I've been doing a lot of thinking recently and after much research, debate, and soul-searching, I've come to the conclusion that I am no longer going to be an agnostic. I can't just ignore the question of faith and truth the rest of my life, so I need to make a decision. It's time to throw my hat into the religion ring. To that end, I've done a lot of research and have come up with what I think are the five most likely answers to the great religion mystery, as well as their pros and cons:
Matrixism: The Path of the One
Core Beliefs: A relatively new religion based on the "Matrix" film trilogy which prophecies a global apocalypse sometime in the 22nd century, and the subsequent emergence of a messiah (The One) who will bring about world peace. The four tenets include acceptance of this messianic prophecy, use of psychedelic drugs as a sacrament, recognition of the semi-subjective, multi-layered nature of reality, and adherance to one or more world religions until such time as The One's coming. For more see http://www.geocities.com/matrixism/
Pros: Watching "The Matrix" in church sounds much more interesting than most churches I've been to.
Cons: Matrixism's stance against pornography and professional sports might make this an impossible choice for me.
The First Presleyterian Church of Elvis the Divine
Core Beliefs: Quite simply, the worship of Elvis Presley as God and the looking forward to the day when the world is united in worship of Him. For more see http://www.geocities.com/presleyterian_church/
Pros: Among the 31 "Holy Items" that must be kept in your house at all times in case the King should happen to show up are brownies and banana pudding made fresh each night. That's just a fabulous idea.
Cons: I never could get into Elvis's music so I might not fit in so well.
Flying Spaghetti Monsterism
Core Beliefs: Followers (Pastafarians as they prefer to be called) believe that there is an invisible and undetectable Flying Spaghetti Monster who created the universe after a night of heavy drinking. Pastafarian beliefs (or the loose canon as they call it) closely mirror many major religious beliefs with subtle differences. For example, where the Judeo-Christian Ten Commandments are the guidelines for those faiths, the Pastafarians have the "Eight I'd Really Rather You Didn'ts." For more see http://www.venganza.org/
Pros: September 19th would take on all new meaning as the sacred "Talk Like a Pirate Day."
Cons: Pastafarians are unfortunately heavily persecuted in our oppressive Christian society. Students wearing their holy pirate regalia have been suspended from school and the first permanent statue of His Noodley Goodness was torn down. Attempts to get Pastafarian creation taught in schools alongside Intelligent Design have also been met with fierce resistance.
Core Beliefs: 75 million years ago Xenu, ruler of the Galactic Confederacy brought billions of people to Earth, stacked them around volcanoes, then blew up the volcanoes with hydrogen bombs, and now here we are. For more see http://www.scientology.org/
Pros: Enough celebrities are Scientologists that people actually pretend to take this religion started by a science fiction writer seriously.
Cons: I'm not rich enough to be a Scientologist as the higher up you go, the more they charge you.
Core Beliefs: A religion I began after a night of heavy drinking. The primary belief is in worship of the Beer God in the hope of getting to Beer Heaven after death. Beer Heaven is filled with beer, football, video games, and lesbians. For more see The Beer God
Pros: This religion has everything you could possibly want.
Well there you have it. It seems we have a clear cut winner. The religion I have decided to devote my life and energy to is Roman Cathalcoholism. Praise the Beer God.