Seeing the body through Christian eyes

In late August computer hackers accessed the private photos of one hundred women celebrities. Many of these photos were nude or seminude images taken with cell phones and stored in the stars’ iCloud accounts. Celebrities affected included “Hunger Games” actress Jennifer Lawrence, singer Rihanna, model Kate Upton, and actress Victoria Justice. In late September more nude photos of other celebrities, including TV personality Kim Kardashian West and actress Vanessa Hudgens, surfaced. Hackers also made a nude “selfie” of male R&B singer Omarion.

Victimized in society’s eyes

While taking nude self-photos isn’t something we would encourage young people to do, many celebrities took them for a variety of reasons, including to document weight loss. The photos were never intended for public distribution. “You may argue, without any intended malice,” Scott Mendelson wrote for Forbes, “that it may be unwise . . . to put nude pictures of yourself on a cell phone which can be hacked and/or stolen. But . . . these women have the absolute right and privilege to put whatever they want on their cell phones with the expectation that said contents will remain private or exclusive to whomever is permitted to see them.” The celebrity photo hacking is symptomatic of how our society objectifies the human body, especially the female body. The hackers who stole these photos reinforce the idea that these women’s bodies exist only to gratify male onlookers. These celebrities, says Mendelson, “have not been scandalized, but rather victimized.”

Valued in God’s eyes

Surrounded by, and often participating in, a culture that devalues even as it obsesses about the human body, Christian youth need to hear what Scripture teaches and what the church believes about our bodies. We believe our bodies, male and female, are God’s good and amazing creation, deserving honor and respect. We believe that, in Jesus of Nazareth, God lived an embodied life as we do, making all bodily life sacred by the Incarnation. We believe we don’t have bodies—we are bodies, given life in order to love and serve God and neighbor.

Question of the Day: What does God think of your body?

Focal Scriptures: Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18; Song of Songs 4:1-7; 5:10-16; John 1:1-5, 14

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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