Many men before you have done it. L. Ron Hubbard, Anton LaVey, Joseph Smith, and Siddhartha Gautama, and Chef Boyardee just to name a few. While you may be able to name five or six legitimately recognized and registered religions, there are in fact, thousands. Religions like The Church of Ed Wood and Jediism (yes, a religion based on Star Wars). Even parody religions like The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and Discordianism boasts thousands of serious followers.
So it just might be time for you to cast your lot and get in on the God action. These days, you can enjoy a few perks from having your own religion, like tax breaks, donations, chicks who love men in power, and just getting people to follow your sage advice because you are ‘plugged in to whatever you tell them to worship. Since old religions can’t seem to step into the 21st century, you have a chance to scoop up all the young blood out there looking for a hip religion that allows them to have a good time and also be, you know, spiritual.
If you want to be the Top Dog of your own religion, follow these easy steps and start preparing to sign up new members pronto.
Pick Something/Someone to Worship
If your thing is claiming you had a vision from Ristyx from the planet Flornite 7 and he ordered you to start a religion, then go that direction and sign up all the crazy people you can muster. But if you want a group of followers who don’t scratch themselves and howl at the moon, then pick something cool to ‘worship’. Like Megan Fox. Or pirates.
Decide on a Name
Everything is marketing these days and a religion is no exception. Scientology’s L. Ron recognized this and came up with…the study of science, apparently. While Scientology may sound like you can be spiritual while dissecting frogs, you have to admit it’s got a ring to it – as evidenced by the thousands of Hollywood celebs that have signed on and now await the spaceship to take them away. Your religion’s name needs to have the same appeal. Give a hint about what it is, but also be mysterious. “The Church of Beer Worship” is too obvious, but “Latter Day Brew Saints” combines what your religion is about, while allowing for more to be learned by joining. We feel Saint Heineken watching over us every day – and night.
Get a Symbol
You have to have a symbol, crest, or something cool to put on your business card. Usually something with a mystical quality is best, like a shooting star into the ocean, a weird half man/half animal sketch, a telescope held by a leprechaun, or a raven with a sword stuck through its wing. You get the picture. The symbol never means anything and nobody really looks closely at it, but at a first glance, it looks like you put a lot of thought into your religion’s crest. This is a sign that yours must be a religion worth joining.
Choose Your Followers
Who will be the members of your esteemed religion? Will you go for the rich and crazy (Scientology)? The poor and gullible (Christianity)? The smelly and hairy (Mormons)? You’ll need members to make donations to keep your religion afloat financially – namely, paying you to lead them as they worship Megan Fox. Rich people are good for this, but convincing the business savvy rich to join a religion dedicated to say, porn movies and hot dogs, might be a stretch. However, the deranged son of said business savvy richie might be in to your religion just to piss off daddy. Likely he’ll have a hefty allowance he’d love to donate to the cause.
What Are You Against?
Religions were built more on who or what they are against than what they stand for. You know, guys like the Devil and things like women showing their ankles. You will need to decide what your religion is against in order to grow your membership. Is it guys from Jersey? Or maybe women with muffin tops? Certainly if your religion celebrates topless nudity, then shirts – and all those who believe in shirts – would be an enemy of yours. Decide what your beef is, my friend, and your religion is on the way to Billy Graham proportions.
No, we’re not suggesting you spend the next twenty years writing a 4,000 page tome by which to live. But you will have to have a story and set of rules built within that story. If your religion has chosen to worship some person you made up, aside from being a huge dork, you will need to write a story about that person and why they are great enough to follow. You’ll also need to include life lessons your religion will live by that are taken from the story. Then you will need to recognize you will never have sex again.
Meetings and Procedures
You’ll need to have regular meetings and procedures you will follow during these meetings. We suggest meeting at a sports bar every Sunday morning and watching football all day. Of course, you will want to give a quick sermon during halftime about what football has taught you and then take donations. But you may want to step it up a notch and rent out a location, aka, the church. This will only be possible if your ‘flock’ donates enough money to pay you and the rent. If not, sports bars are the best churches we’ve ever seen anyway.
Make It Official
Get registered with the state. Here is where you need to consult someone with something called ‘a license to practice law’. They can register your religion with the state and apply for non-profit status and a huge break on taxes. Is this legal, you ask? We think so. Maybe.
Get on the Map
You’ll need a website, business cards, fliers, and girls in bikinis spinning signs. Anyway and everyway to draw attention to your new religion is a must. We’re thinking a protest outside the White House would do the trick, but you didn’t hear that from us.