The Religion Of The Breeders

One might perhaps write the history of religion – and it might perhaps already have been done – in terms of the tension between breeders and non-breeders.

In the right corner, ladies and gentlemen, those who can and want to breed and are successful in breeding, and who have therefore developed a religion that identifies their reproductive success with the divine. At its crudest this is nothing but “neener neener neener” writ large – very large, yea even unto the creator of the universe. Also in the right corner we can find those who cannot breed or do not wish to and have nevertheless chosen to identify with and promote the business of breeding, whether for the sake of their collaterals or, dare we say, out of a profound failure to understand what they are doing.

What religions fuse with the family in this way, and function as its impresario? Judaism, above all, which is founded on a promise of genetic success, and whose law is presented as a deal to obtain this supreme good. Hinduism, certainly. All worship of the household gods, whether in pagan time or in modern Shinto or Chinese folk religion.

So, then, who is in our left corner? What religions have something to say to non-breeders, whether deliberate or otherwise? One thinks of Buddhism, at any rate above the popular level, the Buddhism of the ascetics and mediators. Both Islam and Christianity are ambiguous in their different ways; Islam because it is so deeply permeated by Arab culture in which it is a huge insult to call somebody “Father of Nobody”, even though there is nothing to stop a non-breeding Muslim concentrating on the messages of justice and brotherhood. Christianity, whether influenced by Greek philosophy or Buddhism itself, surely began as a renunciation of the Judaic fixation on personal reproductive success; it anticipated Islam in the attempt to create a non-biological community and used family terminology as metaphor. Christianity later sold out, of course, most especially among the Protestants, while Catholicism still retained spaces for those who could not breed, or did not want to – although still with the metaphors. For a nun who wishes only solitude with her God or a life of service, is being called a 2bride of Christ” a hindrance or a help? I would have to ask one.

The degree to which Protestantism sold out to the adulation of reproductive success may be seen from the sects whose very names are not about God or ethics or anything else “spiritual”, but about the biological agenda itself, the United Family Church being perhaps the most egregious. Here religion, to entirely misquote Clausewitz, is the continuation of the Family by other means. The only business of Heaven is to create wedded bliss on earth – among the obedient. This is the apotheosis of the successful breeder’s self-admiration. The most extreme of all are of course the Latter-Day Saints, with their baptism of ancestors. If I ever I catch some Mormons, I will ask them whether they have anything to say to a vasectomised non-breeder whom women do not fancy; when you remove veneration of reproductive success from their religion, is there actually anything left?

Posted on February 21, 2010 at 10:54 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: THE LONGEST CON, 'Family Values'

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  1. Written by The Ghost in the Machine
    on August 1, 2013 at 23:24
    Permalink

    If I ever I catch some, I will ask them whether they have anything to say to a vasectomised non-breeder; when you remove reproduction from their religion, is there actually anything left?

    Perhaps that is at least a partial explanations as to why gays and lesbians
    are deemed so threatening: they are a non-breeding part of the community who
    are seen as threatening the holiness of family.

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