Sex, like Religion / Religion, like Sex

What do Madonna, Prince, and Leonard Cohen have in common – with evangelists, ministers, and priests?  They all feed on the proximity of religion and sex.

But, but, you stutter, don’t religions mostly prohibit sex, considering pretty much anything to do with the body to be distasteful or unclean or just plain immoral?  Well, yes.  Could be hypocrisy.  Could be denial.

But on more than one occasion, doesn’t God in The Bible require the sacrifice of a virgin?  And look at St. Theresa’s face – it’s orgasmic.

So what can religion and sex possibly have in common?  Well, they both promise transcendence, ecstasy.  (They both fail to deliver, but that’s another point.)

What else?  Religion is like infatuation (which is fuelled by sexual desire): both involve adoration, worship, of the object of one’s desire.  Add a little confusion and pretty soon one deifies the object of one’s desire or desires the object of one’s deification.

And both religion and sex involve salvation: one looks to God like one does to a lover, for salvation in the other’s arms.   (They both fail to – never mind.)

Furthermore, sex involves a release, a purging if you like – rather like fasting, or confessing and then doing penance.  Again, one gets confused with the other, and pretty soon sex is thought to purify.  I’m sure that’s what all those priests thought when they had sex with those boys.

The extremes of sadomasochism and bondage and discipline highlight the similarities between sexual fanatics and religious fanatics.  More than one saint has submitted to flagellation, by self or by others.  Isn’t every monk given a hairshirt and every nun her own little whip?  Suppose things aren’t exactly consensual – well, it’s no coincidence that ‘rape’ and ‘rapture’ come from the same root.

And to kneel in prostration is to put one’s ass in the air – I’m ready, enter me, oh Great One.

Our Christian Language

I hadn’t really thought about it until I saw ‘his word’ corrected to ‘His Word’ on a Writing Competency Test at a publicly-funded university.

I can accept a capital on ‘God’ because the word is being used as a name, and names are generally capitalized.  (Though I do find it rather presumptuous to so appropriate a common noun.  It’s also a bit coercive: to use a common noun without an article is to imply there’s only one – the claim ‘Cat is happy’ demands the question ‘Which cat?’ unless you think there’s only one; so when the rest of us want to refer to the Christian god, since we must say ‘God’ instead of using a real name like ‘Zeus’ or ‘Hela’, we are unwillingly implying the same belief.)

And I can accept capitals on ‘The Bible‘, as well as italics, because the words refer to the title of a book, and such words are generally capitalized, as well as italicized.

But what’s the rationale for capitalizing ‘His Word’?  Read the rest of this entry »

In Commemoration of the Holocaust

I’m not saying it didn’t happen.

I’m not saying that, in any way, it was okay.

But I’d like to point out that a devout Jew would’ve done, would do, the same thing to the Germans – if God told him to.

‘Oh but God would never command such a thing.’

Take a better look at your Bible: Read the rest of this entry »

Intelligent Design vs Evolution

It’s ironic that the stupid people are backing intelligent design, and the intelligent people are backing dumbfuck non-design. That’s essentially what evolution is: whatever traits lead to increased reproduction, those are the ones that survive.

And what traits lead to reproduction? Not intelligence, that’s for sure. Intelligent women don’t want to have ten kids. They’d rather be doing medical research, composing sonatas, studying society. And intelligent men? They’re not cruising the bars. They’re home with a good book if they’re not still in the office or the lab. It’s stupid women who forget to take the pill or don’t get a tubal ligation. And it’s stupid men who don’t use a condom or get a vasectomy. And it’s stupid brute force that rapes. And those men aren’t targeting the intellectuals. So we’re evolving all right. Right into propagated species-wide stupidity.

But isn’t evolution all about survival of the fittest? Yeah…fittest to the environment. And since stupid people, the ones reproducing, don’t even know what an ‘ecological footprint’ is, let alone have the character (and here I include both a certain morality and self-discipline) to minimize their ecological footprint, we’re not going to survive.

Which means maybe evolution is intelligent design after all.

From Romeo and Juliet to “Ass” and “Hole”

I filled in for a high school English teacher one day who had left the following instructions: “Have the students rewrite one of the two scenes from Romeo and Juliet – either the balcony scene or the fight scene – into contemporary English.”

“Okay,” I said to the class, “this can be lots of fun, let’s take a look. Open your books to the fight scene, please, and imagine it: you have these guys raging at each other, and they’ve been doing it for years; they’re going to fight now, and they’re going to fight so hard a couple of them end up stabbed to death. Now instead of shouting ‘A plague o’ both your houses!’, Mercutio would say, if it were today, he’d say maybe ‘Fuck you!’, right? Okay, go ahead, see if you can translate the whole scene.”

The students did indeed have lots of fun. And the principal had hysterics. Read the rest of this entry »

Wedding Leave

I recently discovered that my workplace has ‘wedding leave’: apparently you can get up to three days off—with pay. What the fuck is going on here?

I mean, what’s a wedding? It’s just a big party. Should employees be allowed to have personal parties on company time? I think not.

Oh, but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime party. Well, no, Read the rest of this entry »

Tax Exemptions for Charitable Institutions

If you believe in the supernatural and on that basis obtain a paying job, as a minister, priest, pastor, whatever, you don’t have to pay income tax.  If you establish a group of like believers and buy a piece of land and/or a building for meetings, you don’t have to pay property tax.  And if your group buys stuff, like computers, billboards, and so on, you don’t have to pay sales tax.   You’re a charitable institution.

What’s charitable about killing people who don’t believe what you believe?  What’s charitable about telling half of your group that they’re subordinate?  What’s charitable about telling another portion of your group that they’re sick?  What’s charitable about discouraging rational thought unless it supports your beliefs?  What’s charitable about telling all of them they’re sinners just by virtue of having been born?

If we’re going to exempt people from contributing to the upkeep of our roads, hospitals, schools, and so on because of their (presumed) ethically good behavior (an interesting idea, by the way), then let’s at least be consistent: let’s exempt snowplow operators, doctors, nurses, teachers, firefighters, police officers, counselors, plumbers, electricians.  And so on.

God Promised

With such regularity, it really should be the refrain of every national anthem, we hear something along these lines: ‘The land is rightfully ours. God promised it to us.’

Yeah well, God lies. Or at least he changes his mind.

Consider this: Read the rest of this entry »

God: The Quintessential Deadbeat Dad

He left almost 2,000 years ago. Said he’d be back real soon. Yeah. He never writes. He never calls. He left us these notes though. But half are so cryptic, the rest so contradictory, he must’ve been sloshed at the time. ‘Wait ’till your father gets home.’ That got tired real quick.

Child support? It’s not just that so many of us don’t have enough to eat. A lot of us are starving to death! We have no roof over our heads. And we could use new clothes. ‘Cheque’s in the mail.’ Right.

They say the typical dad interacts with his kids for just two minutes each day. Half of us would weep with gratitude just to hear his voice for two minutes period.

Role model? ‘Like father, like son’ is an understatement. Lots of us have a temper, and we’re a vengeful lot. We kill, we torture, we loot, we lie. We’re racist. And women, well, they’re just not very important.

Bottom line is he’s guilty of neglect and abuse. His kids wouldn’t recognize him if he did show up. As for duty and responsibility, let alone love and affection, he may as well not even exist.

Why are women more religious than men?

Why are women more religious, in belief and in practice, than men?

1. Religious belief is more of an emotional thing than a cognitive thing. (Consider the fact that merely thinking about religious beliefs is usually sufficient to reveal they’re unwarranted.) And women are raised to be more emotional than cognitive; men are raised to be more cognitive than emotional (in fact, they are encouraged, even taught, to deny their emotions).

2. Religious authority figures, mythological (God, Allah, Zeus, and so on) and real (priests, rabbi, ministers, and so on), are male. And since women are raised to be subservient to males, to regard males as authorities, it’s easy for them to accept God, for example, as an authority and subordinate themselves to him. Men, on the other hand, are encouraged to be the authority; they’re also encouraged to compete with other men. So to accept God, for example, as an authority and subordinate themselves to him would not be easy — in fact, it would be emasculating. (Which is why the macho Promise Keepers came to be.) (And why its popularity didn’t last very long.) Read the rest of this entry »