juice,” my husband said, “Just writenyour orders down, and I’ll figure thingsnout later.” He left the room with ninenpieces of paper in his hand. Consistentnwith the theory that nothing having tondo with kids is ever simple, the last slipnbore this little brainteaser: “One cinnamonnDanish, uncooked.” And I hadnthe pleasure of overhearing a Southernngirl declare, “I just look ignorant in anT-shirt”—a use of the word “ignorant”nI haven’t heard since my last visitnto Kentucky, a state whose small townsn— maybe you’ve heard?—are now officialnbastions of high-school cheerleadingnexcellence.nFinally, I got to see an entire smilingnfamily decked out in matchingnjackets on which were printed in largenletters “Chadney’s Mom,” “Chadney’snDad,” “Chadney’s Brother,” “Chadney’snGrandma,” and “Chadney’snGrandpa.” My only disappointment isnthat I did not get to see the object ofnthis united pride and affection. I hopenfor her family’s sake that she wasn’t thengirl who locked herself in the ladies’nroom. If she wasn’t, then way to go,nChadney.nJanet Scott Barlow covers popularnculture from her home in Cincinnati,nOhio.nLetter FromnWaterfordnby Ivan HelfmannOld Wine FermentingnOne New Age guru still on a roll isnRabbi Sherwin Wine. Twenty-threenyears ago, before his rise, he was annunbelieving rabbi without a congregation.nKnown for his willingness tonviolate Talmudic law by marrying Jewsnto gentiles, this fall Wine becameneochairperson of the InternationalnFederation of Secular HumanisticnJews. At the Birmingham Temple,nWine’s congregation in FarmingtonnHills, Michigan, the synod fulfillednhis dream of receiving emotional supportnand legitimacy from his soulmatesnaround the world. The conference,nwrote Wine in the December 1986nJewish Humanist, confirmed that thenphilosophy of the Birmingham Tem­nple was not a bizarre local phenomenonnbut a movement supported by anninternational gallery of celebrities,nfrom Haim Cohn to Amos Oz.nSince secular humanism usuallyndisguises itself as a neutral science, thencandor of Wine’s movement appealednto the Peeping Tom in me. Hanukkahnwas a day away, providing an opportunitynto view Wine conducting angodless holiday service that I could notnpass up. I rang up the temple fornservice times and was told that thenbuilding would be closed for the holidays.nThe congregation ministers tonthe “mid-winter travel plans of variousnmembers.” I bided my time readingnWine’s book, Judaism Beyond God, asnwell as his other publications, until thentanned brethren returned.nI discovered that the godless religionnrejects prayer and worship: Prayernwastes time. When Wine had lednprayers, during a stint as a Reformnrabbi, nobody upstairs listened. JudaismnBeyond God considers prayer anpsychological kink caused by lingeringnnursery power-fantasies about thenmagical ability of baby sounds to procurenmilk delivery.nIn Wine’s eyes, worship resemblesnthe appeasement rituals of wolves andnis dangerous, irrational, and inappropriatenfor services. Dangerous becausenno power is sacred, taboo, or beyondnhuman challenge; irrational becausenno power requires obsequious honornand devotion. Wine blames ancestornworship for “this bizarre ritualnappeasement of invisible powers, immortals,nicons, books, and abstractndesigns.” Prayer and worship arenreplaced by silent meditation—whichneliminates prayer books and Torahsnfrom his start-up costs.nI attended an outreach session innearly January at the temple, a rectangularnbrick and glass structure thatnresembles a suburban medical plaza.nThe only exterior ornaments were flatnwood panels that framed the glass entrancento the large empty lobby. Winenwaited for us to find him behind thenwindows of the cubical library, fidgetingnhis elbows against the formicantabletop and disparagingly lookingnover the small turnout. He wore a darknbrown wool suit and a matching silkntie, and hogged a table-width to himselfnThe pitch was theatrical. Vivid ges­nnntures followed the words, palms sweepingnthe verbal spill off the formicantabletop. While he talked about unseennforces, his pupils dilated andnbrows lifted: “As secular humanists,nwe hold four tenets: naturalism, skepticism,nconsequential ethics and humanism,”nhe said, and went on tonexplain each tenet well enough for anbubblegum card.”n”Can you show me a supernaturalnbeing?” he asked, swaying spreadnpalms and smirking.nHe spoke of the scientific revolution:n”There are no eternal truths, onlynfleeting objective scientific facts thatnthe scientific method tells us are true.nBut who knows how long their truthnwill last in an age of active change ornwhat science will discover tomorrow?”nMoral laws are as obsolete as closenextended families. Anything that callsnfor unthinking submission to authoritynis unsuited to our individualistic age:n”In the century of the Holocaust, wenfind it unrealistic to depend on ansupernatural being for our safety andndirection. Humanism, however, affirmsnthe individual’s limited but extraordinarynabilities.”nThe human objects of the outreachnask questions: How do you console thenbereaved?n”Let me tell you what I saw at anshivva that turned me completely off.nA beautiful 32-year-old woman, in hernprime, died in a ear accident. Thenrabbi, a conservative, told the devastatednhusband, ‘Maybe it’s for the best.’ Itnwas too much to heap this absurditynupon his pain.n”I console people by complimentingnthem for taking it well and I tell themnhow much I admire their strength.”nHow do you tell kids that there is nonGod?n”You need not waffle because kidsndon’t care,” he said. Though afterwards,nin private, he told a mixedncouple, about to tie the knot, whosenkids thought that Wine’s services werennot for the best, that “Rejecting secularnhumanism is all part of the process.nBe sure to bring them back.”nDo you observe any dietary laws?n”No, most of our members are onndiets.”n1 asked, “What are your rituals like?nHow do you celebrate your holidays?n—People’s Day, for instance?”n”The few rituals we have are for thenJULY 1987/39n