Does Game of Thrones Need the Sex and Nudity? Oh Yes.

Natalie Dormer has great boobies
Nude in Game of Thrones

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.

The Victorians

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

 

 

Nudity and the Bible

So let’s talk about Biblical nudity.

Song of Solomon is, of course, so full of sex that Christian mothers have been telling their sons to skip that part every since Queen Victoria first set her diminutive derriere on the throne.  What about David, that great man after God’s own heart.  Well, we all know about him and rooftops.  But what about when he danced naked before the Lord and God COMPLEMENTED him for it.

II Sam 6:20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!

(Yes, Yes, I know, he had a linen ephod on.  So if you are ok with men gyrating in public in boxer shorts, then I guess Janet Jackson and her super-bowl show wasn’t so bad after all)

David danced in public shirtless
Shirtless men dancing in public

But let’s go on. Because the Old Testament can easily be dismissed.  Let’s jump forward to Jesus – our Messiah who everyone thinks was such a prude.

Mt 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

So did Jesus have a big problem with public nudity?  This is the only scripture to back this up and it doesn’t talk about erotic desire at all, but only lust.  Christians who are so careful to say that “Sex does NOT equal lust” suddenly can’t spot the difference.

But there are other scriptures that show the Jesus didn’t nearly have the problems that we think.  Certainly the disciples didn’t.  In John 21, we find out that even after Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples worked all night on a fishing boat, uh, NAKED.

But what about the women?  How did Jesus feel about boobies?

Luke 23:29 For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.

Apparently, “paps” were a pretty good sight for our Lord!

BUT THAT WASN’T LUSTFUL I can hear you shouting.

THAT’S MY POINT. I shout back.

The early church had no huge problem with nudity.  In fact the people were baptized nude in mixed groups.  In fact, the only shame of nakedness was that it was the condition of the poor people and the slaves and was therefore a “shame”  But note that the shame of nakedness had nothing to do with sex.

So, we see, our attitude about nudity is really just a comment upon our prosperity.  We have gained space to have sex privately, money to buy multiple sets of clothes, and have mistaken our money for Godliness.

In fact, the church is exactly where the book of the Revelation said it would be.

Revel 3:17-18 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see

 

There is one question we need to answer then. Why did Adam and Even cover themselves?

Good question, and deserving of a good answer. Which I will provide tomorrow.

Should Christians watch Game of Thrones nudity? Yes.

Christians looking at Emlia Clarke's naked body
Emilia Clarke has a great body

Looking forward to the Game of Thrones Season Premier tonight, especially the nude parts…..

Predictably, the “Christian” position being preached in the churches today is that Christians can’t watch because of the nudity.  We aren’t allowed to admit that breasts exist or that we like to look at them.

I remember when we couldn’t watch television because of the cursing.  This was always strange.  The Bible contains curse words.  Elijah said that God would kill all of Ahab’s children that “pissed against the wall” – in other words, all the males.  But Elijah didn’t just say “males” he wanted to throw the extra curse because God was really angry and wished to express that angry clearly.

So, also,  the Bible contains many clear descriptions of nudity.  Often those descriptions are explicitly sexual and intended to arouse.   Solomon was clearly a breast man, but he liked legs and butts, so he included those.

Now, the sex in Game of Thrones is rarely marital (except those great Danerys-Drogo scenes (hubba, hubba).  But I think it is noticeable that the fornication and adultery is usually described as poor behavior and consequences follow.  Explicit rape scenes are shown, but they are shown as horrid and deserving of the inevitable consequences.  The Dothraki engage in public orgies, but this is used as an example of their continued bad treatment of women.  And when Danerys makes a pact with the Iron Islands, she explicitly insists that the raping must stop.

The church’s attempt to preach against watching the Game of Thrones is self-defeating.  Here is a series that speaks explicitly to the morality of our time and strongly supports the idea that evil is tempting, but is ultimately self-defeating.  National Review has a great article which argues for this interpretation.

I, of course, don’t believe that the modern evangelical church has the right attitude toward nudity to begin with.  If we would adopt a biblical, instead of a Victorian, attitude, we could start to reach out to the men who are either not attending or just attending nominally, without letting it have any effect on their lives.