Pure beauty...

Pure beauty…

This woman is beautiful. This photo is beautiful. There are few things more delightful to a man’s eyes than the vision of a lovely women.

What constantly amazes me is how many people there are, especially the religious types, who would ipso facto condemn this photograph as pornography, as smut, as something degenerate which needs to be permanently removed from the world for all time. Yes, there are those who think in such extreme terms. Such a display of nudity would be considered “immodest” or “impure” or “sinful”. If they could, they would also probably burn the model at the stake for having the audacity to pose nude. Then they would burn the photographer. They would then burn, or at least jail, the consumers of such an image. Then, after having finished cleansing this bit of smut from the world, they would eagerly move on to their next cleansing project, over and over again, in saecula saeculorum.

If you don’t believe me, then simply check out some of the more extreme and ridiculous “purity blogs” out there. They would be amusing as an extravagant display of the neo-Augustinian sexually tortured souls of their authors if they weren’t so pathetic and even frightening. Why do so many Christians feel they need to flagellate themselves over every sexual thought, every act of looking at erotic images, every instance of masturbation, every sexual exchange with another person who might not be your spouse? The neurosis developed by such scrupulous attention to sexual sin is detrimental to a healthy faith in God.

Fanatics of all stripes, whether political or theological, must be resisted. Whether it be the Taliban (who destroy whatever they find objectionable, such as Buddhist statures in Afghanistan), or Communists (who once destroyed whatever they found objectionable, such as Cathedrals in Russia), or Christian fundamentalists (many of whom have stated openly that they would like to create a legal system in our country based on Biblical law–their called “Dominionists”–which, in turn, would open the door for them to then destroy whatever they find objectionable, such as when John Ashcroft covered up the half naked statues in the Justice Department), or extreme ecologists (who would like to destroy mankind in order to save the Earth), or whatever the nutty flavor of the day is, those who would take away our enjoyment of this world, especially through violent means, must always be opposed. For me, the beauty of love, of erotic pleasure, of the wonderful female form, is one such enjoyment always to be defended.

This photo is art. It is beautiful and captures something of the wonder of women that most men feel and have felt since they first became aware, usually at a young age, of the awesome power women have over them. Such images reflect life and the transmission of life through erotic love and the power of love that guides all our lives, whether we like it or know it or not.