comfort should be respected. As soon as a single Minister or Pastor crosses into politics and international policy, they have abandonded the core of what religion is supposed to do for people. At least, this is the way it seems to me.

                      No one religion should be held up as better than another and when a clergyman in a position of authority does this, I loose a certain amount of respect for them.

                      The nudism I would wish for people to understand is one where it is integrated into life rather than directing life; where a harmony of balance is achieved between personal freedom and respectful behavior, but I do realize the concept of "respectful behavior" means something a little different to people in general. Some may think it is most properly symbolized by the wearing of a uniform, a collared shirt and tie, a three-piece suit, or a judge's robe, but it would be nice if these THINGS were not the only inspiring criteria of respect. Sadly I think nudity still causes many people to laugh, snicker or chuckle, and that is the behavior we need to work to deprogram people of.

                      ~

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                      • #12
                        Re: Nudism and spirituality

                        Thanks to LamontCranston and nycapnude whose posts greatly illuminated the initial post in this thread.

                        I was drawn to this thread twice by the title, and both times turned off when I saw that the content was something else entirely. Also, both times I thought "MasterMel" was a very strange screen name for a Christian minister, which I assumed he was. The two posters that I've thanked make a great deal clear. In any event, the title suggests a thread worth discussing; the content leads nowhere but to insults and dissension, as we've already seen.

                        Since there may be some who are not familiar with academic terminology, "D.D." (Doctor of Divinity) is not an earned degree. It is an honorary degree. Some institutions give them only to people with major religious achievements, while others hand them out like candy. "Ph.D" (Doctor of Philosophy) is an advanced earned degree, pretty much the pinnacle of academic achievement. it is available in any and all fields, so does not in itself convey information about whether the scholarship involved any exposure to the field of religion.

                        Also, it seems to be appropriate here to point out that the title "Rev." (Reverend) cannot anymore be assumed to mean something serious. I earned the right to that title after successfully completing four years of college and three years of graduate school, followed by a rigorous three-phase examination process. The last I knew the same title could be purchased online for $25. So did MasterMel earn his title? I have no idea. I am only saying that you can't take it for granted.

                        If someone wants to start a thread with content that delivers on the promise implied in the title of this thread, I'll be glad to participate. My practice of naturism definitely has spiritual aspects, as I know it does for many other naturists.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Nudism and spirituality

                          I wonder which definition each person has when they talk about "Spirituality". Does it encompass both the intellect and the emotion, or only the deep feeling of awe and respect for the larger world around them. Does it include an intellectual meaning of one's self? Does it also include what one has decided is his own moral code? Here is a statement of what spititualiuty may mean to various persons.
                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirituality whch states,

                          Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or immaterial reality;[1] an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of their being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.”[2] Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop an individual's inner life; such practices often lead to an experience of connectedness with a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; with other individuals or the human community; with nature or the cosmos; or with the divine realm.[3] Spirituality is often experienced as a source of inspiration or orientation in life.[4]
                          Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or immaterial reality;[1] an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of their being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.”[2] Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop an individual's inner life; such practices often lead to an experience of connectedness with a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; with other individuals or
                          Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or immaterial reality;[1] an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of their being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.”[2] Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop an individual's inner life; such practices often lead to an experience of connectedness with a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; with other individuals or the human community; with nature or the cosmos; or with the divine realm.[3] Spirituality is often experienced as a source of inspiration or orientation in life.[4] It can encompass belief in immaterial realities or experiences of the immanent or transcendent nature of the world.
                          Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or immaterial reality;[1] an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of their being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.”[2] Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop an individual's inner life; such practices often lead to an experience of connectedness with a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; with other individuals or the human community; with nature or the cosmos; or with the divine realm.[3] Spirituality is often experienced as a source of inspiration or orientation in life.[4] It can encompass belief in immaterial realities or experiences of the immanent or transcendent nature of the world.
                          Last edited by David77; 01-26-2011, 03:34 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Nudism and spirituality

                            Tell that to the judge. If you don't support activists and activist groups, such as The Naturist Society, don't be aghast when laws limit your nudity only to within your own house with no children present.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Nudism and spirituality

                              The reality of spirituality is that it is in true nudity we are revealed.

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