I've just heard that in the cold northern land of Hibernia, in the town gaol of Perth, a man is incarcerated just because he will not wear clothes. What strange injustice is this?
I knew the torment of solitary confinement in that cell at Alamut. But at least for much of that time I was mad, raving for Blanche and revenge, and scarcely aware of my prison walls. Prisoner Stephen Gough does not have that solace; he is as sane as I am now.
Holy hermits who cast off their clothes in penance were revered and honoured in my time, not imprisoned. This man Gough is not a hermit, but something they call in modern parlance a Rambler. He believes that God made him the way he is and that so he should not be ashamed of his body. So he casts off his clothes, like Adam innocent in Eden. I may not agree with his religious beliefs, but I would not have him locked away for his nakedness.
Free the Naked Rambler! Leave him be to lead his life the way he wishes. We all have bodies and we all know what they look like. Why be ashamed? Be tolerant and smile at the eccentricities of others instead of trying to force them to conform. It is the pomposity of judges, the convention of sheriffs, and the narrow minds of bigots that we should abhor. Free the Naked Rambler! He is one of us.