Recording-breaking temperatures and an economy in crisis have left us with a challenge to traditional morality that Christians need to address right now: too many of you are wearing your old bathing suits to the beach and it’s immodest to say the least. Indeed, in 1 Timothy 2:9, we are told, “Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire.”
This past July was one of the hottest on record. Even in the South, where concerns over the Gulf Oil Spill are still very much in people’s minds, many remained fully committed to finding respite at the shore. In general, beach leisure is considered to have a negligible effect on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Unlike golf, tennis, camping and canoeing, a day at the shore does not require expensive new equipment nor a large service staff. Manufacturing of small products and the hiring or seasonal labor have thus fallen accordingly. Sales of new beach attire have also dropped dramatically as people live with less disposable income. These factors combined have created an influence which is steamrolling through our country: those with the least favorable job prospects and the least interest in helping our economy are the most likely to wear old bathing suits that they have long since outgrown. In effect, the longer you’ve been unemployed, the tighter your bathing suit.
Why this issue is of such relevance today is that our beaches have turned into veritable sex bazaars where flesh is peddled like last year’s fashions at a bankrupt outlet mall. Men imagine that their dark sunglasses hide their eyes as they leer at the items on display. But the angle of their heads and their sly smiles tell a different story. Do these people not understand that whatever they’re staring at is clearly reflected in their sunglass lenses, stamping their faces with two shiny billboards of desire? Yes, they stare at breasts and crotches and sometimes can’t even hide the excitement rising in them. Women only encourage this with their frequent strolls down the beach. “Let’s go for a walk” they say innocently enough but where in the world do they think they’re going? There is nothing at the end of the beach, we all know that! Beach volleyball is even worse, encouraging a sick form of mass voyeurism as women throw themselves down hard in the hot sand, grunting deep and long as if mired in the act of sexual congress. Lust, even with one’s eyes, is a sin. “Thou shalt not covet,” the Tenth Commandment states, “thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.” James 1:15 warns us, “When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
Christians always face moral dilemmas when they spend time at our oceans, lakes, rivers and even swimming pools. But this danger is heightened when you add three-year-old string bikinis and speedos into the mix. It’s truly an offense to be exposed to all that skin. And so many women have gained weight! Yes they have been eating well despite the recession! And here they are, squeezed into some outfit that barely fit them in the best of times. Now they’re bursting from the sides of their tops. The only thing keeping you safe from a sudden gunshot of bare flesh is that tiny loop of string. I refuse to swim near a woman in the rough waves for precisely this reason. Too many times on my recent trip to the Texas coast, did I emerge from a crash of water to see a woman frantically running after her bikini top as it floated gently to the shore. One arm is not adequate cover for your dripping, significant breasts!
Except for water sports, the male speedo doesn’t make much sense in America. They reveal far too much of the anatomy and they grip the body in ways that are detrimental for circulatory health. Some men seem to thrill in the speedo precisely because it shows off their manhood. They use it as a badge of pride, jockeying around the beach, always fetching balls and going to the boardwalk for bottled water, shirtless and tight in those extremely small articles of clothing. Could a man possibly wear any less without being nude?
The speedo has had an odd effect on the beach crowd. Some, the more traditional amongst us, find its influence a bit too effeminate and European. Yet there are others who delight in wearing these things and they always seem to find each other. Have you ever noticed how men in speedos feel it necessary to stand in groups right at the water’s edge, directly in the line of sight of everyone sitting on the beach? They stand in half circles, always stretching and reaching, turning sideways in those skin-tight garments so that others can glimpse an outline view, while concerned mothers look away and teenage boys grow flush at the thought of discovering a new trend that will upset their fathers.
That would be enough to scare many families away from beaches for good, but it gets worse. We now have a plague of men who are a few years behind updating their speedo selections. Without the slightest hint of shame, they will spill out like a garbage bag that doesn’t quite fit in the can. It must be nearly impossible for these people to squeeze into these things in the first place and once they’ve arrived at the beach they’re committed to wearing their faded, old speedos for their entire day. This certainly begs the question of how men in tight speedos urinate, since disrobing and re-robing must be excruciating. The obvious answer of using the sea or the pool as a place to relieve oneself is not something that brings joy to people’s hearts. If you do swim this summer, it is of particular importance to avoid men in very tight speedos, especially those who stand tucked down in the water with quizzical expressions on their faces. If you’re like me, you don’t want to spend your vacations stewing in the sour releases of unfashionable men.
** On an unrelated note, I would like to wish my good friend Peter LaBarbera the best of luck this week as he embarks on his ambitious program at Christian Liberty Academy. He is a man who truly loves his country and has dedicated his life to helping us all break free of the carnal clamp that radical homosexuals are tightening on our lives. In a roundabout way, he is also giving Christians a fabulous alternative to spending this hot weekend at the beach and for that I respect him. Peter, my friend, I humbly and lovingly dedicate this article to you.