Spiritual and Religious Practice or Hardcore Porn? – A personal ramble about posting nudes on social media.

Briefly – on Facebook, in the wake of the ACoW 2015 debacle, the parody group turned into a discussion group, into a sort of watchdog and information resource group. Here is the group description for Pagans & Witches for Spiritual Responsibility.

It is an unfortunate fact that the Witchcraft and Pagan “community” has its share of self-proclaimed leaders with dubious claims of degrees, certifications, and lineages. There are frauds, predators, and the delusional who hide within groups or the community at large and claim to be witches and pagans, yet treat it like a game or source for ego feeding or to rip off the unwary or naive. This group looks at people or groups who seem to fit that profile and where possible, show factual information for others to see and decide for themselves.

In this group is discussed many topics – from spiritual leaders who are actually scam artists, plagarism, what books and authors spread wrong information, etc. One topic that came up was nudity and sex, more specifically, what is meant by “explicit”. It is no secret that in wicca, and other forms of paganism, people and covens have been known to perform their rituals skyclad (for those who don’t know, that’s naked). It is also no secret that some people and covens have been known to perform fertility sex rites (between consenting adults). This is part of their spiritual practice and religion, and that’s perfectly fine. No one is arguing that point. To post images into a public forum that allows nudity, to me, is perfectly acceptable when done so in a strictly artistic or religious/spiritual context.

But that’s my personal opinion. Others, however, may have more delicate sensibilities and not wish to see it at all. Then there is the ever present issue of children who lie about their age in order to gain access to social media and groups. These children are then exposed to images that in all reality are actually very innocent, or shared to a group with the understanding that everyone in said group is an adult of legal age. – As I said, children lie about their age. And they do it often. – Then the images are often taken out of context. Be it a person’s immaturity, their delicate sensibility, or simply because they’re a stickler for the rules and TOS enforcement…

And herein lies the rub. On Facebook, and I’m sure many other social media outlets, it’s against the TOS to post nudity of any form with the sole exception of classical art and things of that very specific nature. In places like Facebook and sites like it, I say whatever the TOS says, we abide by. We agree, whether we actually read it or not, to the TOS when we sign up for the service. We agree to abide by whatever silly rules Facebook puts down. We also agree that Facebook, at any time, can close down our groups, pages, and accounts, for whatever reason they deem fit. That said, my personal opinion on the matter is that I personally won’t post any nudity, as it is not part of my spiritual and religious practice. If someone in one of my groups posts photos of themselves or their coven and it is very obvious that the images are of a spiritual and religious nature, I won’t report it. I may caution that they should make sure it doesn’t violate the group rules laid out by the admin(s), but other than that, I’d applaud them. However – if it is obvious that the images are NOT of a spiritual and religious nature, I’ll be the first to hit the report button.

Like a large number of adults, I do like seeing naked people. I like my porn. But Facebook and social media is NOT the place for it. If I want porn, I’ve got a few favorite sites for that, thank you very much.

As for the discussion on Facebook between myself and another member of the group, it was sparked by a warning post that came up on my feed about a user who had been posting “explicit” nudity and sexual images. I screencapped it and posted it into the group. To end the debate, I went to the origin of the warning in order to get their input and description of the images so that I could clearly explain that the user in question, and the images which had prompted the warning, were NOT infringing on any spiritual or religious practice and were in fact simply hardcore porn.

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