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.