In Part one of this post (and in my book) I explained that “Worshipping Your Wife is not about literal worship (goddess or otherwise), idolatry or anything even remotely sacrilegious. It is about respecting and honoring, revering and protecting, adoring and cherishing.”
But that’s not the whole story. As I pointed out on my original website, “In some female-supremacist organizations, males do literally worship females; and in coupled relationships, literally worship their partners (by whatever agreed-upon exalted title). In some instances, there are even religious trappings—thrones and altars and confessions and so forth.”
To these couples, of course, such worship does not constitute idolatry, as the wife is viewed as an embodiment of the Goddess.
One of the longest-running Goddess-worshipping organizations that I’m aware of is the Service of Mankind Church, active since the late ‘70s in the S.F. Bay Area. Also known as the “SM Church,” “Essemian (ess-EM-ian) Church” or “Church of the "Surrendered Male,” the organization worships the “Darkside Goddess (Kali),” who is usually shown with her foot on the prostrate corpse of the male deity Shiva.
According to one of the Church websites, “A growing number of special women, some wearing long, flowing robes and capes, and thonged sandals upon their feet, others clad all in leather, spike-heeled shoes or boots, and carrying implements of bondage or punishment, are being called 'goddesses' and worshipped by those who humbly bow their heads to the floor at their feet… The Essemian Manifesto describes in religious philosophical terms the postulation that certain acts of female dominance, when ritualized as psychodrama, can be a religious experience.”
If the Essemians represent the dark side of goddess worship, Rasa von Werder emphasizes a blinding white luminescence on her web pages and in her matriarchal “Mother of God Church”.
Like the Essemians, Ms. Von Werder has been around a while, having achieved a certain fame in as a female bodybuilder, a stripper and Playboy’s Miss Nude Universe under the name of Kellie Everts. Ms. Von Werder, in fact, maintains a separate “Kellie Everts, Stripper for God” website.
How can any church not similarly endowed compete with that? Ms. Everts/Von Werder must get rather a lot of applications from new enthusiastic male converts.
I didn’t delve deeply enough into her abundant offerings to see if she encourages her devotees to build an altar to worship her, but other Goddess organizations have made this a pre-requisite to advanced study, as in this admonition from the “Femina Society” (apparently no longer Googleable): “Student initiates must erect an Alcove (Altar) of Respect with one or more of Her artifacts (inquire) or a Goddess figurine of Her choice. “
This may sound wildly kinky and fetishistic. But is endowing some innocent artifact with Goddess-like powers really so different from some common courtship behaviors, like the one amusingly described in Oklahoma! by the lovely Laurey in “People Will Say We’re in Love”?
She warns her boyfriend Curly:
Don't start collecting things
Give me my rose and my glove.
Sweetheart, they're suspecting things
People will say we're in love.
But why just read Hammerstein’s lyrics when you can hear Shirley Jones sing them to Gordon MacRae?
Was Curly accumulating fetish objects for his private altar to Laurey?
Maybe. But here are two unarguable examples of idolatry-at-home, both from letters to the invaluable Elise Sutton Female Superiority website:
1. “My wife makes me worship her, pray to her and chant to her. Sexual service is a part of his ritual in worshipping her. It is a beautiful thing. I humble myself before my wife and pray to her. Then I kiss her feet and slowly work my worshipful kisses up her legs and eventually make my way to her shrine, the place where all life begins. Once there, I worship her by licking her to orgasm while my wife chants a lovely song about the superiority of women in her sexy and hypnotic voice. I feel so at peace and nurtured by her, as I taste of her. It is not uncommon for both I and my wife to have tears in our eyes during this sacred ritual.”
2. “My Mother was a staunch Female Supremacist and lived it 365/24/7. It was her lifestyle and her religion. She was a Goddess, and she knew it… My father had to worship her as his earthly Goddess and be her slave. My Mother had ceremonies and rituals where the men had to worship the women.”
In each of these instances, the apotheosis was initiated by the woman, but more often, I think, the impetus originates from the male acolyte, who wants to exalt his wife into a goddess. A typical plea:
“Is it wrong for me to worship beautiful women? Is it normal for me to create an elaborate altar that idolizes beautiful women? This is what is in my heart! To me, it is about serving a living deity. Am I the only male who feels this way?”
Absolutely not. I’ll confess, I’m another such. And what about this guy, who clearly harbors the self-same worshipful yearning:
“I would like my wife to assert her true female goddess and identity and let me openly worship her the way I have to do in private now. I would welcome the worshipping lifestyle in ways in which would I'm sure would make my wife's life heavenly.”
But let me back up to that earlier question to Elise —“Is it wrong for me to worship beautiful women?” Her answer begins with a theological clarification: “The practice of exalting people, animals, and nature above God is known as idolatry and if you are Jewish or a Christian, idolatry is the violation of the very first commandment. (‘you shall have no other Gods before Me’). The key words are ‘before me,’ so you can worship women, but be careful not to replace the Creator with the creation. Women were created to be served by men and to govern men from a position of authority. Women were not created to replace God in men’s lives.”
After lecturing the man, she gives him a maternal pat on the head: “I can fully understand your desire to want to worship women in a deeper and more spiritual way… Women are worthy to be worshipped but you must be careful to worship women in a manner that will meet their practical needs. Building an altar and meditating on the beauty and majesty of women might be good for you personally, and thus be mentally and spiritually satisfying, but it has no practical benefit to women.”
Grab a mop and a broom, in other words. Clean the altar and the holy ground all around. And then ask your Goddess what else She’d like done. Here’s a wife who obviously is worshipped in exactly that way: “Dear Elise, My husband has learned to obey me and, indeed, to worship me, and I truly believe that he is a better person for the experience.”
I’m not attempting a conclusion here, just a survey of a considerable field. But, if a conclusion needs to be reached, let’s have Elise Sutton do the summing up, in her best counseling voice:
“Do you feel guilty about worshipping your wife and serving her as her slave? This is merely an advanced form of romance and intimacy. Don’t make too much out of the word ‘worship.’ Religion elevates these words to unattainable standards when they really talk to our most basic nature. You love God so you sing songs of praise and you worship God. You love your wife so you adore her, praise her and show her acts of devotion. It is not the same kind of worship because your wife is flesh and blood whereas God is Spirit but they both involve intimacy. Worship is an act of intimacy.”