Sacred and Profane Prostitution
In endeavoring to determine what is meant by the word “adultery” as used in this Commandment, much might be taken for granted as not coming within its scope, but no analysis would be complete if it did not take into consideration prostitution.
The transition from sacred to secular prostitution was so imperceptible that it is hardly possible to determine when the former ended and the latter began. The only marked difference was in the deviation of the revenue. It is notorious that the Church had a monopoly on prostitution for centuries and that it was one of the most fruitful sources of its wealth. Havelock Ellis states that “the origin of prostitution is to be found primarily in a religious custom….” [*36]
St. Augustine said: “Suppress prostitution, and capricious lusts will overthrow society.” [*37] St. Jerome recognized prostitution and argued that, “as Mary Magdalene had been saved, so might any prostitute who repented….” In 1431, at the Council of Basle, a high Church dignitary presented a discourse on the subject of prostitution in which he implied that it was the only safeguard of good morals. [*38]
A brothel called the “Abbey” was instituted in the papal city of Avignon under the patronage of Queen Joanna of Naples. It was regulated by strict rules after the model of religious houses, and none but good Christians were admitted. Jews and Infidels were not permitted to enter; so sacred an institution was not to be “corrupted” or “contaminated.” To maintain its strictly religious air, it was closed on Good Friday and Easter. Its women were housed in cloister-like buildings, adjoining the churches, which are still commonly spoken of as “abbeys.” What a commentary on religion as a means of moral uplift, when the prostitute can ply her trade but not when it interferes with her religious duties!
Pope Julius II instituted a similar brothel in Rome, and the foundation prospered under the patronage of Leo X and Clement VII. Part of the proceeds were devoted to providing for the comfort of the Holy Sisters of the Order of St. Mary Magdalene. [*39] By the time of the Reformation it was estimated that there were more than 100,000 prostitutes in London, mainly supported by ecclesiastics. [*40]
When brothels were forbidden in the City of London, prostitution was carried on close to the palaces of the high bishops, who not only had jurisdiction over but profited substantially from them. So notorious were these enterprises that the women inmates were called “Winchester Geese.” In Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Humphrey, Duke of Gloster, reproached the Bishop of Winchester with “Thou that giv’st whores indulgences to sin.” [*41] In 1321, Edward II approved the sale of a lupinar to a cardinal who evidently considered it a profitable investment for sacerdotal funds. [*42] In Antwerp, even today, it is stated on excellent authority, the prostitutes of the regular brothels proceed in a body on certain feast days to the churches, carrying candles which they dedicate to the Holy Virgin, fervently praying to her for the success of their affairs. [*43]
In Eastern Islam, where there are more males than females, the young girls who remain unmarried and offer themselves to men are looked upon as public benefactors. [*44]
Sacred prostitution was incumbent upon all women and existed throughout Europe, Asia and Northern Africa. Religious prostitutes were called “servants of God,” and even as late as the second century sacred prostitution was still an honorable practice for women of good birth who felt the “call” to live the “divine life under the influence of divine inspiration.” [*45]
In India and elsewhere, women who failed to bear children by their husbands visited the temples to perform fertility “rites.” They remained overnight at the temples, where they were visited by priests who impersonated the terrible god. They returned home the following day, firmly convinced that a miracle had occurred — that the god had condescended to cohabit with them and that they would have a child. [*46]
The Eskimo women think themselves happy if one of their “holy” men cohabits with them.
In Phoenician temples, women prostituted themselves for hire in the belief that they thereby won the favor of the divinity. Among the Amorites it was a law that “she who was about to marry should sit in fornication seven days by the gate.” In Lydia all girls were obliged to act as prostitutes before marriage.
Cutting off the hair of girls who become nuns probably had its origin in the custom which prevailed in Byblos, where the surrender of a woman’s virginity to a “stranger” could be atoned for by shaving off her hair. When girls become Catholic nuns, they are mystically married to the Divine Bridegroom. [*47]
At the memorial shrine of Al-Uzza at Mecca, it is the practice for women to offer themselves to the holy pilgrims. Children born of such unions are looked on as divinely blessed. [*48]
Among the Yezidis, a semi-Christian sect in Armenia, the priests who travel in itinerant groups select a “wife,” if only for a day or two, at each place they stop at. The women who are chosen consider themselves lucky, because they are then regarded as having become holy.
In Egypt, the “holy” men go about naked. Women who desire to have children kneel before them. Not infrequently a priest will seize a woman and cohabit with her in the public street. No resentment is felt; indeed, the victim considers it a great blessing and her companions congratulate her on having been selected by the “representative of God.” In recent times, in Damascus, the activities of one of these “saints” were so outrageous that the pasha had to put him in prison. [*49]
Religious prostitution of the Babylonian type was supposed to have been nothing but ordinary immorality practiced under the cloak of religion. It has been represented as an act by which the worshiper sacrificed her most precious possession to the deity. [*50]
Among the Ewe-speaking people of the Slave Coast, the business of the priestess of the god to whom she is dedicated is that of prostitution. The best-looking girls between the ages of ten and twelve are put in an institution where they remain for three years, learning the chants and dances peculiar to the worship of the gods and submitting themselves to the priests and the inmates of the male seminaries. [*51] Children born of such unions belong to the gods. In India, dancing girls are attached to a great many temples. They feel honored when the priests in charge select them for sexual enjoyment. Among the Veddas, if an adult female cannot get anyone to marry her, she may be dedicated to a free life in the name of Yellamma, who is their patron deity. [*52] Among many Semitic tribes, girls were “consecrated” to a goddess of prostitution such as Ishtar. [*53]
If adultery is a sin, children should be prevented from being born of an adulterous union, and women who have been guilty of promiscuity should not be permitted to attain superior positions in life. Neither condition, however, prevails. On the contrary, the courtesans of Greece were noted for their intelligence and were by far the most important women of their time. They exercised more influence on the thought of their day than have women in any other age of the world. They were sought after not only for their physical charms and beauty, but also for their advice in worldly matters. Their salons sparkled with brilliant conversation, and social and political problems were first discussed with them.
Aspasia, who was as famous for her brilliance as for her beauty, was the passionate love of Pericles. She is said to have instructed him in eloquence and to have composed some of his famous orations. She was continually consulted on affairs of state, and Socrates, like other philosophers, attended her assemblies.
Socrates himself admitted his indebtedness to a courtesan named Diotimas. The gentle manners and disinterested affection of a courtesan named Bacchis were recalled and deeply mourned when her death was announced. [*54] She was the mistress of the orator Hyperides, and her fidelity has become a legend of a woman’s devotion to the man she loves.
Lais, whose matchless figure and lovely face had no equal except it be her remarkable wit and encyclopedic information, was extremely influential. She refused a fabulous sum from the orator Demosthenes for a sexual embrace, but willingly gave her charms to the ragged cynic Diogenes and the still more poverty-stricken philosopher Aristippus. [*55]
The courtesan Pythionice was sent by Alexander the Great to be the companion of his treasurer, Harpalus. She graced the palace and ruled Babylon with unusual ability. At her death, she was buried in a tomb that cost more than a king’s ransom.
Leontium, whose lover was the great philosopher Epicurus, was herself a woman of rare ability, and the author of several books. A Milesian prostitute named Thargelia accompanied Xerxes on his invasion of Greece. Thargelia married the king of Thessaly.
The Empress Theodore was a notorious prostitute, yet is credited with liberalizing the law of Justinian. Radadopis, who led the life of a prostitute in Egypt, became one of the leading citizens of her time, acquired wealth, and is even reputed to have had sufficient money and intelligence to build a pyramid. [*56]
Security cameras are being installed in the bedrooms of Britain’s openly gay bishops to ensure that they adhere to the strict new celibacy rules imposed by the Church of England.The precaution is being taken after it was realised that simply trusting bishops not to have sex just because it was forbidden, has not had a particularly good track record down the centuries.
Cameras will also be installed in the shower, on the big rug by the fireplace and in the local public toilets just in case the couple are feeling like playing up to gay sexual stereotypes.The cameras will also be capable of close-ups and wide shots, to check that any females having sex with bishops are not actually gay men in drag.
‘I am planning to monitor every bedroom myself’ explained the newly appointed Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.‘I have a bank of high definition TV screens in my bedroom, and I am looking forward to sitting up all night with some pizzas, a six pack of lager, and a packet of man-size tissues. Obviously I prefer not to think about what they would do in the privacy of their own bedrooms, but my verger has also volunteered to watch next door and will rush in to wake me up if there’s any action.’
Meanwhile new divisions are emerging within the Church of England over what constitutes ‘gay sex’.Anglican traditionalists say that any physical contact between homosexual bishops is forbidden, while progressives say that only full anal sex is taboo. At a recent meeting of the General Synod, members prayed for guidance from the Lord on his feelings about ‘rimming’, ‘tea-bagging’ and ‘fisting’. ‘I mean personally, I have no problem with seeing the odd hand job’ said the Archbishop. ‘And maybe a bit of oral and the odd chocolate finger. As long as they don’t follow it through as far as spraying cocksnot. Banning gay orgasms is the sensible compromise that the C of E has agreed will prevent us from looking completely ridiculous.’
So much blood has been shed by the Church because of an omission from the Gospel: “Ye shall be indifferent as to what your neighbour’s religion is.” Not merely tolerant of it, but indifferent to it. Divinity is claimed for many religions; but no religion is great enough or divine enough to add that new law to its code.
– Mark Twain, a Biography
Being a Catholic is about having a lot of sex!
If you disagree with this statement consider the fact that so many couples are unable to conceive and many have to try for years to get pregnant, but Catholics have huge families!
The only possible conclusion…they’re at it all the time, catholic parents just can’t wait to get into the sack and make some more catholics, and rightly so as less and less people are going to church these days because it’s really boring and it splits up the day!
More catholics means more money in the collection plate and bingo, that’s the church roof fixed!
However, just because you don’t wear a condom, it doesn’t mean you’re horny all the time and that’s where women priests would be able to help in a way that their male counterparts have never been able to.
The debate about women priests rumbles on but now it seems they have an ace up their sleeve.
Bless my sainted trousers, that’s the answer.
By turning sunday prayer into a protracted burlesque show you would not only get the congregation fired up for an afternoon of wild passion, the net effect would be a doubling of the congregation overnight!
Shit, we’d be there in a flash!
Sex sells, and the good work of The Lord costs money, it’s a no-brainer!
Exponents of this scheme point out that there is no passage in the bible suggesting that scantily clad priestesses are not allowed to spread the word of God.
Those opposed to sexing up the church also point out that ‘Thou shalt not smoke Crack’ is not one of the ten commandments but that doesn’t make it right!
Ask yourself this…if church was sexy, would you go?
Of course you would!
The Republic of Decay, a place now so dire that even the monkeys decline offers of bananas.
The three pillars of the Establishment, the financial institutions, the political organizations and the Church stagger on unwittingly oblivious to the realities of life. Their epicurean menu is corruption, lies, arrogance, greed, sleaze, sodomy, deceit, nepotism, distortion of the truth, gross incompetence. The list can go on and on forever.
When can they learn to tell their Citizens something that resembles the truth?
The Financial Institutions: The Dracula’s of nowhere sucking the nation’s blood dry- The crutch of capitalism-that an inherently unstable system which periodically falls off the rails and when it does who pays? Well, the 2% who control the wealth do not. The payees are as always the inevitable underclass.
Their level of incompetence defies belief.
Take, for example, simple basic maths, Division, addition, multiplication, subtraction, for short DAMS. Well, the boys from Dams appear to have come up with a “constant” that allows their cash shortfall figures to spiral upwards on a never-ending charge of woe. Right now, it is not in their interest to stick a finger in the dam to restrain the flow. Do we take it; they do not understand simple maths or are they pulling the wool over our eyes? D.A.M.S is an acronym for a shadowy group known as the as the drawee artistic math’s society? This group of people is found in the highest echelons of business and normally operate at a level above that of the Golden circle. Figuratively speaking these people can paint any picture they wish but primarily their drawings are to their own advantage. These avaricious bastards would skim cash off the bones of a dead rat, but they will never get their fingers dirty.
The Church: This Frankenstein Monster lends solace to the fiends of banking, shares its virgin but sexually satisfied bed with both government and Bourgeoisie and in the meantime buggers the children of the poor and expects the state to pay for their criminal enjoyment and the state duly obliges.
The Political Organizations have become a collective of brain-dead zombies. Their place of residence is a mausoleum called Sinisterhouse house, which serves as the Rotten Island Parliament building.
The primary function of these humourless dead beats is looking after their own self-interest, which takes up seventy-five percent of their time.
Taking care of the interests of the financial institutions takes another twenty percent of their time.
Performing minor functions- like proposing bills to erect streetlights in the two-horse village of Ballysilly and to fill potholes in marginal electoral areas, this takes up a tiresome 5% of their time.
To be a member of this collective, no qualifications are required, but it does help if you understand the term the gravy train. Those currently in Government amply illustrate this where few ministers have any credentials whatsoever for doing there jobs.
Le Grand Dame, The sex symbol of the parliament is the leader of this group.
This entity makes bullish attempts to explain that the country’s economy is on the road to recovery, this notion relates to nothing more than his careful consideration. His only notable achievement is impoverished thinking based on the mantra; all will be well?
The entity prays fervently every day for economic miracles.
He has visions of the Sherkels and Dragi flapping their wings over the skies of Rotten Island where they shower the country with a deluge of monetary bills that astonishingly transform the country into a fictionally, financially viable sensation. He will proclaim these events to be a miracle of his own making, he will ask us to admire the quality and wonderment of his efforts. This entity has disturbed fantasies of success, which are always just around the corner.
This leader of our illustrious small nation bestows on himself the honour of being the highest paid Prime Ministers in the world with a take home check greater than any other leader. To augment his Government, he has a drone army of civil servants, who are the most highly paid in the world and ironically turn out to be the least productive. A talent that his compatible to that of their leader
He has huffed and he has puffed, but he still does not comprehend that the house is already a busted flush.
That dear citizen is Rotten Island today a golden triangle of cognasty, a three-headed dog of darkness. No figurehead to rally behind, no Orpheus to lead us out of this triangulated underworld, no Che Guevara to kick-start a revolution, no rising star to guide us into the future.
Johnny Citizen: Where does he fit in, well he is the lamb who is there to be fleeced?
He pays the bankers bills.
He pays the church bills.
He pays the Government bills.
Moreover, he will pay for anything else the ghouls will screw up now and in the future.
Why is Johnny citizen so sheepish? Short and simple, he abandoned his protectors the trade unions. His living standards improved. He suffered the illusion of getting fat and rich on an enduring monetary upward rocket. He played golf, and he had his overseas holidays to exotic places. He inflated himself with notions of self-importance.
He drinks XO brandy in his local bar and guffaws with his friends, sure wasn’t it far away from this we were raised, whilst a glow of self-satisfaction crosses his face. When foreign workers came to fill low paid jobs, he developed a xenophobic state of mind, something he understands well. Why as an immigrant youth did he not suffer xenophobia from the hands of the foreigner? Even so, he will maintain he was a worker. The assortment coming to our beloved shores nowadays is nothing but a bunch of scroungers and malingers. He will assert that the Government must put a halt to this inward flow of migrant spongers. As things fell apart in his esteemed homeland, he failed to notice that the hard-working idlers were first to leave to seek work elsewhere, which contributes to a reduced tax, take which in turn Johnny will have to make up.
What are the prospects for his children? They are in the stew pot; they are the future fodder for the controllers of capital to devour and spit out at will.
What hope can he have, not much?
However, what happens if Johnny citizen wakes up from his slumbers? If he is sharp, he will link chains of events together, he will have questions, he will want answers, and of course, he will request down to earth solutions to uncomplicated problems.
He will question why he is paying the outlandish bankers debt.
He will swiftly conclude, that the notion he should do so is preposterous.
Moreover, he will state in a loud voice.
The bankers lent money, which they did not have in the first place, to people who did not have the resources to pay it back.
This is reckless trading, which is an offence-Off to jail with them.
Better, still off with their heads
He will question how the Government of his dearly beloved fatherland could make a deal with the church of pederasts who cruelly and callously buggered the children of his native land.
He will conclude, that the concept that he should pay, is unbelievable.
In addition, he will state in a loud voice. The full rigor of the law must apply to these fiends.
The crimes of the Frankenstein church are hideous. Off to Jail with them, better still off with their heads. He will question how our Politicians and civil servants contrived to make such a mess of our cherished Republic that became the envy of many. A nation held up as a shinning example to emerging states now derided and cruelly laughed at by the nations of the world.
He has observed former double-dealing Prime ministers questioned in the dock over misdeeds, which they strenuously denied, but were even the mongrel dogs in the street knew they were lying through their teeth. He will have seen friends and cohorts of these people questioned by the law.
He will conclude, self-interest coupled with corruption was the name of their game.
He will holler –
These people failed in their duty to represent us, corruption and self-interest were rife.
Off to jail with them all, better still off with their heads.
Johnny citizen will have noticed that those who controlled the money represented less than two percent of the population. He will comprehend that the gap between those with capital and those with limited money had not narrowed at all. For the money the statues quo remains, control of capital is God.
Our citizen friend now realizes his lot is to be nothing more than to be the bonded serf of capitalism.
He comprehends with a heaviness of mind that the free market reduces everything to matters of money and thus exploitation, Direct, brutal, blatant. Our citizen is now a commodified extinction to the machines of capitalism. He is the disposable part of the equation. He will deduce, construe that once we learn how to control the monarchy of capital and production, we are then on our way to a better life. He will postulate there must be a greater division of wealth; it can no longer be the preserve of a tiny minority. Governments must control this; it must be for the benefit of the citizens? Pervasive social corruption must cease. As he reads and researchers, he begins to understand the injustices of the system as applied to the working person.
He will learn that of the world’s top 100 economies based on GDP That fifty-one of them are corporations and are not countries. He will see and understand quite quickly the dangers these people pose to the illusion of his freedom.
He will learn that corruption is rife in these companies.
He will learn that business is not ethical and decent.
He will learn that industry does not care for its workers.
He will learn that the well-being of the people is secondary to monetary gain.
He will learn that much of industry out source’s production to the cheapest labour point. He will realize his job is no more than a movable commodity.
He will learn that the result of all of this is wealth consolidation, communal stratification, labour abuse and exploitation, Tactical corruption. He will realize that he is witnessing a form of covert dictatorship by the rich.
He will learn not to trust people in the system.
He will learn that the number of poor people in the world increases daily.
He will learn that the worker’s lot is a miserable lot.
He will learn that as each day passes the national depth of our sovereign country increases, and he knows and expects further tax demands on his income. He speculates on the percentage of the nation’s resources spent on servicing the nation’s debt. He foresees disaster.
He will learn that if we get out of the current predicament that the cycle of bust and boom is likely to intensify due to the mechanisms of the banking system.
Our good friend Johnny citizen compiles endless lists, which he uses as conversation pieces when he discusses the affairs of the nation. He converses with his friends in the pubs, hotel lobbies, eateries and the fun palaces of the land. Each conversation inevitably ends with the expression, well fuck the lot of them, what can we do about it?
Our friend has at least verbally expressed himself. He is most likely fated never to play a part in altering the system but perhaps; just maybe he did plant a few acorns in heads that someday, might grow.
What happens to Johnny Citizen? Does he disappear into foggy shadows will he survive? Does anyone care?
Copyright John Foley