Saturday, 13 October 2012

Unlosing my Religion

If I say name two religions, the first two that pop into your head are probably Christianity and Islam. 

But apparently, there are over 10,000 separate religions, according to Microtrends, a smashing book I'm reading at the moment. This was at the time of writing, so you can be sure this number has risen by several thousand since then. 

Use the Force
The thing I found most interesting in all of this is that research shows two or three new religions are being created every day. Delightful! People are actually creating their own religions!

One that springs to mind immediately, of course, is the Jedi Faith. If you thought Brighton was just home to a thriving gay community, think again. Visit the Jedi Church website ( and you'll find that 2% of Brighton's population believe in the Force.

So for a bit of fun, I typed in the search terms "weird religions", "strange religions" and "quirky religions" on Google. (Some people steal cars for fun, some do drugs... Me? I google stuff!) 

Here are a few I found. After reading some of these, you can't help but thank some divine being or other for free speech!

Or the religion of not giving a monkey's whether God exists or not, in other words! If God walked into an apatheist's house, looking to make a big entrance, and rustled up a spaghetti bolognese for them, the only reaction He'd get is 'Hmmmm, nice but could have done with a little more tomato in the sauce.

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monsters (Pastafarianism)
Officially registered, this strange religion believes the Flying Spaghetti Monster, working alongside pirates, brought the good there is on Earth. Their explanation for why the world is in moral decay - there's not enough pirates! The most evil people on the earth, according to them - gay people who give sweets to others. Oh dear!

The Prince Philip Movement (my personal favourite!)
Famous here for putting his foot in it, in another part of the world the Duke of Edinburgh is actually a divine being. To the Yaohnanen tribe on the island of Tanna, in Vanuatu, he - 'He', anyone? - is the son of a mountain spirit and a brother of John Frum (oh him, right!), some guy who was associated with cargo cults.

So next time you he's in the news for insulting deaf people or whatever, remember those words are gospel to others!

Which gets me thinking...
If you were to start your own religion, who or what would you worship? My friends will tell you I really have it bad for chocolate, so I think I'd have to pledge my allegiance to the Church of Cadburys. In fact, some might say I'm already there! 

You know what? Maybe I should. Enjoying chocolate wouldn't feel so sinful, then. Instead, I'd be just performing my religious duties. And whenever I was tempted to stray from the flock by dieting, one of the other followers could 'find' me again with a Caramel!

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