Newsweek’s religion editor Lisa Miller wrote in the February 2 issue about “God’s Miraculous Makeover.” The piece talks about differing religious viewpoints on the topic of resurrection. The central question is, “What does resurrection look like?”
You likely believe that when you die, you’re going to heaven. More than 80 percent of Americans do. But in what form? Are you “you”? If so, are you old or young, fat or thin? If not, what are you? An angel? A spirit? A spark?
Near the end of the article, Lisa Miller writes
Saint Augustine, in an effort to convince skeptics of the truth of resurrection, took the opposite tack. He devoted himself to describing the benefits of the real, resurrected body. In heaven, he wrote in “City of God,” you will be your perfect self: unblemished and 30-something. If you were fat in life, you will become pleasingly thinner; if too thin, you will become robust. According to Augustine, “we will be in our physical bodies in a universe that has no dimension, and we will know God without interpretation,” explains Paula Fredriksen, author most recently of “Augustine and the Jews.” “Our bodies will be the very same as the ones we had in life, but buff and beautiful.”
The implication is that our existing bodies are not beautiful. The most telling line is: “If you were fat in life, you will become pleasingly thinner; if too thin, you will become robust.” In other words, if you are not a buff young hotbody, you’re not good enough for God, but he can “fix” you. Is anyone else a little bit annoyed by this idea?
I don’t mean to suggest that they aren’t entitled to their beliefs. Rather, I find it a bit sad that religious belief is so often used to tell people that they’re not good enough as they are (this does not speak to their actions, but rather to their basic characteristics). I just don’t understand why you’d want a god who is more interested in appearance than character.
Fundamental to nudism is the acceptance of our bodies, imperfect as they may be. If we’re not good enough for God, how can we accept ourselves?