Date: Wed, 26 Jun 1996 12:25:24 -0700 Subject: [Atheist] AANEWS for June 26, 1996 (Nightow
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 1996 12:25:24 -0700
Subject: [Atheist] AANEWS for June 26, 1996 (Nightowl Edition)
Reply-To: email@example.com, AMERICAN.ATHEISTS@listserv.direct.net
nnnnnnnnnn AANEWS nnnnnnnnnn
# 77 uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu 6/26/96 (Nightowl Edition)
In This Edition
* Studys Says First Amendment is Threatened
* Religion a Player in Global Political Events
* Quotes From a "Christian Sex Manual"!
WALL OF SEPARATION UNDER ATTACK, SAYS STUDY
AS MORE CHURCHES BECOME POLITICALLY ACTIVE
A new study released this week confirms a trend already known to
state-church separation activists -- the Establishment Clause of the First
Amendment is under attack, as growing numbers of religious groups enter the
activist political arena. And, says the Pew Research Center, there is more
public acceptance of this dangerous trend than there was three decades ago.
Several factors contribute to the erosion of state-church separation,
including the participation of white Evangelical Protestants. Other studies
suggest that while Evangelicals ranks have not increased a percentage of the
overall American population, this group has become politically active. There
is also the shift in church membership, with traditional "old line"
denominations stagnating or even declining.
Titled "The Diminishing Divide...American Churches, American Politics,"
the study concluded that "The conservatism of White Evangelical Protestants
is clearly the most powerful force in politics today." It also noted that
more Americans now say that churches and clergy should "express their views
on day-to-day social and political questions." A Gallup Poll taken in 1966
showed that at that time, 53% of Americans thought that "politics and
religion should remain separate."
Especially troubling to First Amendment defenders is the "dual status" of
tax-exempt churches which also promote political, even partisan agendas. The
Pew study found that "some 1 in 7 Christians today can find political
campaign materials in their churches," according to the Christian Science
Monitor, and that "So far, the Republican Party has been the main political
benficiary of the new trend."
The Monitor also quoted religious historian David Wells, who said that
"the melding of religion and politics is part of ongoing 'culture wars' in
America." Wells added that "There is a search for some kind of transcendence
in the political sphere."
RELIGION MORE OF A FACTOR IN GLOBAL POLITICS
The involvement of evangelicals and fundamentalists in American politics
is being mirrored throughout the world, a trend which some suggest is a
"revolt against modernism" and the expansive growth of secular institutions.
* In Israel, fundamentalist political parties have increased their presence
in the Knesset to a record number of 26 seats. Groups like the United Torah
Party and Shas are now part of the new coalition government of Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu, and secularists fear major set-backs as religious law
becomes the norm throughout Israeli society.
* In Turkey, despite a secularist tradition lasting over seven decades, the
Islamic Welfare Party of Necmettin Erbakan came in first in the December
elections, and remains a powerful element in any coalition government trying
to run the country.
* Despite their failure to hold on to power and cobble together a coalition,
India's Hindu Nationalists ousted the Congress Party government in a recent
election. Antagonistic toward neighboring Muslim states like Pakistan, the
fundamentalists promote an aggressive military weapons procurement program,
plus development of nuclear capability.
* In Bosnia, the Muslim Alija Izetbegovic has moved steadilly into the orbit
of Iranian fundamentalist politics. Many consider this to be a reaction to
the equally noxious religious nastionalism of the Orthodox Serbs and
Cathoilic Croats. Iran has established a new "cultural center" in Bosnia to
distribute fundamentalist propaganda, including the writings of the Ayatollah
* In Russia, both President Boris Yeltsin and Communist challenger Gennady
Zyuganov are racing to outdo each other in blending patriotism and Russian
Orthodox language and values into their campaign. Zyuganov, according to one
report, "refers to the 'choseness' of the Russian people and casts
anti-Western sentiments in spiritual terms." Despite efforts by Yeltsin to
court the Orthodox religious vote, including the construction of a new
Cathedral in Moscow, many religious hard-liners are going with Zyuganov as
the candidate most likely to resist efforts at western-style secular reforms.
What is going on?
Much of the religious rhetoric, including that found in the United states,
is one of "liberation," according to some recent news reports. Religious
political movements "share an antipathy to what is seen as the spiritually
impoverished secularism of their governments." Another factor may be that
with the cold war over, the incursion of free market development and secular
ideas into traditionalist societies may be creating the sorts of economic and
cultural dislocations which religion promises to relieve -- or escape from.
Harvey Cox, a noted theologian with the Harvard University Divinity School,
told one reporter that this trend "is coming as a great surprise to those who
put utter confidence in market approaches." He noted that "Religion is seen
as a defense, a way to define communal and traditional boundaries."
QUOTES FROM A CHRISTIAN SEX MANUAL -- 1894
(Editor's note: One purpose of this "Nightowl Edition" is to try an eliminate
a backlog of curioso and exotica that seems to accumulate in our "in box."
The following story is based on some of this material. Our Internet
Representative, Margie Wait, informs us that it has circulating on newsgroups
throughout the net -- but neither she nor AANEWS can vouch for its accuracy.
These select quotes are from something called "Instruction and Advice for
the Young Bride," as written by "Ruth Smythers beloved wife of the Reverend
L.D. Smythers Pastor of the Arcadian Methodist Church..." It was published in
"the year of our Lord 1894" by the Spiritual Guidance Press, and reprinted in
the "Madison Institute Newsletter Fall Issue of 1894.
Ordinarilly, we go to considerable lengths to verify our materials. We
have to admit that we don't know if this is a hoax or not....so be warned.
But to those of us familiar with the ersatz "marriage manuals" and "white
slave genre" of literature from this period of American history, well, it
sounds like the real thing. Read and judge for yourself. And enjoy!)
"To the sensitive young woman who has had the benefits of proper
upbringing, the wedding day is, ironically, both the happiest and most
terrifying day of her life. On the positive side there is the wedding
itself, in which the bride is the central attraction in a beautiful and
inspiring ceremony, symbolizing her triumph in securing a male to provde for
all her needs for the rest of her life. On the negative side, there is the
wedding night, during which the bride must pay the piper, so to speak, by
facing for the first time the terrible experience of sex.
"At this point, dear reader, let me concede one shocking truth. Some
young women actually anticipate the wedding night ordeal with curiosity and
pleasure! Beware such an attitude! A selfish and sensual husband can easilly
take advantage of such a bride. One cardinal rule of marriage should never be
forgotten: GIVE LITTLE, GIVE SELDOM, AND ABOVE ALL, GIVE GRUDINGLY.
Otherwise, what could have been a proper marriage could become an orgy of
"On the other hand, the bride's terror need not be extreme. While sex is
at best revolting and at worse rather painful, it has to be endured, and has
been by women since the beginning of time, and is compensated for by the
monogomous home and by the children produced through it.
"It is useless, in most cases, for the bride to prevail upon the groom to
forego the sexual initiation. While the ideal husband would be one who would
approach his bride only at her request and only for the purpose of begetting
offspring, such nobility and unselfishness cannot be epxected from the
" Most men, if not denied, would demand sex almost every day. The wise
bride will permit a maximum of two brief sexual experiences weekly during the
first month of marriage. As time goes by she should make every effort to
reduce this frequency. Feigned illness, sleepiness, and headaches are among
the wife's best friends in this matter. Arguments, nagging, scolding and
bickering also prove very effective, if used in the late evening about an
hour before the husband would normally commence his seduction.
"Clever wives are ever on the alert for new and better methods of denying
and discouraging the amorous overtures of the husband. A good wife should
expect to have reduced sexual contacts to once a week by the end of the first
year of marriage and to once a month by the end of the fifth year of
"By the tenth anniversary many wives have managed to complete their child
bearing and have achieved the ultimate goal of terminating all sexual
contacts with the husband. By this time she can depend upon his love for the
children and social pressures to hold the husband in the home.
"Just as she should be ever alert to keep the quantity of sex as low as
possible, the wise bride will pay equal attention to limiting the kind and
degree of sexual contacts. Most men are by nature rather perverted, and if
given half a chance, would engage in quite a variety of the most revolting
practices. These practices include among other performing the normal act in
abnormal positions; mouthing the female body; and offering their own vile
bodies to be mouthed in turn.
"Nudity, talking about sex, reading stories about sex, viewing photographs
and drawings depicting or suggesting sex are the obnoxious habits the male is
likely to acquire if permitted. A wise bride will make it the goal never to
allow her husband to see her unclothed body, and never allow him to display
his unclothed body to her. Sex, when it cannot be prevented, should be
practiced only in total darkness. Many women have found it useful to have
thick cotton nightgowns for themselves and pajamas for their husbands.
These should be donned in separate rooms. They need not be removed during
the sex act. Thus, a minimum of flesh is exposed.
"Once the bride has donned her gown and turned off all the lights, she
should lie quietly upon the bed and await her groom. When he comes groping
into the room she should make no sound to guide him in her direction, lest he
take this as a sign of encouragement. She should let him grope in the dark.
There is always the hope that he will stumble and incur some slight injury
which she can use as an excuse to deny him sexual access."
(To Be Continued)
~ End of Part One, AANEWS NIGHTOWL EDITION for June 27, 1996
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank