Many people have equated religious fervour with the buzz that one might get from sex, drugs, rock and/or roll (delete as appropriate). The whole career of, for example, Marvin Gaye was an attempt to balance their conflicting, yet strangely similar demands. Alternatively, think of the homoerotic cult of St Sebastian, or saucy Hindu art. But, of course, religious people tend not to admit this, because it might involve the painful acknowledgement that they actually possess genitalia. I remember being dumbfounded to discover that the Ayatollah Khomeini was married with kids. Urrggghh... he did it! And so did Ian Paisley! The Catholic Church's objections to The Da Vinci Code aren't about its suggestions that the institution is packed with mad, corrupt murderers; it's the idea that Jesus might have given a little too much of God's love to Mary Magdalene (or Monica Bellucci, as I like to think of her).
No, it's always down to the non-believers to point out that there's not much difference between a Hail Mary and a hand shandy. I just found a story in The Spectator about Francis Crick, discoverer of DNA and committed disciple of the religion-is-bollocks school.
In the early 1960s, Crick was asked to contribute to the establishment of Churchill College, Cambridge, but withdrew his support when he discovered that the college would have a chapel; contradicting, he thought, its stated purpose of prioritising science and technology. He even complained to Winston Churchill himself, who didn't seem bothered one way or another, replying: "A chapel, whatever one’s views on religion, is an amenity which many of those who live in the College may enjoy, and none need enter it unless they wish." Crick sent him 10 guineas to fund college courtesans, with the note: "Such a building will, I feel confident, be an amenity which many who live in Cambridge will enjoy very much, and yet the institution need not be compulsory and none need enter it unless they wish."
Sadly, Sir Winston appears to have returned the cheque.