Monday, August 20, 2012

The skinny-dip heard 'round Washington

Kevin Yoder is (was pre-redistricting, that is) my Congressman. I even know him a little. I've been to his house. I've attended his birthday party. He's not my cup of tea policy-wise, but ever since he made it to Congress in 2010, I have a little bit enjoyed the fact that I can say I personally know my Congressman. As if it somehow gives me greater access to him or something.

So it fills my heart with pride to realize today that you all, also, now know Kevin Yoder. Because, yes, ladies and gentlemen, the member of Congress who went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee is my member of Congress.

This is probably the first time since he's been in Congress that he has made the news and I haven't cringed. In fact, I think I like him a little bit more now. I frankly don't see what the big deal is. At the urging of the waiters, who jumped in first, a group from Congress followed suit and took a quick dip in the sea. Some of them stripped down a little but only Kevin went all the way. I kinda respect that.

Apparently one concern is that it was disrespectful, which seems an invalid concern if the waiters jumped in first and if it's something that is regularly done at this particular restaurant. It wasn't a trip funded by US taxpayers. And even if it was, well, don't representatives from Congress get to have a little free time while on a trip? This was at the end of the evening and didn't interrupt any work. Then comes my favorite complaint: that Kevin stripped all the way down in front of *gasp* women! I bet I don't have to tell you what I think about that. But just in case, let me say that I have no problem with nudity, I don't assume it's sexual, and I don't assume it's improper or immoral to be naked around people of the opposite sex. There's nothing wrong with being naked. Frankly, I find the mumblings that it was inappropriate to be naked around women to be puritanical and demonstrating a concern for the propriety of innocent women that I find sexist. Our eyes won't burn and our reputations won't be (or at least shouldn't be) besmirched by being around naked men.

And if it's somehow a religious objection to getting naked in the spot where Jesus allegedly walked on water, well, how is getting that much closer to the "holy" water a bad thing? I seem to recall that Charlotte had to do her Jewish conversion ceremony in the buff. Something about coming out the pool a completely clean, new person. So maybe Kevin was just so moved by the spirit that he wanted to come out totally cleansed.

Or maybe he was just having a fun, light-hearted moment and isn't as hung up on nudity as so many people are.

Either way, I'm just fine with what he did and think an investigation and brouhaha are totally unnecessary. I'm not saying he's gonna get my vote this November (I mean, even if I could still vote for him) because I hate, hate, hate the way he votes. But he definitely retains the top spot of members of Congress I'd have a beer with. And maybe we'd have a good laugh that he made front page news for something so utterly un-newsworthy.

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