6 More of the World's Nerdiest Religions

By James Daniels in Daily Lists, Nerdery
Friday, August 5, 2011 at 8:04 am
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Welcome, Brothers and Sisters! To a further exploration into the most sublimely Geeky religious creeds the world, the internet, and the imaginations of collective Nerddom have to offer! While I hope you all enjoyed my last foray into the world of Nerd Theology, this edition will be slightly different: last time I focused mainly on faiths that were at least semi-serious, in that many, if not most, had actual clergy, or a means of gaining official membership. Some -- Jediism, in particular -- even fought to be taken seriously as officially recognized faiths.

Most of the "religions" we'll be looking at today are not nearly so organized. Some exist mainly as communities on Facebook; others are purely fictional creations that certain fans have taken to heart. But organized or not, they all share the same uniting spirit of the nerd: They're clever, irreverent, sometimes snarky, and wonderful outlets for the obsessive and socially awkward. So gather 'round, Brethren and Sistren: And enjoy six more of the holiest ways to let your geek flag fly!

Oh, and please be good enough to remember: this list is a sequel. So before you set out to politely educate me on the entries I have neglected, kindly take a quick gander at the first list -- it's what Sweet Zombie Jesus would want you to do.

6) Ceiling Cat
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While perhaps not a religion in the strictest sense of the word, Ceiling Cat (and his antithesis: Basement Cat) has become far more than a simple LOLcat pic of a cute little kitty who likes to watch humans masturbate from his perch above (there's a sentence I didn't think I'd ever need to write). Ceiling Cat has risen to the level of a deity within the LOLcat universe, and he and Basement Cat might be considered as the most post-modern, digital age-appropriate analogues for God and Satan in existence. For those interested, Uncyclopedia offers a detailed (and wonderfully absurd) history of Ceiling Cat and his followers.

5) The Church of Bill and Ted
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Unfortunately, this faith is represented only by a Facebook page (apologies to those of you who don't have accounts), but it's no more and no less than what you'd expect: A religion based around the essential truths promulgated by Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted "Theodore" Logan. Specifically, that includes "be excellent to each other" and, of course, "party on, dudes!" Oh, Bill and Tedists also add:
• All we are is dust in the wind
• Dust
• Wind
• Dude
Most triumphant!

4) Invisible Pink Unicorn
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I briefly touched upon the Invisible Pink Unicorn in my previous list, where I erroneously assumed it to be inspired by the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Several of you took it upon yourselves to show me the error of my ways, and indeed you were correct: The IPU predates the FSM by some years. Like the FSM, the Invisible Pink Unicorn is popular with Freethinkers, Humanists, Agnostics, and Atheists as a model for those aspects they consider absurd about the Judeo-Christian god. Not only is its existence impossible to prove or disprove, it's also essentially paradoxical (being simultaneously invisible and pink). This is probably the most popular and oldest semi-faith on the list, having existed since at least 1990 where it was first mentioned on the Usenet forum alt.atheism.

3) Church of Trek
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Why this hasn't solidified as a more "organized" faith is beyond me, as Star Trek fandom outstrips many existing religions in both numbers and fanaticism. The Church of Trek as it currently exists is based on the Futurama episode "Where No Fan Has Gone Before". As with the Church of Bill and Ted, it's represented online by a Facebook page. There are no established beliefs or set dogma to the CoT -- I suppose Trekkies have already been practicing this religion just fine without an official church for nearly 50 years. Why fix what ain't broke?

2) Bokononism
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Another "faith" a few of you inquired about last time, Bokononism was invented by Kurt Vonnegut for his novel Cat's Cradle. It's a purposely confusing muddle of concepts -- imagine Dadaism as a religion -- which further teaches that the only sacred thing in the universe is man and that everything Bokononism teaches is a lie, but that's sort of okay, since everything every other religion teaches is also a lie, and at least Bokononism's lies are designed to make people happy. I'm afraid I really can't do this one justice in the space of a list entry, so go read Cat's Cradle.

1) Haruhiism
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Based on the character Haruhi Suzumiya from the anime series Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya), Haruhiism is essentially the belief that somewhere out there, God exists as a bored Japanese high school girl, and it is the duty of Haruhiists to keep her entertained, and above all, to keep her from realizing she's God. I asked a hardcore anime fan of my acquaintance to sum up the religion and its deity for me, and she did it much more eloquently than I ever could:
"Okay. She's a literal god, she controls everything and everyone. Only she's not aware of it. If she gets pissy, there's a chance that she'll destroy all of mankind. So the other main characters have to try their best to keep her distracted, so that she doesn't. That's why people worship her; 'cause something like that could be happening right now.... although probably not."
Haruhiism could also be looked at as a satire of those believers in traditional religions whose faith is based solely on the fear of what might happen if they DON'T believe: The "I Don't Wanna Go To Hell, So I'll Believe In Anything You Want" school of theology. It's honestly no more crazy than Scientology.

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