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Nudist village for Christians sets off fundies

“We are going after a totally different group, a group that doesn’t want a sexual atmosphere. There is absolutely no relationship between nudity and sex.”
— Bill Martin, on his Christian naturist living complex north of Tampa

What would Daddy Dobson think of this? He might need to squeeze his stress balls. A 67-year-old Quaker grandfather in Tampa is opening the first Christian nudist camp, and the fundies are coming unhinged. I love it. (Times Online, hat tip Raw Story)

Bill Martin’s ambitious plan for a 200-acre Christian- oriented Family Naturist Village has survived legal challenges, doctrinal disputes and a plague of internet prudes. Land is now being cleared for the opening next year of what may become the world’s only Christian community to feature nude volleyball.

Despite howls of complaint from fundamentalists who have likened Martin to the Antichrist — and described his nudist plans as “graphic evidence of America’s moral collapse” — Natura intends to build 50 houses around a non-denominational church where clothing for services will be optional.

Christian nudist Jonathan Palmiter enjoys a morning stroll at Natura, which opens in 2006.
Phil Wahba/CNS

…Martin’s supporters also claim that nude worship is much more in keeping with modest Christian values than are the ostentatious displays of wealth on show at the suburban “megachurches”, where women attend services in “designer clothes and $90 haircuts”, says one internet posting.

None of which has stopped Martin’s critics from battling against his project. Texe Marrs, who operates a website called, has pointed to Martin’s project as evidence that Satan is subverting Christianity.

Daniel Bellows, chief executive of the new development, said that he regularly receives e-mails from Christians appalled by the idea of nude worship and warning him that he faces eternal damnation.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding