With Sex and the Devil’s Wager, Charles Sayer Wilson presents a sustained polemic against monotheism. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, Wilson argues, have polluted society and the “world soul” with precepts denigrating women, the human body, and sex. In addition, he claims that the idea of a punitive hell, which he believes central to all three religions, has done more damage to humankind than the rationale
the Nazis used for the Holocaust.
All three religions, he exhorts, should be eradicated, along with those principles of free speech and tolerance that allow them to flourish. What he would put in their place is a kind of natural religion, part pantheism, part Bushido or warrior practice, and part chi-oriented mysticism. “The battleground” for this religious change-over, he states, “will be sex, and more specifically, the elemental potency of the female body.”
Wilson appears to be well read, and to support his arguments, he refers to passages from numerous authorities from Tertullian and Pascal, to Nietzsche and Masaaki Hatsumi. What the reader must question when reading these passages, however, is whether they were put in proper context. Did the writer present them without undue prejudice? May we, throughout the entire 499 pages of this book, trust the writer’s judgment and reliability?
Wilson’s reliance on hyperbole rather than carefully weighed arguments suggests that the reader should approach his rhetoric with more than a grain of skepticism. Sentences like: “To end tolerance of hell-fire religion is not a violation of free speech because the speech is not real language; it is a simian language of insanity….” and subtitles like: “Mohammed is just a cheapo Jesus Christ,[sic]” do not engender confidence. If the reader is looking for no more than a good rant, he may, possibly, find this book satisfactory. Otherwise he will need to look elsewhere for a cogent discussion of monotheism.
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