Sunday, May 12, 2013

"Burlesque in the Church," a strongly worded 1970s religious tract

Here's an excerpt from "Burlesque in the Church," a religious leaflet1 published about four decades ago by the Gospel Tract Society of Independence, Missouri, and stamped by the North Hills Bible Church here in York County:
"BURLESQUE ... striptease ... bare exposure of the female body to the eyes of man. ... Used to be men had to pay to see such acts. BUT NOT IN THE 70's. Yes ... burlesque has now moved out into the open .. in the schools ... on the buses ... in the streets ... and yes, today most any young man can see almost anything he wants in the way of female exposure ... yes, you guessed it ... BURLESQUE HAS MOVED INTO THE CHURCH.

"It hasn't been too long since most any self-respecting girl would not allow her dress to be even a portion of an inch above her knees ... but things have changed. Yes ... used to be only the girls of ill repute would even dare to expose even half an inch above their knees when sitting down, but now ... even the deacon's daughter .. the Sunday School teacher ... the preacher's daughter ... in some instances can be seen with any number of inches of bare flesh exposed for any man to see ... free of charge. Many times lace on undergarments ... portions of milady's2 panties are clearly visible ... further adding to the free exhibition that she is giving to anyone who cares to look on."
The tract continues to pull no punches in its conclusion.

So, can we safely file this one under "Every generation blames the younger generation for the moral decline of society"? (With a little fire and brimstone, sexism and misogyny mixed in for good measure.)

What are your thoughts? And no "Footloose" references, please.

* * *

Interestingly here in York County, a debate over moral standards and a church-going community are intertwined again this month in a story involving a proposed strip club that would be in close proximity to a church and other family-friendly businesses. Here are links to the York Daily Record/Sunday News' coverage:

1. This is the second old religious tract featured this year. This first one was back in January.
2. Milady?? What writer was still using milady in the late 20th century?

1 comment:

  1. We had this tract at our church in the 1970's. My cousins and I were young teens and we were really entertained by this tract. Now that Im OLD myself, I understand how the author felt, but at the time....well.