Cleaning our my RSS feed, I came across an oldish story that sparked my interest. It never affected me and the article I had saved on my “to-read” list is coming on a month old, making me question the wisdom of diving into it. But it’s such a missed opportunity, and such a case study in the kind of opportunity so many Christians race by these days, it seems worth taking a look at.
Back in early December, an unnamed teacher at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy was placed on academic suspension (some sources say she resigned) after nude photos of her appeared on a revenge porn site. One article describes the site it was posted to as a site “where hackers, ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends often post inappropriate photos, along with personal information about the person.” Apparently the picture was taken from her phone and was posted shortly before she reported her iPhone stolen. This isn’t a site she posted the photo to herself.
So why was is this woman’s job in jeopardy?
A parent of a student at the private Christian university-preparatory school said she and other parents are upset after learning about the nude photo. The school serves children from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade.
“The woman is already a victim,” the parent, who asked to remain anonymous, told WCPO. “But this being a Christian school, parents are upset that a teacher is even taking naked pictures and sending them to people — and…her students are old enough to get online and Google their teacher’s name and the photos come up.”
Let’s get a few things straight here.
First, not all nude photographs are necessarily sexual. I have a friend who struggles with body image issues and had me take a nude photo of her just sitting in a chair and smiling, and she looks at from time to time to remind herself that she really is that beautiful. That’s a genuine story, by the way, not an instance of “Oh, doctor, I have this friend…” I know it sounds weird, but her intent wasn’t sexual in the least, and neither was the actual photography, at least for me. I’ve known other people who have sent photos to their girlfriends (as in female platonic friends; think Sex in the City) as a kind of gag. Not every nude photo is sexual.
Suppose, though, the picture was meant as sexual. Which brings me to my second point: not every sexual photograph is sinful. I don’t know this teacher’s circumstances – was she married, involved in a long-term relationship, etc.? Was it on her phone because she used that as her camera (many people do) or because she was sending it out? Let’s say she’s married and has a husband serving in Afghanistan – could she then take some sexual nude photographs and sending it to her husband to help him weather their separation? What if she was married and living with the man, but he just found it exciting that she’d do that for him? Nude photographs aren’t sinful in every context, even in most contexts. And the woman’s phone was stolen after all. Whatever her reasons in taking them, I highly doubt she meant to have them spread around to titillate strangers.