Top Ten Reasons Religion is Like Pornography

October 8, 2006

This from the excellent Pharyngula blog:

10. It has been practiced for all of human history, in all cultures
9. It exploits perfectly natural, even commendable, impulses
8. Its virtues are debatable, its proponents fanatical
7. People love it, but can’t give a rational reason for it
6. Objectifies and degrades women even when it worships them
5. You want to wash up after shaking hands with any of its leaders
4. The costumes are outrageous, the performances silly, the plots unbelievable
3. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying it, but it’s nothing to be proud of, either
2. It is not a sound basis for public policy, government, or international relations
1. Its stars are totally fake

Now, I have a confession to make. I’m addicted to to one of these and it gives me a great deal of excitement. The other I find a total bore. I’m ashamed of my weakness and have only mentioned it to a few close friends. I try to rationalize my obsession by blaming it on my puritanical upbringing. I have even on occasions been tempted to try out some of the practices described. I can’t help myself, I’ve tried ignoring it, deliberately looking away when I see it on a bookshelf. I’ve even tried cold showers. But then I succumb again and find myself, alone and pathetic, with yet another book on theology in my hands. Well-meaning friends have tried to wean me away from it. One lent me a ‘thriller’ by somebody named Dan Brown who, I gather has written something quite famous, and it bored me stiff (oops). Others have lent me novels with highly explicit sexual content and I’ve managed a couple of pages before going back to ‘The meaning of the soul’. I wonder if this is a serious medical condition and whether I need specialist help.

Anyway, back to the blog. The writer concludes by saying:
“Basically, I’m saying we ought to regard religion like we do other human foibles: regulate it, curb it’s excesses, shame those who overindulge, and for jebus’ sake, stop treating it like some exalted, privileged, glorious endeavor. Any idiot can be religious, after all, and many are.”

All I can say in defence of my shameful fixation is I prefer non-theistic, non Christian religions; I don’t swallow any of them hook, line and sinker, I just choose the bits that seem to me to make sense; I have never tried to foist my kinky ideas on anyone else; and I can still lead an otherwise normal life. I hope others will understand and, perhaps, forgive.

One Response to “Top Ten Reasons Religion is Like Pornography”


  1. That’s a marvelous comparison list. I’m glad to know you aren’t trying to seduce others into participating in your lewd interactions with Solomon et al.😉


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