Two Additional Cases
Are Awaiting Trial

Militant Moralist
is a Molestor;
Gets Eight Years
by Cliff Walker

January, 1994

Brisbane, Australia -- Keith Wright, a former member of Parliament, born-again Christian, antiporn crusader, and militant moralist was handed an eight-year prison sentence for molesting and raping a teenage girl during the years 1983 through 1986.

Wright faces additional charges of sexually abusing two other young girls between 1984 and 1990 -- a period during which he actively campaigned to have the town of Rockhampton declared a "porn-free zone."

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Weird Science Opportunists
Have Field Day With Incident

Mysterious Fumes From Corpse
"Merely Stress"
by Chuck Shepherd
source: New York Times

September 4, 1994

After a six-month investigation, the California Department of Health Services decided that it was merely stress, and not mysterious fumes, that rendered several hospital emergency-room workers unconscious in February in Riverside, California.

One of the workers, who has been hospitalized since February and who has undergone three bone operations, called the diagnosis of stress "absurd and ridiculous."

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The Timothy Plan

No-Load No-Sin Mutual Fund
by Cliff Walker

May, 1995

Investment advisors have been hawking mutual funds billed as virtually recession-proof because they invest in industries associated with sin, human weakness, and popular bad habits.

The Timothy Plan is designed to counter this trend. Someone in Tupelo, Mississippi, has devised a no-load mutual fund for "Christian investors" who want to put their money where their morals are. That means no investments are made in corporations involved with abortion, pornography, alcohol, tobacco, or casino gambling.

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Bishop Pens Eye-Popping
Marriage Manual
by Cliff Walker

February, 1995

In Britain, a 64-year-old bishop caused no small commotion when he published a marriage manual which includes explicit advice on arousing one's partner. The handbook also endorses experimenting with various (non-missionary) sexual positions, and it recommends making love all around the house.

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The Downside of
Church-Administered
Services, Charities

Nursing Homes
To Encourage Sex;
Catholics Shreik
by Woody Johnson

July, 1991

Canberra -- The Australian government has prevailed against the Catholic Church in ruling that residents of nursing homes must be accorded the same basic human rights they would enjoy at home, including the right to engage in non-marital sexual relations.

A Roman Catholic order is threatening to close its six nursing facilities if those "sexual revolutionaries" in the Health Services Ministry go so far as to give elderly Australians "the 'right' to indulge in adultery, fornication, or sodomy in our homes."

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Eckerd Bans "Playboy";
Lab Duplicates Racy Photos
by Woody Johnson

November, 1991

Tampa -- The Eckerd drugstore chain faces a suit for invasion of privacy and defamation of character.

Eckerd decided that "Playboy" Magazine was too racy for its pro-family image and thus stopped selling it and several other publications.

Now we learn that some Eckerd employees have been printing duplicate photos of nude and seminude women from film that comes through Eckerd's photo processing lab. These duplicates were then placed in scrapbooks and passed around for interested individuals to puruse.

This sick little endeavor came to light when a man spotted his ex-girlfriend in a collection of bootleg photos being passed around at a party. His ex decided to sue.

So, why are those who most loudly promote family values most likely to have secret little obsessions that make you want to shake your head?

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Unraveling The
Establishment Clause
by Cliff Walker

May, 1994

In 1992, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that school prayer is constitutional if it is spontaneous and initiated and led by students. This has provided quite a loophole. Ten legislators, mainly in the South, are being pressured by the Christian Right to come up with to her nonsectarian phrases in an effort to legalize organized prayer in the public schools.

The Right's new goal is to create fallow periods during the school day when prayer could "spontaneously" erupt. We can see how easy it would be, then, for religious groups to encourage or coerce students into "spontaneously" "initiating" prayer that the ohter students would have to endure.

The latest euphemism -- "a moment of quiet reflection" -- made it through the Georgia senate by a vote of 51 to 2. The dissenters argued that the measure failed to define the reflection as prayer.

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Georgia's "Moment of Silence"
Ruled Constitutional
© 1997 First Amendment Center

May 5, 1997

For the first time, a federal appeals court has upheld a moment-of-silence law.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled Georgia's "Moment of Quiet Reflection in School Act" does not violate the Establishment clause of the First Amendment.

The court determined that the 60 seconds of "silent reflection on the anticipated activities of the day" meets the three-prong test set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in Lemon v. Kurtzman: the statute has a secular purpose, it doesn't promote or inhibit religion and it does not excessively entangle government with religion.

High school teacher Brian Bown challenged the 1994 law after he was fired for refusing to observe the moment of silence in his suburban Atlanta classroom. Bown's attorneys argued that the Georgia law excessively entangled public-school teachers with religious matters. Said the ACLU's Gerry Weber: "The court left open the fact that there may be applications of this statute that are unconstitutional, such as claims by students that they are being coerced into engaging in silent prayer."

Bown plans to appeal his case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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"Wooden Ships"
Played Bacwards?

Rock Records, Demons
Burned at High School
by Cliff Walker

September, 1978

Fundamentalist evangelist Johnny Todd, who bills himself as a "Druid priest turned born-again Christian," fast-talked more than 150 San Jose, California, high school students into burning about $5000 worth of recordings and rock-music paraphernalia.

The evangelist convinced the students that the master tapes for rock records are taken to a "Satanist temple" in West Hollywood, where demons are conjured to follow copies of the recordings to the homes of unwary listeners.

Todd says he once asked singer David Crosby if they still invoked demons on each rock master tape, and that Crosby replied, "Yes, of course we do." (Did Crosby really say this? If so, was he just pulling Todd's leg?)

The principal of the small church-affiliated school where the burning took place hopes that "the press will not make a mockery of this fundamentalist stand against the evils of rock music."

The role of the press, among other things, is to mock anything worthy of mockery and to express contempt toward all contemptable things.

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"Thou shalt not --" er,
"Don't waste nobody"

Holy Bible Goes Ebonics
by Cliff Walker

May 1995

"Hip, hop, a-hibbity bip bop / Hey, America, we love you!"

Yet another version of the Bible has just been released. No, the Pig-Latin version has been floating around the Internet for some time and is arguably unmarketable (though many of us wonder if the Pig-Latin version is any less useful than the more popular translations).

"We rappin' on an' a-on, an' on, on, an' on."

The African American Family Press announced publication of a Bible they think will bring the Bible's contorted logic to yet another gullible group. The "Black Bible Chronicles" was published in response to a call for a more culturally relevant version of biblical history.

"De macaroni's soggy / de peas are mushed / an' de chicken it taste like wood."

Rather than encouraging youngsters to overcome the gangsta scene and get a life, the "Black Bible Chronicles" presents the Ten Commandments and other Bible fables in the lingo of the 'hood:

If the goal is to keep inner-city youths in bondage and oppression, this should contribute considerably toward that goal.

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Ad Spoofs da Vinci's
'Last Supper';
Christians Shreik
by Woody Johnson

March, 1994

Christian groups had conniption fits and German fashion designer Otto Kern found himself in a Munich court over his advertisement for blue jeans that gave a more hetero twist to the Jesus story portrayed in Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper."

In Kern's photograph, Christ is is at the table wearing Kern's jeans, and his "apostles" are with him: 12 topless young women, also wearing Kern's denim.

Kern voluntarily stopped using the picture after being buried by criticisms and complaints from religious groups, most of which clearly lack a sense of humor. Kern's spokesman remarked, "We are struck by the degree of unrest caused by this ad."

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Dress Pattern Has
Koran Passage;
Muslims Shreik
by Cliff Walker

March, 1994

Because Paris designer Karl Lagerfeld used passages from the Koran as a printed pattern on three of his dresses, Chanel's spring collection faced a boycott by Muslims.

The House of Chanel offered a formal apology and Lagerfeld said he'd been "told it was a love poem in memory of a maharani."

The Muslim groups bought it, and all is quiet on the Middle-Eastern fashion front.

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Where Church Equals State

Porn Sale and Production
Made Capital Crimes
by Cliff Walker

March, 1994

Conviction on a third offense of involved in the production or sale of pornographic videos is punishable by death under Iran's Islamic law. This is because the culprits are "corrupters on earth," the legal term for anyone encouraging decadent and illicit behavior.

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Girl's Tales Taken Seriously

Grandma Flew On Broom;
Parents Jailed
by Cliff Walker

March, 1995

Pittsburgh -- A jury awarded $272,000 to a couple and their 19-year-old daughter in a malpractice suit against a psychiatrist who treated the girl for alleged sexual abuse.

The psychiatrist diagnosed the girl as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, which was brought on by sexual abuse she said her parents committed. Although the psychiatrist admitted that he discounted some of the girl's claims -- including her claims that she was raped in a crowded restaurant and that her grandmother flew around on a broomstick -- he reported the parents to authorities.

The parents were arrested and the daughter was placed in foster care.

The jury ruled that the psychiatrist failed to properly investigate and evaluate the daughter's claims.

The girl eventually recanted her story.

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Virgin Statue Incites
Carnal Thoughts;
Parishioner Shrieks
by Cliff Walker

September, 1994

Burlington, Ontario -- A member of St. Paul's Catholic Church threatened to appeal to the Pope if a statue of the Virgin Mary is not removed from her place of worship.

The member claims that the nipples are visible through the clothing of the statue, inciting carnal thoughts in male churchgoers.

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Biblical Creationism
Ruled Unconstitutional
by Cliff Walker

February, 1993

New Orleans -- A Federal district judge voided as unconstitutional a Louisiana law requiring public schools to teach the Biblical account of creation alongside evolution. An ACLU spokesperson hailed the decision as a "resounding victory."

State officials said an appeal will be filed in behalf of the statute. It is the only one of its kind since a Federal judge nullified a similar one in Arkansas.

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