Sexual Mores in America

Karen Abbott: That’s an interesting question. Definitely. Sometimes I would come across quotes, and it would . . . it’s like something you could have read in the New York Times yesterday. There was a quote from one of Clifford Rowe’s supporters talking about how we can’t . . . “We can’t bend to pressure from the infidels and Jews from Europe. This is a Christian nation. Our courts have decreed it so. We should make sure that our schools are Christian schools.” And it was sort of right when that whole debate was going on about . . . about the Constitution and, you know, prayer in schools and that sort of thing. And it was like, you know, something from Focus on the Family ended up 100 years earlier in these archives I was looking at I do think it will always be the case . . . Part of my . . . One of the main themes in the book I think is the cyclical nature of religious fundamentalism that’s a constant stream for this country. And it’s just sort of as much of our fabric as you know . . . you know the idea that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I mean I just think that that’s something that’s always going to be running through our blood, is this sort of . . . this struggle between these puritanical roots. And I think it’s going to keep reasserting itself, and you know I think we’ve seen that in the last few years too. I mean the fact that a candidate’s religion is constantly on the top of the list of whether or not they’re electable; you know the fact that an atheist will never be elected in this country – not in our lifetime anyway, I don’t think. So I do . . . For the foreseeable future I think it’s something that’s gonna be a recurring theme in our country. That’s a . . . That’s a fun question. I . . . You know I think it came from the Bible . . . you know “to lie with”. You know I think that that evolved into a euphemism to “get laid”. But the Everleigh sisters . . . So of course that’s been around for a very long time, but I think the Everleigh sisters very calculatedly picked their name . . . their surname knowing that it would sort of be adopted as a pun. And although it wasn’t the origin for the phrase, it could be a link to it. And it sort of furthered the use of that phrase. So they just sort of jumped on the bandwagon of it I think; but they weren’t . . . Their adopted surname wasn’t the actual impetus for that, so . . .

Recorded On: 1/22/08

Will the country ever shed its Puritan origins?

Related Articles

Scientists discover what caused the worst mass extinction ever

How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.

Credit: Ron Miller
Surprising Science

While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.

Keep reading Show less

Why we're so self-critical of ourselves after meeting someone new

A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.

New acquaintances probably like you more than you think. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)
Surprising Science

We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.

Keep reading Show less

NASA launches ICESat-2 into orbit to track ice changes in Antarctica and Greenland

Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.

Firing three pairs of laser beams 10,000 times per second, the ICESat-2 satellite will measure how long it takes for faint reflections to bounce back from ground and sea ice, allowing scientists to measure the thickness, elevation and extent of global ice
popular

Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).

Keep reading Show less