“Her head was becoming giddy. Wild with the need of him, yet she fought this need… She had yet to prove her worth to him, in all other ways of importance… what was there that made her behave so recklessly?...sent spirals of many shades of color spinning through her consciousness...she let herself enjoy fully the sweet pain of passion. She knew that she was as hopelessly addicted as an alcoholic who couldn’t stay away from the bottle.”
Image by nwistheone via FlickrWhew! Those quotes came directly from a romance novel, a typical example of a romance novel of our time, and I left out the really juicy parts. Of course, this doesn’t qualify as pornography, which is very graphic. Time was when such passages as this were considered raunchy, back when “romance” meant warm, caring, cuddly, not “passionate.” There’s a big demand for these books today; you’ll find them in special sections of bookstores, at yard sales and flea markets, stacks of them. And they’re all pretty much the same. Also, the authors often use pen names, so you don’t know who they are, in much the same way no one knows who really wrote the gospels, and maybe for the same reasons. Suffice it to say, in a free market society, supply rises to meet demand, and there’s a BIG demand for “romance” novels.
In a free market society, consider the top money makers: 1. Drugs (OTC, prescription, illegal, booze); 2. Pornography; 3. Religion; 4. Gambling. They all have the potential to become addictions, sometimes to dangerous degrees. (I worked on day shift with a guy whose wife worked nights, so he stayed home, with his daughter in the next room, got drunk, and watched porno movies. He also confessed that, at some point, when one is over-saturated with porno, the movies “are all alike.” Too much candy?)
Pornography and religion have so much in common, which may explain in part why clergy are sometimes caught accessing child pornography on the web. (I even talked to a clergyman who said he subscribed to the Playboy channel because, “ I need to understand what it’s about.”)
Religion is not chicken soup for the soul, it’s junk food for the soul, because it only satisfies for awhile and the imbiber keeps coming back for the next fix. Pornography excites the senses and imagination, visually and through written description, to the point of inducing masturbation, and still leaves the individual alone, without a real partner to share the love. Similarly, religious church services frequently employ means to excite the senses with wild, unthinking, pure abandoned giving-up, to whatever deity is mutually conjured up. Many church services appear to be a fully clothed, sensuous social circle masturbation, with all the romantic ambience deliberately set up to seduce not only the participants, but a FANTASY person - just like pornography, and often leading to insatiable religious appetites.
My brother once said that he knew women looking for the “perfect man”, but only one who had found him, and she became a nun. She married Jesus, the “perfect” man. For Christians, Jesus is THE romantic, tragic, sacrificial, triumphant, lover. John, “the disciple Jesus loved,” and often quoted by Christians, makes Jesus a romantic figure not unlike those found in romance novels. And, I’ll bet if you read up on writings of noted Christians over the centuries, you’ll find a lot of fantasizing, spiritual masturbation, in the name of the lover Jesus - and maybe Sts. Paul, Francis, etc, also.
The actor Tony Randall once said that pornography is harmless, that all it creates is a demand for more pornography. Much of the religious media is the same. How many of us know, as I do, believers who have dozens of CDs and DVDs of hymns, gospel stories, et al? They involve the same passion-oriented, all-consuming, thoughtless, giddy, and in fact, damn the consequences self absorption as porno. And like porno, it’s drinking sea water. Religion is not chicken soup for the soul, it’s junk food for the soul, because it only satisfies for awhile and the imbiber keeps coming back for the next fix. Jesus is NOT the “real thing.” Jesus is just as much a fantasy as those other romantic gods such as Apollo, Eros, and Bacchus; all Mr. Fantastics. At least the pagans were honest about where their religious bacchanalia led them - to an orgy. (It’s worth noting here the comment by another exChristian, of his relatives being “drunk on Jesus.”)
In order to replace paganism, Christianity found it necessary to adopt some of its rituals, but without the overt sexuality and sensuality the founders abhorred. They found a way to keep their enthusiasts under their control via non-orgasmic raptures and fantasies. They created addicts with these fantastical images of their god; no less addicts than those to pornography, drugs, or alcohol. (And, they eventually found ways to have addicts to those substances transfer their addictions to religion) These PUSHERS, in the minds of their addicts, can do no wrong - be they pope, clergy, Christ, Mohammed, etc. - as long as they preach the words of addiction. And some of these addicts feel the spirit so strongly they will revile, even kill, for their addiction. They are victims, unaware how deep their problem is, or that they have one. How they ever convinced themselves (or let themselves be convinced) that their emotional, irrational, fantasy adorations have anything at all to do with morality remains, to me, a mystery.
How do you detoxify such an addiction, this pornographic religiousness? How do you get those who watch, enjoy, perhaps even believe in those endless hours of gymnastic intercourse in pornography as true, and how do you reach those similarly seduced by those fantastical assertions of Jesus’ miracles? Are not all of these things make-believe, however exciting?
It’s a pity, and sometimes a tragedy, to steal from the real thing. And suddenly it occurs to me that it isn’t just the children who are being seduced and molested. Can I sue the church for alienating my wife’s affections?