In my previous Wednesday's post, I said that I had never heard of anyone making the leap from Adam to "A Dame" so that a lesbian marriage could be justified. In so doing, Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire altered God's order as established in Genesis and went beyond revisionism and leaped to creating his own religion.
One could argue that Bishop Robinson is merely hijacking a pre-existing sinking denomination to advance a singular personal obsession, but statements such as this show that he is not satisfied with the Bible and is working on a his own version.
Episcopal bishops seem prone to this particular heresy. This past Sunday's post presented the nefarious retired Episcopal bishop, John Shelby Spong and his book "Eternal Life: A New Vision, Beyond Religion, Beyond Theism" showing up as recommended reading for the ECOOS adult Sunday school class.
How these bishops became so enlightened, and how the church deals with them will be a subject for future scholars of heresy. For the present, I would like to look at ways that those of us who remain unenlightened can become liberated from the bonds of theism and create our own religion.
When one is starting their own religion they should follow certain steps. (I am making these up as I go, so feel free to request revisions).
The first step in creating your own religion is to prioritize.
1. Of primary importance is the "your own" part.
Your own religion will be unique and tailor made to fit you. This frees you from the demands of others. Fortunately, this also frees you from having someone else's God tell you how to live your life because you will develop your religion from your own experience and reason. Unfortunately, you must expect that your own religion will not fit others so well. That is their loss, don't waste time with them.
2. Deal with the problem of right and wrong.
a. One way of handling this is to claim that there is no right or wrong. If this works for you, cool, just don't complain when you get robbed, cheated, or injured, and don't ever say anything about "justice.".
b. If you don't feel comfortable with 2a, it is okay to work things out on your own. As you have gone through life you have been given innumerable life experiences which you have either rationalized and justified, or which you have rejected and condemned. These you can file under "Virtues" and "Sins" repectively. For example, it is virtuous to follow your personal desires, and it is sinful to suggest that one should subordinate those desires to the will of an almighty god
3. Deal with the question of life after death.
a. Assume there is no life after death because you have not personally witnessed anyone coming back from the dead. In this case, have a nice life.
b. Choose to believe in a life after death.
i. You can choose to exclude certain people from your afterlife.
ii. You can include all in your afterlfe, this works well with 2a above.
iii. Wait until you get there, and then do what feels right.
4. Decide if you are going to have a god.
a. If you create a god, great. You have solved all kinds of future issues. Just don't catch yourself worshipping any other god but yours. If you do, try to adapt your god to the new thing.
b. Say "No" to a god. This is liberating, and works well with 3.b.ii.
5. Decide if you are going to share your religion with others.
a. Don't tell anyone and let your own religion die with you.
b. If you choose to tell people about your own religion, be prepared for criticism. Upon hearing criticism, debate a little, but in the end, feel free to call your opposition names. This effectively ends all discussion. Possible names you can use are "small minded," "narrow minded," "closed minded," "unenlightened," "bigoted," "misogynistic," "homophobic," "literalist," or "fundamentalist."
6. Decide if you can live your religion as a member of some other religion.
a. If you want to go it alone, great, that eliminates all sorts of conflict. It does present the problem of loneliness. If you get lonely remember, that as an enlightened being you have no need for others.
b. If you choose to join another religion, remember first that you are the one doing the choosing, you are not being called by an external force. So study up and do your homework first. It really helps if you can find a small, weakened, indecisive, religious denomination where you can play dress up at least once a week and engage in 5.a. without having to worry about pulling out those discussion ending terms too often. Look for a place with pretty smells and bells, long flowing vestments, nice music, and a good endowment. Hopefully, you can get a job, a pension, and a publisher.
Are any more of our bishops following these steps?
It just might be easier to pick up a copy of the LoL Cat Bible.
Genesis 2:18-25 Lol Cat Bible
"An Ceiling Cat sed, 'teh boi is alown an dat iz bad; he needz frendz so i wil maek him a gud helpr.' So Ceiling Cat made farm animulz and birdies frum durt. An Ceiling Cat brot them to teh boi to c wat he wud naym them: an teh animulz wur calld wutevr teh boi calld them. If thay didnt liek it, tuff tamales, thay wuz stuk wif it. An teh boi naymd all thoze animulz, but nun of dem wuz a gud helpr. So Ceiling Cat gived teh boi invisible sleepin pill an did sum surjerie an tuk owt wun of teh boiz rib bonez. Ohyeah, an Ceiling Cat put teh skin bak on, so teh boi wudnt freek latr. An Ceiling Cat transformd teh rib bonez into a perty gurl. Ceiling Cat tuk teh gurl to teh boi, then watchd teh fun begin. Teh boi sed, 'Her boddy caim frum my boddy? Sweet! I callz her 'Gurl' cuz she caim frum a boi, an it sowndz betr than 'Frumboi'.'
Thatz wiy a boi leevz his mommy an daddy an getz mareed to a gurl.
Teh boi an gurl wared invisible fur, an didnt fink it wuz bad."