When I brought a suit in federal court to prohibit Los Angeles Chief of Police, Daryl Gates and his police officers from contacting members of my religion and telling them that the doctrines of the religion were false, the federal judge declared that if sex is involved it is not religious and there is no constitutional protection. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, adding that one must prove the sincerity of religious speech and expression in order to claim constitutional protection. Under a ruling like that a nude dancer is fully protected even if her only expression is that she can make more money by dancing nude, while non-Christian religions must convince a judge or jury of the truthfulness of every element of the religion in order to receive the same protection. As ludicrous as this may be, it is a big step forward. Our government can no longer burn priestess at the stake, as happened in Europe under ecclesiastical control of 1400 years, but our sexual lives are still ruled and controlled by the bigots of Christian politics.
From the time the Puritans landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620, America's morality and sexuality has been controlled by a very small minority. Of the 18 married women on the Mayflower only 5 survived the first winter creating a ratio of 10 men to each women. Adultery was so prevalent among the Puritans at Plymouth that it is impossible to say who the Fathers of our Country really were. Yet as few as two or three male leaders were able to exert such absolute control as to punish adulterers by flogging and branding. Fornicators were only flogged, but that did not keep the majority from having premarital and extramarital sex. Premarital sex was so pervasive in fact that by the time of the American Revolution, 65% of Americans were bastards. Estimates of how many children were conceived out of wedlock but born after the mother married, range from 80-90%. Obviously revolutionary America did not believe in, nor follow Puritan morality. America was founded as a nation of minority rule where fewer than 15% of the eligible voters controlled the government. The actual majority, never counted by historians - the Native Americans - were never even considered for the vote. They may have marveled at Puritan bigotry but found themselves not only subject to the white-man's laws but to his genocides as well - after all those heathens, like the priestess of The Goddess before them, would pollute the morals of the Christian people.
How is it that a small minority could exert such absolute control over an entire nation? Over our morals and even over what can be taught or preached? The answer lies in the Puritan's drive for self-preservation. The Puritan's zeal to convert the world, was, like the Catholics, secondary to their desire to control the world. And control they did. Although the Puritans originally were forced to endure great persecution, they became the great persecutors. It was at the height of persecution, when the Puritan movement was without political power, that Plymouth was settled. America was not the "promised land" but a hell-hole where no English colony had survived. Being sent to America gave only slightly more hope than being sent to the gallows.
Catholic Spain was laying claim to more and more land as hoards of Spaniards flocked to the New World, and the threat of Catholic expansion sent torrents of fear into the heart of every Protestant - but especially the Puritans. The Puritans had to succeeded where all others had failed because it was their "god's will for his people to rule", "his mandate to establish a new Jerusalem", which became, Salem. Puritan's success was not due to the providence of their god, however, but to their willingness to submit to the absolute control of two strong men, to combine intellect, resources and manpower; to hold all things in common - too many things in common to suit the married men - with a common goal of self preservation. This was religious communism. The Colonists who followed would adopt the ethic of the Puritans who were obviously "God's Chosen". It helped that most of the Colonists were Protestant, as Puritans were nothing more than Protestants with a different political view.
The Puritan's struggle was the ultimate trial by Wager of Battle, in which the mortal combat was waged, not with the accuser but with nature itself. Like the trial by Wager of Battle which was an integral part of English law, in which the accused fought the accuser in mortal combat, letting heaven give the victory to the man who was right, the success of the Puritan colony was seen as divine intervention. So powerful was the divine-message that thirty-three years later the quintessential Puritan, Oliver Cromwell, would be proclaimed "Lord Protector" of England. Cromwell only ruled for 5 years and was so hated by the masses that his body was dug from the grave and hanged on a gallows.
The Puritan's failure in England, did not effect America where arguments of purging the Church of Catholic influence were meaningless. In the hostile "promised land," Puritan political power became so entrenched that their religious views would be imposed on the generations of colonists to come. 370 years later we are still captives of Puritan moral ethic and sexual proscriptions. The Puritans both as a religion and a political movement are gone, ideologically replaced by the fundamentalist Christianity which, like Puritanism, is as much a political movement as it is religious.
Sex is no longer just a religious issue, it has become a political issue. From the mayors and councilmen of cities, legislators and governors of the States, to the United States Senators and Congressmen - the President - the politics of sex demands an outward profession of the Puritan religious ethic; an ethic that was never held by the majority at any time in our history.
In no other country in the world is a politician required to parade his wife, children, church attendance and sexual fidelity before the public as a sign of Puritan values. Yet this demand by 15% of the people is not only respected, but courted by nearly every politician in America. But even 15% may be too high a figure as Neo-Puritanism (Christian fundamentalism) reached its zenith with the "Moral Majority" which had the support of less then 5% of Americans. Yet the Moral Majority's failure to appeal to the masses was due to its success in political control. The movement had kept "Christian" Presidents (Carter and Reagan) in office for ten years and controlled a majority of both Republicans and Democrats at all levels of government. It could go no further. Decade after the demise of the Moral Majority, there is still a professed "Christian President" and a "Christian" Supreme Court, which will dictate the morals of this nation for years to come.
In this "Land of the Free" where there is freedom of religion, but no freedom from religion, we are slaves to a minority religion. For it is not Christianity that rules, but the small purists Christians, be they Catholic, fundamentalist or bigots. Our education system had become a tool for the preservation of Christian history and morality. Sex education - denounced by their churches - is nothing more than a biology course in reproduction. Television prohibits offending Christian morality. Fundamentalists regulate what sexual material we can buy, where we can buy it and how it is advertised; and all this is to preserve and perpetuate their Judaeo/Christian religious doctrines. Paramount among these doctrines is that the "Adversary" uses sex to gain control over people - that sex is evil outside marriage.
But marital fidelity is as much a political concept as it is religious. The "Christian family" with the father as the patriarch ruler is as anachronistic as a Christian America. Yet with 50% of all marriages ending in divorce, maintaining the "white Christian" family, has become a political-religious issue, just as abortion has become the quintessential religious issue - an approval of the Christian doctrine that life begins at conception. But even that concept had no support outside the Catholic Church until about 1882. The Common Law of England and the civil laws of most European countries held that life began when the infant drew its first breath of life. But this was a doctrine of The Goddess religions, and like Her people who had been eliminated by Christian genocide, Her doctrines had to be replaced completely by Christian doctrines.
The sexuality of The Goddess was feared by Christians from their beginning, and Her sexuality is feared today. Christians - Puritans - fundamentalists are in dread of a sex-positive religion that will have a greater appeal than their sex-negative, ascetic doctrines. Christians fear the haunting shadows of their forgotten ancestors - those ancients who worshiped The Goddess in Her temples and groves - who still bring up images of hidden memories of Her priestesses in their subconscious and speak a truth, which Christians must openly deny. Christians fear the obvious, that after 2000 years their dead god has not returned, and the twilight of Christianity has arrived - that long awaited time, which proclaimed on October 7, 1986, when the "Lady of the New Dawn" would arrive.
And I have arrived.