We’re all naked before god

If The Church were to be psychoanalised on the same terms as the rest of us, the diagnosis would surely be that it has some serious issues when it comes to sex. Celibacy, or at least virtuous monogamy, is required of its leaders, yet news headlines are not infrequently peppered with stories of sexual abuse. Homosexuality is a deviancy, though transgressive priests seem to favour boys. And pornography is sinful, whilst 400 nudes recline on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Jeez – that’s one conflicted patient you’ve got the Doc!

Last week the

Portsmouth and Hampshire Art Society held their Summer Exhibition at St Thomas Cathedral, Portsmouth. Amongst the featured works were four paintings by local artists, Joe Greenwood. However, controversy erupted when it was reported that distressed parishioners complained about the works being too in your face. You guessed it, Dear Reader, they were nudes!


The paintings were initially moved to a less conspicuous area of the church (away from the altar) and then removed from the exhibition altogether.

In his interview with The Portsmouth News, Greenwood was magnanimous, but disappointed, saying he understood everyone’s right to subjective views, but perhaps this was indicative of a lack of exposure to fine art.

I’m going to resist the urge to expound on the religion and sex in general – it’s such a contentious subject. I shall merely cite Genesis 3:11 …

And [the Lord God] said, Who told thee that thou wast naked?

… present the offending images, and say to those of religious persuasions is there really anything so wrong with these paintings?

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