April 15, 2010 | Ronda Jambe

Religion as obsessive compulsive disorder

One of my hobbies is photographing ladies’ loos from around he world. I’ve got some doosies from India, both beautiful and horrible.

Another of my globalised frivolities is the observation of ‘good hats’, mostly associated with religious masters. Notably, there are few really great hats for female religious leaders. If you recall Felini’s Roma, a movie which featured a splendid fashion parade of ecclesiastic garments, each more extravagant and obscene than the previous, you can guess where I am taking this.

Hats are just a manifestation of wider obsessions associated with our greatest faiths. There are the beads, the chanting, the travelling in circles while hitting brass bells, the offering of candles, or flowers or burning herbs to scare off demons. Hinduism requires that one move only clockwise through temples. Islam used to demand praying almost the whole day (was 20 times?) , but in the interests of rationalism (and getting the chores done) they reduced it to just five times.

Religion gives succor not just through social programs, fellowship and shared beliefs. It also unites adherents by fostering shared rituals. Successful religions quickly turn these into controlling practices that command ever more detailed compliance. Power demands it, and those who question the link between being a good person and dressing or eating in particular ways are ostracised. Is there any religion that actually encourages fornication? If there is, I’ll consider it carefully, but I’d want to see the hats first.

Humans are herd animals, and I guess both the Inquisition and the Reformation were successful in their own way. Faced with torture, I would have converted to almost anything, and adopted the required rituals. Or maybe I would have been burned at the stake.

A religion that is preoccupied with negating other religions can’t be helpful to its members. In sixteenth century India, Akbar the great became tolerant of other religions. He even formed his own fusion of Islam and Hinduism, but it didn’t work out. Today, after more than 60 years of partition, there are 160 m Muslims in India, and the various religions still don’t get along that well.

You won’t be surprised that it brings me great comfort and solace (but no rituals) to hear that Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Geoffrey Robertson are in effect impeaching the Pope. El Papa ain’t immune from the virus of outrage, and the same useful lacuna in British legal systems that allowed Pinochet to be arrested is going to be applied to the once almighty head of the Catholic church.Would you believe he put the Church’s reputation above protecting children?

All together now, 3 times in an equilateral triangle, and then in reverse: hats off to the high priests of atheism!

Posted by Ronda Jambe at 8:01 am | Comments (5) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. I can’t think of any modern religion that encourages fornication (apart from some cults)however the Babylonians used to practise part-time ritual prostitution as part of their religious devotions.Pagans were usually much more sensible in regard to tempations of the flesh.

    What a prospect,to see the former Grand Inquisitor himself on trial,oh,yeeessss,yeeesss!!!

    Comment by Russell W — April 16, 2010 @ 12:44 am

  2. I believe Bikini Atoll residence had a practice that in a way used a sex as an object of worship in that they used it as currency. The USA nuclear weapon tests probably fixed that.

    Comment by John Turner — April 16, 2010 @ 4:49 am

  3. The most evil obsessive compulsive disorder is that of our lust for money, driven by our insecurities.We have lost all sense of community.

    Comment by Arjay — April 22, 2010 @ 10:32 am

  4. […] Religion as obsessive compulsive disorder « Ambit Gambit […]

    Pingback by Chinese Netizens: What other websites you feel is polluting our harmonious society and should be banned? — April 23, 2010 @ 10:07 pm


    The twin fascisms that causes most massacres, wars, “conflicts” today:

    Arabism is racism (Arab racism)
    Millions upon Millions are/became victims of [pan-] Arabism which is the worst current form of racism in its gigantic proportions, like: Kurds, Jews (not just in Israel), Berbers (the real natives of North Africa), Africans (not just in the genocide in the Sudan or the slavery in Mauritania or persecution in Egypt on native Nubians by Arab invaders – till today), Persians, Copts, Phoenicians
    , Assyrians, etc.

    Islamism is bigotry (Islamofascism)!
    The Islamic supremacy that “works” towards its vision of “final Islamic domination on the entire planet”, from Middle east to Africa from Asia to Eurabia, from forced conversions, terrorism, & massacres in multiple countries (like: Thailand, Phillipines, China, Indonesia, Tunisia, Morocco, Kenya, Tanzania, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon India, USA, France, Israel, Russia, UK, etc.) to propaganda, the war includes on Muslims who are not radical enough…,

    Let’s face it! that entire war on Israel & the Jews since the 1920’s by infamous facsist Mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini who started the “genocide campaign” [and continues by the children, grand children of Arab immigrants into Israel – Palestine – now convenienently called “palestinians”] in a clear outlined declaration to ‘kill all Jews’, is nothing but out of pure Arab Muslim bigotry.

    Why does biased media blame Israel defenders from vicious Arab Muslims who use civilians when they attack Israeli civilians… so that their civilians (they prefer kids to) die, then parade with their INTENDED/ORCHESTRATED casualties as “innocent victims”??? then parade with the casualties as “innocent victims”???

    While the Islamo Arab dictatorship (& real Apartheid upon the non-Arabs, non-Muslims) goes on…
    Israeli [ungrateful] Arabs won’t mention FAVORITISM by democratic pluralistic multi-racial Israel in: land, courts & universities, by the same token, the totalitarian & mullahcracy dictators of Iran with its Hezbollah thugs & militant “Palestine” anti-freedom forces cast their genocide plan under “freedom fighting.”

    Comment by aaa — May 2, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.