Stand and fight or run and hide?

No freedom has ever been freely given, freedoms have always been taken, and the only question is whether we stand and fight, or run and hide. The people who pioneer the new, (because not “normal”), views are inevitably regarded as extremists. Today, we bow to lesbian/gay rights, women voters, etc.Only because some people made a hard stand during difficult times.

Stand and fight?

When those people were fighting for OUR rights, most people called them extremists and nutcases.

Imid-20120717_103914f Emily Parkhurst had been “sensitive to the appropriateness of the situation”, I’m sure she would not have thrown herself under the King’s horse and women would probably still not have the vote. Nelson Mandela is another example of precisely the same case where one man suffers for years under the barbaric of the current regime, while today he is hailed as a hero. He was fortunate, he was able to enjoy his last years of life in freedom.

Alan Turing is another who was shamed, and forcefully chemically “treated”, by the government of his time, for the crime of following his own harmless activities. Turing was so persecuted that he committed suicide rather than face the rest of his life as a chemically castrated individual.

What fate awaits Stephen Gough?

Core beliefs

Western religions do not generally have direct prohibition of social nudity as a core belief, such prohibition as there is has come about from custom and practice and from misunderstood interpretations of early teachings. Protestations against nudity have been made by a few of the religious hierarchy and sadly followed by the many.

opx-cover-front-facebook-safeThere is often a huge difference in the core beliefs of a religion and what is taught by those who feel they should teach it. It is quite easy to find a given religious text and then to find a range of mutually opposing interpretations of that same text. A good example is the use of the word “shame” in the Christian story of Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Some Christian teachers will take it to mean that nakedness is shameful, others will take it to mean that nakedness is good; the position taken by the Christian naturist movement. How could a God have made something shameful?

Would you dare suggest that the handiwork of your God is so flawed it must be covered all the time? Did He make such a serious mistake? Who are you to tell your God that He made mistakes in His creation? To me, the good or bad about nudity is what is in your heart, your intentions, the reasons you go naked, not the nudity itself.

An extract from Why Nude? Thoughts and reflections on social nudity by Howard Anderson

Available from Amazon and all good book distributors

All is as thinking makes it so

It is clear that our lives are defined by the space between the two camps of; firstly, our thoughts on our own actions; and secondly, by our fear of what other people might think.

std-100_8307-bcNever mind Shakespeare, the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius pointed this out some two thousand years ago: “All is as thinking makes it so.”

Simply taking part in an environmental protest movement makes one an object of curiosity for many people, and while the majority of the public will be cheering the riders on, the media are busy interviewing the participants, regardless as to whether they are naked or clothed.

Extract from the World Naked Bike Ride book.

Garden of Eden

Western religions do not generally have direct prohibition of social nudity as a core belief, such prohibition as there is has come about from custom and practice and from misunderstood interpretations of early teachings.

Protestations against nudity have been made by a few of the religious hierarchy and sadly followed by the many. There is opx-cover-front-facebook-safeoften a huge difference in the core beliefs of a religion and what is taught by those who feel they should teach it. It is quite easy to find a given religious text and then to find a range of mutually opposing interpretations of that same text. A good example is the use of the word “shame” in the Christian story of Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

Some Christian teachers will take it to mean that nakedness is shameful, others will take it to mean that nakedness is good; the position taken by the Christian naturist movement. How could a God have made something shameful? Would you dare suggest that the handiwork of your God is so flawed it must be covered all the time? Did He make such a serious mistake?

Who are you to tell your God that He made mistakes in His creation? To me, the good or bad about nudity is what is in your heart, your intentions, the reasons you go naked, not the nudity itself.

Extract from Why Nude available from Amazon and all good book retailers.

Appearances may be deceiving

It’s not the appearance of someone which dictates their character, or their motivations, it’s what they actually do that is the issue. The relevance of this discussion for the WNBR is that it’s not the clothing, or the differently clothed or coloured state of another that is the problem: it’s the demonstrative but entirely peaceful behavior that is at stake here. std-101_5004a-bcIt’s important to separate the outward appearance of someone, how they look at any given time, from ones opinion of their inner motivation.

Having the freedom to clothe your own body in the way you see fit, and not from the dictates of prudish, guilty and shameful thoughts, is a step towards personal freedom for everybody. We actually can use our own bodies and minds in the way we each choose, but we need to believe in this as individuals, and to know this as an inalienable civil right. This is what Vincent Bethell’s Freedom to be Yourself campaign , started in 1998 in London, was concerned with, and after spending five months in solitary confinement awaiting his court appearance for being a ‘public nuisance’, he insisted on attending court naked.

This was a jury trial, and he was judged by a panel of his peers, who unanimously found him not guilty of the charge. While the presiding Judge George Bathurst-Norman warned him darkly: “I would not go away too much with that idea”, he also appended the crucial: “It is simply not a public nuisance in these circumstances.” Notwithstanding the judge’s hesitating support for the defense, essentially this was a great victory for the cause for freedom of choice where individualism, and public nakedness, is concerned.

As Terri Sue Webb wrote, and as Vincent Bethell and many others also state: “To be offended by the visual appearance of another person is prejudice, akin to racism.”

Extract from the World Naked Bike Ride book, available on Amazon and all good book retailers.