Lonely? Lost? Overcome with feelings of absurdity and futility? Desperate to belong to something righteous that will make you feel morally superior to those around you? Or are you just looking for free coffee and snacks on the weekend? If you said yes to any of these questions, then religion is the thing for you.
That’s right, religion has been imbuing hopelessly pathetic people, like yourself, with a glowing sense of self-worth for centuries. By simply forking over some of your hard-earned scratch, kneeling down and bending over when told to, and generally not asking too many questions, you can become a member of any number of organizations that will deliver a whole host of excellent benefits, most of which will only become available to you after you’re dead. But still, no matter how you slice it, religion is one hell of a deal.
But so many religions dot the earthly landscape, how will you ever pick the right one? How will you find the one that’s best for you? Well, your old pal, Wad, is here to help. I present to you a list of important questions for which you should have definite answers before committing your life to this religion or that cult.
Number one: in the case of a monotheistic religion, find out if this particular god is the one true god. This is a very important question and you shouldn’t take just anyone’s word for it. Best thing to do is inquire at a variety of different religious organizations and have them all weigh in on the god you’re considering. For instance, ask the Discordians what they think of Jesus. Or ask the Presbyterians and the Protestants what they think of Allah. Have the Jews talk to you about Kali and Baphomet. You get the picture. Whatever they say about their own god you should regard carefully; obviously they will be biased. But the stuff they say about the other gods will be perfectly objective.
Same thing in the case of a polytheistic religion (used to be a lot more popular than they are today, but a few are still out there): are all the gods equally true or are some of them a little false? Again, do careful research before making a decision.
Number two: exactly what is the benefit package you will receive once you’re dead, assuming you have fulfilled all organizational requirements and are a normal member? Are requirements negotiable? Are prizes awarded on a sliding scale? A lot of variation exists here so check around. And be sure to get it all in writing so in case something goes wrong you’ll have recourse for your grievances.
Number three: will you have to kill yourself? Figure this out early on as it can really screw things up if you find out too late. Assuming you will and you’re cool with that, what sort of prizes will you receive after you’re dead? Often, the benefits package offered to the newly deceased gets a few bonuses thrown in if you kill yourself in a prescribed way. I’ve heard that at least one religion offers a butt-load of virgins if you kill yourself just right. Personally, I prefer a woman with a little experience, but whatever. I think you get a pony, too. Again, remember to read the fine print.
Number four: will killing other people be part of the deal? If so, can you assassinate people you dislike personally, or will you be assigned targets by the organizers? Again, what sort of rewards will this assignment net you and can you get any of them while still alive? This is important because if you get arrested for murder, instead of getting virgins, spending time in the joint might simply de-virginize you, if you know what I mean (and I think you do). Knowing whether or not the religion provides free and effective legal defense in this situation is a very serious concern. Alternatively, does it have a substantial enough prison following to help you make the right kinds of friends in lock-down?
Number five: consider the details and methods of daily prayer: performing ablutions, chanting, fiddling with beads, special dance moves, gesticulations. Consider the dress code: outfits, colors, hairstyles. Some religions demand an austere existence and a disciplined daily regimen, while others let you dress the way you want and pray when you want. Get hooked up with the group that works for you!
Number six: where exactly will you be going once you’re dead? Don’t leave this up to chance; get coordinates. Also, check to see who else might be going; it would suck to get there and find a bunch of people you don’t like. For instance, if it turns out that your religion and another competing religion are actually praying to the same god, you might both end up in the same place (heaven, valhala, paradise, whatever) and it might be awkward having to hang out with people you spent so much time hating when you were alive.
Finally, lucky number seven, a few minor points to consider: some religions are very popular with the stars and joining may give you the opportunity to meet a favorite, Cat Stevens, John Travolta, or Barry Manilow for instance. Will it help you get laid? Do a lot of hot chicks attend? Do you like the free drinks or snacks this religion offers at its regular meetings? Do they have a proper coffee maker or are they serving instant (ugh)? What do you think of this particular religion’s paraphernalia and will you enjoy decorating your home, automobile, and office with it? How much time will you have to spend trying to talk other people (non-believers) into joining? Do you mind being spat on and having doors slammed in your face very much?
Once you have clear, logical answers to these questions, you should have no trouble making the right choice.
P.S. Maybe this article seemed a little sexist. That’s because religion is sexist. Sure, some exceptions exist, but mostly being religious and being a woman means getting the table scraps the men leave. For women, joining a religion should be done purely for the service of the men in your life (and for the men in the church, including the god or gods therein, which will almost always be portrayed as male). So if you’re a woman and you’re reading this, don’t you worry your pretty little head about all of these big, scary questions, Buttercup. Just print them out and hand them respectfully to your man when he’s in a good mood. And then get back to fixing dinner and taking care of the kids.
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You’re currently reading “Relig-o-Matic,” an entry on wad's place
- August 31, 2006 / 8:44 am