March 04, 2010

Much of international discourse, international politics, is all about how they should become more like us. Quite how they should become more like us depends upon the speaker: if it’s Hillary then more attention should be given to strong, hefty, and mature women who’ve never had an original idea in their lives and if it’s Bill then more attention will be paid to strong, hefty, and young women who have some very original ideas about cigars.

The international aspects of religion are even more exclusive. Not only should they become more like us, they should become exactly like us: share our interpretations of obscure verses of a book they’ve never heard of for fear of losing their eternal souls. And in the more robust interpretations they should be forced to find out about those souls right damn now if they don’t agree.

Perhaps, as a modest proposal, we should be picking up on the ways that religions work out there and bringing those practices home? For example:

A self-styled Hindu holy man and a British Airways stewardess have been arrested in Delhi on suspicion of involvement in a multimillion-pound prostitution racket.

Having traveled on BA recently I can see why she was running the business, not staffing it, but other than that it seems like a perfectly sensible proposition. Temple prostitution is nothing new after all, it’s been common in South India for millennia and the Old Testament has many references (some of them even approving) to it.

If we were to translate this to the US just think how wonderful it could be? Churches are free of taxes so working girls would no longer have that particular bite taken out of their earnings (yes, for some decades now Uncle Sam has been asking for more than a mere pimp does). If Jimmy Swaggart had been employing, rather than merely hiring, he could have consorted with someone who didn’t look like the motel he was consorting in. Even Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker could have benefited. We’d have all been able to have a crack at Jessica Hahn and Tammy might have found someone who could help with her make up: even the most depraved of Painted Jezebels has a lighter hand with the foundation trowel. There would finally be some meaning to the name Oral Roberts”€”yes, matters would improve.

“That’s not the sort of sum that’s going to get Pat Robertson out of bed of a morning, but given the preponderance of lonely old women in his flock perhaps he’ll be able to make it up in volume.”

Further, we’d actually be getting something out of our attendance at church services. Currently we cough up at the collection plate to pay for their mistresses: at least things would be more honest and we’d get the warm tingly feeling of being properly and physically fucked ourselves instead of just at one remove.

Our Swami is said to have made $10 million from his business which is where we might have a problem. That’s not the sort of sum that’s going to get Pat Robertson out of bed in the morning, but given the preponderance of lonely old women in his flock perhaps he’ll be able to make it up in volume.

Some might say that this is slightly missing the point: the religious ecstasy of the Holy Rollers is supposed to be instead of sex, a replacement for it. Or that church is where you go to cleanse yourself of the sin of sexual activities. Which is to be hopelessly naïve about what actually happens in a Megachurch these days: the vacuuming of your wallet faster than any brothel madam of old would have the nerve to do.

Agape, that good natured Christian love of all is all very well in its place but there’s no reason to posit a Sky Fairy as a reason to practice it. Nor to purchase Cadillacs, fine houses, and private jets for those who take our money for scaring us into doing so. And the advantage of worshipping Eros is that we know he actually exists: he exists in every boner and damp gusset on the planet. More importantly, as we hand over our money to our fellow worshippers we know we’re getting something for it… The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it… if that’s what just a dream about God did for St Theresa just think what we can do with the S&M subchapter. 

Well, I guess that’s it, Holy Orders for me. I understand that you can get signed up for $50 these days and even the IRS agree that’s kosher. My only problem here, the only thing limiting my becoming as fat and rich as Jerry Falwell, would seem to be that another blogger has got there first:

Jesus himself seemed to have a soft spot for prostitutes. Many reputable scholars today think he may have been married to one. And Jesus showed radical inclusivity, breaking taboos by hanging out with prostitutes. So he would want us to celebrate and affirm their prostitution and give them a venue for making it their true vocation, a way of serving God by serving man”€”selflessly and with their whole being.

Now I know that I’m out of touch with the twenty-first century. Imagine being trumped on a matter of moral and sexual perversity by the Lutherans of all people?


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