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Silence is Betrayal

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A time comes when silence is betrayal.

Over time I have found myself in full agreement with something I once read, "A time comes when silence is betrayal." I believe that time has come for us in relation to the rights of nudists and naturists to live their lifestyle without reproach and without interference by those who tenaciously cling to outdated, overly conservative concepts of propriety and morality.

The truth of these words is self-evident, but the task to which they call us is a most demanding one. Even when pushed to action by the demands of irrefutable truth, men and women do not easily take up the task of openly opposing the social norms imposed and impressed on them by the majority in culture and society.

It is not an easy to press forward against the strong currents of apathy present within our own inner beings and our community collectively that are produced by the natural, instinctual human tendency to conform or at least give the appearance of conformity in order to avoid the social sanctions inflicted by the majority on those who refuse to abide by the social norms they decree all of us must follow.

[View the Petition: We the People]

Moreover, when the obstacles to more freedom seem as insurmountable as they so often do in the case of any serious attempt to advocate for social change and tolerance, we are always on the verge of being paralyzed by fear and uncertainty; but we must move forward.

It is time that the culture of wholesome, natural simple nudity come out of the shadows of secrecy, time that so many stop hiding the fact that they embrace the nudist and naturist philosophy and lifestyle as though it were something to be ashamed of. Some of us who have already begun to break the silence have found that the calling to be open and more public about our lifestyle choice is not always painless, but we must speak.

We must speak out against the injustice of having our culture marginalized, demonized and in some instances criminalized by a majority who refuses to discard puritanical modesty ideals that have become completely irrelevant assuming they ever had relevancy to start with. It has simply become too burdensome to live in accord with the limited vision the majority insists on imposing, so we must speak.

Surely this is the time our culture must move beyond the privacy-fences of landed clubs and resorts where society has largely quarantined the practice of healthy, non-sexual nudity and to seize the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of our collective conscience. In recent years, the socially conservative majority has been forced to hear the insistent voices of other minority groups that have been historically marginalized and subjected to the oppression of social sanctions and intolerance. Now is the time we should be heard, and so we must speak.

Just a week ago, a petition was posted on the White House "We the People" website that calls on the administration to direct the managers of federal public lands to officially designate portions of the millions of acres of our park lands, forests, seashores and other wilderness areas for clothing optional recreational use. While the petition must attract 100,000 signatures to earn an official response, even the modest number of signatures collected in the first week indicates that perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us be aware of it and cultivate it and hope that within our own inner being there is the will and courage to stand with others and to speak in a collective voice for we stand deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness of intolerance that our culture has endured for the past 84 years since organized nudism came to our shores. Individually and collectively, we must speak.

[Sign the Petition: We the People]

In the light of the scorching winds of hyper-moral conservatism that are blowing across our nation today, I deem it of enormous importance that the petition initiative mentioned succeeds. I cannot honestly state that I believe the path to greater nudist and naturist rights and increased tolerance of the nudist and naturist way lies solely within the success of one petition drive. But if successful, this effort would be a significant first step on the path of getting our narrative before the public and motivating the beginning of some critical thinking in our society. Through this petition we must speak.

I am utilizing this platform today to make a passionate plea to all nudists, naturists and others who enjoy and find meaningful the opportunity to be nude while in nature to take the few minutes it requires to sign the petition. Winds of social change, where it comes to our lifestyle and culture, will never start to blow in a favorable direction until simple nudity becomes commonplace. The widespread establishment of officially designated clothing optional areas on public lands would help simply nudity become more common. That which is common is perceived as normal and that which is viewed as normal is not widely regarded as offensive or strange. That is why we must speak.

Signing the petition is one way to break the betrayal of silence and to take a first step toward speaking more openly and publicly about involvement in nudism and naturism. If you haven't signed and count yourself as a member of the naturist/nudist community or even if you aren't but are simply someone who believes all people deserve to be treated with fairness and dignity, please sign the petition yourself and ask others you know to sign it too.
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