A seemingly odd subject for a Pastor's Wife to ponder. No, I'm not having flashbacks from my BC days (before Christ). No, I'm not thinking about being naked, or thinking of someone else I might have seen naked! But the fact remains that I had to spend a lot of my week thinking about nudity!
The school, who sends home a permission slip for 13 years old to watch a PG rated movie, decided to take my son on a field trip to an art museum to view R rated art without my knowledge or permission! Fortunately, someone reminded me what kind of art hangs in museums and I was able to withdraw my son before he went after asking the art teacher about what they would be seeing! It caused quite a ruckus at the school, mostly because I wrote the Ass. Principal a letter protesting their decision to take our children to an art museum full of yesteryear's pornography which is now today's art--now that's a scary proposition, isn't it?
My letter was civil, even friendly, because I trust the Vice Principal at our school. So really no ruckus needed to be caused. I was simply taking my son out of school for the day, requesting a refund and giving a reason why.
My points being:
1. If we have to give permission for PG rated "art"--yes, cinema is considered art--then why weren't we informed about what hangs in that museum and the fact that our children would be viewing it!
2. In a day when we try to approach things of a sexual nature in way that informs, but does not promote, why would we take a group of hormonal teens in a mixed group to view nude statues with exaggerated sex organs and nude paintings of very well endowed woman and expect that they would all stand in awe and wonder of its artistic values. Maybe they would even join hands and sing Kum By Yah! That is more than a bit naive! In fact, if they thought that, they are bigger loons than I could ever imagine they could be!
3. We live in a multicultural community where the feelings and beliefs of others are always respected and tolerated so why would you take Muslim children and Asian children visiting this country to view something that they would find highly offensive without informing their parents? Can't we teach art to Middle school students without nudity? They do in Muslim Universities and Christian Universities all the time!
4. If nudity is art, then why not have nudie magazines in class or better yet, nude models for the children to draw! It's "art" isn't it? Oh, yea, maybe it would violate that dress code that they spend thousands of dollars to mail out every year but NEVER enforce!!!
5. God found it necessary to clothe us and give us laws concerning modesty which are also reflected in our civil laws and the school district dress code--which they NEVER enforce--so who are we to tamper with that all in name of "art". Does "art" supersede decency??
Of course, as I outlined what I was going to say to the principal, I thought of some of the responses that I would receive like, "the human body is a thing of beauty and wonder", which I agree with, so what is it that now makes it pornography. And the word "prude" by those who are into name calling also crossed my mind, although I just intrinsically know that my boys should not be viewing nude ladies if I want them to remain sexually pure as adolescents!
5. What about those who are genetically or socially predisposed to struggle with sexual things? As a counselor in a vocational rehab program and dealing with many hooked on sexual perversions of every kind, I know that something as seemingly innocent as a trip to a museum can trigger things! If they had to deal with all the perverts out there like we have, they would be more careful!
6. And why do some public school teachers have such an inferiority complex that they have to pick on our kids when the parents disagree or question anything they do? Why should our kids be made to look foolish or brought to tears because they stood up for their Christian beliefs? They wouldn't dare do that to a Jew or Muslim. Aren't we to "tolerate" others. Aren't we to respect and "celebrate" our differences? Aren't we to embrace diversity in others??? Why did they try to intimidate my son by telling him that by staying home from school that day, he would be doing something illegal? (I'm so glad he shrugged that off at my suggestion). We're allowed two illegal absences each year and I make sure my kids take them both. I call them "personal days"! :-)
The principal wrote telling me that he would write, but it's been over a week and I haven't heard a word back from him! Hopefully he is thinking about some of points I made and making some changes.