Saturday, August 6, 2016

In 2014, someone erected a fiberglass statue of Satan in Vancouver, British Columbia. But not just any statue: This cartoonish devil featured a fully erect, huge-knobbed, three-foot erection. Moreover, the statue was just feet from a busy mass transit rail line -- giving early-morning commuters something to wake up to. Of course, it was removed almost immediately...

In the past few years, a number of groups have proposed erecting (no pun intended) statues of Satan or Baphomet or some other non-Christian deity at local courthouses to compete with those ludicrous Ten Commandments "monuments" that religious nuts have placed there.

Myself, I keep wondering why these images are so chaste. A great many, perhaps most, ancient religions engaged in sex as worship. Nearly all the non-monotheist religions of the Middle East and South Asia maintained that communing with one's god required having sex with a male or female temple attendant. As religious ritual, sex with the temple attendant was a means of arousing the god or goddess to be fertile themselves (and, subsequently, bring everyone good crops, plenty of new farm animals, and even children). Temple sex was also a way to commune with one's god, as the god was said to inhabit the temple attendant during the sex act. In other cases, the temple prostitute offered sex as a way to raise money for the temple, doing a good work in exchange for a donation.

Sex-as-worship was common throughout Northern Europe and Scandinavia, and in the druidic and Celtic communities of the British Isles. The Greeks and Romans, who appropriated most of their deities from the Middle East, also included sex-as-worship in a number of ways. The Dionysian "mystery religion", for example, was known to have included a mass orgy at the end of each worship ceremony. According to one source, these would begin with new initiates (usually teenage boys or girls) into the religion being deflowered anally or vaginally with stone dildos of increasing size. Once the initiates had been driven to a sexual frenzy, they began fucking one another -- which was the sign for the orgy to begin.

In the Americas, Mayan priests would engage in ritual homosexual intercourse with young boys and teens during worship. It was not uncommon for a family seeking special favors from the gods to turn a male child over to the temple as a prostitute. The more sex the boy had, the more the god would favor the family. When the boy came of majority, around the age of 16 or 17, he then left the temple and assumed an honored position in his house (the semen of thousands of men imbuing his body with good luck). Several Native American tribes of the American Southwest held ceremonies in which newly come-of-age boys and girls would be randomly coupled and have sex -- each boy having multiple sex partners. Boys left behind during each coupling would themselves engage in homosexual intercourse in order to "keep the fire buring" (e.g., keep the gods interested and present) until the ritual sex act was over and another round of pairings occurred.

The expectation that sex was part of the everyday, and part of the religious experience, is not often expressed in modern attempts to reconstruct ancient religions. But I wonder why not. I guess it's an attempt to win acceptance from society. If the local Presbyterians learned that the little pagan church down the street was practicing eroto-comatose lucidity, or that the Dionysians weren't just plying their 15-year-old son with wine but also dildos, it might not go over so well. Having Little Suzie come home from church with the semen of 25 different men inside her pussy may not sit so will with the local Baptist Union. Even if she is on the Pill.

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