Print Story Secret Religion
Religion & Philosophy
By CheeseburgerBrown (Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 01:35:01 PM EST) (all tags)
My new religion is a secret.  It's a secret because a primary tenant of my religion is that the religion is never to be discussed with outsiders.  While this may represent a poor marketing strategy, it does serve effectively to inspire in those to whom the secret is already known a certain feeling of in-group solidarity; it is this kind of social cohesion that assures people don't bring bullshit contributions to the annual pot-luck, like take-out pizza or a box of doughnut holes.

After many long years of initiation I am finally a card-carrying member of my religion.  Sadly, in order to facilitate the aforementioned secrecy, the card is entirely blank.  But it's printed (not-printed?) on a very nice quality of stock so everyone knows whatever it is that the card represents it is surely a thing of quality.

I am enraged when people expect me to do things that violate the sacred oaths of my religion, and sometimes mildly frustrated that I cannot explain my enragement without violating said oaths.  Because of this, some people find it challenging to be appropriately tolerant of my practices.  Since those best qualified to educate them are forbidden from doing so, their intolerance is something I have learned to tolerate.  After all, it's not their fault to be ignorant assholes born into the wrong religion.  It's the fault of their parents.

Like all religions, the body of doctrine is complex and nuanced.  It's not all black and white.  Certain domains of dogma do fall outside of the secrecy rubric, such as my religion's support for basic dental hygiene and good posture.  Also, it is recommended to wash your hands after handling money.  Unlike in Catholicism masturbation is encouraged.  Unlike in Scientology Tom Cruise is not allowed.  A few other things are common knowledge, too, but for the most part they're trivial.  The really big beliefs are private.

The advantage of private beliefs is that it removes to temptation to justify one's actions in terms of the religion -- that is, the only option open to adherents if challenged is to explain themselves using only common reason and gutter-variety logic.  This firewall dictum serves to create an asymmetrically unidirectional compartmentalization of faith such that beliefs may inform action but action cannot be rationalized by an appeal to belief, maintaining at a stroke the principles of noble action informed by right thought while refusing to confound belief with fact and thus opening to door to accidentally respecting any old variety of baloney as equally viable systems for determining truth.

In this way, unknowable and unverifiable communications between a mortal being and a supreme being remain inadmissible in public discourse.  As in pregnancy, such beliefs are forced to decide conclusively whether they are empirically accessible -- there is no half way.  Empirically inaccessible propositions fall into the unalienable domain of sacred privacy, while empirically accessible propositions are free to run around in the sprinkler of civic debate wearing a thin white T-shirt to cool off on a hot summer's day and you can totally see its nipples through the sheer, wet fabric.  To even armchair philosophers this should be self-evident.

The question, naturally, is "Why?" but the answer is "None of your goddamn business, outsider."  Thus one of theosophy's greatest historical questions is dealt with succinctly, if potentially at the cost of some level of mild social friction.

From a legal point of view my religion is above reproach, as our sacred writings contain perfect arguments justifying the ways of our religion, including the argument for unequivocally demonstrating the harm of revealing any the sacred writings to anyone not already familiar with them.  Effectively, pronouncements from our religion can therefore not be contradicted without casting unacceptably intolerant and prejudicial doubt at the core of our faith; to even consider the problem is to accept the potential religious value of our hypothetical reply, and thus implies defensible status for our credo of total intellectual exclusion.  To act otherwise would constitute an act of persecution.

How can you join my religion?  It's easy.  Just live your life as you normally would, and members of our organization will be watching.  If they approve of what they see, someone will one day contact you, discuss the subject with you, bring you up to speed on our deeply cherished core beliefs and practices, and then tell you never to discuss them with anyone under any circumstances ever.  Then we carry you around on a chair and drink Jell-o shots and sing boisterous songs.

You won't go to Hell if you don't take up my religion, but you won't go to Heaven either.  I'd explain more but then I'd have to see to your silence.  And I don't want to do that, because I've already got a long list of chores I haven't tended to.  The upstairs washroom?  Don't even get me started.

Remember: only spiritual show-offs consent to discuss their relationship with the infinite.  It's immodest and it tarnishes the ultimate nature of the ideas-in-themselves to shoe-horn them awkwardly into an empirically accessible world.  And like an easy screw looking harsh in the hangover-burp morning light, it diminishes the grandeur of any profoundly important sacred poppycock to speak it aloud.  Better to just close your eyes and think of Lakshmi.

This has been a public service announcement.  In the event of an actual religious emergency tanker trucks of holy water will be routed to your local community, with schedules to be posted at local post offices bulletin boards.

So say we all.

< it's better than bad | Need some help >
Secret Religion | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden)
Silly Hacky-Sacktarians! by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 01:38:46 PM EST
We Frisbeetarians laugh at your secrets!

Come to think of it, we laugh at all religions. Including our own.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Remind Kellnerin... by ana (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 01:55:55 PM EST
to write about Ludicrism sometime.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Hokey Smokes, Bullwinkle! by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 02:47:27 PM EST
You became a Freemason? 

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
Can't be by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 07:56:32 PM EST
The membership cards have text printed on them.  And there's no singing, dancing, or Jello shots.  

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
Those are the membership cards we use for show. by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #13 Fri Jul 16, 2010 at 01:10:48 PM EST
Also, you need to listen to Ray Stevens' "Shriners Parade" for the awful truth about singing, dancing and jello shots in the new world order. 

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
Shriners by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #14 Fri Jul 16, 2010 at 05:26:21 PM EST
Yeah, actually the Shriners are into singing, dancing and drinking; but technically the Shrine isn't Freemasonry.  You need to be a Freemason to be in the Shrine, but it's a side organization.   All Shriners are Masons, but not all Masons are Shriners. 

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
Okay. Now I'm suspicious. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #15 Thu Jul 22, 2010 at 02:21:23 PM EST
You seem to know an awful lot about Freemasonry. Have you sat in the chairs? 

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
Not yet by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #16 Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:20:02 PM EST
I'm still on the bench.

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
My religion is not a sekret by anonimouse (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 03:59:53 PM EST
I put Jedi on the last census form

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
Adherents of my religion EAT Jell-o shots by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 05:04:34 PM EST
as Our Lord of Physical States of Matter intended, so DIAF, infidel.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

You know, I hate my local post office by debacle (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Jul 06, 2010 at 10:36:08 PM EST
Construction has been going on in front of it for months, and they screwed up my application for a post office box three times, and it's sort of out of the way, and none of the women there are any sort of comely, and I think that they're still turning away mail addressed to me directly and not the company, and, to be honest, I find your choice of post office bulletin to be asocial, belligerent and psuedo-ogynist.


s/tenant/tenet/ by brokkr (2.00 / 0) #7 Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 08:17:01 AM EST
No text, just pedantry. But then again I'm atheist.
Deyr fé, deyja frændr, deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn, at aldrei deyr: dómr um dau∂an hvern.

!! by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #9 Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 12:26:13 AM EST

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Oh, you became a Yazidi? n/t by Captain Tenille (2.00 / 0) #8 Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 08:07:28 PM EST


/* You are not expected to understand this. */

Sometimes a religion is secret by Alan Crowe (4.00 / 1) #10 Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 05:05:44 PM EST
because god declines to produce a holy book.

Intrigue, subscribe newsletter, &c by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #11 Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 08:58:11 AM EST
Secret Religion | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden)