Juliette p. 19


More than 200 years after he was jailed and his works banned, some people may still give me a hard time for quoting Sade. Good! That fact alone speaks volumes. As does the fact that even as recently as the 1950s access to his work was severely limited, and the English translation of Juliette was only completed in 1966. Think what you will of his well-deserved reputation for libertinism and amorality–his still-scintillating and devastating rants on God and religion are so eloquent, I can only step back in awe.

Many believers will take Sade’s pornographic, violent, and often murderous fantasies as direct evidence of the need for belief in the very God he decries; as if belief itself could protect them from their own Sadean demons. Still, their point is that many of Sade’s anti-God rants seem designed to prep the reader to accept the libertinage that follows. Since that argument has already been made ad nauseam, I don’t see any further danger. Sade created works of fiction, satire, irony and political subversion. But even if we naively read them literally, it still wouldn’t magically turn us all into unscrupulous or thoughtless imitators. And history, and especially the history of religious warfare has been far more brutal than Sade’s wettest dreams–but in actual reality.

Regardless of a context that may offend our sensibilities, Sade’s philosophical points stand unassailed. And his fierce opposition to the false religious strictures of his time remains just as valid today; especially when viewed as a backdrop for a more rational, modern, and sophisticated morality that justly pursues maximum pleasure, but respects the rights and boundaries of others. As I slowly plow through his enormous books, expect these excerpts to become a regular feature on BSJ. And this is the last and only time I will provide such a caveat. (Let the hate-mail begin). Rational readers should be able to understand that (unlike the bible thumpers), quoting someone’s writing does not mean you have become some kind of slavish devotee: Citing someone is not the same as endorsing them.

Above all, beware of religion, nothing is more apt to lure you astray than religion’s baneful insinuations. Comparable to the Hydra whose heads grow back as swiftly as they are lopped off, it will unceasingly debilitate you if you falter at the task of obliterating its principles. There is the danger ever present that some bizarre ideas of the fantastical God wherewith they befouled your childhood return again to disturb your maturer imagination while it is in the midst of its divinest heats. Oh, Juliette! Forget it, scorn it, the concept of this vain and ludicrous God. His existence is a shadow instantly to be dissipated by the least mental effort, and you shall never know any peace so long as this odious chimera preserves any of its prize on your soul which error would give to it in bondage.

Refer yourself again and again to the great theses of Spinoza, of Vanini, of the author of Le Systeme de la Nature. We will study them, we will analyze them together, I promised you authoritative dissertations upon this subject and I am going to keep my word: both of us shall feast heartily upon these writers and shall fill ourselves with the spirit of their sage opinions. Should you be visited by further doubts, you shall communicate them to me, I will set your mind at rest. Grown as staunch and doughty as I in your thinking, you’ll soon be imitating me in action, and like myself, you’ll never more pronounce this loathsome God’s name save with revulsion and in hateful blasphemy. The very conceiving of this so infinitely disgusting phantom is, I confess it, the one wrong I am unable to forgive man.

I excuse him all his whims, his ironies, and his eccentricities, I sympathize with all his frailties, but I cannot smile tolerantly upon the lunacy that could erect this monster, I do not pardon man for having himself wrought those religious chains which have so dreadfully hobbled him and for having crept despicably forward, eyes downcast and neck stretched forth, to receive the shameful collar manufactured only by his own stupidity. There would be no end to it, Juliette, were I to give vent to all the horror waked in me by the execrable doctrine based upon a God’s existence; mere mention of him rouses my ire, when I hear his name pronounced I seem to see all around me the palpitating shades of all those woebegone creatures this abominable opinion has slaughtered on the face of the earth. Those ghosts cry out beseechingly to me, they supplicate me to make use of all I have been endowed with the force and ingenuity to erase from the souls of my brethren the idea of the revolting chimera which has brought such rue into the world.

Comments (9 comments)

Peter / July 17th, 2008, 7:52 pm / #1

One of his main topics – fortunately a very affordable three volume edition in german was available since the early 70’s – is to pull the mask off the ruling class to expose their decadence, crimes and brutalities and their hypocritical demand of “virtue” from the lower classes, enforced by adherence to religious doctrine bolstered by state funded institutions like police, tax collectors, etc.

Is it a wonder, that after the french revolution the demise of religious infliuence in france was ahead of that of any other european states?
This revolution exposed a class system at what it is: a method of securing the hereditary control of all resources through ensuring continous political power within that ruling class, and the role the clergy played in ensuring this control would last indefinetely.
After all – the clergy was part of the ruling class, and had property and resources to defend as well.
Something that is happening for at least a century in the United States as well.
Then it was a system based on feudal control of the land and its resources.
Now it is a system based on semi feudal control of land, the means of production and resources.

Jay M / January 14th, 2010, 1:38 pm / #2

And as a Marquis, de Sade was very high in that social stratum. Baron d'Holbach was also an outspoken Atheistic nobleman. By the way, a Marquis ranks just below a Duke, which is the highest level of Nobility before reaching the actual Royalty itself. While the very, very top was the Pope and his inner-circle himself since he had the original fons honorum (i.e.: Fountain of Honor to reinforce the man-made divisions of Royalty, Nobility, and Commoner to privilege those who sold out to them. When England split from the Vatican they were no longer seen as a legitimate royal family as they had no more loyalty to the office which they owed their Royal status in the first place)

Jay M / January 14th, 2010, 1:49 pm / #3

Here in America the old money wishes to "Defend the capital" from the nouveau riche. Why do you think alternative industries are being opposed and lobbied against? Because the inherited money establishment doesn't want economic mobility for the new industries' shareholders and executives. Only 1% of the population controls 90% of the wealth. Unfortunately they do not feel that even that is enough, so they rig the system against while having the nerve to say "Equal justice for all" (while by "all" it is meant corporations and those that own the means of production; while simultaneously fooling the masses into thinking they are included with the word "all") and to ensure that the "fake" in fake egalitarianism is perpetuated. Just how does a C-student make it into the Ivy League? He attended a feeder school into the Ivy to ensure the perpetuation of the social order. While those that went to Public school are subject to fierce social Darwinism and things are done to them (i.e.: Students being told not to go to school for state administered test days, even encouraged to drop out. Since "out" is a preposition and doesn't belong at the end of a sentence I think "quit" should be used instead.) those in certain private schools are going to have advantages over the rest of America. Wow, you received a demerit because your hair touched your blazer collar, how awful, lol!

Kieran Bennett / August 2nd, 2008, 8:59 pm / #4

Dear Godless Scumbag, Carnival of the Godless has arrived, and you’re in it. Burn in hell.

P.S, what kind of sick f-ck quotes Sade?! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!

Happy&Free : .) / September 2nd, 2008, 8:24 pm / #5

It is people like Kieran Bennett that Atheist’s of all varieties & definitions cannot let the lie of organised religion continue!!!!!!!!
He’s the sick one!!!!
Goodness gracious, WHER’S THE LOVE MAN?! WHERE’S THE LOVE?!
Christ came for the Black Sheep in the pit not the white sheep who do not need him because they r alredy saved!!!
Truly the Whole & Sane strive for a non-denomiational wold of Utopian exisitance!
I still believe we can do it, just have to put the Rabid Humans in their place!
SUNDANCE IS BROADCASTING A DOCUMENTARY “Godless in America” only once at 7am on 9/4 Thur, it’s suppose to be on the stuggle&plight atheist’s endure.
Radical religious violent extremists see us as the problem&cause to uncivility in the world & why Heaven isn’t on earth. Talk about being confused !
We r because of all suffering, pain & broken promises religion has had to offer!
The truth is it’s Hate w/ a capital H that they r suppose to be battling!!!!
As it’s said THE ENEMY IS WITHIN !
A saying from the Bible as follows has always been my absolute favorrite:
“Get ride of the stake in your own eye BEFORE u try to take the stake out of someone else’s eye!”
Christians really need to follow this more!!!!!!!

Jay M / January 14th, 2010, 1:51 pm / #6

As Nietzsche said: "The Christian resolve to see the world as ugly, has made the world ugly"

Happy&Free : .) / September 2nd, 2008, 9:12 pm / #7

If u really thought of the children u would choose Love not Hate & realise that the psychological make up of the God of the Bible isn’t absolute love, so there has got to be something wrong w/ following it religiously !!!!
It’s just common sense to!
What u have said here & say on ur web site is Mental & Emotional Abuse of the 1st degree!!
To Rape a childs Mental & Emotional Purity is A Horrendous Crime of the Human spirit ! ! ! ! ! !
Shame On You ! ! !

Jay M / January 14th, 2010, 1:58 pm / #8

Considering the context in which the bible was written they needed a moral-booster being surrounded by all those great civilizations like Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, and Greece. So inventing an artificial division like "Gentile vs. Jew" and inventing weird laws (whether it's a law that says it is illegal to walk backwards after sunset; or that you cannot make statues of various Deities (such as the idolatry law) one has to admit that us Humans have invented some strange laws!)

Especially in light of the refinement of enlightenment ideals and philosophy, and how religions have the imprint of the time period they were invented we can conclude that the bible is pure garbage that doesn't belong in a modern society. Even the 10 commandments aren't perfect: Murder (only applies to murdering pious members of your in-group, to explain away the apparent contradictions of "Thou shalt not kill" and the death penalty for various innocent peoples) is only number four while only keeping yahweh as your god is number one. Whomever wrote " Put to death homosexuals" and "Suffer not a witch to live" Is nothing but a barbaric dog and earned the insult of being: "A big pile of pig's placenta".

Happy&Free : .) / September 3rd, 2008, 7:07 pm / #9

P.S. I really want to clarify when I started my sentence w/ “Christ came here” it was in reference to part of the Mythology of Christianity, not any belief or agreement of mine in the religion or any religion for that matter. In my opinon, it’s all literature of the human psyche when it claims to be from a God ( The sub-conscious, unconscious, conscious & super-conscious – four levels of mental reality so far it seems – there is wise & profound sayings in many religious material but alot of sh** too.

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