I've been a member of Clothes Free for years. I've always found the idea of nudity to be liberating and healing, especially, in the world we live in of masks and performances. It's a freeing idea to be who we are right down to the body that God gave us. That is one of the main points of nudism, right? There are sexual aspects to nudism as well, but, I think the core manifestation is the beauty of God's creation: us. The WHOLE us: the body and soul of what make us as individual as the next. I might add, sex is not a negative thing either. We are sexual beings and there is a reason why we are attracted to each other physically. There is a beauty to our rituals of sex that we have created over time. But this not being a blog about sex, I'll leave it at that. Having said that, I shall proceed....

Oddly enough, having a profile on here, I didn't realize there was an "inbox" for my account until just a few days ago. I've never really interacted with many people on here, and so, I was surprised to see a couple of messages in my inbox from the ancient days of 2010. Although I don't even remember doing so, I apparently wanted to join a group on here called "Christian Nudists". One of the messages I received was from the moderator of that group saying that he was sorry but couldn't accept me into the group because I was also a gay man. He didn't feel that being gay was compatible with being a member of God's kingdom. I got the typical "God loves you" but doesn't accept you speech that I've heard countless times before. I got all the usual Bible verses to "back up" his claims, again, that I've heard a zillion times before.

In another odd twist of events, since 2010, at 32 years old (and being a Christian my whole life) I had gotten so fed up with Christianity, that I decided to walk away from the core practices (bible literalism, prejudice, judgements...) practiced by mainly fundamentalist Christians. Yes, most Christians also practice love and forgiveness, but, it is usually tainted with prejudice and judgement. And who can blame them? Their instruction book: The Holy Bible, is full of "wisdom" to fuel the fire under which most Christians base their spiritual standards. That said, even Bible literalists don't really take the Bible literally. They just make excuses for what they don't like. Most Bible literalists are not going to kill disobedient children, kill homosexuals, kill women who don't scream when raped, force women to marry their rapists, kill people who pick up sticks or who work on Sunday, all of which are commands in the Bible's Old Testament. Most Christians don't support polygamy, mass genocide, incest, and slavery (all of which are promoted and celebrated in the Book). Christians will not go quite so far as to cut off their hands, pluck out their eyes, or other body parts that cause them to sin. They are not likely to hate their family for the sake of Christianity, or, give everything they have to the poor (all commands from Jesus). Christians claim victory, yet, the Bible states that the majority of humankind will ultimately choose the road to death (hell). I don't see the victory in that. I also don't see the "love" in a God who would send anybody to hell in the first place. Reaping what you sow? Yes. Torturing somebody for all of eternity because they misplaced their faith or for a short number of years of sin? Nobody can convince me that that kind of action is born of love. That Christians will tell me that it is only justice that causes God to allow the torture of billions upon billions of souls for eternity is not exactly causing me any attraction to God or the practices of the Bible.

What many Christians are very willing to tell me (and other gay people) about and "pluck" out of the "truths" of the Bible is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Yet they do it in a loving way of course, to warn us of the future perils we will face if we don't turn from our sin. Let's take a look at the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, shall we? First of all, there is great speculation among Bible scholars as to whether the main "sin" in the story was homosexuality. But, for arguments sake, I'm going to assume that it is. That is, this Bible tale is an example of the horrible people who commit homosexuality and God's furious wrath that will come upon them. I will tell you, that is a pretty sad state of affairs if that be true, because, in my mind's eye, the other aspects of this tale are far more disturbing to me: Lot offering his virgin, underage daughters to be gang raped by a group of strangers, God burning to death an entire city (women, children included), God turning Lot's beloved wife and mother of his children into a pillar of salt for looking back, and finally, Lot having a drunken incest orgy with his two daughters and impregnating them both. Of course, the gay people are the wrong ones. Ironically (like most myths of that day), there is another tale that mirrors the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Judges. With a few changed details, this particular tale ends in the dismemberment of two females that were raped and killed. (Don't know if anyone else can see the thread of the mistreatment of women that is from cover to cover in the Bible and the pursuit of male animalistic practices).

AND YET, I do find some pockets of truth in the Bible. I still love Psalm 16. I still love Romans 8-9. I believe there is spiritual truth to be found in the Bible: meekness, love, the golden rule, forgiveness, grace..... I believe your average Christian will focus primarily on these Bible truths and take on "Holy Amnesia" to the rest. I will have to also comment that those spiritual truths are universal truths. You don't need the Bible to realize them. You can get them from any of the Holy Books ever written to any one of the world's religions. Love is born into us. Love is my religion now. I have walked away from Christianity, but, am more spiritual than ever. It's actually a relief for me to find God outside of the Bible. I believe God will take people where they are at. If Christianity is the spiritual outlet for a man, I believe God, out of love, will meet him at that point. Every step in this life is a spiritual journey. Yet, I feel at this point in my journey like I can no longer walk on in Bible literalism, as I don't find the majority of the Bible appropriate for my soul. I'll take the good of what I learned, and, move on and leave the rest behind. Most of my feelings aren't even born out of the conflict of being gay either. I am more willing to accept that God hates homosexuality over the fact that he would give a law commanding the killing of children, or that, the all-knowing Lord would get "fed up" with humanity and just wipe them all out in a single flood, but saving one family. That's how it always is in the Bible. Out of a world of people, there is always one family or one "group" of people that God favors. In my mind, religion, the Bible, causes divisions and not a joining together of souls.

I know in this predominately Christian society that we live in, sentiments like mine will be unappreciated, but, just as the nude body must be appreciated for each person, so must also his or her beliefs that make up the soul.