Holy pamphlet paraphernalia

Holy pamphlet paraphernalia – Holy Paraphernalia Mania

Arlo J. Pignotti

I think we all have come across religious tracts in our lives — little pamphlets that are often handed out by evangelists on street corners, that we in turn throw away. Does this look familiar…?

Nine out of ten tracts have this simple schematic. Man on a flat earth and God in a flat up-side-down Heaven. It is your decision to reach god by climbing Jesus (much like a magic beanstalk) or just try to jump high enough to reach the taunting dangling black arrow.

Pamphlets like these are pretty dull, but think twice before you throw Christian pamphlets, booklets or tracts in the trash, because some can be quite entertaining. Like the booklet titled 20th Century Sodomites! The Truth about the Homosexuals, by Dr. Hugh F. Pyle! Think about that name for a moment. You couldn’t possibly make up a more appropriate name for a homophobic evangelist who was full of it! If that’s not enough, the booklet is printed, in hot pink, by “Sword of the Lord Publishers.

Here is an excerpt…

“Hairy – chested males in frilly dresses and blonde wigs, their faces adorned with makeup, ride tricycles in public and dance with other perverts in San Francisco discos.” I know a few gay people, and I have yet to catch them exposing chest hair while riding tricycles in such costumes. This is indeed a huge F-ing pile. And so is this…

Rebellious Wives & Slacker Husbands [!] What’s Wrong with the Modern Home? Let us learn how to solve all our problems in the home through spousal submission shall we? Here is how the pamphlet starts off…

“Should a wife obey her husband? Be in subjection to him? Should she submit to him as if he were God? Should a husband have authority over his wife as a master does over a servant? Should women even reverence their husbands, obeying them and calling them Lord? The Bible does command a woman to do all of this, as we will show from many Scriptures!”

And no doubt they certainly do back it up with scripture. Some Atheists (myself included) print lists of horrible Bible quotes to demonstrate just how terrible the Bible and fundamentalist Christianity can be. Yet here are fundamentalists proudly showing off the very same scriptures in hopes of persuading people. It makes me think twice before pointing out such Bible passages, because it actually brings some people to Christianity! But this won’t…

Courtship and the Dangers of Petting, also printed by Sword of the Lord Publishers teaches that not only should people abstain from necking and petting, but “factors that lead to necking and petting.” So what is left to do but to be just like the nice young Christian couple on the front cover, standing shoulder-to-shoulder looking up at God all day. This booklet also states that such acts as kissing on the neck before marriage is only appropriate between members of the same sex (giving reference to Acts 20:37). What would Hugh F. Pyle have to say about this?

Now since all these fundamentalist tracts now have us thinking about sex, that brings me to my most prized pamphlet on sex by our friends the Mormons. Steps in Overcoming Masturbation, by Mark E. Petersen, provides some very clever tips in overcoming the dreadful sin of masturbation. These are just a few…

“Avoid being alone as much as possible.” [But being around others when aroused could lead to petting!]

“Never stay in the bath more than five or six minutes.”

“If the temptation seems overpowering while you are in bed, GET OUT OF BED AND GO INTO THE KITCHEN AND FIX YOURSELF A SNACK, even if it is in the middle of the night, and even if you are not hungry, and despite your fears of gaining weight.”

“Eat as lightly as possible at night.” [I guess we are to overlook that contradiction.]

“Dress yourself for the night so securely that you cannot easily touch your vital parts.”

“Wear pajamas that are difficult to open, yet loose and not binding.” [Isn’t this a contradiction too?]

“…reading at least one chapter of Scripture, preferably from one of the four Gospels in the New Testament, or the Book of Mormon…” [because the Old Testament is too sexy.]

“A Book of Mormon, firmly held in hand, even in bed at night has proven helpful in extreme cases.”

“In very severe cases it may be necessary to tie a hand to the bed frame with a tie…”

“…if you are tempted to masturbate, think of having to bathe in a tub of worms, and eat several of them as you do the act.” [Is he saying to think of eating the worms or is he saying to actually eat worms while thinking of bathing with them?!]

“Never read about your problem. Keep it out of mind.” [So I guess we should stop reading this tract!]

But just one more…

“Make a pocket calendar for a month on a small card… If you have a lapse of self control, color the day black. Your goal will be to have ‘no black days’.”

I think I’m doing pretty good. Can’t wait till Mark E. Petersen receives my calendar in the mail…

If anybody out there finds wild and wacky holy paraphernalia, don’t forget to share. Write to me at pine@texas.net!

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