Speak up for public morality; teach virtues Print
Letters to the editor
Thursday, Jul. 25, 2019 -- 12:00 AM

To the editor:

We have in my neighborhood in Madison annually a kind of reenactment of the tornado of human bodies witnessed by Dante in the Inferno’s scene about sins against chastity: a nude swarm swirling around busy downtown on bicycles, eliciting a wave of stares, grins, whoops, glee, and photo taking by bystanders, as perhaps the demons enjoy seeing tormented souls, and certainly a vignette of post-sexual-revolution social sin.

Madison’s “World Naked Bike Ride” either opposes fossil fuels or celebrates the immunity of moral chaos to correction by authority. Not everyone experiences it as altogether benign: a local woman who had been sexually assaulted in early life recently told a journalist that “seeing dozens, often hundreds of naked bodies unexpectedly is a trigger for her.”

She simply wants the route announced in advance so vulnerable people can avoid it. I say the people who are tempted to look, smile, and laugh at sinful behavior are offended against more grievously than the person who innocently reacts in raw distress, and the event is wrong altogether.

If we are in a position to speak or act effectively for public morality, we should do so — however, the most important thing is to live and teach the virtues to young and old alike, which is what the angels cheer for because it glorifies God!

Modest dress is the everyday “habit” that visibly attests to and protects the lovely, lively virtue of chastity, lynchpin of rightly ordered and healthy community and human ecology.

Elizabeth Durack, Cathedral Parish, Madison