4) So no, no, no premarital sex ~ even if you each were 100 years old and had been married prior. No one ever told me when sex became sex. That presented a problem deciding how far I could go with my date and, though a problem, I did enjoy getting as close as possible to violating what I determined the sex-threshold might be. Also, persons seemed not to differentiate between fornication and adultery. That was confusing. Regardless, all fornicators and adulterers would burn in hell, I was taught, and some Bible can be read that way. So, confused or not about what was what, the sentence was a life sentence. Due to this, two persons living together as a couple before marriage was called "shaking up," and this brought the judgment of the church down upon them. Another way such persons were referred to was with the stigma "living in sin." This, too, could be confusing to some, as, as I understood it, I was taught we were all living in sin, for all were sinners. Now, does that no sound confusing? What a change to when, years later and a pastor in another sect, a couple inquired as to my pastoral guidance on their wish to hire a prostitute to engage in sex with their nearing-death father and father-in-law. They considered this a kind gift to give him before his goodbye to earth life. Seminary did not prepare me for that kind of question. Here, two United Methodists were considering calling in a prostitute for their dying loved one, which was far from the Catholic calling in a priest for Prayer for the Sick.
5) Males ~ No long hair. No length was ever stipulated and no debates engaged as to what would be the official beginning length of long hair, like no sex-threshold had been given to us. How could be sure we not sinned, if we did not know where sin began? Mom and dad seemed to assume long hair meant no hair touching the ears. I could not decide why a picture of Jesus with long hair, looking like what the people called a hippie, adorned the wall right behind where the preacher preached from judging long hair and hippies. Jesus could have long hair, but the Beatles were sinning by having long hair. Again, confusing? As well as Jesus being white, but he was a Middle Easterner, a Jew. He looked more like of European descent, maybe a native of the deep South USA, and he always looked sad in all the pictures, never happy, but I thought Love was a source of joy. Well, I am getting bogged down again, now in cultural and aesthetic analysis, so back to the rules.
6) Females do not cut their hair. This included any hair ~ on the head, under the arms, on the legs, ... Men could, but not women. Oddly, another unresolved conundrum of my childhood: the ladies who maintained this belief somehow had the miracle that their hair did not get longer and longer, it would grow onward and grow backward ~ wonder how that happened? I guess that saying is true, "God works in mysterious ways?" However, I did see a lady who took this very seriously. She did not shave her legs. When in church one night, I looked over and, well, some things you see you wish you had never seen. I do not believe in a purgatory following death, but I would be willing to consider going there now, if I could get that memory purged from the brain.
7) No masturbating, including hands-off playing in any way with your genitals. My dad did find my brother and I playing with our penises in the bathtub one night, he told us to stop, but did not make it a matter of great import. Anyway, we were playing cars with gear sticks.
8) No fishing on Sundays. Lucky day for the fish, I guess, for fishing had been decided to violate the Sabbath, which was Sunday. I am not sure of all the whats and whys, but somehow the Jewish Sabbath, about sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, became both the Sabbath and Sunday for Christians, 12 midnight to 12midnight. Do you see how so much of this is confusing? Some might say weird.