Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A penguin's guide to comparative religion

In the spirit of ticking off just about everybody on the planet, I hereby present this comparative religion guide for your edification or edumacashion or something like that. I divide the religions into some seperate classes. Today, I start off with the monotheistic religions:

  1. The Invisible Sky Demon Religions: These religions worship an invisible demon in the sky. This invisible demon has a habit of destroying cities with fire and brimstone, afflicting plagues upon innocent people, etc., and tells its followers to kill everybody who doesn't worship the demon in the same way that they do. The followers of this invisible sky demon have divided themselves into a bewildering number of sects, all of which believe that members of their sect are the one true follower of the Invisible Sky Demon and all other sects are heretics who should be condemned to perpetual pain and torture, but there are three main branches of invisible sky demon worshipers:
    1. Jews. These believe that they are the chosen people of the Invisible Sky Demon, granted a Promised Land by Him in the Middle East in a land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. And chosen they seem to have been -- chosen to have their homeland overrun multiple times by invaders who are marching from the Middle East to Egypt or vice-versa, chosen to be dispersed across the known world by one of those invaders (the Romans) and never to see their Promised Land for over 1500 years, chosen to be the victims of multiple attempts at extermination at the hands of Spaniards, Russians, and Germans, and nowdays chosen to occupy a tiny state in the middle of hostile people who continually blow themselves up in public places inside the tiny state and continually fire rockets and artillery shells into the tiny state from outside. If this is what being "chosen" by the Invisible Sky Demon entails, count this penguin out. They've divided themselves into a bewildering number of sub-sects, but all of them basically have the same belief in their chosen-ness and relish their chosen-ness, despite all historical evidence that being chosen by the Invisible Sky Demon apparently isn't such a good thing.
    2. Christians. This sect originated from a cult called the Nazarenes that was apparently founded by some guy named Joshua somewhere near the present-day Israeli-Lebanese border. The Nazarenes were themselves an offshoot of another Jewish cult called the Essenes, which concerned itself with questions of ethics and morality, thus the Beautitudes ("blessed are the meek in spirit" etc.) and the "do unto others as you would have others do unto you" stuff. At some point in time, Joshua the Nazarene became Jesus of Nazareth, the former being the "son" of the Invisible Sky Demon and the latter being a fictitious town ginned up by early bishops of the Christian church in order to scam ignorant tourists with guided tours of their founder's unknown hometown. Over time, the followers of this branch of the invisible sky demon cult have divided themselves into an astonishing number of sects, who occupy themselves primarily by attempting to condemn the members of other sects of this religion to eternal flames and torture, either on this world or in some other invisible world. Astonishingly, they do so even while professing to abide by their founder's own words, which explicitly prohibit that kind of stuff. When not killing each other over differences in how they worship their invisible sky demon (see: Thirty Years War), they spend their time killing other worshippers of their Invisible Sky Demon (see: Crusades, Holocaust).
    3. Islam: This is the most recent offshoot of the worshippers of the Invisible Sky Demon. Their sect started with some guy called Mohammed who wandered too long under the hot desert sun and had some pretty striking visions that he was sure came from the Invisible Sky Demon. As with the "Christians", later followers of this religion give lip service to their follower's principles while following a path that their founder wouldn't recognize. This sect has divided itself into a number of sub-sects just like the Christian sects, all of whom spend as much time fighting amongst themselves as they spend fighting against other worshippers of the Invisible Sky Demon. About the only thing that can be said in their favor as compared to the "Christians" is that they've never engaged in genocide against other followers of the Invisible Sky Demon, though they certainly have discriminated against those followers in the past.
  2. The holistic spirit religions: These religions don't worship a great sky demon as such, but rather some holistic "God" that is everywhere and is love and peace. Unitarians, Quakers, and Wiccans are three of the more well known of the followers of this religion. These guys don't seem to be all that popular compared with those sky demon follower guys, apparently because they don't believe in putting the sword to anybody who doesn't believe the same thing as they do. I mean, c'mon. A religion that doesn't believe in killing everybody else? What fun is that?
  3. Scientology: This religion was apparently founded by a science fiction writer who read the Bible and said, "What a bunch of bad science fiction. I can write better science fiction than that!". I do not know the full beliefs of this religion, but it is apparently monotheistic in that it worships a god called The Great Lawyer. They worship The Great Lawyer by having their high priests (called, simply, "lawyers") do something called "file a lawsuit" in their temples (called "courthouses") whenever mentions their cult in a way they don't like. I'd add more to this, but there's a lawyer knocking on my door with a holy scripture of Scientology called "a subpoena" in hand...
  4. Tuxology: Tuxology is a relative newcomer. Its origins are in the late 1990's, with a founder called "Captain Penguin" who fought for truth, justice, Linux, and really fine herring (buuurrp!). Tuxologists worship The Great Penguin, who created the world and all in it, and who created penguins as His perfect being. Tuxology believes that mankind is a devolved variant of His perfect being (penguins) and that embracing the inner penguin is how Man achieves salvation and enlightenment. The fundamental sacrament of this religion is the Sacrament of the Herring, which occurs every Monday night within their Ice Cathedrals (which are cunningly disguised as ice-skating rinks all around the land - now you know why they are not open to the public on Monday nights!). Recently Tuxologists have schismed over the question of raw vs. kippered -- the Rawists believe that embracing one's Inner Penguin can only be attained by swallowing raw herring whole (without chewing) during the Sacrament of the Herring, while Kipperists believe that He turns the kippered herring into His holy food when it reaches the stomach via a process of transubstantiation similar to that which turns bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ for Catholics, and thus kippered herring, aside from being more palatable and better fitted for increasing the ranks of Tuxologists, is quite acceptable to The Great Penguin. Thus far, unlike the followers of the Invisible Sky Demon, Tuxologists have avoided engaging in holy war over these doctrinal differences. But as time goes by, perhaps this will change and Tuxology will become a full-fledged religion, complete with its own violent genocides and wars.
  5. Pastafarianism: The followers of this religion worship a Flying Spaghetti Monster who created the universe, starting with a mountain, trees and a midgit [sic]. As far as I can tell, Pastafarianism is the only major religion which has an explanation for why all scientific tests show that the universe was created by a Big Bang and that Mankind evolved from lower beings: His noodly appendage is reaching through the fabric of the universe and altering the results of the tests.
Coming up next: Polytheistic religions. If one invisible sky demon isn't enough, have more!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Posted by: BadTux / 8/03/2006 12:12:00 PM  


You forgot Nixonianism. Therefore I must strike you down, blasphemer.
# posted by Pope Horatio Tyrsnnosaurus Nixon Rex : 3/8/06 3:18 PM  

who created penguins as His perfect being

...who waddles 70 miles to get laid and doesn't? Better luck next time! ;)
# posted by Gordon : 3/8/06 4:25 PM  

Well hey, at least penguins GET sex. Which at least makes them more evolved than the cheeto-stained-finger brigades of the 101st Fightin' Keyboarders, whose sole experience with sex involves Kleenex... :-).

-Badtux the Snarky Penguin
# posted by BadTux : 3/8/06 5:56 PM  

Historical note: The three Invisible Sky Demon subsects all come from where the most potent hashish in the world is made.

Just sayin'.
# posted by StealthBadger : 3/8/06 6:33 PM  

You forgot to mention dreadlocks.
What's a religion without a cool hairstyle?
# posted by Progressive Traditionalist : 4/8/06 3:34 AM  

but but,

If you convert to Islam, and kill yourself while killing innocent non-Muslims, you get virgins galore in Santa Claus Land.

Who could want more than that, sign me up.

(the thing that G-d doesn't tell them is that you can't do anything with virgins when you're body is in a hundrend little pieces back in reality land.)
# posted by niCk (Mem Beth) : 4/8/06 8:56 AM  

tux: i offer, a religion that was started by my buddy rico and i when we were hosting "bunkhouse capers" on the unlv radio station during the late 70's (it got us fired)

we dreamed up a legendary 50's guitar player (jesus rocket) who dies in a motorcycle crash. at "the turbo boogie" we consume the sacraments (nehi orange representing what was left in the crash helmet and corndog his index finger the rest of what was left bad crash). during this we play leslie uggams and brenda lee records and say our magic words for anyone who has sent us money. that's "the church of jesus rocket and the latter day space cadets" in a nutshell. of course, if the turbo boogie wasn't sufficient to answer all your desires we offered a "mondo turbo boogie" where for $150 in single bills we would hold a turbo boogie at a strip club (god likes strippers) substituting screwdrivers for nehi and fried mozzarella sticks for corndog. couldn't figure out why that one didn't catch on.
# posted by The Minstrel Boy : 4/8/06 9:42 AM  

The influence of religions was the topic at our Conversation Café meeting yesterday. As a new age spiritualist I contend that we should get rid of all religions and be spiritual only. They should even stop talking about them and teaching them to the children of the world. You may find my blog interesting. Have a great day. Billy B Cook
# posted by BBC : 4/8/06 11:01 AM  

Outstanding! Can't wait for polytheism!
# posted by TheCultureGhost : 4/8/06 1:23 PM  

Please note that all Pastafarians are very good looking and highly intelligent.
# posted by K. Ron Silkwood : 4/8/06 2:26 PM  

BBC is right. We'd be a lot better off with more spirituality and less religiosity.

BT, I had this awful thought of one of them Remington Raiders trying to seduce a penguin. What bothered me was how the poor penguin got lost enough to wander into the 101FKer's parents' basement.
# posted by Gordon : 4/8/06 7:58 PM  

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