Aiken Area Progressive

Progressive blog for the Central Savannah River Area.

Month: January, 2015

Yes, my religion is Nudism

So, today, I finally found out about my main religion.

My main religion is Nudism.

This much I knew for over 11 years now.

But, as anyone knows: it ain’t official until you make it Facebook official.

I did just that this morning.

Nudism is the belief that nudity is natural and that the god the Nudist worships – whether that is the Christian God, the Jewish god (YHVH), the Muslim god (Allah), the Pagan god (Ishtar), or whoever the person worships as their god – make people naked because it is natural.

My belief is that unless it is absolutely necessary – as in cases of safety issues or cold weather – forcing people to wear clothes in public is wrong, dead wrong and flat wrong.  My belief is that any law that bans public nudity is an unjust law, no matter the purpose.

While I still identify as a Unitarian Universalist, as it is one of the few recognized religions (along with Pagan) that does not judge others, I also want people to be aware of my other, and true, official religion and that my beliefs about nudity in public should be treated the same way as other religious beliefs are currently being treated in the Hobby Lobby era.


Nudity in public (and breastfeeding) is not just a civil rights issue – it’s also a reproductive rights’ issue

If reproductive rights activists really want equal rights, the civil rights of nudists like George Davis and breastfeeding mothers must also be on their reproductive justice agenda. Even in 2015, nudists are being denied their civil rights (similar to sex workers) in some jurisdictions, while breastfeeding mothers are being harassed by citizens in others.

In recent years, sex workers, transgender people and African-Americans successfully convinced reproductive rights activists that their right to live without fear or harassment from cops is an issue they need to work on.

However, reproductive rights activists still have two lingering groups of people that they really need to be paying attention to: nudists/naturists and breastfeeding mothers.

Like the three groups mentioned in the opening paragraph, nudists are also harassed and arrested for doing nothing wrong.  Like sex workers, nudists are also denied of their civil rights.  And, like all three groups mentioned in the first paragraph, both nudists and breastfeeding mothers alike are harassed by ignorant citizens daily just for exercising their legal rights in public.

Below the fold, we will post more about these two groups of people.  We’ll begin alphabetically, with breastfeeding mothers and why their rights are a reproductive justice issue.
Read the rest of this entry »

Jeannie Jonas: Another nudist persecuted by government

On Friday, I wrote about a Piedmont woman who was being sent to jail for exercising the same civil rights that Martin Luther King Junior fought for all those years ago.

Just like with being African-American (even now), Muslim, transgender, a Pagan, a Satanist, and a sex worker, nudists and naturists are being persecuted for their beliefs in the United States of America, in direct violation of several constitutional amendments.

Each one of these aforementioned groups, as well as several others, have held on to the torch Dr. Martin Luther King Junior when he was shot to death in the head on April 4, 1968.  Dr. King’s speeches resonate with all of the aforementioned groups for a reason: women, African-Americans, trans people, Muslims, Pagans, sex workers, Satanists and nudists all have some thing that automatically makes them as part of the oppressed class – that is, a group of people who are, in some way, being oppressed by other groups of people (primarily men, whites, cis people, Christians and clothed people).

It was on Meet the Press on March 28, 1965, when Dr. King said the one thing that really resonates with me – although this was about him protesting unlawfully at the time.  Go to the 11:07 mark of the video above for more:

“…so I still don’t consider that breaking a court order or breaking what I consider an unjust law.  On the other hand, I must be honest enough to say that I do feel that there are two types of laws: one is a just law, and one is an unjust law.  I think we all have moral obligations to obey just laws, on the other hand, I think we have moral obligations to disobey unjust laws, because non-cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.  I think the distinction here is that when one breaks a law that conscience tells him (or her) is unjust, he (or she) must do it openly, he (or she) must do it cheerfully, he (or she) must do it lovingly, he (or she) must do it civilly – not uncivilly, and he (or she) must do it with a willingness to accept the penalties.  Any person who breaks a law that conscience tells him (or her) is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalties by staying in jail in order to arouse the conscience of the community on the injustice of the law, is at that moment expressing the very highest respect for law.”

Looking back at that now, I firmly believe that Jeannie Jonas, 55, is doing just what Martin Luther King Jr. said to do nearly 50 years ago, when the York County nudist was just a five (or six) year old girl.

She is accepting the penalty (90 days in jail) for breaking an unjust law (indecent exposure) after being persecuted by the York County government.  She knows that laws banning public nudity are unjust and people should not comply to these laws.  I’ve been saying this for years and years now and I’m following in MLK’s footsteps in this regard.

Public nudity is a civil right.  It is no different than the right to vote, the right to protest, the right to express yourself, the right to marry the person of your choice or the right to own a gun.  Nowhere in our constitution does it say that people have a right to not be offended.  Due to the fact that no one has a right to not be offended, that makes bans on public nudity not just unjust, but unconstitutional on its face.  That is why Gypsy Taub and George Davis is in court against San Francisco, and other nudists’ rights orgs have filed lawsuits against Sarpy County, Neb. for the same reason.

One of MLK’s dreams was for everyone to have the same equal rights.  Ridding the nation of nudity bans, abortion bans, photo-required voter ID laws, gerrymandering, anti-transgender laws and other forms of discrimination can ensure that Rev. Dr. King’s vision can finally be realized.

Time for a Constitutional Convention, South Carolina: York County woman nudist, illegally arrested for being topless two times, is illegally jailed for 90 days

YORK — A York County woman nudist who was illegally arrested two times has now been sent to jail after the county basically persecuted her for her beliefs.

Jeannie Jonas, 55, pleaded guilty to indecent exposure charges, even though she did not violate the statute even once.

Her lawyer correctly pointed out that if she was a man, she would not have been arrested even once, let alone jailed for any amount of time.

Persecutors noted that Ms. Jonas was exercising her legal right to be naked in public since late 2006, when the legislature repealed its statewide public nudity ban as part of a modification of the indecent exposure statute that exempts mothers breastfeeding in public areas in the state (NOTE: some municipalities in South Carolina still have a ban on breastfeeding in public via enforcement of public indecency ordinances and public nudity bans that were made law prior to July 1, 2006).

She was illegally put on probation 19 months ago, and then threatened by persecutors with more severe punishments for exercising her legal constitutional rights once this unjust jail term ends.

If this was a woman or a man I knew who was arrested for being naked in public, I would tell her or him to file a civil lawsuit against the municipality, the police force and any other party involved.  Public nudity is a civil right in South Carolina, just like it is elsewhere.  Public nudity is protected under the First Amendment per the free expression and freedom of beliefs clauses, the 9th and 10th Amendments under the rights reserved to the people clauses in each amendment, the 13th Amendment right against involuntary servitude and the 14th Amendment right of equal protection under the laws.

This is why we need to let the Constitutional Convention commence in South Carolina.  I know conservatives called for one about 13 months ago for a completely different reason, but we finally got a legitimate reason for calling a convention.  Under the constitutional convention, we would make it legal for citizens and nudist organizations to file civil lawsuits against local and state government for violation of civil rights of nudists and naturists.  Public nudity would be legal statewide, and neither the state nor municipalities would be allowed to restrict public nudity unless a legitimate safety or health issue arises (such as jigsaws at SCDOT).  Nudists would be allowed to start colonies and the state and municipal governments would be prohibited, except for doling out penalties for not going through the proper channels, from charging nudist colony leaders any amount above $50.00 for an annual fee.  And finally, it would be illegal for schools and other businesses receiving state or federal aid of any kind (including tax cuts/tax credits) from punishing nudists for their beliefs.

We need to call a convention, because some persecutors like Erin Joyner feel that it’s ok to persecute nudists and naturists for their beliefs just to appease extremist Muslims and Christians who are joining forces in waging jihad against nudists.

WBTV-DT News 3
Rock Hill Herald

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