Friday, March 24, 2006

Comedism -- The New Religion

While teaching a course in the philosophy of religion at the Naval Academy years ago (oh, the stories I can tell), I came upon two stunning revelations.

First, one of the standard Judeo-Christian arguments for the existence of God has a critical flaw. The argument tries to conclude that God must exist because He/She/Them/It is all-perfect, that is, God has every possible perfection to the greatest possible extent. While there is textual support for the claims of God being all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving, one virtue was completely absent from Divine Scripture. Their God was not all-funny. There are no good punchlines anywhere in the standard Scriptures, no zingers, one liners, classic come-backs, not even a knock-knock joke. Theirs could not be the all-perfect divinity they advertised.

Second, I realized that the key to advancement in the religion industry was "get in early." These days if you want to get anywhere in the spirituality field, you need to be Mother Theresa or Pat Robertson and who has the energy to serve the poor in India or build a tv network where you can call for the assassination of world leaders these days? But look at the ones who got in early. Abraham? Took a knife to his schmeckle at age 40 because he heard voices. "Where was God with the ram that day?" ask a whole lot of 8 day old Jewish boys. Yup, if you want to be upwardly mobile in today's faith-based market, you need to get in early.

So from these twin epiphanies I realized that I needed to start my own theological community. And from that thought came the new religion -- Comedism. That which is holy is that which is funny. Our God is funnier than their God.

I'll be posting more on Comedist theology later, but let me first address the obvious question. Do Comedists believe in evolution? Any process that gives us the platypus and the aardvark is just fine by us. We just ask that a new selection mechanism be added to account for their development -- survival of the funniest. Consider the evidence. The human body could expell unnecessary gas in a way that would be efficient and silent, yet we have acquired the ability to belch and fart. Are these noisy abilities advantageous in avoiding those tracking us as prey? Hardly. Are they advantageous in attracting mating partners? Um, no. So why is it that they are a standard part of human life? If you want an answer, just try to watch the beans scene from Blazing Saddles without cracking a smile. "More beans, Mr. Taggart?"..."I'd say you'd had enough." So the next time you have a gaseous expulsion, do not say, "Excuse me"; rather see it as a personal connection to the Divine and proudly proclaim, "Saint Shecky be praised" or at least, "Watch out below."

May your dribble glasses overflow, your buzzers be full of joy, and your cushions always full of whoopie.

Irreverend Steve