Keeping the Faith

Would You Look At Photos of Your Mum Naked?

I saw Kim Kardashian in the flesh once, at the Melbourne airport. Didn’t realise it was her, to be honest. I was too excited about Johnny Depp wandering around in the newsagency.

A friend and I were stalking him, whispering behind hands and rummaging in handbags for something he could autograph.

That was until a stranger pointed out that our celebrity radar was seriously confused and the reason for the throng of attention was none other than Kim Kardashian. The Johnny Depp lookalike was one of her entourage!

Let down of the century.

We left the Johnny Depp impersonator in the newsagency (he had the suave glasses, the goatee, the mysterious smile – the whole look!) and returned to our husbands, red-faced.

They were laughing their guts out, of course. We won’t live that one down in a hurry.

Yup, I saw Kim in the flesh but I guarantee that most internet users will have seen much more of her flesh than I have after her sensationalised nude photo shoot went viral last week.

Blogger Brian Orme – a dad of teenage boys – outlined his plan for a sit-down with his sons, using the Kim K. exposure as a springboard for discussion around sex and respect for women (if you have a teen boy with internet access, it’s more than likely he’s seen the pics).

He quoted this Bible verse:

“(Treat) older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” (1 Timothy 5:2)

Kim is 34 – she’s someone’s wife, mother and daughter.

Never mind that she chose to bare it all for a magazine cover. Her motivations aren’t my concern, and she’s certainly not the first. But how do you handle such images? Do you allow them space in your computer, in your conversations, in your head?

Here’s a confronting question: If they were nude photos of your mother or your sister, what would you do?

Hopefully you’d turn away.

I’ve been chewing this verse over and over – it would make a supreme social experiment.

Take a group of young adults, aged 20-something, and have them apply the 1 Timothy 5 ethos to every element of life. Treat older women as mothers and younger women as sisters – at uni, out shopping, on social media, in the supermarket, at work, on the road, in the newspapers and magazines they read.

I’d call it The Respect Project.

I predict there would be two outcomes; respect for fellow people and purity in our own motivations.

I was dismayed to see the level of insolence when controversial Senator Jacqui Lambie posted a photo of herself on Facebook, “off for dinner with His Excellency Mr Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China and Madame Peng Liyuan”.

The proceeding 557 comments (at last count) were mostly horrendous critiques on the way she looked. I won’t repeat them because to do so would perpetuate the verbal abuse. As for what I think of her political viewpoint and conduct – irrelevant. She deserves our respect at the very least.

If Senator Lambie was your mother or sister dressed up to meet the Chinese president, would you publically hurl insult upon scathing insult about her dress, her face, her hair, her weight and so on?

Hopefully not.

“Treat older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.”

This verse is about respect.

It’s actually a pretty foolproof solution to being beyond reproach in the way we treat fellow people, male and female.

So how about it – The Respect Project… any takers?

First published in The Examiner Newspaper for Keeping the Faith column on Monday November 24, 2014.


  1. Thanks for drawing attention to this verse Claire.
    Thanks for pointing out how we should view women – either as mothers or sisters.
    Here’s another good verse:
    ‘I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.’ (Job 31:1)
    But it’s so hard and temptation is all too easily yielded to.  But we need to persevere in seeking to honour God with our behaviour.

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