Date: Sat, 27 Jun 1996 12:25:24 -0700 Subject: [Atheist] AANEWS for June 27, 1996 (Nightow

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Date: Sat, 27 Jun 1996 12:25:24 -0700 from: Subject: [Atheist] AANEWS for June 27, 1996 (Nightowl Edition) ~ Part Two Reply-To:, nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn nnnnnnnnnn AANEWS nnnnnnnnnn # 78 uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu 6/27/96 (Nightowl Edition) ~ Part Two In This Edition... * Calvinist "Trouble Maker" Framed in Hanky-Pank Conspiracy * Doomsday Freaks Debate Israeli Election Outcome * "Christian Sex Manual" ~~ We DIDN'T Write It! * Bishops Meet: More of the Same (Politics) * Israeli Satellite is Shut Off For Sabbath * About This List... ''REFORM'' MINISTER VICTIM OF CHURCH CONSPIRACY? Sometime, fundamentalism just isn't enough. Take the case of the Rev. Professor Donald Macleod, a hard-line Calvinist minister in the Free Church of Scotland. The Free Church broke away from the parent movement, the Church of Scotland, back in 1843 following half-a-century of squabbling and doctrinal bickering. It is known for its strict observance of the sabbath, and in the small Gaelic-speaking communities of the Western Isles of Britain, its has a network of some 140 churches and 5,500 stern members. This is one of the last strong-holds of Sabbatarianism, a near-extinct doctrine (except perhaps for Israel) where there is no work, play, sporting, washing of clothes, watching of movies, TV or plays on Sundays. The Free Church is so powerful in the area that it has even prevented Sunday ferry sailings to some of the nearby islands. So, being a liberal dissident of sorts within the Free Church takes considerable effort, and entails equally considerable risks. For Rev. Professor Macleod, 55, the risk was being the victim of a church conspiracy, according to the local Sheriff John Horsburgh. The antics of the church came to light on Wednesday, when Horsburgh addressed the Edinburgh Sheriff Court in an unprecedented 90-minute speech which cleared Rev. Macleod of sexual assault charges that had been lodged against him by four women. According to the Electronic Telegraph, the complaints were all lies. "They (the women) 'squared their consciences' in the belief that their 'moral wrong' would secure the downfall of Prof. Macleod and rid the church of a troublesome figure." The charges began in 1980. The women accused Macleod of fondling them, but when authorities began their investigation, they found instead a movement within church ranks to purge the relatively-liberal minister. To outsiders, Macleod is a hard-line fundamentalist. But, notes the Telegraph: "His so-called 'liberal' behavior includes a relaxed attitude to whether women wear hats in church, and his failure to wear a dog collar (clerical garb) at all times...He has also attracted the wrath of more conservative members by advocating greater co-operation with other churches, and by supporting euthanasia. Yet despite his outspoken views, he remains a Calvinist and follows his church's literalist approach to the Bible." One reason that the Sheriff was able to uncover the plot was that the four women involved were clumsy, awkward and contradictory in their stories about alleged sexual encounters. Following the exoneration, Rev. Macleod said that the trial was "an enormous waste of public money," and compared the experience to a witch hunt. "I have lost faith in much of my former ideology," he added. In the meantime, the church members -- known also as WeeFrees -- continue to shun work or pleasure on the Sabbath. ***************** DOOMSDAYERS DEBATE NETANYAHU'S VICTORY IN ISRAEL Politicians aren't the only people trying to figure out what the new government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be doing. Word is that American evangelicals and fundamentalists, many of whom see Israel as a key element in biblical prophecy about the "end times" and Armageddon, are furiously trying to divine what, if any, meaning the recent Israeli election holds. According to Religion News Service, "Many evangelical Christians who interpret the Bible literally tend to view the election of hard-liner Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister as part of God's plan for the Second Coming of Jesus." Among those debating this apocalyptic question are some of the most powerful figures in America's religious right theopolitical establishment, including Ed McAteer of the group known as Religious Roundtable. A former executive with Colgate-Palmolive and leader in the Southern Baptist Convention, McAteer has been involved with religious fundamentalist political movements for over two decades, being linked to groups such as Third Century publishing and the Christian Freedom Foundation. He was also instrumental in helping Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority become an important political force within the Republican party back in 1980. McAteer is one of a surprisingly large number of evangelical Christians who support a strong, nationalistic and theocratic Israel as a necessary condition to the fulfillment of bible prophecy, specifically the "Parousia" of Second Coming of Jesus Christ. According to RNS, "McAteer, who organizes an annual Christian prayer breakfast in Israel, has no doubt that Netanyahu's victory fits into the evangelical end-time scenario. McAteer says Netanyahu's campaign promise not to abandon Jewish settlements on the West Bank will strengthen Israel's hold over land ' that Scripture let us know belongs to Abraham and his seed -- the Jews'." Pat Robertson is also delighted with the Likud victory; the beaming founder of the Christian Coalition and one-time Presidential candidate said that the former land-for-peace strategy of former Prime Minister Shimon Peres was "national suicide" for Israel. Robertson had earlier described the capture of Jerusalem by Israel in 1967 as "a fulfillment of the prophecy that said the times of the Gentiles would be over." Less enthusiastic end-timers, though, are more cautious in trying to read in to much to Netanyahu's upset victory. And some even worry that evangelical activities in the Holy Land -- from religious proselytizing to archeological research -- could be curtailed by powerful Jewish Orthodox parties. Evangelicals are constantly looking for what they say is archeological evidence of biblical verse, but that conflicts with strict Jewish law which prohibits disturbing the dead. Larry Ehrlich of the Tulsa-based Bridges for Peace group told RNS that "I don't think the Orthodox care too much for Christian organizations," adding that the new power weilded by religious parties in Israel will "make the work harder in lots of little and subtle ways." Evangelicals also debate the sequence of events that now are supposedly to follow according to bible prophecy. One end-times scenarios calls for the return of the Jewish people to Israel (something achieved in 1948-1949) as a prelude to the final battle between God and the devil at Armageddon, followed by the return of Jesus. Others insist that the world will end, or that a 1,000 year period of peace will begin. ********************** MORE FROM ''A CHRISTIAN SEX MANUAL'' (Note: The following is purportedly from "Instruction and Advice for the Young Bride" published in 1894 by Spiritual Guidance Press of New York, written by "Ruth Smythers beloved wife of The Reverend L.D. Smythers." Copies of been circulating on the net recently, and while we cannot vouch fully for the authenticity of this document, please be assured that the Editor of AANEWS (or his associates) did not write this!) ********* "If he attempts to kiss her on the lips she should turn her head slightly so that the kiss falls harmlessly on her cheek instead. If he attempts to kiss her hand, she should make a fist. If he lifts her gown and attempts to kiss her anyplace else she should quickly pull the gown back in place, spring from the bed, and announce that nature calls her to the toilet. This will generally dampen his desire to kiss in the forbidden territory. "If the husband attempts to seduce her with lascivious talk, the wise wife will suddenly remember some trivial non-sexual question to ask him. Once he answers she should keep the conversation going, no matter how frivolous it may seem at the time. Eventually, the husband will learn that if he insists on having sexual contact, he must get on with it without amorous embellishment. "The wise wife will allow him to pull the gown up no farther than the waist, and only permit him to open the front of his pajamas to thus make connection. She will be absolutely silent or babble about her housework while he's huffing and puffing away. Above all, she will lie perfectly still and never under any circumstances grunt or groan while the act is in progress. "As soon as the husband has completed the act, the wise wife will start nagging him about various minor tasks she wishes him to perform on the morrow. Many men obtain a major portion of their sexual satisfaction from the peaceful exhaustion immediately after the act is over. Thus the wife must insure that there is no peace in this period for him to enjoy. Otherwise, he might be encouraged to soon try for more. "One heartening factor for which the wife can be greatful is the fact that the husband's home, school, church and social environment have been working together all through his life to instill in him a deep sense of guilt in regards to his sexual feelings, so that he comes to the marriage couch apologetically and filled with shame, already half cowed and subdued. The wise wife seizes upon this advantage and relentlessly pursues her goal first to limit, later to annihilate completely her husband's desire for sexual expression." -- Finis -- ***************** CATHOLIC BISHOPS VOW POLITICAL NEUTRALITY -- SORT OF At a meeting of the nation's Roman Catholic Bishops last weekend, church fathers promised to remain "neutral" toward candidates, but insisted that they would speak out loud and clear on matters of interest to the church. Bishop Anthony Pilla of Cleveland told the New York Times that "Our intention is not either to advance or to undermine the electoral fortunes of any individual or party," then piously added that "When religious leaders enter into electoral politics, it is more likely that religion will be debased than that politics will be elevated." But what the 250 Bishops and other Church officials at the Portland, Oregon confab were really talking about was the sort of political armtwisting that took place recently when the group attacked President Clinton over his veto of the "Partial Birth Abortion Ban." Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston told the meeting that the church had ordered the printing of more than 9 million sets of pre-printed postal cards urging members of Congress to overturn the veto. The Bishops also voted on other worldly, political matters, including legislation proposals concerning immigration, public funding of education and abortions. They also noted the action of the Conference of Catholic Bishops in filing a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear and reverse a recent appelate court ruling which struck down a state ban on doctor assisted suicide. ************************ ISRAELI SATELLITE MUST BE SILEN ON SABBATH, DECLARES GOV'T Just how far will the attempt to repeal the twentieth century go in Israel under the new Likud-religious coalition now running the country. For an answer, well, look to the skies. As of last week, the Israeli Amos communications satellite is shut off during the Sabbath and holy days, in keeping with an orthodox prohibition on operating electronic equipment during those "sacred" times. Secular Israeli's, and even Reform and Conservative Jews, are just astounded. And there's more in store, too, as religious fundamentalists extend their grip on the once-secular society. Members of the United Torah Party declared last week that "We will turn the Knesset into a synagogue." So far,though, the government has not shut down McDonalds, cafes, nightclubs and other recreational venues which for many have come to symbolize the country's secular nature ****************** About This List... AANEWS is a free service of American Atheists, a nationwide movement founded by Madalyn Murray O'Hair for the advancement of Atheism, and the total, absolute separation of government and religion. For more information about American Atheists, send e-mail to:, and include your name and postal address in the message body. You may post, forward or quote from this dispatch, provided that appropriate credit is given to AANEWS and American Atheists. For subscrib/unsubscribe information, send mail to:, and put "info aanews" (minus the quotation marks, please!) in the message body. Edited and written by Conrad F. Goeringer, The LISTMASTER.


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