I just put up this Reuters item on the headline feed, about how public norms of modesty and nudity are changing, when what should I see but a Telegraph blog post about how buttoned-up Mormon missionaries (without official LDS approval) are unbuttoning a bit for a new calendar:
The 2008 calendar features “hunky young men of faith” who “explode with sexuality”. Although the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not endorsing the exercise, it’s not a spoof.
Pass your cursor over the pic of soberly clad Kenny and he loses that polyester shirt. Should you feel inclined, you can also find out about his mission field in the Philippines. Spreading the word put him on “a path that leads to God”, providing him with “internal peace and happiness,” he says.
The calendar link is here; if you’re not Mormon, a gay guy, or a girl you won’t be interested. The rest of the Telegraph piece, however, contains a supremely creepy quote from a gay Catholic priest.
Meanwhile, money quote from that article on public nudity:
“I do think that general attitudes about nudity are becoming more relaxed, but these changes take time, which is why there’s still mixed responses,” said Paul Levinson, communication and media professor at Fordham University.
“We as a society are finally growing up and it’s a healthy thing,” he said.
Why is there an assumption that more acceptance of public nudity is a healthy thing, or that the abandonment of social codes that evolved over thousands of years is “growing up”? Putting aside serious conservative concerns–like the importance of modesty as a bulwark value of the traditional family–as we’ve seen in unforgettable photos at several Bay Area protests, there’s See Dub’s Iron Law of Public Nudity: people most interested in exposing themselves are almost always the people with the least justification for doing so.
Moronic exit question: does this calendar help or hurt Romney? Of course it shouldn’t either way, but does it?