In a tongue-in-cheek jab at the widespread reverence for religion, the left-leaning aggregated blog site Huffington Post has announced a “create your own religion” competition for its subscribers. The humorous publicity stunt asks readers to submit a description of their own invented religion, which will be posted to the site to compete for followers. The religion with the most followers wins. We think this is a fantastic and lighthearted way to find out what people will say, but it forces us to wonder what people believe in their heart of hearts. While the aim of the HuffPost competition is obviously comedic, the Universal Life Church Monastery would like to know what you really think: if you could create your own religion, what kind of religion would it be?

The competition gives examples of some of the most instantly recognizable images and symbols of the world’s major religions and faith traditions, asking readers how their religion would stack up with the others. Some of these religions are ancient and revered, and others, relatively novel and controversial, encouraging readers to be inventive and consider the possibilities. “You’ve got the long hair, the nice bushy beard, and lots of beliefs, but you don’t have the 2.2 billion adherents worldwide” the description reads, alluding to the religion founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ; “[o]r perhaps you’re chubby and like to sit cross-legged, but no one is making statues of you”, it also reads, evoking images of the Buddha of eastern thought. Even Scientology is hinted at: “maybe you’re a mediocre sci-fi writer that wants people speaking your psuedoscience [sic]”. Essentially, what the competition calls on readers to do is to create a distinctive religious brand and market it as the most attractive product in order to win the most adherents.

This is all very amusing, but we at the ULC Monastery are curious about what kind of religion you would really create if you could. There are many things to take into consideration. One is the type of god or deity to be worshipped. Would your religion be monotheistic, polytheistic, atheistic, or pantheistic? Perhaps your religion would have a single male god, or perhaps a goddess. It might have a god as well as a goddess, or a trinity, triad, or similar combined form in which a single deity takes on multiple aspects. Perhaps you have no god, a gender-neutral deity, or an entire pantheon of gods. Holidays and rituals are also important, since they set aside a place and time to practice your religion. Would your sermons, worship services, and ceremonies be held inside a special building, at home, or in nature? What type of holidays would you have, what would they commemorate, and what kind of rites and sacraments would they involve? Perhaps most important of all is the set of beliefs, doctrines, and creeds that provide a foundation to your theology and a moral framework for living life. You would need to provide a statement of beliefs and policies regarding things like marriage, sex and love, salvation and atonement for sins, crime and justice, war, and the role of other religions.

Of course, these are just suggestions, and they are only the tip of the iceberg, but they are a starting point for creating your own religion. You may think you have found the perfect religion (for example, you may be loyal to the Southern Baptist Church because you were born and raised in that particular denomination), but, more often than not, an honest person will be able to name at least something about his or her religion that could be improved. We would like to know the exact parameters for your ideal religion. (There’s no need to worry about winning—this is not a competition, but an experiment.) Given your position as a priest or minister ordained in a nondenominational online church, what are your most cherished values? What are your beliefs about the purpose and meaning of life, and the underlying nature of the universe? Feel free to share your ideas here or on the discussion forums of the ULC Monastery.

Source:

The Huffington Post

8 comments

  1. Daniel Haag says:

    The religion that I would start would be awakening people to the new paradigm . Mainly it would be the study of quantum physics and how we are all creators . Where sessions would be held would be in nature and also in Temple . The congregation would be a collection of metaphysical practitioners .

    1. Elizabeth says:

      Hedonism. By Paul. All things permissible in moderation

      1. Elizabeth says:

        Metaphysical. Hieros games and Kama sutra

  2. Rickie L Jones says:

    My religion would be to explore the relationship of symbols, shapes, imagining their inherent meaning. What is the inherent meaning of a spiral? Why is a spiral created from pressure? Or… the shape of a vein, a river, and a tree.. Why are the shapes of our existence common – repeated again and again? Is it because we can only recognize these shapes?.. until we defy language and believe there is knowledge other than what we see? Belief, faith, are a kind of metaphysical neurotransmitter, bringing non -existence into existence. Belief is the moment before “I am that I am” In fact, there is a lot of knowledge in the Judea Christian books, but they are not studied for knowledge, only for rhetoric. What we believe is what we will experience. The moment we believe we are experiencing more – we are.! We have faith we Can be different, we cast those nets into a future in which the past is changed in order to make way for that new future made by that new idea. quantum physics? sure

    Like the job of cells, that we have a collective identity as well as a singular one. WE are alone in our function. We are aware of our place among mankind. We are a part of a larger existence we cannot comprehend. Faith is given to us, and we do not need to complicate it with … sin, or crackers, or wars… We will have faith in the knowledge that the dichotomy of our lives is as it should be. For we live in a world of shapes, and truths we discover about the shapes help us find out way. we shape our day, our dream, our families. We perceive of shapes and assign meaning to them. For instance, the shape of the world, round, appears to us to be a straight line. The shape of time appears, to us, to be a line, a succession of events. but it is most decidedly spiral, circular,
    moving in circles and waves that are repeated, yet never the same. Because we live in a spiral galaxy, this is the nature of our existence. But – that is only one galaxy, there are many others. ! Nothing exists that is not used, from the grass to the seed, the cloud, us, our thoughts, our feelings, we simply cannot conceive of our place in the universe. But we have one, and we are ‘speaking’ to a larger form each and every day. and the stars are there for their relationship to us or we would not conceive of them, and the ‘unused’ brain ? It is used for what we cannot imagine, or we would not grow that brain at all. People think if they don’t know it, it doesn’t exist. My church would remind you that you know very little, yet have the ability to be content and to know you are no accent, all that you are is so much more than you allow yourself to become. Language is a good example of our lives. It is such a small resource for so deep and mystic expression and understanding. We think we don’t know… because we cannot say it. But we Feel, and sense, that is what we have to use in place of words. Feel music. Sense future events. we can make our own ripples backwards and forwards. How would we know we changed our lives, the ripples would go in both directions. I suspect because we only think in logic, we cannot understand. We must imagine a God that is unlike people. we are made in Gods image, not the other way around. And an image, after all, is something to be contemplated. thoughts about the unveiling universe. not the glory of murder, or the preposterous idea that a body had to rise from the dead in order for God to be relevant to us.

  3. Rev. Zing Nafzinger, MA CHT RMT says:

    The faith that I teach is called “The Green Path of Self-Mastery”. This faith is based on the premise that we are energy constellations existing on multiple levels of vibratory frequency simultaneously, and limited only by our degrees of perception and consciousness. We are all One in the trinity of Energy we call Life/Light/Love or Divine Feminine/Divine Masculine/Connecting Spirit, and we live or “ground” this connection through our Mental, Emotional, and Physical Bodies. Before we are born, we choose a frequency to represent on earth, and by living this lifetime on earth, we gift this frequency to Gaia (the consciousness of Mother Earth) as an element in her expanding consciousness. It is important that each individual go “within” to connect with our spiritual inner knowing and higher perspective for guidance on living our life on this earth. This is how we connect with the Plan of Oneness that we agreed to follow before we were “born” into our earthly body. The game of life consists of re-membering who we are as spiritual beings having an earthly experience, and moving forward with the Plan we elected to manifest on the earth. Life is intended to be an experience of co-creating love, joy, and peace. Through our socialization process, we may have absorbed limiting thoughts and behaviors that need to be transcended in order to move forward with our Plan. The educational processes of the faith of the Green Path have to do with helping people transcend their limiting thoughts and behaviors and open themselves to their inner wisdom and guidance. “Self-mastery” refers to the mastery of one’s lower self (body, emotions, thoughts) by one’s higher Self (Life, Light, and Love). Beyond this understanding of our nature, individuals are free to choose the surroundings, teachings, form of gatherings, rituals, and dress that aid them in feeling delight in being who they are.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Hedonism. Cause if I gotta serve it better be worth my while

  5. Andrew Paris says:

    I want to and hope no one copies my religion is called church of Vidji (voodoo) game w/a wide range of prophecies in Christianity like we are moving to the year of Jehoshaphat not Deuteronomy 7-11 which everyone thinks we’re headed for if interested tweet me @GhemeurasDad I haven’t made it my home twit address yet but is a corporate religion w/charity funds people could do business in the religion if you know how I create and become an ordained minister in it I would be grateful hopefully the Christian church would smile at its Christian prophecy alot of voodoo and Muslim has deep roots in Christianity but people making a thousand Buddha statues to line a temple per say while in churches safety could either make it for religion or sell it being Vidji game it would be business minded like Vidji games are and hide from its name and go by calling them self Christians unless CEOs wouldn’t frown on it or church deeming it’s prophecies almost as a Jehova’s witness thing I really wish Christian church would take its happy interpretation of revelations and express it works through our Sylvia glassmans vodou visions book and mention it sometime as it wants to create a paid Renaissance saving people from free sex displays and doing this ring boxes rally is what we’d call a love in w/less drugs

  6. Lynda says:

    My religion would be based on joy, ecstasy, fun, laughter, and delight. My experience of living here is the most desirable when in these wonderful states. Requirements for church schooling of children would be that they learn about how nature works in its very complex design,.as a continuous process all through life. Rules for living would be based pretty close to the 10 commandments.
    “Punishment’ would be safety- isolation/strong rehabilitation.
    The physical church would exist in extremely well cared for Nature places where education about nature, creatures, and SOIL use is taught (and worshipped). The entrance sign would say “The Church of De-light.” ( I obviously believe that when we are exposed to all the ways (God?) has created nature that the awe and wonderment brings us to an appreciation of us being a part of it and in doing so helps us hear the ‘whispers’ of its maker.

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