Christians should be glad that Game of Thrones has nudity. We are living in the Golden Age of Television. Fortunately, during this flowering of the great art of video, the great producers have decided not to castrate their ability to create drama by hiding the very parts of life which are not only normal, but actually vital to the continuation of life.
To understand the importance of nudity and sex to great video, let’s see how important it is to great literature. Literature (story telling) is as old as man. If we go back into the oldest literature, we see that sex, depictions of sex, and nudity were important parts of every great literary tradition.
The Importance of Sex to In Ancient Literature
What’s the oldest literature that we can find? Let’s go back to oldest literature for which we have extensive records – the Sumerian. The most well-known is The Epic of Gilgamesh. Are you surprised that there and extensive and explicit descriptions of sex?
for six days and seven nights Enkidu stayed aroused,
and had intercourse with the harlot
until he was sated with her charms.
(My wife’s comment on this was “Six Days? Shouldn’t he have called his doctor after the first 4 hours?)
Of course, if you are a Christian, then this is unimpressive argument. Of course the ancient pagans were absorbed in sex, because they were unenlightened by God. Now this is a poor argument, because it is precisely to these ancient Sumerians that God gave his first revelations.
Sex in Biblical Literature
The Book of Job is the story of an ancient Sumerian who loved God? So did Job like boobies?
Job 24:9 They pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the poor.
Job 21:24 His breasts are full of milk, and his bones are moistened with marrow.
Wow, not only did Job like naked breasts, apparently he even knew some shemales!!!!
There is only one book of the Bible that is explicitly written as literature – as a play. This book/play was actually performed before the king who wrote it.
The Song of Solomon
That offends you doesn’t it? The idea that God included an erotic book full of nudity – performed publicly – in our holy text. You can spiritualize it all you want. You can turn this and only this book of the Bible into a metaphor while insisting that all the rest must be interpreted literally. But here is the historical fact. Nude men and women performed sex acts in front of Solomon and God approved.
But I will leave all of the rest of the Biblical argument for another post.
Pornography in the Early and Pre-Christian World
Let’s go on with literature. What about Homer and the Iliad? Here we have clear references to man-boy love. Ok, let’s get past the Greeks, to the Romans. Have you seen the pictures from Pompeii?
The early Christians were surrounded by this. So if you want to make the argument that the reason that God didn’t condemn pornography is because it didn’t exist back then (like Tobacco, say) then you are simply historically ignorant.
Erotica in the Age of Faith
What about nudity and erotic literature in the world after the Christians took it over? Did you know that the early Christians and even Jesus himself were baptized naked?
But, of course, adultery, homosexual sex and other fornication was strongly hated by the Christian world. Nevertheless, the female breast was never considered lewd. Queen Elizabeth had an outfit that showed off her entire breasts! The Renaissance, of course, had more nudity than not.
Suddenly, however, in English literature we get a new tradition, a “holy” tradition. Queen Victoria is inappropriately credited with this invention – which she didn’t actually believe or practice herself. Her diaries reveal that she especially liked being with her fiance, Albert, in the rain with his tight, white britches. He became visibly excited when they were making out and she was excited enough looking at his arousal to record it.
It is actually a hundred years before Victoria that this new morality was proposed . John Wesley and the Methodists are to blame. We can also include that otherwise great hero of the faith William Wilberforce. In decrying the coldness, sinfulness, and worldliness of the upper-class Anglicans they couldn’t stop at the actual sin practiced (slavery, the sale of Virgins, the openly kept mistresses, the gambling hells) they had to decry the clothing – clothing which Beau Brummel had popularized as well-fitted and form-revealing.
So the English speaking world entered a new sin onto their lists. The sin of “immodesty.” They managed to give this word a new meaning. It no longer meant a lack of humility and pride. It no longer meant gaudy apparel. Rather it began to mean “revealing” clothes. It meant bodices cut too low and pantaloons fitting too tight.
And their literature followed suit. Instead of the great biting words of Jonathan Swift in Gulliver’s Travels, we get the genteel words, subtle wit, and careful sitting room manners of Jane Austen.
Now, far be it from me to criticize the literature of Pride and Prejudice. But I want you to notice how high literature suddenly takes a turn. We no longer have realistic and gritty stories of real people, but instead fantastical stories of events and people who, if they even really existed, were in the high percentage of 1 percenters.
Christian Literature of the twentieth century
And the Christians followed suit. In Christian literature of the 1900’s that was and is published by the “inspirational press” (like James Dobson’s Focus on the Family) a curse word cannot be uttered. Rape is only hinted at and never actually occurs. The modern Evangelical writers must tell stories that would not offend the young adult readers of Grace Livingson Hill and LM Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables.
There is nothing wrong with these stories (I read them repeatedly myself), but let us admit that they have little feel of reality. Nor can they truly soar with great passion. They can’t have real conflict because they can’t have truly bad men. The worst men in these books can only sneer (for they cannot curse). They cannot rape, they can only ogle. They cannot take off their clothes, so they must have a waxed handlebar mustache to reveal their wickedness.
Why Game of Thrones Has To Have Nudity And Sex
So, to state my point (FINALLY, the couch says – hat tip Jonah Goldberg).
Game of Thrones and modern film must NOT accept the artificial restrictions that have never bound great literature. to accept these restrictions is to deny the great truths that inform human existence. Throughout the history of civilization, good women and bad men and men and women in between and have talked, seen, fought over, and watched sex. To try to have an epic film without sex is to pretend that humans are something that we are not.
So… DB Weiss and David Benioff … show us some more naked babes