In yesterday’s Citizens’ Voice, a nude beach critic said the body is sacred and should be respected. I figured the odds were pretty good, like maybe 110%, that this was a religious-right person. I also figured this person didn’t remember the story of Adam and Eve correctly. It was Adam and Eve who decided the body God had made wasn’t sacred and needed to be covered up. It was Adam and Eve who decided there was something wrong with being naked.
While I sort of hate to say it, sort of, it looks to me that the religious right has usurped God and ignored the very Scriptures they claim to be the inerrant word of God. Perhaps it is they, therefore, who should pack up and leave what even some of them, I wager, call Paradise, and go live somewhere that agrees with their misinterpretation of the Bible. Somewhere that thinks the body is dirty and not sacred. Somewhere like Vatican City or Bahrain. Outside of places like that, great works of art of this world have long indicated that the body truly is sacred.
Jesus told his disciples that when they went before the tribunal not to worry what they would say; the Holy Spirit would put the words into their mouths. What happened to Aphrodite and her girlfriend at Hometown PAC’s Call to Candidates at Salute was the same thing. The two yong women were seized and used by the Holy Spirit to tell the crowd gathered there that God wants nude beaches here.
As if to say “Right on!” I heard a few days ago that Channel 76 (Key West) has been running replays of Hometown PAC’s Call to Candidates gathering at Salute on Higgs Beach, including Aphrodite and her girlfriend supporting nude beaches.
As if to say “Right on!” I received this poem by email the other day from someone on my email list who had been sent it by someone elese:
We have numbered bars
We have quirky ways,
Our ideas are different
We have weekends of craze!
This debate over beaches
To say the least,
Is the craziest so far
It’s just a beach!
If we allocate it for nude
Why would one care?
Our town is the reason
It all works down here!
Sign a petition
Fill out some forms,
Everything gets done here
It’s a simple matter of furlong!
Post some signs
Some ads for our beach
A suggested name to call it..
“WITHOUT A STEECH”
author unknown 2009
Back to the present, sort of, from today’s Citizens’ Voice: “Now they want nude beaches in Key West. And people wonder why the Conchs are leaving. The people who want this is one of the reasons.”
Really? People like me are one of the reasons the Conchs are leaving? Really?
I bet this will be news to Mayor Morgan McPherson and the six city commissioners. I bet this will be news to Keys Energy Services and the Aqueduct Authority. And news to School Superintendent Randy Acevedo and the School Board. And news to Chief of Police Donnie Lee and Sheriff Bob Peryam. And news to to Key West Chamber of Commerce, the Key West Business Guild, and every business person in Key West. And news to Key West Citizen.
I’m looking right now at a document prepared by Todd German, who is on the Citizen Editorial Board and works for Centennial Bank (formerly Marine Bank), which he told me he prepared mostly from published Census Bureau statistics. The 2007 Census figures show an 8% decline in population. In the 25-44 age bracket, we lost 8,000 people, which offset by a gain of 4000 people in the 55-64 age bracket. It is no big secret that most of the 25-44 age bracket departees left because they could not afford to live here. It is no big secret that more young people will leave for the same reason.
One of the arguments being used for allowing nude beaches is it will attract visitors who would not ordinarily come to Key West and the Keys, but will do so if there are nude beaches. Can this be proved? No, it can’t be proved. What we can do is look at what happened in other areas where nude beaches were allowed, over the screaming and howling of the religious right, to whom I would hardly be surprised to learn the Citizens’ Voice critic belongs but did not come out and say it directly.
We can look at the nearest nude beach known to me in the US: Haulover Beach in Miami, which provided a HUGE shot in the arm to that area’s economy. We also can look at local anecdotal market research. The frequent inquiries the Key West Business Guild Welcome Center gets about Key West having nude beaches. The same inquiry local taxi drivers get. The same inquiry a sidewalk artist friend of mine frequently gets. The other day, a fellow who hangs out at Sippin’ Internet Cafe told me, now that he had thought about it, over the past few years he supposed 20 people had asked him on the sidewalk where the nude beach is?
Beyond economics, many locals who want a nude beach here sincerely believe it is in complete keeping with the spirit of Key West. I am one of them. Beyond even that, many of our citizens want to use a nude beach to use themselves. I am not one of them, but I might do it anyway under the put up or shut up principle.
I was told by people who have been here much longer than I that there used to be a nude beach in Key West, and some topless beach areas. But in the 1970s, we got a religious-right mayor, his name now escapes me, and he got rid of au nturale on Key West beaches. I wonder if he were our mayor today, if he would try get rid of our gay residents, whom, I understand, make up about 30% of our city’s population?.
Sloan for mayor
Political advertisement, approved and paid for by Sloan Bashinsky