California Nude Beaches in the News

by Jason Stotts

(Picture Source: Wikimedia-Commons)

Apparently someone in the California Parks Department has decided that they’ve had enough with nude beaches and are trying to ban nudity on the beaches.  This, of course, has the nudist and naturist organizations up in arms trying to prevent this from happening.  The USA Today has an article about it: “California Nude Beaches Take Cover.”

What I think is absurd, on both sides, is that no one is addressing the issues.  Is being nude ethical?  Is it inherently offensive?  Is the nude human body shameful?  Should the fact that someone is offended be a prohibition on the action of another?

I mean really, let’s cut right to the heart of the issue: religionists think the human is base and shameful and that it should be hidden.  That’s it.  That’s the entire issue.

We need to recognize that there is nothing inherently base about the human body, that it is not a Platonic jail for the soul.  People are integrated beings that possess both mental aspects and physical aspects.  To denigrate either is to denigrate humanity.  Of course, this is not a concern for a religionist as they necessarily hate humans: how could one love something as weak, depraved, and low as a human compared to their imaginary gods?

I think that it is high time that we insist on the separation of church and state that the principles of our country rely on.  The only concern that the government should have with regard to religion is that people be free to practice whatever religion they choose and also be free from religious influence that they do not want.

For more my take on the nude beach experience, see my essay “My First Nude Beach.”


Update: the OC Register has a new article online “State Spent Over $40,000 to Fight Nudists.”  The article points out that in the middle of California’s largest budget crisis in history, the Parks Dept is spending money to try to get rid of nude beaches.  Furthermore, the Dept is doing it because of alleged “growing number of complaints” that they have received. Although, when pushed by the reporter, the Parks Dept was only able to provide two written complaints (they do not track verbal complaints).  This seems to me to be a clear issue of malfeasance on behalf of someone in the Parks Department.


Update 2: The Naturist Education Foundation commissioned a survey in California about citizen’s thoughts on nudity and nude beaches.  Check it out here.

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