After much thought on the subject and with my recent change in title to Reverend, I thought it appropriate for me to be the pastor of a church. In the vein of many great 'pioneers of religion' - Joe Smith, I am looking at YOU - . I considered all the current religions and one by one ruled them out.
Built in following - long as I quote scripture I am "in like Flynn".
It's hard to believe or sell something that is patently false. Almost all of Christian Mythos is borrowed from other religions and cultures. - see Mesopotamian culture and religion -
Pros: See Christianity
Any group that believes it's OK to kill someone for not joining their religion has some serious issues. - just can't see myself doing that.
Pros: One of the oldest religions on earth - See Christianity for more..
Historically persecuted group. - I really don't want to be part of a group that is consistently hated and where other groups are always pushing for your extinction.
The myriad other faiths and pseudo-religions:
Not much into witchcraft or worshiping the sun, trees or cows so this is out. It's even MORE ridiculous than any of the above listed religions. Although, the FSM (Flying Spaghetti Monster) sounds interesting, not really my cup of tea. Worshiping Pasta has never been something I can get behind fully - although Pirate Day is kinda nifty.
I came to the conclusion that I needed to form my own religion. Complete with rules, holidays and leadership. I again borrowed from Joe Smith - he had a good idea, just missed the boat on a couple areas-
I need to start by explaining that after researching all the existing religions on earth and contemplating my place in the universe I found that all the religions on earth were completely SCREWED UP! They all have one thing in common a God they say is loving but that blackmails the followers into doing good things and following the rules. This seemed WRONG to me, why would any God want to blackmail his followers? You would think if God existed he/she/it would simply impart the 'universal truth' of said existence and all the people of the earth would simply accept it and follow along. No need for punishment. Everyone would do what they were supposed to because they knew it was the right thing to do. I have therefore, without a vision or divine intervention created a religion that all reasonable, logical and intelligent folks should find appealing and call themselves members of.
The Church of the Assimilated Virgin
Rather than worship a god, all the members will simply subscribe to a philosophy of Logic, Reason and Intelligence. The members will allow Science and PROVEN facts to guide their decisions. There will be NO preaching, or proselyting. Anyone that wishes to join simply chooses to and they are members. No baptism or conversion required. Just intelligence and reason.
The Five VERY Strong Suggestions:
There won't be ten commandments, only Five Suggestions. The reason behind this is simply you won't be wasting time on worshiping 'one god' or another or keeping certain days holy. As a member, you only need to pay attention to the suggestions and of course if you follow them you will have a less stressful life, just because you won't be doing stupid things that cause stress!
Suggestion 1: Don't steal stuff - it's just not a cool thing to do. Not to mention you tend to get yourself in trouble with the courts and law enforcement when you steal stuff.
Suggestion 2: Don't go round killing and maiming people and animals. - this is obvious, no explanation needed.
Suggestion 3: Be good to everyone - Simply put, if you are good to folks, they will be good to you.
Suggestion 4: Pay your bills on time - I know it's not a spiritual thing, but hey this isn't a spiritual organization.
Suggestion 5: Enjoy the little things. Take the time to savor your food, smell the roses, enjoy a sporting event etc. Just have a good time and enjoy life. You only get one shot at it, don't waste it being miserable.
Far as meetings go, we don't have any. You don't need me or anyone else to lead you. You are all intelligent, free thinking people that don't need some 'leader' telling you what you should do and when to do it. You won't be asked to donate anything to the church. You won't be asked to do any kind of service to the church. This is just about being you and enjoying it. Do just that. Of course, if one wanted to donate to the church, it would like all donations be tax deductible.
We don't have a chapel, your world is the chapel. --Pick up after yourself will ya?
I don't have a website or an official membership list, if you want, just tell folks you are a member and maybe just maybe it will grow and be the largest Non-Church on the planet :) -- one can dream right?