In these uncertain times, when the world is changing too rapidly to keep track of and society seems just one more Hulk Hogan-themed reality show away from collapsing into utter chaos, many people will look anywhere for stability and guidance, even a piece of nonsensical bullshit scribbled on a cocktail napkin. But even economics can’t help us now, so it’s time to turn to God. “But which God?” you ask. “I’m too weak and indecisive to choose among so many faiths!” The answer in simple, young one: emulate the actions so many before you, by making up your own religion based on your pipe-dream observations and stuff you pulled out of your ass. With time and a lot of luck, you’ll join the ranks of Jim Jones, Turkmenbashi, and Jesus!
Step 1: I am the (blank) thy (blank)
First up is choosing a figurehead to worship. A good idol will give you and your equally-desperate and gullible followers a combination of teacher, role model, and imaginary friend. Here are some candidates for the job.
Subject of Worship Pros Cons God Elegantly simple name; versatile powers; invisible, so they can’t prove he’s not talking to you Jews and Christians tend to be a bit possessive of Him. Look how they reacted when Muslims changed his name, for Allah’s sake. Fictional Character Already well-known; more entertaining than real people; sectarian strife easily resolved through game of “who would win in a fight” Copyright laws may inhibit construction of your Batman cathedral; St. Stifler unlikely to stand test of time. Historical Figure Can’t complain; already plausibly in Heaven; plenty of relics available if you act fast You’d be surprised how popular depraved sexual indiscretions have been through the ages.
Step 2: In the Beginning was the Name
Once you get a mascot ironed out, it’s time to work out a name with which to sell your divine product. The proper name imbues a new faith with dignity, meaning, and industry buzz. Unless you have a cool name like Confucius or Buddha, don’t go with naming it after yourself. No one wants to join the First Church of Chuckianity or try to convert their friends to Weinberg-Hoffmanism. Instead, I’ve come up with some appropriately religious-sounding words to mix and match.
Truth- -ism Love- -age Hope- -ology Free-                                       -itude Sanct- -orama Good- -To The Max Morm- -tastic Obama- -osexuality Crunk- -oflatterdaysaints
Step 3: Dogma – No, not the Kevin Smith one with Alanis Morissette
Having by now attracted a crowd with your snazzy name and charismatic ranting, they’re going to want some content. Your new religion will need a system of rules and virtues to help guide your new flock through the difficulties of life. It will also need silly, arbitrary rules that impede scientific progress or subjugate women for the hell of it if you want to hang with the big boys. Some examples of orthodoxy that’ll be sure to bring in the parishioners:
• Church clothes include Halloween costumes
• Reset the calendar to begin the year Jimi Hendrix died
• Confession given entirely through charades
• Begin every service with Green Lantern oath
• Some sort of vague admonition to resist oppression that could easily be reinterpreted to authorize bloody warfare
• Bring back Viking funerals – those were so boss!
• Sermons can discuss politics, but only those of 19th century Austria
• Maybe something about peace and love, if there’s time
With luck, you’ll soon have a loyal coterie of followers willing to obey your every command and buy you smokes. Next up: pricing isolated desert compounds and powdered drink mix. And remember, when the road gets rocky and the state troopers have almost made it through the outer wall, you never read this article and everything was God’s idea.