Awhile back our friend MOV frommothersofbrothersblog (be sure to check out her blog!) suggested we do a post on (dis)organized religion. She left this suggestion inside a comment she left on our post about the proper way to spell donuts. Should it be donuts or doughnuts? She suggested calling them “Holey Cakes”, but then said people would argue about whether they should be spelled “Holey Cakes” or “Holy Cakes”. Thus religion.
So MOV here’s our (dis)organized religion post.
To start I would first like to point out that between the two of us Pat is the more scholarly one while I’m more of the science fueled street fighting type. Therefore I will divert a lot of questions and the reciting of historical accounts to him.
Let’s start by first defining what organized religion is and what it isn’t. If a religion is considered not-organized it means they believe in wizards or something, right Pat?
Pat: Sounds good to me. I’m down with wizards.
What are you asking, exactly?
Christian: I’m asking you to define the differences between organized religion and disorganized religion. Duh.
Pat: Oh. That’s easy. About one hundred years and ten thousand people.
I suppose you could count any religion that uses a professional Franklin Covey™ organizational system to manage its business as “organized” as well.
Is that what you were wondering?
Christian: So are you saying that to qualify as an organized religion you have to have at least ten thousand members and have been around at least one hundred years? This would mean that Scientology isn’t an organized religion. To me those guys seem pretty organized. Too organized if you ask me.
Did a google search for Scientology and found this. Apparently they even
now have their own air force! Scary.
Pat: Oh, for god’s sake (pun maybe intended...not sure yet)! Three back-and-forths into this post and you’re already trying to get me in deep with the Scientologists? C’mon, man. Do you want a blog-partner, or is this your attempt to finally go solo by having me offed by the underground Hollywood mafia?
I defer to the Germans when it comes to Scientology. Their government does not recognize them as a religion. Or at least they didn’t as of the last time I checked in with the German government. I assume they still don’t, as it’s not very German to change your mind on something within a decade. And I don’t necessarily agree with them (<-- intentionally vague there), but if I’ve learned one thing so far in this life it is that you’re best advised to not mess with official German governmental declarations.
Christian: Are you suggesting that you might get “offed” by the Scientologists if you bad mouth them? I’m guessing that would definitely make them organized so I guess the question is more are they really a religion?
I did some more research into them and found out that not only do they have their own Air Force but they also have the last army of Samurais.
I can see why you might not want to offend them. But for now let’s put aside your safety and answer me this; what qualifies something as a religion? Is it just the believing in a higher power or does the love I have for a nice carpet qualify as religionous?
Pat: Do you pray to your carpet? Do you look to your carpet for moral fortitude and guidance? Do you ritualistically cleanse yourself--sage smudge or water bath--before treading on said carpet? Do you read the fibers of your carpet to decipher the history of your carpet and it’s people?
If so, then...heck, sure, sounds like you’ve got a religion. If not, then good...you’re not a freak. Like the Scientologists. Are freaks.
There. I said it. It felt good, but you need to know that if you don’t hear from me again, it’s YOUR fault for pushing me to the point of publicly discrediting and mocking Scientologists. And please send the authorities to look for my family, as Xenu probably took them to another planet in the Galactic Confederacy.
Christian: So scientologists also believe in my carpet? I’m confused. Granted it’s a pretty awesome carpet but I don’t recall Scientologists being into carpets. But to be honest as long as they don’t get any dirt or food on it they can believe in my carpet as much as they want.
OK, let’s put aside Scientology and Carpetology for now and move on.
Pat, can you explain which is better for society as a whole, organized or disorganized religion, and why? Do they both have their pros and cons or is one inherently more beneficial to a diverse society?
Also, if you could keep your answer to three words or less that would be great.
Pat: Vague at best.
Christian: Super! So what you are saying is that they both have their place in society whether they believe in carpets or have their own army of last samurais.
Well, this post has been very informative for me. I hope it was for you too dearest cherished readers. Next time we promise to tackle a less serious topic. Assuming Pat is still alive.
Editor’s Note: Christian here. I just wanted to give a shout out and thanks to Kianwi over at Simply She Goes. She participated in the April A to Z challenge writing about nostalgia and memories from her childhood. She made it into a game/contest allowing people to guess her age based on her posts with one lucky guesser receiving a box full of nostalgic prizes. It was pretty fantastic.
But guess who guessed right and won? That’s right, this guy. Oh and who has two thumbs too? Wait. I was supposed to say that first. I meant guess who guessed right with two thumbs? This guy.
Still not right.
Anyways, I’ve scheduled an appointment with my doctor to see if I’m clairvoyant or something. I’ll keep you posted. Big thanks to Kianwi for the prizes, they are awesome. Both my kids and I love them. And be sure to go check out her blog right over here and tell her Barack Obama sent you. That will sound a lot more impressive than telling her we sent you.