Friday, September 29, 2006

Nunsexmonkrock

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.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Religious people seemed totally obsessed with sex don't they. Paisley's mob banned line dancing for their followers for being too sexy. If anyone can think of anything less sexy than line dancing I'd like to know what it is.

Geoff said...

The hokey cokey.

Tim Footman said...

Maybe Paisley line dances (or hokey cokeys) in a particularly sexy way. I'm seeing nipple tassles and lots of pelvic thrusting.

Molly Bloom said...

I suppose as well...there's always that very close link between eros and thanatos. And religions are often obsessed with both.

I miss your wonderful words Tim.

And all that sweaty hand-holding in the hokey cokey...there has to be something said for that. And the massive *crescendo* of the chorus with mass thrusts into the middle of a circle. Ahem.

Molly Bloom said...

Ahem? I meant Amen.

City Slicker said...

Excellent blog
Wonder if Freud ever went to church?
Opium of the masses

Wyndham said...

Graham Greene made it his life's work to have sex behind the altar of every Catholic Church in Europe. The things you learn as a choir boy, aye?

Tim Footman said...

Molly, I miss you too, darling. But my metaphorical door is always open, or at least ajar... the Ahem/Amen thing is fascinating... someone embarrassed to be religious? Or just hovering on the edge of atheism, without quite having the guts to join in. Pretty Freudian, eh?

Talking of which, City Slicker, welcome to my world. Thanks for dropping by. I think Freud probably popped into a church occasionally, but not on a regular basis, seeing as how he was Jewish (there's a lot of us about... at this rate, someone's going to be starting up a conspiracy theory about us). As was K. Marx, who came up with the opium line. In fact, Judaism was the only major religion where I couldn't find a sexual subtext for the main post, unless you count a) The Song Of Solomon, which is filth or b) nudie rudie pictures of Anna Friel. Yummers, as someone around here is wont to say.

And Wyndham: what were you doing behind the altar? Could have been worse... you could have lost your choral cherry to Anne Widdecombe. That would have helped you to hit those high notes.

the whales said...

There you go again with that Anna Friel thing you've got. I'm going to try to dig out a pic of her and post it on my blog. See how many hits i get out of *that*.

Something 'artistic', maybe?!

Spinsterella said...

I smoked a fag behind a church altar when I was fourteen.

Clearly, I've got a long way to go to catch up with Mr Greene

First Nations said...

excellent!

eros and agape are both centered in the hindbrain. no matter the stimulus, the result is a temporary mental malleability that religion wrests control of for its own purposes.

i expect applause for having written that without succumbing to the type of ranting my neibor indulges in.

btw, who is that a picture of and what is her history??? a link will do. thx!

Annie said...

Realdoc - Michael Flatley-style step- dancing. At least line-dancers are permitted to move their hips.

Pashmina said...

My favourite thing about Orthodox Judaism is that, if you're a fella, you're actively encouraged to have sex with your wife on the Sabbath.

This is sometimes less than good news for the women, as many Orthodox Jewish men look a bit like a cross between the Ayatollah and Ian Paisley (your generic overweight, bearded, middle-aged man, then).

Robert A. Swipe said...

" Molly, I miss you too, darling. But my metaphorical door is always open, or at least ajar...

I think that's as near as you're gonna get to a come on at Cultural Snow folks.....

(....*and* he's actually *met* The Spinster.......you'd think a blog stud like that would have better things to do than over-intellectualise, wouldn't you?

If only we all weren't so far apart...

Tim Footman said...

Whales: Now now, I simply admire Ms Friel's abilities as an actress, clothed or otherwise.

Spin: I'm sure he'd acknowledge your iconoclastic spirit. He'd make you the stoic unknowable heroine of one of his novels. And do you from behind in Sacre Coeur.

FN: I have no idea. I just Googled "naughty nun". Most of the resulting images came from fancy dress companies.

Annie: Have you not seen that Michael Flatley photo?

Pashmina: "My favourite thing about Orthodox Judaism..." sounds like a regular column in the JC. "It's Friday night, Becky. Fancy a session with my Lubavitch lovepump?"

Bob: You know my heart and my loins are committed to you and your seeping organ. And I never met Spin. We just went to the same gig. Obviously, even that level of proximity was tantamount to a brain-jarring sexual encounter that will haunt both of us for the rest of our lives, but I wouldn't be able to pick her out in a police line-up. I suspect she looks a little like Anna Friel.

the whales said...

Spinsterella looks like Anna Friel?! Why was this not mentioned before?

Anonymous said...

It will surprise someone who googles 'Nuns with their tits out' and gets directed to this haven of intellectual discourse.

Anonymous said...

ps Once had a fumble in a confessional box, so catching up with Mr Greene but not there yet,... it's a catholic thing.

Spinsterella said...

Sadly, I do not look anything like Anna Friel.

Billy said...

Can I just say, Anna Friel? I would.

Oh yes.

Tim Footman said...

But Billy... I thought you had something good going on with llewtrah...

Billy said...

True, I was only speaking in the fantastic sense.

Besides she's with that David Thewlis, the most terrifying person I've ever been compared to.