One of the things that really attracted me to the Anglican church is their mellow approach to the minutiae of everyday life. In the Anglican worldview, most “things” aren’t inherently bad, but rather what’s bad is the way people apply those things to their lives. Thus, alcohol isn’t bad, but being a drunk is. Sex isn’t bad, but being promiscuous is. Red meat isn’t bad, but being a glutton is. This “middle of the road” philosophy kept a “militant vegetarian wing” or “teetotaler wing” from forming in the Anglican faith.
Other religions, of course, disagree. Seventh-Day Adventists, for example, discourage the use of alcohol or tobacco and promote vegetarianism. Strict Seventh-Day Adventists even shun caffeine drinks like coffee, tea and soda.
But there was one Seventh-Day Adventist who took it even further. This man thought that red meat and pork were literally evil, not just in the “it causes heart disease” sense, but in the “it’ll make you rape women” sense. And he also thought that most forms of sexual intercourse were evil, too… even between married couples! He especially hated masturbation, and felt that it caused urinary diseases, epilepsy, insanity and mental and physical debility in general, as well as uterine cancer in women and impotence and nocturnal emissions in men… and yes, even “reduced vision”.