Newsletter #7 – The Church of Spiritual Humanism
February 7, 2003 – Philadelphia www.SpiritualHumanism.org
Valentine’s Day approaches and although its now a bit of a Hallmark® holiday, it does have roots in long forgotten Pagan traditions. In pagan Rome, Lupercalia, the festival of sexual license, which took place on February 14, was the precursor to our modern roses and chocolate extravaganza. February was named after and sacred to Juno Februata, the goddess of “love fever” (and also marriage and women). Her festival day was the 15th of February. The early Christian church had limited success in stamping out the rituals of erotic games and random teenage coupling intrinsic to this celebration.
While Saint Valentine appears to be as much of a myth as Juno Februata, it seems the date of February 14 will forever be associated with love and sex.
IN THE NEWS
Bush AIDS Plan Includes Condoms, Generics
By Ron Kampeas
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP)–President Bush’s $15 billion commitment to AIDS relief in Africa will include condom distribution and generic AIDS drugs, administration officials said Wednesday, bucking abstinence-advocating conservatives and brand name pharmaceutical giants.
see full story at http://www.austin360.com/aas/news/ap/ap_story.html/Washington/AP.V6956.AP-Bush-Africa.html
This is a dramatic reversal of policy. The HIV/AIDS epidemic will not be stopped with drugs and “abstinence only” education. Sex education and condom distribution are required for this battle, and they reduce poverty and other diseases as well (see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2536431.stm). It’s also time to re-examine the “abstinence only,” faith based oriented, federal grant program (with its proposed budget of $135 million dollars) that prohibits grant recipients from mentioning condoms. If condoms and frank sexual education can stop HIV/AIDS in Africa we should be investing our resources in them here in the USA.
READERS WRITE IN
If you have question feel free to email me at info ( at ) spiritual humanism.org
Now that I have become a minister, what are my privileges and courtesies as an ordained member of the clergy?
The official list of ceremonies is: Marriage, Baby Naming, Funeral, Hand Fasting, Commitment, Affirmation of Love, Invocations, Renewal of Marriage, and holiday ceremonies. However if your religious traditions include ceremonies not mentioned here you may also perform them as long as they break no law and harm no one. You are prohibited from performing ceremonies that involve circumcision and animal sacrifice.
I have a question. What is The Church of Spiritual Humanism ‘s position, does it say that smoking weed is bad or good?
We don’t endorse or condemn it. It is clear that tax dollars are not being effectively spent prosecuting and imprisoning people for having, growing, and using marijuana. The law should be reformed to promote treatment for addictions. The use of drugs for spiritual experience are not fully understood and warrant research in a scientific environment. Drugs and wine have long been used in religious rituals. Smoking marijuana appears to be unhealthy for your lungs, and from this perspective you would be better to use it in some other manner.
As you are probably aware Clergy Packages are available on our website http://www.spiritualhumanism.org/shop.php The ordination Certificates are printed on acid free paper for extra long life, and Clergy Wallet ID Cards are nice to have. Our book, The Officiant’s Manual includes information on marriage laws for all 50 states, and sample ceremonies, etc. The fees charged for these packs are our only income and help defer the cost of the web site, advertising, PO Box, and incorporation fees.
President, The Church of Spiritual Humanism