portrait of ann lee
Shakers were known for their shaking vigorously during worship.

You've heard of the Quakers, but how about the Shakers?

The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing – more commonly known as the Shakers – is an obscure sect of Protestant Christianity that views all sexual contact as a grave sin (among holding other very surprising beliefs). 

The group is now nearly extinct, but they made quite the wave and seem to be doing everything they can to stage a comeback.

Here is the story of the Shakers, why there are fewer than 5 left alive today, and how they hope to survive.

Thou Shalt Not Fornicate

A portmanteau of "shaking Quakers," the Shakers were named after their vigorous vibrations during worship. Egalitarian, communistic, progressive, and most of all, celibate, the Shakers are a bizarre and fascinating experiment in America’s religious tapestry.

Founded in England in 1747 by Jane and James Wardley, the Shakers began as the "Wardley Society", a small Quaker worship group known for their spontaneous shaking, quaking, singing and dancing during worship. In 1774, nine of these Wardley Society members sailed to New York, including the woman widely considered to be the proper founder of the movement: Ann Lee.

portrait of ann lee
Shaker founder Ann Lee

Ann Lee would eventually become a moderately well-known figure in the colonies for her controversial beliefs. “Mother Ann,” as she was known, was a passionate preacher. So much so that her followers would eventually come to believe that she was the second incarnation (and first female incarnation) of Jesus Christ.

The Quakers did have some relatively odd beliefs and practices for their time – particularly their intense belief in Pacifism.... but Mother Ann's splinter group, which would come to be known as the Shakers, held some views that may be considered extremely progressive even for today, let alone in the 1770s.

What the Shakers Believe

First off, they lived in a communistic society where all worldly possessions were shared amongst members. They firmly believed in Pacifism, and they believed in total Racial and Gender Equality – remarkable beliefs for the period. In the world of the Shakers, everyone was equal.

That said, they did have at least one view that might be considered to lie on the opposite side of the spectrum: radical celibacy. Plenty of faith groups believe that sex is sin outside of marriage, particularly some of the first English groups that made their homes in America... But quite controversially, Shakers believed that sex within marriage was a sin, too. 

To Shakers, Adam and Eve's original sin wasn’t eating the apple... it was engaging in sexual intercourse. This led them to call for the rejection of anything that could possibly lead to “lustful gratifications” – including marriage.

As you might guess, radical equality aside, a totally sex-free lifestyle proved to be a tough sell. But Mother Ann was a compelling salesperson, and the Shakers did find modest success recruiting members in New England. Active recruitment was a necessity considering they were not able to birth new members into their faith.

At the height of their membership, it’s believed there were around 6,000 members... not too bad for a group that can't reproduce!

Shaking to the End

So what happened to the Shakers? Well, unsurprisingly, their numbers began to decline over the years. Following their peak in the 19th century, Shakers slowly began to die off without new members being birthed into their movement, and the progressive Shaker colonies which peppered the New England landscape slowly but surely began to shutter.

The group is now on the verge of extinction, but they're not totally gone yet... one lone Shaker group remains today: The Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community in New Gloucester, Maine. Though, it may be the smallest religious group on the planet.

The Sabbathday community had, in 2017, just three remaining members. However, Sister Frances Carr passed away that year, leaving just two elderly members behind her, Sister June and Brother Arnold:

However, the Shakers could be on the verge of a renassaince: in 2021 it was revealed that a new member, Brother Andrew, had voluntarily joined the Sabbathday community, bumping their membership back up to three. Together, they regularly hold Sunday worship services (which are open to the public), as well as maintain and operate a museum, gift shop, and active online presence.

Recently, they held an online poll asking users to vote between sheep and cow butter and were able to fundraise over $100,000 to support the building of a new barn for the community! (Cow butter won).

Their next goal is to raise enough funds to remodel another building in the village to serve as a workshop and market for the production and sale of the herbs, teas, jams, soaps, artwork, and fabrics they produce and sell to support their community (with much of the work being done by non-member volunteers in the area). 

How to Join the Shakers

Membership remains open for serious inquiries – but before you get too excited, joining up isn't too simple. In addition to requesting that you share all of their beliefs, the Shakers (according to their website) require that all applicants:

  1. Are US Citizens
  2. Are at least 18 years old
  3. Must be of "sound mind and body"
  4. Must have no financial debt
  5. Must be single
  6. Must be willing to be celibate for life
  7. Must have no dependents
  8. Must be able and willing to totally devote yourself to God/the community.

Provided you meet those requirements, you will then be permitted to send in your application. After that, they indicate there will be a period of back-and-forth written communication followed by scheduled visits to the community. After that, if you pass muster, you might be invited to join the village as a Novice.

After a year, the community will get together and vote on whether or not they are willing to accept you as a Member, and it isn't until after 5 years of residency that one will be invited to become a full Member of the Shaker Church and asked to "consecrate all of their worldly possessions to the Community". 

Provided you make the cut, you'll be able to enjoy a group breakfast and prayer starting at 7:30AM, work and more prayer until a main meal at 12:00PM, then a 5PM meetup for more prayer and study, and a small meal before you are released to "enjoy the evening". 


  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    The "God Virus" infects many cultures and comes in many forms of mental illness world wide. Let's hope they get well soon.


    1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

      Or just die without reproducing.

      1. Eric Jay Singerman's Avatar Eric Jay Singerman

        Such tolerance exhibited here...

    2. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      you mean like the "no god" sickness that has infected quite a lot of people Lion?

      1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

        Speaking of viruses, there's a decent chunk of evolutionists that feel mankind is a virus to the planet. I'm guessing they're including themselves as a virus.

        I never could get it in my head why an evolutionary process that constructed mankind is praised in wonder and awe until we measure mankind. We are after all superior to all other life and can master any of their pitiful properties if it pleases us. If we're the Kwisatz Haderach of evolution we should all have golden statues of ourselves on our kitchen table.

        If humans wipe out thousands of species before lunch or obliterate the planet, is that not just part of the evolutionary process? Are we not just doing what we're programmed to do?

        1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

          SOJ, perhaps we're programmed to both destroy (obliterate) and build (create). It seems Hindus might have thought. It has the Gods Brahma (creator), Vishna (sustainer), and Shiva (destroyer). Don't humans so they same? Think of our infrastructure, we build, maintain, and demolish. Perhaps religion when well understood can help us understand ourselves. They're like mirror we created so that we can see ourselves.

          1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

            I think so Russel.
            Back before I was a Christian, before I ever tried to understand the Bible I was searching for some truth about us, any truth. I ingested DMT, it gives about a 10 minute yet extremely intense trip.

            It gave me a vision where Jesus was returning and I had the unbelievably strong feeling he expected to see two kinds of people, those with hammers and those with crowbars. I felt I'd better have a hammer, definitely not a crowbar. Speaking of Shakers, the vision definitely shook me.

            Now that I've studied the old testament I know destruction via judgement is God's work, not ours. We're to be creative and constructive. So says mankind's greatest carpenter. While I don't think the drug induced vision was from God, it's still accurate.

            My impression of the biblical verse that says we're created in God's image is as you've suggested. Our creativity, emotional sophistication, attention to detail and even our destructive nature. It's these gifts that separate us from animals as far as the cosmos is vast. So much so that I can't believe we have atheists.

            We have a very interesting and generous creator my friend.

    3. Brien's Avatar Brien

      Sorry Lionheart, I've been searching for a god virus cure for many years and have not found one. Let me know if you find one, I will invest in it.😁

      1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

        The best cure against the God Virus 🦠 is education, using logic, reason, and critical thought. JW’s have a defense mechanism in place to prevent the cure and that is they recommend which books NOT to read.

        It appears the cure is more achievable if one isn’t born into a family that is already infected with the virus.🦠 Parents that are infected with the virus 🦠 easily pass it on to their offspring.

        The biggest problem with the virus 🦠 is that it’s very virulent and those that have it don’t even know it’s a virus 🦠.They will even insist they need the virus 🦠 and will do their best to contaminate others. Some even go door-to-door to contaminate other households. 🤷🏼


        1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

          I'm not sure your approach will work Lionheart. Logic, reason and critical thought would not allow me to debunk the Bible. I keep trying but I keep failing. I don't come from a religious family, dad was an atheist I think. I never got indoctrinated by anyone. I just read the thing some years back with the intent to understand the virus. A few years later I started showing symptoms.

          Apparently the God virus spontaneously evolves in a host from existing cells upon reading the description of it. The problem is the document itself.

          Fear not, Im doing my best to not transmit it to my offspring. We don't go to church or conduct family readings. Nothing of the sort. Truly.

          They know I have it though, they've caught me reading about it a few times and overheard my wife and I discussing the wise words of Jesus last week.

          I am worried about my oldest though, I hitched a ride with him a while back and he had a static filled bible program quietly going on his radio. Prolly just transmission interference right? Unless Jesus caused the cross station interference to hook him.....now you've got me paranoid.

        2. Rev. BH's Avatar Rev. BH

          That blue pill emoji is childish and distracting. One is never enough, eh?

          1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

            I know what you mean, the God Virus 🦠 keeps cropping up everywhere you look. Will it ever really disapear? It all started with the Sun God Virus ☀️🦠 thousands of years ago, and it mutated from there to the many mutations we have today. I actually think though that we are slowly eradicating it day by day. Keep your mask on as best you can, or are you already infected? 😷


  1. Theresa C. Marquess's Avatar Theresa C. Marquess

    It is no wonder that the Shakers have dwindled down to very few members...even so, I find it fascinating that the sect has lasted as long as it has. They do make terrific furniture, though. For that, we have to thank them!

  1. Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson's Avatar Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson

    When I was growing up, one of the historic sites my dad liked to bring us to was the Shaker Hancock Village in Pittsfield, MA. It has been preserved as a living history museum. The ruling body of the Shaker Movement closed the village in 1960. It was sold to a not-for-profit corporation. They opened it as a museum in 1961.

    I grew up about 60 miles east of there.

    1. Susan Christine Giganti's Avatar Susan Christine Giganti

      Isn’t it a great place ? I grew up In Pittsfield MA The Shakers made medicines , baskets and sold furniture to support themselves. The round stone barn is a landmark in the area.

      1. Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson's Avatar Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson

        I have a few relatives in Pittsfield. I am from West Springfield, been far away since I married in June 82. Wife was an Air Force Officer, so I've followed her career. She's from Wilbraham.

  1. Brien's Avatar Brien

    Gee, another crazy christian group up for discussion, Christianity must be so proud 👏😂

    1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      Cant be any worse then some of the other religions that have offshoots.

      1. Brien's Avatar Brien

        That is true. Sometimes I feel that they are all trying to out crazy each other.😆

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    Here in England we have never heard of the Shakers I wouldn't join if there's one here as a red bloodied male of 65 years old I'm in a celibate marriage not by my own choice

    1. Alun Lloyd Palmer's Avatar Alun Lloyd Palmer

      They were founded in England, but they all moved to the US, leaving none behind. I'm an atheist ULC minister, and all I can say is "Go forth and multiply"!

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        Ok I am curious, how can you be an atheist minister?

        1.An atheist is a person who has absolutely no beliefs in a divine or a supreme being.(and if thats what they want to believe more power to them)

        1. A minister is by definition a leader of a religious group that teaches the beliefs of their chosen religion or the belief in a deity or a supreme being.

        The two are like oil and water. So I am not being condescending, I really am curious as to how you can claim to be both?

        1. Don Carlo Battaglia's Avatar Don Carlo Battaglia

          You can't just make up ypur own definition of a work and then ask someone to defend it:

          Merriam-Webster: Synonyms -- Noun agent ambassador delegate emissary envoy legate representative

          I am also an atheist minister -- by definition.

      2. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

        You said it Alun. A better and more thought provoking translation says 'Go forth and replenish the earth'. Either work and either way, the Shakers cult can be debunked just a few verses into Genesis.

      3. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

        For xtians more of a situation of ‘Go forth, multiply and brainwash.’

  1. Rev. Elizabeth's Avatar Rev. Elizabeth

    So their idea of keeping their membership growing is to recruit people. These new recruits had to agree to no sex. I’m sure they didn’t get many recruits over the years. The numbers show that. I’m surprised they have the members they do. No sex? Celibate? In the Bible it says to procreate. So they just take a person’s view on life without reading the Bible. Shake and shimmy during a sermon and don’t have sex with the person you are attracted to. I’m sure there isn’t many married believers. Of course, I was not raised that way so I can’t understand going through life celibate, especially if married. That woman who created this shakers religion was a great convincer. She did have an unusually size forehead. How do they think they arrived in this world? It took sex to create them. A strange belief for a group of people. I bet they are not virgins, at least not all of them. Imagine this, they are supposed to be celibate and a woman ends up pregnant. Oh boy. 😳🫣

    1. Susan Christine Giganti's Avatar Susan Christine Giganti

      They would often adopt orphans and let them chose to join when they came of age. No hard feeling if they left. Some families came in with their kids. So there were a few little ones in the group.

    2. Elizabeth Jane Erbe Wilcox's Avatar Elizabeth Jane Erbe Wilcox

      But wait! Are you saying the Virgin Mary had sex in order to give birth to jesus? ♥️

      1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

        No Elizabeth, that's a different cult.

        Actually there's quite a few cults that strip Jesus of his deity. They've got to do quite a bit of biblical editing to make that claim though. With the Bible being so flawlessly intricate, they always miss something, always.

      2. Alun Lloyd Palmer's Avatar Alun Lloyd Palmer

        LOL! Good point!

        1. Rev. Elizabeth's Avatar Rev. Elizabeth

          What did I say to print this response? I’m curious.

      3. Timothy C Stone's Avatar Timothy C Stone

        Just part of the myth created by men to validate the claim Jesus was God.

        1. Rev. Elizabeth's Avatar Rev. Elizabeth

          I’m still with believing that. I believe in the Holy Trinity.

          I’m trying to understand why I said I have to work for God when I was 6yo. I said I want to be a priest. My mother says I can’t, only men can. I ask how can I work for God then? She says you can be a Nun. I said but they work for the priest. I need to work with God. I’m 6yo talking with my Mom here. She said that is all she knows. I said then I will be a Num who will work for God, not the priest. A lot of bad with me and the church happened along the way. So much so that I walked away from them. I felt lost and hurting. How can I work for you God. I ended up being pulled in a total different direction. Ended up attending a service in a Methodist church that the pastor there invited me to attend. I was hooked this is it. I can be a pastor and it happened. God did that to me. I didn’t say everything I went through to get me there. I work for God. 😀🥰

          1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

            Elizabeth, I'm curious. If you're already a Methodist pastor what made you decide to also be a ULC minister?

      4. Rev. Elizabeth's Avatar Rev. Elizabeth

        No. Why would you ask me that? She was engaged to Joseph. She would have lost her virginity when they married but then God intervened in a big way and he couldn’t have sex with her until after Jesus was born.

        I’m confused why you would ask me that.

  1. Ari Joseph Bertine's Avatar Ari Joseph Bertine

    Interesting group. I am very curious about where they derive their view on all sexual contact. Do they believe that humans are not meant to survive as a species? I'll have to do some research and see if I can find more explanation of this. It seems likely to me that Mother Ann must have been either asexual and sex-repulsed, or a victim of traumatic abuse, but one never knows where else some ideas can come from.

    1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

      There's a couple spots where being celibate for gods service is a calling for some people.

      There was a cult around the same time in Europe where the men would voluntarily get castrated. The didn't last too long.

      The Branch Dividian cult when controlled by David Koresh reportedly had the men willing remain celibate and some castrate themselves then hand their wives over to Koresh.

      Cults are indeed fascinating. People can go so far down a rabbit hole that reality is just gone.

      If not for the Bible's misplaced but advanced knowledge and historical accuracy I'd be worried I'm suffering the same as a Christian. I think it's always good to question the path were on.

  1. Minister Deidre's Avatar Minister Deidre

    There was a decent sized community in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. I grew up there, and they make sure you learn about them. They would adopt kids to keep themselves from dying out. There's a Shaker museum here, too.

  1. arawngraalrd's Avatar arawngraalrd

    That succulence, the knowledge of which is both good and evil, might reasonably bar an aspirant from the fruit of life everlasting, but we now have ways around it. The challenge remains, who would dare. Genesis has it's sexy parts, with that new creature becoming separate from Man at the Rib.

  1. Kevin Oconnell's Avatar Kevin Oconnell

    Everything has man made rules in it, unfortunately all religion also , it's what you believe and willing to sacrifice that attracts you to these beliefs, I believe in Jesus and God all else fails

    1. Alun Lloyd Palmer's Avatar Alun Lloyd Palmer

      I believe Jesus was real, but don't believe in a god. Likewise, I think his teachings on behaviour were admirable, although there is evidence that his parents may have been from a sect that already had those beliefs.

      1. Rev. BH's Avatar Rev. BH

        The earliest version of the bible was put together about the 4th century CE. That means Jesus' teachings were handed down orally for hundreds of years, like the telephone game. Tell me about your great, great, great, great (etc.) grandfather's teachings, then tell me about Jesus'.

        1. James Mounts's Avatar James Mounts

          I wonder from what the Bible was "put together." .

          ' '

          1. Thomas P. Davis's Avatar Thomas P. Davis

            From my understanding, when the different denominations were trying to brown nose their new king, He was smarter than the average bear and put them all together to come up with the KJV. That way they all needed to be in agreement on what was written and not put their personal interpretation to it.

  1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

    This was an interesting article. Sounds similar to monastic communities. Having had a woman as it's recognized founder despite having been started by a married couple, treating the genders (sexes) as the same, and denying sexual gratification so important to men did not make for a promising future. Their society may well be a warning to any society that follows such progressive (woke) policies. The most successful societies of the past seem to have followed policies that were the exact opposite of the Shakers. A cautionary tale indeed.

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    Why does this picture look like the dancers in Michael Jacksons Thriller Video? And I love how the article writer keeps trying to inform us that there are only 2 members of this group (with a possible third being very suspicious) and yet in the very next breath they try and claim that they sold cow butter for a barn for a so-called community of two maybe three people? Do they know how to count?

  1. Janis Carol Sommers's Avatar Janis Carol Sommers

    I am so delighted with this information that the Shakers are taking in new members. Not having Sex is not the end of life. The virtues and work habits the Shakers lived by are only weird or freakish to those who do not live peaceful lives. I began visiting with and studying the history of the Shakers (and other religious communities that settled the United States) in the early 1970's. It was a time when 'back to the land' and 'communal living' were being rediscovered and newly created in many forms. Few are left. It is the sharing in a common spiritual belief that keeps a community alive. The Shaker's grew in size through the war years when children were orphaned, parents died, women widowed and the Shaker Communites provided safety, education, food, shelter, work trades skills and they never refused anyone who wanted to leave, even after they were raised in the community. The attraction of a loving, well organized community made many want to join and Shaker communities were all over the country. The decision to not admit any more to live as Shakers came from spirit. The group of about six or seven were aging and they did not see a way to imbue new members with the spirit and teachings of Mother Anne and the subsequent Elders and Eldresses who rose to lead the Shaker Communities. The Shaker RELIGION was being lost and it was time for it to be 'lost' to the future. They were a very favored group throughout the country for they donated and sold quality goods, invented practical useful items for the home and work. They invented the wood peg window system for hold windows open, and clothes pins, as example. To critcize these gentle and kind people because they are celibate is just a sign of immaturity. I have tried to live by the words of Mother Anne since I discovered her writing. To live as brothers and sisters in innocence is not easy when we come from a society where women are chatel and men abusive to them, animals and practically anyting nature that stands between them and what they want.
    'Live every day as though you have a thousands years, and as if you will die tomorrow". "Put your hands to work, and your heart to God". Everything else is *********.

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      Janis, your knowledge of the Shakers was truly impressive. You provided additional information that was Interesting to read. When we come across a more appropriate article about the relations between men and women we might have an opportunity to discuss your final thoughts. We will undoubtedly disagree which is healthy. But you really know your stuff about the Shakers.

  1. Mike's Avatar Mike

    The shakers were communalistic, not communistic. There's a big difference between the two, especially since communism was invented by Marx and Engels the century following the formation of the Shakers. Besides, celibacy is hardly "progressive." The Roman Catholics had been forcing it upon their clergy for centuries by the time the Shakers first shook. Come to think of it, once they die out, will they be known as the "Shooker's?"

    1. Cyril R. VanKeirsbelk's Avatar Cyril R. VanKeirsbelk

      Comment removed by user.

    2. Cyril R. VanKeirsbelk's Avatar Cyril R. VanKeirsbelk

      Communes are communist. It's in the name. Communism is not a type of government, it's a social philosophy, it's the opposite philosophy of capitalism. So, yes the Shakers were communists.

      Marx wrote about communism and created Marxism, a form of communism. Marx and Engels did not create communism.

      1. James Mounts's Avatar James Mounts

        Both "Webster's" and "American Heritage" dictionaries support Cyril. Mike's definition is listed as the 2nd or less common definition.

  1. Takaya Kovani Sweeney's Avatar Takaya Kovani Sweeney

    I wish that racists, bigots and other nutjob religious zealots take up this model too…we would soon be rid of that idiocy as well.

    godSPEED, Thank JEEBUS and whatever other hullibaloo😂🤣

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      Takaya, life is like a mirror reflecting back to one what he or she has put out into the world. If one sees love, then one has put out love. If one sees negativity, then one has put out negatively. So who's the real racist, bigot, or nutjob?

  1. Kathryn Darcy Smith's Avatar Kathryn Darcy Smith


  1. Anne Winslow Jenny's Avatar Anne Winslow Jenny

    There are many communal groups of persons who band together to share the joys and burdens of their lives. Such a group can become a cult when there is unquestioned adherence to a set of beliefs set forth by a charismatic leader. And, those beliefs may not be questioned (Hitler, Koresh, Trump, the Kims of N. Korea et al)

    The Shakers, as was noted in several of the responses, did not force their beliefs on the children they raised and they respected the voices and personhood of ALL of the members of their community. A totally opposite situation to a cult.

    I grew up around Quakers, Amish and others of similar belief systems that are known as “traditional peace churches” Remember, In the 60’s and 70’s women were still considered property under our legal system. Learning about an egalitarian group like the shakers was both inspiring and eye opening to me as a young woman.

    Why are you so hung up on celibacy? There were many in the surrounding communities who were welcomed and participated in the community, but did not commit to full membership for a number of reasons. The Shaker communities were neighbors to be cherished— quick to lend a hand and honorable in all of their dealings.

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      Anne, you said many nice things about the Shakers. But as for women being the property of men in the 60's and 70's, that is a bit over the top. I remember the 60's and 70's and women not chattel at least not in Western societies. In the Middle East perhaps so, but not here.

      1. Anne Winslow Jenny's Avatar Anne Winslow Jenny

        If I do not have full agency to act for myself for personal decisions, or within the largest society, then I am in the eyes of the law, subject to the decision, making authority of somebody else. It is not as blatant or as vicious as some of the more fundamentalist countries, but we still are less than in the societ. in legal precedent persons without full autonomy are treated as property

        A woman needed a co-signer for most credit until 1974. Control of her own body was only allowed after the Roe decision. We still have not passed the ERA… The presumptive position for most rape and spousal abuse cases was that she was at fault

        Just as a reminder.. 1953 – Jerrie Cobb is the first U.S. woman to undergo astronaut testing. NASA, however, cancels the women's program in 1963. It is not until 1983 that an American woman gets sent into space. 1963 – The Equal Pay Act is passed by Congress, promising equitable wages for the same work, regardless of the race, color, religion, national origin or sex of the worker.1953 – Jerrie Cobb is the first U.S. woman to undergo astronaut testing. NASA, however, cancels the women's program in 1963. It is not until 1983 that an American woman gets sent into space. 1963 – The Equal Pay Act is passed by Congress, promising equitable wages for the same work, regardless of the race, color, religion, national origin or sex of the worker. 1964 – Title VII of the Civil Rights Act passes, prohibiting sex discrimination in employment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is created. 1965 – The Supreme Court establishes the right of married couples to use contraception. 1969 – California adopts the nation's first "no fault" divorce law, allowing divorce by mutual consent 1972 – Title IX of the Education Amendments prohibits sex discrimination in all aspects of education programs that receive federal support. The Supreme Court upholds the right to use birth control by unmarried couples. 1973 – Landmark Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade makes abortion legal. The Supreme Court in a separate ruling bans sex-segregated "help wanted" advertising. 1974 – Housing discrimination on the basis of sex and credit discrimination against women are outlawed by Congress. The Supreme Court rules it is illegal to force pregnant women to take maternity leave on the assumption they are incapable of working in their physical condition. 1975 – The Supreme Court denies states the right to exclude women from juries. 1978 – The Pregnancy Discrimination Act bans employment discrimination against pregnant women.

      2. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

        Anne, you cited many things, in fact so many with dates that it appears to have been pasted from a feminist source. What they all seem to show, as an abstraction, is that society had for a long time viewed his and wife as one (legal) entity. And women had, again historically, had specific roles in society as had men. The changes in law by Congress reflected changes in society. Society had reflected the Biblical idea that a wife belonged to her husband AND the husband belonged to his wife. But this didn't make them chattel of each other. It showed that they were a couple. As a couple credit was under his name the same way that a woman took her husband's last name. Society worked. And it worked better than today. We as a society haven't improved since the legislation you cited was passed, in many ways, we've devolved.

  1. Rev Ned's Avatar Rev Ned

    If we look at Christian churches as businesses, there are many business models. Yes, businesses, they sell a product called “everlasting life”. The Shakers are at one extreme, believing in total separation of the sexes. To keep the pews full, it is necessary to proselytize new members constantly. At the other end of the spectrum are the Catholic Church and those with similar views. Birth control of any form is forbidden. The babies are then baptized and, when older are sent to Sunday School for indoctrination. Church attendance is mandatory, along with contributions in the collection plate. I believe the Shakers’ business model doomed them to failure.

  1. Chrystal Lacroix's Avatar Chrystal Lacroix

    So basically to join them, you need to have nothing, be nothing and no one to share it with but them just so you can just pray and eat all day long with them and be lonely with them?? Sounds super rewarding! 😂

    1. Mark Bales's Avatar Mark Bales

      Who said anything about eating?

  1. Nathaniel Joseph Merritt's Avatar Nathaniel Joseph Merritt

    Their requirements for membership in a nearly dead sect reminds me of an old spinster advertising for a young man to marry her and partake of her sensual delights and charms before she dies. How very awkward and...bizarre.

  1. Nathaniel Joseph Merritt's Avatar Nathaniel Joseph Merritt


  1. Mark Bales's Avatar Mark Bales

    That lady's forehead is so big, she looks definately 'Alien'.

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