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Talk about an unusual marketing strategy.
In the planning stages now is a development called Natura, which is believed to be the nation’s first officially Christian nudist resort, according to Newsweek magazine.
The planned 240-acre site — in the country’s naturist capital, Pasco County, Fla., near Tampa — will eventually include 500 homes, a hotel, RV lot and water-slide park.
Whether playing volleyball or attending religious programs on such topics as childbirth and marriage, visitors will let it all hang out. That’s how God intended it, says cofounder Bill Martin. “Early Christians were nudists,” he said. “Christ was nude when he washed apostles’ feet. Peter rode nude in his boat.”
Still under debate is whether church services will be offered au naturel as well.
Martin, a Quaker, came up with the idea several years ago, Newsweek reports. He wanted a family-friendly Garden of Eden free of what he considers the rampant lasciviousness (nude dancing, alcohol) of other nudist resorts.
In July, he found a dream investor by taking out an advertisement in The Wall Street Journal.
Martin faces a few obstacles, though. The site is rife with refuse, and some nearby homeowners oppose his plans. He also hasn’t exactly gotten ringing endorsements from some Christians.
“Preposterous,” the Rev. John Revell, of the Southern Baptist Convention, says about the notion that early Christianity involved nudism. “There is no historical support for that.”
But Martin is pressing on. He plans to inaugurate Natura with a marriage retreat and communal baptism in April.