The World's 8 Nerdiest Religions

By James Daniels in Daily Lists, Nerdery
Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 8:04 am
One could almost say that being a Nerd is itself a kind of religion: We have rituals and observances (conventions, TV show marathons, RPGs) prophets (Gene Roddenberry, Isaac Asimov, Stan Lee) holy scriptures (Marvel, DC, Dark Horse), saints (Bruce Campbell, Joss Whedon, Felicia Day), schisms (Star Wars canon vs. EU, Kirk vs. Picard, Transformers G1 vs. Beast Wars), and relics (Action Comics #1, the Boba Fett with the firing rocket pack) -- even apostates and devils (George Lucas, Michael Bay)! And most of all, we have the scorn of non-believers who do not share our views and choose to mock what they don't understand.
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Some nerds, however, have taken the next step and formulated their own singular faiths -- complete with their own uniquely nerdy deities. The faiths themselves represent a broad range; some are clearly satirical, some are utterly absurd, others are pseudo-serious, and a few even are completely earnest. Thus, we present a look at eight of the nerdiest theologies in existence. Please note that TR neither promotes nor condemns any particular religious creed. If descriptions of individuals and organizations who take a skewed, perhaps irreverent stance on religious faith is offensive to you, you might wish to consider skipping this list.

8) The Church of the Last Laugh
Founded in 1979 by Ed Holmes (a.k.a. Bishop Joey), the FCLL came about when Holmes and his friends were pondering the fact that, compared with earlier civilizations, the day we call April Fool's Day is relatively unimportant and often ignored. Thus, they created the holiday of St. Stupid's Day and built around it the First Church of the Last Laugh, a parody faith that recognizes stupidity as a human universal, and thus consider it holy. Followers practice Stupid rituals and take The Pledge of Stupid:
I pledge allegiance, to the illusion, and to the pyramid scheme, for which it stands. One species, in denial, with error and excess, by all.
Stupid, huh?

7) The Church of Google
We gotta admit -- this one makes a scary amount of sense. Ontario native Matt MacPherson started the Church of Google based on the concept that Google is as close to a god as we have on Earth: It's nearly omniscient, close to omnipresent, and potentially immortal. It even answers prayers (in the form of search inquiries)! And the volume of hate mail the Church's site has received is a testament to how many people see it as a palpable threat to traditional religion (or perhaps simply how many people have no sense of humor).

6) The Cult of Gadget Hackwrench
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Currently, the Russian followers of Gadget Hackwrench have no official website, and have released no mission statement, manifesto, or other sort of coherent dogma or creed for the worship of their mechanically-inclined animated goddess from Chip n' Dale's Rescue Rangers. Quite honestly, the article TR did a while back about these offbeat worshipers pretty much says everything that is known to the general public. Readers who have further interest are welcome to go to Russia and find out for themselves. We'd love to know how that turns out (if anyone ever sees them again, that is).

5) The Church of the Latter-Day Dude (a.k.a. Dudeism)
Yep, somebody started a religion based on Jeff Bridges' character from The Big Lebowski. That somebody is Oliver Benjamin, a Los Angeles journalist who started the Church in 2005 as essentially a modernized form of Taoism. The Church claims roots in not only the Tao, but Zen Buddhism, the early teachings of Jesus Christ, and Greek philosophers Heraclitus and Epicurus. As one might expect, Dudeism preaches relaxation and passivity in response to the dominant ethic of aggression and conflict. Over 70,000 Dudeist priests have been ordained as of March 2010.

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