Religion casts a long shadow

Religion has been occupying my thoughts this last week, specifically the things that are wrong with it, and why -because of that- I’m not a church-goer or, indeed, believer.

Nude_Wedding

Seven couples have nude weddings in the Hedonism resort in Jamaica in 2003

We had the murder, a week ago, of an off-duty soldier in Woolwich, London by ‘Islamist fantatics’ (whatever they’re meant to be, and the statement by one, to camera, in the wake of the pointless slaughter, merely reinforced the theory that not even they -the perpetrators- were sure about their function) and the stabbing of another soldier, again by ‘an Islamist fantatic’, in La Defense, Paris.

I’ve addressed the issue of these idiotic actions in another post (yet to be published to the blog), so I won’t repeat myself here.

And today France has celebrated its first gay marriage. Well, ‘celebrated’ is not quite the emotion being expressed across the country, with 150,000(!!!!!) marching last Sunday to decry the legislation that made it possible, and extra police drafted in for the ceremony, in case it attracted ‘the far right’ (according to the BBC report, via the link).

What the hell has the legal union of two people in love got to do with anyone else???? What impact would a ceremony between a gay couple have on their lives which self-evidently lack something if it attracts a crowd of 150,000?

France: historically the nation of ‘the mistress’, stretching back to the court at Versailles and probably much earlier (as well as in the corridors of English power). Where was the sanctity of marriage vows in a heterosexual relationship? Did 150,000 take to the streets to protest at the disclosure of a heterosexual figure involved in an affair? Did the (Catholic) church throw its weight behind protests against illicit affairs? Living ‘in sin’? Divorce?

Of course not.

All of these are, presumably, ‘crimes’ against the sanctity of marriage. Yet, historically, there has never been the same outcry. The tolerance levels of people aren’t, apparently, tested quite so much by the visibility of, whisper it quietly, homosexuals.

Naturists are an extremely tolerant group of people, amongst the least judgemental I’ve ever met. Last year I was privileged to be a guest at a lesbian wedding on a beach in Spain. The two women, both of whom I regard as friends, are in love, make a lovely couple, are faithful to each other, committed and caring. All of the attributes we’d ideally like to see in heterosexual relationships, in fact. And yet some nations seem to think it’s their right to interfere in the union of two people in love (my own country included, hence the marriage of two ex-pat British women in Spain). Often, basic human rights are held back because of a powerful religious lobby in what we’re told is an increasingly secular world.

Second Life is also an extremely tolerant society, and same-sex partnerships have been commonplace in the five years I’ve been involved in the metaverse. We are an extremely non-judgemental set of people, those of us who’ve been involved for some time.

OK…we mocked this up. Dagmar and Don aren’t really an SL couple, but we thought it would be a nice idea to present photos of a nude ‘wedding’ in SL. I’m sure there are couples who’ve done this for real inworld. If there are, and if you’ve got photos, please, send them to us and share your memories of your nudist wedding with us. While there are those will be horrified at the idea, either in SL or RL, remember that Pope John Paul II said that nakedness need not equate with immodesty.

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Why mix-up real life society’s attitudes to homosexuality, to nudity, etc, with the edicts passed by governments and religious ‘leaders’? Because it’s the theme to SLN9, exploring the core values of RL naturism, and the fact that it’s a more moralistic, enlightened, liberal, family-orientated and positive outlook on life than pretty much all of the world’s religions and most of its governments. We’ll be examining the history, the values, and the future of RL naturism, how it’s perceived by the media, and how all of this reflects on our SL naturist values.

Ella