Sunday, January 16, 2005

Bashing the Bishop (non-violently)

Not sure where I acquired a copy of “Christians and Sex – A Quaker Comment” by Harold Loukes (Friends Home Service Committee 1962).

Anyway, on page 16 under masturbation he says

“The day is now mercifully gone when adults could threaten the young with the terrible consequences of masturbation: future impotence, venereal disease, madness. We know now that masturbation has no consequences except tiredness and a sense of guilt.”

Yay Friend Harold! He continues

“At the same time, it seems an unsatisfactory affair,….”

Well, not being able to get laid is always an unsatisfactory affair

“…. even to it’s victims.”

Friend Harold no doubt speaking from experience which I am unable to do having never “Bashed the bishop” (non-violently) myself.

So Harold continues after a couple of paragraphs which can be skipped:-

“We should today regard masturbation as a symptom of a disturbed and disorganised personality”.

You know, I am not so sure we should. Not even in 1962.

Well, three further things are interesting in this pamphlet.

The first is the date. The following year was published the pamphlet which some older Friends reckon should never have been published, viz “Towards a Quaker View of Sex” a bit of a mixed bag as I personally think it was reactionary in places, but did move Britain Yearly Meeting forward.

Secondly, the title, “Christians and Sex”. I suppose I do have a complex against “Christianity” or more specifically “orthodox (small o and so called) Christianity”. Isn’t Christians and Sex a contradiction in terms? “No Sex please, we are Christians”

Thirdly. No mention, to the best of my knowledge (no I am not going to slog my way through said pamphlet, if anyone would like this work you can have it! get in touch before it ends up on a bonfire) of what was becoming a burning issue viz homosexuality. “Towards a Quaker view of Sex” was written to address the issue of homosexuality, but, to the annoyance of some Friends did dig deeper and look at other issues.

And funnily enough Quakers are now seen, rightly I believe, as at least better at discussing sex than other churches.

Hey, maybe the occasional “hand shandy” could be seen as not only healthy and natural but also religious piety…..



Any serious student of the English language should have a copy of “Roger’s Profanisaurus”, the premier dictionary of the vulgar tongue, commissioned by the editors of Viz. But since it could be a bit tricky to get hold of for any lovely readers who’s mother tongue is not English I include the following definitions to make everything clear.

Bash the Bishop v. To pull the Pope’s cap off, to box the Jesuit. To bank with Barclays.

Hand shandy n. A frothy one, pulled off the wrist

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