HUFFPO’S ‘CREATE YOUR OWN RELIGION’ CONTEST
So, you say you’re fed up with the condescending arrogance of those crazy know-it-all Bible Thumpers? And, if you never hear “Allahu Akbar,” “jihad” or “death to the infadels” again, it’ll be too soon? Do “God’s Chosen People” make you want to push yourself into the sea? You’re not alone, my soul-searching, there-must-be-more-to-it friend; take comfort;
Those normally irascible folks at HuffPo have come to your searching-for-something-larger-than-yourself rescue: The Create Your Own Religion contest!
Think about it: You -yeah, YOU – could be the next Messiah! Who needs a “second coming” when you’re here NOW? Swing the other way, do you? How about “Muhammed 2.0?” (Although there’s a better-than-average chance you’d end up beheaded for impersonating “yourself.”) To be on the safe side, I suggest you create an entirely new religion; you’ll offend less zealots, and the goofier and more ridiculous your religion is, the more the Hollywood crazies will flock to it – with their big fat checkbooks in tow, no less!
Before you fire up your spiritual thinking-cap, here are a few things to ponder – as you begin your supernatural quest to become the next religious superstar:
1. What type of image are you going to create? Are you planning a quiet, understated arrival on the religious scene? You know – that whole modest-dressing, sandal-wearing, Jesus-was-a carpenter sort of thing? Or would you prefer a more grandiose, big bang approach? (Think Calypso Louie Farrakhan, Keith Olbermann, and Lady Gaga – all rolled into one.)
2. Do you prefer a simple, easy-to-understand dogma – or a bells-and whistles, no-holds-barred, throw-out-all-the-stops philosophy? The first question you must ask yourself here, is this: what type of followers are you looking for?
Think about it: Christianity, as an example, is pretty simple:
- One God. (Okay, it’s technically a Holy Trinity, but you get the picture)
- Said God sends “his Son” (part of that whole Trinity thing) to die for our sins.
- Said Son follows through and dies for our sins – and tells us if we repent and believe in him as our Savior, we’ll go to Heaven.
- We repent, accept Him as our Savior, and go to Heaven.
This works extremely well for a religion that proclaims: The meek shall inherit the earth. A faith that has only four simple steps, an easy-to-understand uncomplicated message, and FUN HOLIDAYS – with presents and colored-eggs – is a perfect match for dim-witted, family-oriented, unsophisticated gun-and-bible-clinging Midwesterners, who lack neither the interest nor the attention-span for anything more complicated. (See: Barack Obama – San Francisco, open microphone)
If simplicity seems too juvenile or sophomoric, why not go all out? The sky’s the limit. In fact, why stop at the sky? Hell, make stuff up like you’re on LSD: Just go all “Star Trek” o on us! For example:
Start with space aliens – lots of ‘em. You could borrow that silly Jesus-dying-for-our-sins part of Christianity – and concoct your religion based on a murdered space aliens theme. Work in a galactic ruler, (kind of a Darth Vader character) who was in charge of Earth and 75 other planets in this part of the galaxy some 75 million years ago. (The farther back in time you go, the longer it will take to
program teach your religion to your followers. They’ll keep coming back for more! By the way, it’s okay if you don’t believe your hallucinatory fairy tale – it’s the sophisticated snobs who look down their noses at Jews and Christians you’re after.
Anyway, you can pretend that the evil galactic ruler – call him Xenu, or some other silly Star Trek-sounding name – sent all these space aliens to earth, arranging them around a volcano, where he murdered them with nuclear bombs. I know – me too, but hang in there for a minute.
Here’s the “sohphisticated” part: tell the followers of your new religion that the souls of these (tiny) space aliens inhabit their bodies! The close? Those tiny, poor little murdered alien souls must be removed from your programmed followers – and you’re the only guy (galactic ruler) who can do it! (Mastercard and Visa accepted.)
Holy Batman – wait a minute. I just realized that my zany, made-up religion already exists; in the minds – and dead-alien-infested bodies – of Scientologists anyway. Scratch my suggestion; no need to get Tom Cruise all riled up. Maybe a Godzilla theme would be a better idea. Back to the LSD.
3. Will the goal of your religion be spirituality-based alone, or are you in it for the money? If you’re primarily in it for the purpose of saving souls, (people’s souls vs. those of tiny little aliens) something more traditional – similar to Christianity – would do the trick. On the other hand, if your target audience is the more elite and sophisticated big bucks crowd, try something more akin to the Star Trek approach – or Godzilla, as it were.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot a critical element of the “in it for the money” approach: Make sure you accept Visa and Mastercard – not everyone’s as rich as Tom Cruise and John Travolta.
Maybe I’ll whip up something based on “First Church of the Rat!”