Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 28, 1963
NUMBER 42, PAGE 3,10b-11a

"Topless Bikinis" --- Our Sick Society

Kenneth A. Sterling

(The following is from the San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday, January 3, 1963.)

"The 'Trend' To One — Piece Bikinis" — By Jean Sprain Wilson, Ap

Nudity at the beach has barely gotten started, California designer Rudi Gernreich says — just as everyone has assumed the bikini had gone about as far as scantiness could go.

Within five years, Gernreich says, ladies will not wear tops to bathing suits. The prediction brings strong reactions.

Men blush, whistle, roll their eyes and sigh ever the dream world of artist Paul Gauguin where maidens wear their necklines at their waists. In the next breath they confess they won't allow their wives to wear suits like that.


Women blush, shudder as of a sudden draft, self-consciously wrap their arms around themselves and adamantly protest they will not be a slave to that fashion no matter what famous trend-setter wears it.

All this does not in the least dismay the forthright Californian who believes it will dissipate with time.

"The tendency is already here. (Who would deny this? — KAS) In Europe it has been moving in that direction all along. The United States has always been a little more puritanical by historical background, I think, but not individually."


"A lot of women in this country who would never have dreamed of it three years ago are owning and enjoying their bikinis today," argues Gernreich. As always, he expects certain areas, such as Western beaches, to pioneer in topless suits.

Gernreich is currently perspiring over new swim suit designs for his spring collection. How base are these?

'Pretty bare," he says, "But not that bare — yet."

What a sick society in which we live! I thought the 'bikini' was about as indecent and obscene as you could get — but as ever "....evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse...." (2 Tim. 3:13)

While this is completely disgusting, I suppose it is not really shocking, for we have been (and are being) conditioned to nudity and semi-nudity on the beach — as well as elsewhere, yea everywhere. It seems that every year women wear less and less — and "justify" it to any censor by the glib remark — "well, it's the fashion!" What does that prove? Just because it may be fashionable does not mean that it is right! Sin has ever been 'fashionable' with the world — and ever will be — for Satan himself is the god of the world. Certainly it is possible for a thing to be fashionable and not sinful, but in this case the thing is not only evil in the eyes of God (2 Tim. 2:9, 10), and such as will condemn in judgment, it is such as will condemn in this present world — such as will condemn and curse society and prove its downfall. When decency and virtue and womanly modesty are forgotten by any people, a cancerous growth has set in which will gnaw away at the vitals of their society and will surely prove fatal! We pride ourselves on the progressive nature of our 20th century civilization. But we have not gone forward, really, we have gone backward; we have not gone uphill, we have gone downhill. And, if it would solve the problem, I would strongly urge that all those ungodly, obscene, immoral women who want to parade around bare-chested before the lustful looks of lascivious men, be shipped to Africa with the natives to whose civilization they belong! Actually, I am sure the Africans would not have them, for their society is not as decadent as our own.

Of course, all of this is but one symptom of the moral decay characteristic of our present 'progressive, "cultured," refined, "civilized' (more appropriately 'animalized') society. Where are we heading? With the increasing free use of profanity in movies, the sickening exploitation of sex, the aggrandizement on the screen of the sexual aspect of marriage and the actual encouraging of pre-marital relationships: Is it surprising that there is a moral breakdown in the country? Even in the recent World's Fair featured a number of cheap strip-tease shows! But God's immutable law none can escape: "Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption!' (Gal. 6:7, 8)

I do not believe I am being unfair or an alarmist either. The facts speak for themselves. I remember reading an article last year in the Pageant Magazine (March, 1962), which serves to point up the sick condition of our society. The article was entitled "200,000 Plus; The Rising Tide Of Illegitimacy," and was written by John M. Ross. I quote here a portion of what article:

"America's colossal population growth has been hailed with chest-thumping pride by many of our nation's leaders. And on the surface their elation seems justified: a healthy birth rate reflects stability and faith in the future.

Woven into this attractive pattern of growth, however, is a thread that many would prefer to ignore — illegitimacy.

There was a time when statistics on illegitimacy could be swept under the rug. But now out-of-wedlock births number over 200,000 a year; they have taken on the dimensions of a national tragedy.

The most recent U. S. Public Health Service figures, covering 1959, reveal a shocking 57 per cent increase in illegitimate births over the past ten years — almost three times the increase in the national birth rate during the same period. Over the past 20 years, the increase in illegitimate births has been 148 per cent. (emphasis mine — KAS) Even more shocking, half of the nation's unwed mother's are teen-agers.

In weighing these figures, it must be kept in mind that they are, at best, sketchy and, if anything, conservative. More than a quarter of our states do not even record the marital status of the mother of a new-born baby. Thousands of other births go unknown because of deliberate misstatements."

Now, is it really "shocking" or surprising at all that these things are so? It is simply a matter of reaping what we have sown.

The words of the Apostle Paul, as recorded in Romans chapter one, verses 28 through 32, seem almost as if they were penned to describe our present day society, though they were actually descriptive of another corrupt and Godless society. Hear them:

"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers ers, without natural affection, implacable unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."

Yes, the condition of society today causes the true child of God, like Lot among the Sodomites, to be ....vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked (2 Pet. 2:7) Let us be certain that we are never so affected by our associates or the constant adverse influences of our society, that we "....become partakers with them in their evil deeds...." Let us remember the words of Peter as recorded in I Pet. 4:14:

"Forasmuch then as Christ bath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh bath ceased Lan sin. That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revelings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead."

Let us never forget we shall ".... give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead." Let us live, as Paul urged the Philippians in Phil. 2:15:

"That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world."

— 2272 Kathleen Drive, Napa, California