As we are all no doubt aware, society–more specifically, modern western progressive society–has become more concerned with freedom from religion than freedom of religion. Every religious group believes in essentially the same bullshit, but where they differ from the sects of their neighbors, they define themselves as wholly separate entities.
Throughout history, the frightened and bewildered have distanced themselves from religious “crazies” by establishing their own backwards faiths, and that’s why we have so goddamn many.
More and more people identify themselves as “Spiritual, but not Religious,” a frustrating notion that begs the question: Why not just do away with religion altogether?
Surely if you disregard the religious notions that have existed for thousands of years, a spirituality that you just pull out of your ass would have even less validity; not more, simply because you feel it inside you (ew).
There is only one way to clearly differentiate between the significant and insignificant–and that’s by taking a closer look at those nutty little nightmares we call “Religions.” We won’t do them all, but we’ll do a hell-of-a-lot…
Adventism–William Miller was a miserable old cunt who got off on discussing non-issues. Are we really awake when we sleep? When is Jesus coming back? Is the punishment for sins eternal torment or simple annihilation? *Raises hand* Ummm…who gives a shit?
Alternative Judaism–This is what Jews practice when they’re feeling angsty and start listening to a load of Good Charlotte. It’s not really Judaism in the same way that believing in “some of the shit in the Bible” isn’t really a religion at all. It’s either the timeless words of an Almighty God or it’s not, people. Fucking choose.
Anabaptists–You little fuckers talk about the religious right and the radical Muslims and how they’re fuckin out-there, but there’s nobody more radical than Anabaptists (Amish & Mennonites). At least suicide bombers watch fuckin TV.
Anglicanism–While The Church of England tries desperately to play with the big boys, it’s clear that everyone stopped giving a shit a long time ago. I guess England never forgave Henry VIII. Now we’re stuck with Protestants.
Animism–This could either be a polytheistic, spirits-in-everything-we-see sort of religion, or it has something to do with those freaks who do it with mascot-costumes on.
Babism–Once upon a time, back in the 1800′s, a guy claimed to be the chosen one and he was executed. Sound familiar? Yeah…don’t step on people’s toes–especially within Islam.
Baha’i–This is about the closest you’ll get to religious harmony. This one’s all about unification of religious people, as long as you buy into their practices, don’t ask questions, and surrender yourself to God’s will.
Baptists–Modern Baptists consider their religion to date back to Jesus Christ and John the Baptist; however, in reality, it only dates back about 400 years and is now linked more closely to old black women singing and fanning themselves.
Buddhism–There are so many schools of Buddhism and I can’t be bothered to talk about them all, so let’s just do an overview and get it over with. Buddhism is an ancient spiritual discovery of the self. Its long intricate and divided history has given us such modern day luxuries like: Eastern War and Slavery, Stoners, Lazy People, rubbing fat people’s tummies for good luck, and the Swastika. Hooray!
Cargo Cults–This merry band of ignorant bastards succeeds as more of a tribal culture. They’re so convinced that the wealth of the outside world was “really meant for them,” that they attempt to acquire wealth and goods through all kinds of batshit magical ways.
Christadelphians–Not a very significant sect, but they do exist–I assure you. John Thomas went batshit crazy and started writing about how he’d tapped into some first century belief system. Then, he came to America–and that’s why there are 6,500 Christadelphians in the US today. Success.
Christian Science–It’s never a good sign when you set up a faith-based Science and Health program with the delusion that truth and good are material things and evil and error are fantasy.
Confucianism–Not so much a religion as a philosophic approach to living your life, but it’s close enough. They believe that coercive laws can be damaging–when people feel they’re being forced to adhere–so they try to provide a moral codes of virtue that you can repeat when you’re out with a chick to sound enlightened.
Deism–Those who technically have “no religion” but still choose to believe in a magical sky-king are called Deists. Creationists tend to use arguments about some of the most brilliant people in history being “Deists.” But they’re wrong. And when they’re not wrong, they’re still wrong.
Evangelicalism–We hear a lot about Evangelicals these days, and that’s due to the fact that they are the loudest voice. When your religion is based on personal conversion; being “re-born,” you tend to have a lot of cocky fuckers on your hands, just aching to heal a world that was never sick to begin with.
Gnosticism–While not quite a sect of Christianity, Gnostics believe in a set of Holy Books not included in the traditional Bible. They feel that they’re gaining some ancient super-knowledge from these books, but are, in reality, simply wasting their time just as much as everyone else.
Hellenistic–I don’t think anyone actually still practices these Greek/Roman god religions, but wouldn’t it be fun if they did?
Hinduism–There’s probably a lot to know about Hinduism and their multi-colored gods…but if you’ve encountered those Hare Krishna people, you probably got all the information you need.
Hoodoo–Witchcraft with dark chocolate.
Jainism–An Indian religion whose symbol has become a symbol of hate thanks to the Western world. The Jain Dharma path is supposed to be one of non-violence toward all living things…Many jealous Hindus now consider it a “sect of Hinduism,” but they just want the street cred.
Jediism–That’s right. Star Wars. I can only imagine the development of this religion going like this: “You know how all those ancient texts are just bullshit written by some dude thousands of years ago? Well, what would you say if I told you that the real answers lie in the immortal work of Mr. George Lucas?”
Jehovah’s Witness–They might seem like a relatively harmless group of people, but these nutty restorationists are fucking dangerous. They teach their students that we’re living in the “End Times,” adhere to a weird, masochistically conservative interpretation of the Bible, and bother you at home.
Jews for Jesus–When Jews get sick of being Jewish (because it’s a huge fucking drag) and they want to celebrate Christmas and Easter and the fun holidays, they don’t waste any time. “Eh, maybe Jesus wasn’t so bad after all.”
Kalam–This branch of Islam focuses mainly on the understanding of the “word of Allah.” This, combined with a natural human reasoning and intelligence will offer you salvation. Unless, of course, you reason that you don’t need Kalam to be happy.
Karaite Judaism–These followers are essentially the Jewish equivalent of the phrase, “Who gives a shit?” They believe in all that Jewie mumbo-jumbo but reject the sacred “Oral Law” or Rabbinic Jews. They’re all about their own personal interpretations of scripture and as long as you’re down with the Old Testament, you’re good to go.
Kharijites–There are many more Muslim sects than just Shiites and Sunnis, and–yes–they do get crazier. These people have traded the mortal life for a life with God, but you’ve never heard of them, so who gives a Shiite?
Louisiana Voodoo–Make no mistake, this is not Haitian Vodou. It’s a tourist attraction religion that provides a pin-cushion doll for your “cool” Uncle to bring back from his vacation. If I weren’t an Atheist, I’d probably say God clearly has a serious problem with Voodoo after what he did to both New Orleans and Haiti.
Lutheranism–Considered the father of modern protestantism, Martin Luther gave the Catholic Church the big “fuck you,” posting 95 grievances for all to see (pre-Facebook). It was all fun and games until protestants started to put religious bans on…fun and games.
Magick–The evil occultist band Lovin’ Spoonful once asked, “Do you believe in magic?” The answer is, of course, no…BUT those who practice it think differently. Officially, “Magick” can only be used to change or interfere with something that (in the natural world) is capable of changing…such as: who shows affection towards you, or having a good day. People who buy into all this magick crap are relatively harmless–unless you get into a conversation with one.
Methodism–It seems that the only prerequisite for starting your own religion is to be loud about it. Methodists were notorious for “open-air” preaching and pissing everyone off. Luckily for us, they came to America, gathered a loud following, and got Prohibition laws put in place so everyone could have a little less fun.
Mormonism–Joseph Smith’s Mormonism isn’t necessarily the same Mormonism that exists today. The Latter-day Saints movement splits into various sects, but let’s pretend that it’s all Joe Smith Mormonism for the sake of argument. A notorious liar and racist, Smith developed a faith out of fear, hate, and complete badger-fucking-craziness.
Nation of Islam–If you thought real Muslims were scary, wait ’til you holla at the N.O.I. This is the Farrakhan, Malcolm X, take-no-bullshit, fake-Islam Islam and if you thought that thugged-out gangsta motherfuckers were scary, wait til you see a horde of black guys in black bow ties outside your door.
Native American Mythology–Usually, we reserve the term “mythology” until most of the world has come to accept the belief as silly and antiquated, like Greek and Roman gods. But since there are hardly any real Native Americans left, it’s probably okay to just refer to all of their strongly held convictions as “retarded.”
Orthodox Church–Essentially, this is the big league for Catholicism. This was “officially” the church that Jesus established through his Apostles and passed it down from generation to generation. Roman Catholicism is for pussies.
Rabbinic Judaism–Jews are easy (thought I was going to say “cheap?” Racist). If you don’t understand their traditions, rules, and rituals, then you probably haven’t read the Bible. It’s essentially all there, black and white, in any language you choose–even the weird stuff. Yeah, you think you’re following the word of god, Christians? How’s that bacon taste, heathens?!
Raelism–This is an organized group of individuals who live in a childish fantasy world where an alien race called Elohim (God) created all life. So it’s like Creationism, but with no friends. Once tried to bring about world peace with an orgy, creating the world’s largest orgasm, but they were stopped. Terrible shame.
Roman Catholicism–The world’s largest Christian organization…they even have their own tiny country (Vatican City) and–currently–a leader who used to be a Nazi! Fun!
Satanists–There are two kinds of Satanists, those who believe in Satan as the Judeo-Christian bringer of Evil, and those who are just misguided humanists who want to piss off their parents and draw stars on their notebooks.
Scientology–A follow-up to L. Ron Hubbard’s previous self-help system, Dianetics, Scientology seems sort-of-kind-of almost helpful in theory, but in practice it’s most likely just as twisted and evil as anything else. There have been tons of complaints about the “business” of Scientology; however, the insanity of their claims should be considered average. I mean, is it crazier to believe in volcanic aliens or a talking snake? Take your pick…
Shia, Shiite, Shi’ite–Despite the name’s likeness to “shit,” these Muslims aren’t the “terrorist” ones…probably. What sets them apart is their belief that holy Imams, such as Muhammad, have spiritual and political power over today’s world…waitaminute…don’t all of our presidents believe the same thing about Jesus?
Shinto–The Japanese “Way of the Gods,” is a system in which actions speak louder than words. They worship just about everything with a strong concentration on ancestry. While there’s really no evidence of it ever being its own unified religion, the practice makes perfect.
Sikhism–These people believe that the highest attainable point in life is to achieve a truthful existence. They attempt a positive, happy, and equal relationship with everyone–no matter the race, gender, or creed. That sounds great in theory, but sometimes when they’re driving the cab you’re in, you start wishing they would cut someone off once in a while…
Smartism–Sounds pretty douchey and pretentious right? Wrong. Smartism is a Hindu sect that refers to a deep study of the Veda and Shastra scriptures and memorizing a bunch of laws and shit. I guess it is pretty douchey, isn’t it?
Sufism–This one sounds like fun–but it’s not. Interestingly enough, Sufism attempts to define itself as the science of being closer to God. Isn’t it fun when religion attempts to disguise itself as science, and yet rejects all existing science at the same time?
Sunni Islam–This is the one true faith. Blessings and peace be on the names of Allah and Muhammad. (translation: Please don’t murder me or my family)
Tantra–Surely, the only time you’ve heard this religion referred to is in regard to “Tantric Sex,” but there’s more (boo…)! They study the Tantra Scriptures, worship Shakti (who sounds like an old school rapper), channel energy through the divine “Godhead,” and…fuck it…Tantric Sex.
Taoism–Its focus on vitality, inner peace, “non-action”, and such have turned Taoism into the single largest exporter of bullshit ever (probably). Yins and Yangs, herbal remedies…you know, all that annoying dirge that your crazy neighbor and ex-girlfriend were into.
Unitarianism–These wacky folks are notoriously made fun of for being “liberal” and “understanding.” They don’t accept the “trinity” of God, but they accept damn near everything and everyone else. Don’t they know how to run a successful religion?
Wicca-Witchcraft for sad girls.
Witchcraft–Hoodoo for white people.
Yoga–Sometimes, religious people figure out that they have a pretty shitty religion. They see other people in different faiths having loads of fun and they get jealous. Then they make up their own wacky combination of all those Eastern faiths and use it as an excuse to sell “stretching classes” to tourists and Westerners.
Yoruba–Before Islam and Christianity came to African nations, they had something completely different: stories, songs, traditions, and practices that all served to bring their “mortal selves” closer to “a divine creator of all things.” It’s a good thing Islam and Christianity came into the picture to set them straight.
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(offended? suck it–I’m right)