All things bright and nude-iful

It’s summer, time to argue about what people should be wearing to church. One protestant church in rural America has cut that gordian knot (yeah, yeah, it’s an old story, but it’s making the rounds again):

Virginia church worships in the nude

Allen Parker, the pastor of Whitetail Chapel


said, “Jesus was naked during some of his most important moments. When he was born he was naked, when he was crucified he was naked and when he arose he left his clothes in the tomb and he was naked. If God made us that way, how can that be wrong?”

With logic like that, how can anything in the world be wrong? This story just makes me feel so right.

Pastor Parker further stated that the church is family-oriented and the members are very involved in helping others.

HELPING OTHERS! Anybody else remember those eager longhorns from Home on the Range? “Hey, little lady, can I help you?  Mayyybe we can help each other!”

Ah, me. This is what happens when you don’t have a Magisterium: nudie patootie in the pew-tie! I say to you, not even Solomon in all his glory stuck to the seats like one of these. Doesn’t this give you a little perspective when Catholics quibble over whether or not we should be cast out for revealing our full knees in the middle of July? Hang around for a service or two at the Whitetail–


Chapel, and you’ll perhaps lose some of your former gusto for aligning yourself with the “the demise of the floor-length lace mantilla marked the end of Christendom” crowd. The only thing that could have made this story more edifying would be if they were into snake handling.


What do they sing for a recessional hymn, “Jesus wants me for a sunscreen?” They better hope that balm in Gilead is at least SPF 55.
I’m fairly sure there’s less emphasis on “clinging to the old rugged cross”—ouchie.
How about “There’s a wideness in God’s mercy, and in several other places as well!”
“Thy word have I hid in my heart, having no available pockets.”
Or that old Gospel favorite, “Out of a profound sense of discomfort when He sees the congregation, His eye is on the sparrow.”

The good news is, it’ll be a while before Lent starts and we have to sing that old standby, “Asses.” But some hymns are timeless, like that Schutte classic: “Here I am, Lord. /Wait, come back, Lord!/ Would it help . . . if . . . I put on some pants?”

At least, with this new liturgical model, we can be sure we’re adhering to the directives in Musicam Sanctam, and  . . .

(I’m so sorry for what I’m about to say . . .)

giving the organ pride of place.


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10 thoughts on “All things bright and nude-iful”

  1. I must say that in addition to finding the actual piece hilarious, I also find it funny that NCR apparently objected to being referenced as the place this was originally published.

    1. Ha ha, nah, I just didn’t feel like giving them a credit. They have no problem getting clicks with my archives. They can struggle along without my help at this point.

  2. HA HAAAAAAA!!!! Oh, Simcha, this one was Fab.u.lous!!

    “The old rugged cross….Ouchie”…. .

    “Out of a profound sense of discomfort when He sees the congregation, His eye is on the sparrow.” …. .


    “Organ…pride of place.” Oh, she’s on a ROLL, y’all…on a **ROLL**!

    You rock, Simcha. Thank you for all you write, and for writing it the way you want to. I appreciate the content and the manner/style in which you write. Thank you especially, however, for your continued “Yes” to the Lord.

  3. Nudie patootie in the pew-tie!! Snort.

    Oh, if everyone at our church is going to be nekkid, I know who will not be sitting behind… Or in front of…

    Honestly, in about half an hour those people are going to feel so, so sorry.

  4. The magisterium, Simcha? To honor the rebellious, wise-ass teenager that sits in my head and will until the day I fall off my perch, I googled “Nudity and the Catechism of the Catholic Church” and “Nudity as addressed by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal.” I was directed to an apologist on EWTN, who directly and CLEARLY quoted the Catechism…and gave HIS interpretation of what Holy Mother Church had to say about modesty, basing his denunciation on a theological connection which Pastor Parker would find oblique at best (one wonders about the implications for ecumenical dialogue between us and the…um…Whitetail Chapel). The GIRM makes absolutely NO MENTION OF NUDITY AT ALL. There seems to be, in the exercise of our consciences and prudential wisdom, some wiggle room on the question of how much we can get away with not wearing. And really, what’s a little skin if we’re going to sing Marty Haugen’s stuff anyway? I don’t think we should quibble…as long as the ladies wear veils.

  5. What, no call for people to add their own hymn ideas in the comments?
    “Would you risk the hostile stare? Would your life attract – or scare?” indeed.

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