Religious stoush over nudist event

A nudist church minister in Queensland has called on like-minded Christians to join him in celebrating religion in the buff.

Tired of having to defend his penchant for nudity, Pastor Robert Wright decided to hold weekly Christian services for nudists.

Meanwhile, a Baptist minister at Tweed Heads in northern NSW declared nudists to be evil when objecting to a naked music festival at nearby Cabarita next month.

Raw Cabarita, which promises “an awesome three-day party where clothes aren’t necessary” raised eyebrows after organisers revealed even security guards would bare all for the festival, starting April 22.

Tweed Coast Community Baptist Church Pastor Graham Eggins said he was concerned the event would destroy the reputation of the area, which survives on family-friendly tourism.

“It just offends common decency,” Mr Eggins said.

Many in the community were concerned about the event, particularly its effect on children, he said.

He spoke after just encountering a bare bather running along Cabarita beach who had mistakenly believed the area was for nudists.

But Pastor Robert Wright, 51, who was ordained three years ago into a Pentecostal mission church which he declined to name, will open Raw Cabarita with a blessing and lead Christian services during the event.

“Nude is not rude, and the festival will not be like a `69 Woodstock-type thing,” Mr Wright said.

“There are more Christians in it than people realise. We are not into sex orgies, we are very well-adjusted people.”

Mr Wright, who has been a naturist for more than 16 years, also plans to begin weekly fellowship meetings at Pacific Sun Friends nudist resort at Donnybrook, north of Brisbane, from Sunday, April 3.

“I am not trying to get Christians to become nudists, I am catering for Christians who are nudists,” Mr Wright said.

Festival organiser Raice Nicholls said despite protestations by a vocal minority, the community was mostly supportive of the event.

“They think it is some big swingers event, but not at all, there is no hanky panky, it’s lewd not rude,” he said.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
AAP, via, Australia
Mar. 18, 2005

Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday March 19, 2005.
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