The Church of No Preference

A religion evolved from a line on an Army dog tag.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Holiday With No Name

A Church of No Preference family enjoying some time during "The Mystical Furlough."

This is a time of waste. Call it what you may, sabbatical, recess, vacation, suspension, hiatus, it really doesn't matter, but it has been time for a space-out. At the Church of No Preference, we make time to not do things as normal and tht means ceasing operatons.

You may have noticed the lack of blogging, or bloglessness due to the activity outage, this is normal during the time-out.
We do this every year for three to four weeks in the late spring and it provides time to rejuvenate our souls. During this period we highly discourage attendance to church in order to even give the building time to relax.

We have never settled on a formal name for this time of the year, but everyone knows and anticipates this interlude. Mulitudes of descriptions are used. Some are very basic, like "Sabbatical," or "Hiatus," and others are a bit more colorful, such as "Springathon," The Holiday With No Name," and "The Big Breathing Break."
This bog entry is just a notice that a lack of blogging has occurred.

During "The Long Dream" an interesting date happened, 06/06/2006 or 666. A small portion of the followers of the Church of No Preference were a bit worried that the world might end due to the 666 date. With a sigh of relief, the world survived the ending of the world and life goes on. That was fortunate that the ending of the world didn't happen during our "Mystical Furlough," because that would have been distracting from the enjoyment of our "Leaf of Absence."

Also a note that I had a small heart attack early during "The Great Goof-Off," and have been taking it easy (what else would I do during "Rebound Recess?") while awaiting the second procedure for stent-izing. I'm doing good. Times like these get one questioning what is beyond death should the slight chance that the procedure goes kerflooey. One wonders if there really is a God or Gods. Or does God pay attention to me as they go messing around inside my heart? Does God intervene in our lives or just let things happen? Or is God just a myth?

I must also mention that the softball league has been suspended during this time and will explain more about this at a later date. So, anyway, party on Church of No Preferentists, "The Nothing To Do Festival" is still in session.

Friday, May 19, 2006

But Seriously Folks

I have to say I'm sorry for the lack of update to The Church of No Preference blog. I do have a good excuse as I was laid up in the hospital getting angioplasty done. This is the simple truth at a blog written for humor.

Laying in the hospital bed prior to the procedure I wondered about the role of God in pre-op. Many people pray to God for a good outcome, which to the patient would be to live or to have minimal health problems. I didn't so much as pray, but to hope for the positive outcome. I've always felt a sense of selfisness or greed to ask God to intervene in my affairs.

Now I'm in post surgery recovery at home and all seems good. I essentially trusted the humans (doctors, nurses, etc.) to do their jobs properly and effectively and that is what has apparently been the case.

Did God intervene in my health problem? Or did God simply let humans do their work? Or even, does God even exist? These are all questions that can't be answered by my circumstances. God never spoke to me. I hadn't prayed so I can't know that God was listening to me. If I had prayed, could I have truly attributed God's intervention or guiding hand? And I have no idea whether my friends or family had prayed, so did that have any influence? What of the person who has no outside prayer support, no personal prayer and has a complete recovery, does God intervene and how would we know?

These are questions of faith. To believe in God, it takes faith to understand that questions of faith probably can't be answered or verified. To not believe in God also takes faith to understand that questions of faith won't be answered. Faith is so tricky and elusive particularily when the faith is in something we can't see and can't prove.

It would be comforting to think that God helped me through my surgery. But it certainly is comforting to know that the humans in the operating room performed their jobs correctly. And they can be thanked in person, but to thank God is purely on faith that God was involved when I can't confirm that.

So, who knows? "Thanks all for your help," is the best thanks I can give.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Chairman of the Gods

Cee E. Oh's boardroom ready to convene a meeting of the Gods.

We have members here at the Church of No Preference that come from the business world. Not surprisingly (at least at our church) they have been debating a God theory and formulating a worship of that theory.

They think the Gods are set up like a corporation. The top God is the Chairman of the Board, they call him/her Cee E. Oh. The Gods that vote in the Cee E. Oh candidate are the board members. And then there are minor gods called investors.

We've been calling this religion, Godsporation, for lack of a better name. The Godsporationists could develop into a seperate church of their own, there is cartainly debate in our church about this. For now the Godsporationists are staying with us because they understand that we are not going to treat them as weirdos or stymie their beliefs.

Godsporationists believe that all the people in the world are consumers of their God's word. Cee E. Oh has spoken, we the people must consume it to be good believers. And like any good business, they have begun to market their religion.

To them a religion doesn't have meaning unless it's emblazoned on a T-shirt. Religion must have slogans, it must sell! I can't say this is my cup of tea, yet what religion doesn't sell itself in some manner?

Without missions or recruitment, without outreach programs, without self promotion most religions would simply die out from reducing membership. At least the Godsporationists are honest about their intentions. They embrace promotion, it's a tenet of thir philosophy. And I have to admit they are growing in their talent at applying business principles to their God business.

I have to giggle at some of their T-shirt slogans, if I believed in a Chairman of the Gods, I'd buy their wears. For instance, here are a few examples;

$ell Your $oul To Cee E. Oh.

Chariman of the Gods, you can't buy a better God.

Invest in God for great future returns.

Cash, credit, layaway, Cee E. Oh will accept your purchase.

Buy the way, to Cee E. Oh.

The Godsporationists have been churning out so many slogans for Tshirts it's hard to keep track of them all. At this point I think they are just breaking even with their enterprise belief system, but I wouldn't put it past them to make a huge impact on society. They've taken a trademarked saying and taken it to heart, "Just do it."

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Religious Phone Service

Pray phone, not pay phone.

The latest in cell phone service is "kosher phones." Now not actually kosher, the phones are made without all the extra bells and whistles. By not allowing things like web access, videos or downloadable ringtones, the phones can sort of boast of being clean from the vulgarities of modern life, such as porno or obscene music.

These kosher phones are available only in Israel currently but another phone maker is servicing Arab countries (with an added feature of a compass for finding Mecca's direction) and the United States. These religious phones are finding their niche in the marketplace and certainly other religious phone ideas will probably emerge.

Personally, I want a phone with a direct line to God. I'd call it the pray phone. We could use a version of it here at The Church of No Preference. We would have a phone number here at the church that members could leave messages of prayer and maybe we could answer them, if we decide to even answer the phone. Member could put it on speed dial number one.

I'm sure we'd have a voice menu, maybe like this. "If you'd like to talk to God, please enter one. If you'd like to talk to Jesus, what he would do would be to enter two. If you would like to speak to Muhammad, enter three. If you'd like speak to other prophets, please enter four. If you'd like to not believe in God, hang up."

If a person entered one, he would be directed to the God messaging. "If you believe in one God, enter one. If you believe in multiple Gods, enter two, three, four, and five. If you have a specific prayer, stay on the line and an operator will be with you shortly."

The voice menu would probably be endless as there are just too many contingencies. I suspect that most callers would end up hanging up out of frustration and isn't this somewhat like religion in the real world? People give up on their faith or church frustrated that it doesn't address their needs.

On second thought, the God phone menu might not be such a good idea. We want to provide personal service, not voice automated instructional devotion. And we probably don't want to hire phone answering personnel. But, we will think longer on this idea. I really wish I had a cell phone where God called me, with an organ music ring tone.

Monday, May 01, 2006


United's pitcher delivering to KF Nibla, resulting in KF's winning homerun.

A quick accounting of the past weekends sofball results.

The Church of No Preference Pirates swept the two games. The first game against the Unitarian Uniteds was a hard fought 8 to 7 victory. The Uniteds might be our closest competitor, at least religiously. Unitarians are very accepting of people that come from all different backgrounds although they are primarily Christian. In slight contrast we brag of being a sectless sect and can claim to be even broader in acceptance, but they would probably argue this. So you can see we have a rivalry.

In fact we enticed one of their best players, second baseman KF Nibla to join our church a couple of years ago. KF, who has never revealed what KF stands for, came through in the clutch in the later innings of the game with two consecutive homeruns, one with a man on and the second homer a solo shot to take the final lead in the game. The Uniteds are so jealous yet still upset with KF for jumping ship. We do our best to keep KF from even talking with any of the United players, we don't want some sort of sudden free agent return deal.

The second game against the Hari Krishna Krishnas was a blowout, 15 to 2. I don't know why they even play softball, they barely even try. We practically gave them the two runs in the last inning just to make them feel good. Yet the Krishnas don't seemed to be fazed by losing virtually every game every year. They just dance and sing all game like that's all that's important. We struck out several batters as they danced
in the batter's box not even noticing the slow pitched ball cross the plate. So now our record is 3 and 1 and we look forward to next week when we hope to climb into first place.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Letters From the Raptured?

The flying letter writers being raptured.

The Church of No Preference is bereft of people with dogmatic attitudes. Most people are attracted to be No Preferentists because of the lack of dogma at this church. We have virtually no absolutist believers in Revelations from the Bible (or Revelationists as some call them). Certainly there are members here who wonder if the rapture is a possibility, but none that give us screaming headaches with their repeated dire warnings.

Recently I was made aware of a website that allows Revelationists to write letters to their loved ones to be delivered after the Revelationist has raptured (taken to heaven thus disappearing from Earth). Here is the form letter to be sent out after the rapture.

Dear Friend;

This message has been sent to you by a friend or a relative who has recently disappeared along with millions and millions of people around the world.

The reason they chose to send you this letter is because they cared about you and would like you to know the truth about where they went.

This may come as a shock to you, but the one who sent you this has been taken up to heaven.

If you read a Bible, you will see that after chapter three in the book of Revelation, the church is no longer mentioned as being on earth. (The church are the believers in Jesus Christ, not the buildings in which people meet.)

In the Bible, 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4 verses 16 and 17 tell how Jesus came to take away His church. But, you have to believe the Bible is the Word of God in order to believe this.

I am sure that there will be a lot of speculation as to what happened to all these people. The theories of some scientists and world leaders will have so much credibility that most of the world will believe them.

It will sound like the truth!

But, there is only one truth. And, that truth is that Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, came back to earth and took with Him to Heaven all who believed in Him and made Him their Lord.

If you would like to give your life to Jesus Christ and be born again, it is not too late. First you must pray to God saying "Father, I admit I am a sinner, and I will turn from my sin and do good. I believe that Jesus was your son and that He came here to die for me so that my sins would be forgiven. I ask you to forgive me and I will repent of my sins. In Jesus
name I pray."

If you just prayed that prayer and meant it with all your heart, then God will know you as one of His own. You should now seek out others who have also given their lives to Christ, read a Bible daily, and do your best to bring others to Christ.

God bless you.

Those of us who don't believe that this will really happen can at least take heart that that those raptured didn't send a gloating letter to those of us left behind. I'd hate to get a letter along the lines of this;

Dear Left Behind,

This message is to let you know that a friend or relative has gone to heaven and that you obviously didn't. Your friend or relative wishes to convey to you these words, "I told you so!"

They go on to tell you, "You wouldn't believe this place! If only you had listened to me. If only you had listened to the TV preachers. If only you had picked apart the Bible for out of context verses, you'd be up here with me!

You friend or relative hopes your life down there with all the other sinners isn't too chaotic, yet doesn't feel deeply sorry for you as you had your chance, you blew it.

You will hear all sorts of reasons that your friend or family member is gone, don't believe them, believe the TV preachers. Wait. There won't be any TV preachers left, they are up here. Hmmm. Believe this letter!

But, wait! It's not too late for you. You can still get to heaven by believing in Jesus and in this letter. Get going on that and you too can be in heaven. You could meet with your friend or relative again in the hereafter. You may not disappear as your friend or relative did. You may have to procede to heaven in third class, but at least you'll be on the flight.

See you soon, maybe.

Whether the letter is gloating or polite, I'm baffled by the rapture theory. It seems that if you missed the boat on the first try, you can change and catch the next voyage. It almost seems to me that we are allowed to party unending until we get the letter, then turn over a new leaf and we can be sending a letter as well. They should title the letter "This Is Your Last Warning," then we would know to get our lives with God.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Democratic Gods

...for a new One God!

How did some religious cultures go from multiple Gods to only one God?

Well I do know the history of the Jews who decided that their regional God traveled with them and that God was the only God they followed, ignoring the other Gods that each region believed in. After some time, their God became the One God.

The Christian God and the God of Muhammad are the same God as the Judeo God, athough there is clearly a perception among many within each religion that their particular God is the One God, and that the other two religions have a different One God. Or that their One God has a special relationship with their particular religion and not with the others.

If you were to consider God ideologies in terms of human society political systems then we might be able to make more sense of beliefs in God(s).

It's believed that polytheism is derived from people observing the vast display of stars and planets passing each night. But with so many stars, constellations of stars and planets it must have been anarchy trying to understand the Gods assigned to various portions of the stellar sky. So out of anarchy evolved a more communal society of Gods. Some points in the night sky eventually began to receive more attention, those Gods started to become predominant.

Later, polytheism had a structured system of Gods that had roles in a heirarchy. The Greeks and Romans for instance had a system not unlike a monarchy. They had a top male God married to a top female God. They in turn bore many other Gods with powerful positions, but never to assume the throne. Since Gods don't die, this polytheistic monarchy always had a permanent power structure.

Then along came monotheism. One God to rule all. This might be called a solo everlasting dictatorship in God political systems. Since there is only one God, no other God can assume absolute control.

But somehow it seems humans have missed a political theocratic ideology. Maybe, just maybe there are many Gods, countless Gods in heaven. Maybe, Gods are part of a democratic system and they get together every few hundred of our years and elect a new God to be the One God.

It's quite possible humans have missed the boat on this theory. Is it conceivable that Jews, Christians and Muslims all believed in a One God, but it really was a different One God? The difference being that the Gods had elected a new One God between each religion's formulation.

The God of Moses could have been elected by the Gods way back in the time of the Book of Genesis. The God of Jesus had been elected by the Gods prior to Jesus' birth. Then another God election came along and a different One God was in office to become the God of Muhammad. Since that time, the Gods may have elected several other Gods in succession to be the One God. Who knows how many Gods have won heavenly political campaigns during our human history?

Now I'm sure the democratic heaven is nothing like democracies of human nations, particularily the United States. I doubt that there are political parties fighting each other for power. I highly doubt that huge sums of money are passed around to advertise a God candidate. And I extremely doubt that the elected God is the "lesser of two evils" as American elections have been called.

I can conceive of God Democracy as being very easy going. There may not be a set term limit, the Gods could just suddenly decide to have a party and elect a new God. Possibly the One God just decides enough is enough and calls for an election to name a replacement. And it's certainly possible that the other Gods on occasion must call for an election to recall a particular One God that has abused power.

As I have never heard this God theory before, I can't believe there has been any study to determine if there is any corrollation between what happens on Earth to any particular elected One God. In fact it would probably be hard to determine the line of succession of elected One Gods. They've never been named, let alone understood to have distiguishable personality traits.

I could cite some very loose observations. It's been said that the God of the Bible's Old Testiment was a wrathful God wrecking havoc with floods, plagues, rains of frogs, etc. And it's been noted that the God of the New Testiment was a more understanding God.

The two parts of the Bible may show some evidence of a change of the One God, at least one election took place. There may have been more than one election and the Old Testiment had several One God personalities with a more wrathful nature. The later books of the Old Testiment had a less wrathful One God, maybe the voting Gods were successively electing nicer and nicer One Gods.

Currently several religious leaders in the United States have been publicly surmissing that the One God is wrathful. These leaders have claimed that events like 9/11 and the many hurricanes culminating with Hurricane Katrina are proof that God is mad at America.

From the point of view of democratic heaven it could be they are beginning a recall campaign to remove the One God. There may be an impeachment brewing in the God Democracy.

If you believe this theory and live in the United States it might behoove you to pray to the voting Gods to call for an election to replace the One God. If the currently elected One God is becoming wrathful, it seems time for a new One God, unless you like a wrathful God. Myself, I plan to pray to the voting Gods, I'd rather have an understanding God. I've been working on a prayer that goes something like this;

Oh Voting Gods, I beseech you,

please think of us humans.

We are not perfect, we are not without flaws,

but do we deserve the wrath of God?

We need understanding, we need guidance,

not floods and hurricanes and tornados.

I pray to you Voting Gods to look at your One God.
I pray you see the harm that has befallen us by His hand.

I pray you recall the One God,
and throw the bum out!

You don't have to use this particular prayer. You can think up your own prayer that you might think will catch the attention of the Voting Gods. But if you want to change the One God to a more favorable God, get cracking on that praying. Pray for impeachment.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Ruminations From the Church

Take great strides when you walk on water.

We at the Church of No Preference are virtually addicted to sayings, maxims, mottos, truisms, and old saws. We just have this love for ruminating on those things.

To Ruminate;
: to go over in the mind repeatedly and often casually or slowly
2 : to chew repeatedly for an extended period
intransitive senses
1 : to a chew again what has been chewed slightly and swallowed : chew the cud
2 : to engage in contemplation

To be clear, we don't chew repeatedly on something already slightly chewed, particularily an old saw. That would be awful. But we do engage in contemplation of old sayings, and new sayings for that matter. Here are some sentences that have gotten our minds nearly blown.

If you could touch everything, you'd have lots of foreign particles on your fingers.

If you can rule the world, then no more power to you.

Cross your fingers, wiggle your nose, raise an eyebrow, breath deeply, twist your hips, click your heels, and if you did all that, I've got some trash in my garage to sell you.

Every new day is a reason to rip off the previous day on the daily calendar.

When life gets you down, scream out your window, "I'm mad as hell and I won't take it anymore." Then take a nap.

Reach for the stars, but be careful not to get charged with harrassment.

You can keep your head high or keep your head down, just be sure to keep your head above water.

Don't forget to bring your brains, they might come in handy.

Where there's smoke there's fire and where there's fire there's going to be a pile of ashes.

God is big!

Nerfballs should be called softballs and softballs should be called "bigger than hardballs, yet a wee bit softer, BALLS."

You're in love when you get that funny tingling in your stomach, or you're on a rollercoaster, or both as love IS a rollercoaster.

Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. Well, the names do bug me and please disarm yourself of those stones and sticks.

The world is insane, just ask the news.

So there you have the latest sayings to ruminate upon. Remember, do not chew them repeatedly or at least be sure to swallow them whole. But I suggest that the best way to ruminate these thoughts of wisdom is to lay back in a big cushy sofa with your favorite beverage by your side and partake of them slowly. Stay out of the kitchen while thinking about them, you'll get distracted from thinking rumination to chewing rumination.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Softball, The Game of Meditation?

The Buddhas manager deeply contemplating a pitching change.

Our second game we played this weekend was against the Buddhist Buddhas. We always have trouble beating those guys for some reason. We just can't seem to rile them up or get under their skin, which in slowpitch softball can be part of the psychological game within a game.

We will be yelling "hey batter, batter, batter, swing!" But when you look at the batter, he just has that serene look on his face, like nothing in the world can bother him. We'll try taunting them with stupid insults like, "Zen are you going to swing?" One guy on our team even tried mooning them (indiscretely avoiding the umpires eyes) and yelling "I got one of your four truths over here!!"

But, nothing works to throw them off their game. I'm always amazed when one of their players hits a homerun and you look into their dugout and no one is up cheering. They just smile for the joy of the moment and return to their meditation. It's unnerving enough to intimidate our team somewhat.

Well we lost the game 15-6, we got zenned. We'll get them next time, later in the season. We might just fight meditation with meditation next time, we'll out-meditate them.
On a different note. We began some good natured teasing of Bob Smith, one of our outfielders. See, he has always had this favorite nickname, The Decider. It turns out that this past week before this weekend's games that President Bush decided to name himself The Decider. Here's the quote, "I'm The Decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the Secretary of Defense."

So poor Bob had his nickname stolen by President Bush and worse still Bob hates Bush. We were calling Bob, The Decider in Chief, Bush Buddy and several other teasing remarks that either I can't remember just now or were too crude to mention here. Anyway, now Bob is steaming and is considering changing his nickname.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Pre-game Prayer

Pre-game praying, did God or the God's hear us?

This weekend the No Preference Pirates took the field for our first slowpitch softball game of the year. The opening day is usually more exciting due to the fact that everyone starts out equal and tied in the standings. Any team has a chance at this point. It also comes with some pomp and circumstance, you know, music and all the teams gathering for introductions and team photos.

Our first game was against the Scientology Actors. Tom Cruise and John Travolta were no shows. Tom was busy with his wife's birth and Travolta, who knows, making a movie I heard.

It was after the game, which we won 14-7, that I began to ponder about the effects of prayer, specifically the pre-game prayer. Both teams had performed the pre-game prayer. I duly remember our stunning ritual, dancing and a stirring oration by Reverend Wally. I also had seen the Scientolgists observe a few moments of prayer as well.

We won the game, so did God listen to us more than the other team? Were we somehow more deserving of God's plan for an early season win than the Scientologists? Or maybe did God just ignore the whole game and we won because we were the better team that game? What if we hadn't prayed prior to the game, would the other team automatically have won due to our prayer negligence?

I've considered a pre-game prayer experiment this season. We should see if we win when we pray and lose if we don't. But that would be chancing some losses if that experiment were to have some merit, and I don't want to cost our team some losses.

And what if winning is caused not by our faith in God's, God, higher power, etc., but by our fanciful prayer display? Maybe our win this weekend was due to our praying getting noticed among the massive amounts of prayers going out at that moment throughout the world. Did our prayer get priority due to the dazzling show over some kid praying for their terminally sick parent?

This is all so confusing. We might not have had to pray so hard if we had been able to attract former major league catcher Darren Daulton to our church and team (Darren it's still not too late). He could have contributed to the prayer and maybe slammed a homerun to boot. Oh, well, we will just have to debate this pre-game prayer ritual as the season goes on. For now, we walked off the field with an outstanding 14-7 victory, thank God!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Universe, Just a Bunch of Sims?

Are those my friends in some God's Sims game?

I think therefore I am, or as a plural statement, we think therefore we are. The singular version is attributed to philosopher Rene Decartes who preferred "I am, I exist." The full argument is more complicated, but today we know it as I think therefore I am.

But not so fast. There are several members of The Church of No Preference that wonder if that is false. They think it is conceivable that we don't think at all, that everything we do or think is controlled by something else. They have come up with a modern name for this state of existence, The Sims, Universe Edition.

The theory is that some very powerful entities, Gods, higher powers, or something we can't even conceive, are really controlling our universe like a Sims game. Nothing we think are our thoughts. Nothing we do are our actions. No one we see and interact with exists as we think (although we don't really think).

Imagine yourself as a Sims character. You walk around, go to work, return home, and perform menial tasks. Imagine as that Sims character your world would seem real. But then imagine that you are controlling that Sims character, you'd never think that the character had thoughts and emotions. You'd never believe the character chooses their actions.

And so it goes with those Gods controlling us. They manipulate us. They make us do strange things. They input odd commands just to see us dance.

But being a Sims character isn't so bad as long as we are ignorant to being controlled. If we were to believe we are being totally controlled, then that would be depressing. We've come to believe in a thing called "free will," and that's what makes life worth living. But alas, we might not have free will, who knows 100% for sure?

If I'm a Sims character in a huge universal game, then the things I'm writing are just God controlled OR they are coming out my brain due to the computer random generator. All our thoughts could be just chance binary choice, zeros or ones, to make up what seems to be complicated ideas.

The Masters of Universal Sims World just keep making me type away. Soon, they will make me do something else. Oops, I feel an urge to quit typing and publish this post. The urge seems so real, yet not in my control. Yes, the urge is getting stronger. It's almost like I'm reacting to a click of a mouse, how odd. My impulse is to now publish and go do a chore. Weird! Bye, bye.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Got Body? Let Nature Take It's Course.

Buzzards circling, in search of an unusual funeral.

When people die in our society, we've adapted various options for the disposal of the body. Many of these disposal methods are based on long established social and religious beliefs, such as burial or cremation.

The Church of No Preference has no preference to human remains disposal. We understand that traditional choices are popular in our society. Yet we also recognize that new ideas for dispensing with the human carcass are emerging and should garner some discussion as to pros and cons.

The most popular method of burial has begun to have downsides (no pun intended). The cost of cemetary real estate is increasing as the availability of that ground space is declining. Older graveyards are being desired by land developers for other purposes and in some cases the caskets and their gravestones are being relocated to other places. This situation is mostly what is causing people to rethink their cadaver deposition.

Some people donate their bodies to science and the medical field. Some people are trying the new form of permanent laying in state that has sprung up, storage units. The Navy sometimes buries at sea. Other people are having their bodies frozen and some are launching their deadness into space.

We think we have several unique methods being developed by some members here at The Church of No Preference. One member, who we shall call "Ashley," was watching a TV show about forensics and the study of corpse decomposition and had an idea. She liked the fact that decomposition was "giving back" to nature. But in her twist, instead of the dull science of forensics using this method, she believed that giving back our dead bodies to the environment should be a traditional celebration. She calls it a "take wake."

Ashley has evolved a plan written into her will for her cadaver's conclusion. She wants her corpse driven into a lonely desert and dumped. Then she is going to have a video camera set up for time elapsed taping, pointed at her dead body. After several weeks, the camera is to be retrieved and a funeral wake will be held for friends and family. At some point in the wake, the time elapsed video will be played.

Her love of nature shows should be quite evident in the viewing. She's considering hiring someone to add voice-over descriptions, such as;

"Not long after Ashley's remains are placed we see the buzzards circling overhead. They smell food. Diving to the ground the voracious birds begin consuming Ashley's carcass. But they're not the only hungry omnivores in the desert. Soon the coyotes approach. They drive off the buzzards and begin to rip into the dead flesh of Ashley. If you look closely, you can tell which coyote is the Alpha male, partaking of the meat first. Ashley's choice remains go to the strongest members of the pack."

"The flies begin to swarm in. They will lay their eggs in the last bits of Ashley, as well as gain nourishment. Eventually, as you will see later in the program, those eggs will result in the birth of maggots, who will ingest the tiny leftover pieces of Ashley, thus beginning their transformation into flies."

She believes that with quality editing, the video won't last more than a couple of hours. I suspect Ashley will need to have a disclaimer at the beginning of the video, explaining the graphic nature of her own personal nature show. I plan to watch, out of respect for Ashley's wishes. Others may adjourn to another room to pray or perhaps contemplate Ashley's demise, rather than risk a vomiting episode.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Good/Bad Friday

Jesus returns to reenact Good Friday in Tombstone, Arizona.

Today is called Good Friday by Christians because Jesus was crucified. I've never understood that description. Such a gory occassion should have a name more like Tragic Friday or Bad Friday.

On this Good Friday my curiosity got the better of me. I wanted an explaination about the name of this day. So I made it a Google Friday and went hunting for information. Well, I found the Catholic Encyclopedia, and here is what they say.

From the earliest times the Chritians kept every Friday as a feast day; and the obvious reasons for those usages explain why Easter is the Sunday par excellence, and why the Friday which marks the anniversary of Christ's death came to be called the Great or the Holy or the Good Friday. The origin of the term Good is not clear. Some say it is from "God's Friday" (Gottes Freitag); others maintain that it is from the German Gute Freitag, and not specially English. Sometimes, too, the day was called Long Friday by the Anglo-Saxons; so today in Denmark.

Not a conclusive result. It would seem to be logical to call it God's Friday, as the whole bloody episode could be said to be in "God's hands." But if I were Jesus (and I'm not, at least the last time I checked) then Long Friday seems more appropriate. If I had been crucified (and history shows that Jesus was only one of many) then I would have been thinking "this is going to be one hell of a Long Friday." I know I'd certainly wouldn't say "Thank God, it's Friday."

I've never had a job that gave me the day off due to Good Friday. But usually here in Michigan the weather is improving by now and beginning to feel springlike. It's been sort of a private tradition to accomplish something on Good Friday. I'll tell myself, "Today seems like a good Friday to get a haircut." Or maybe "This is a good Friday to begin some spring yardwork."

But seeing as this year Good Friday coincides with the end of tax season, I'll more than likely say, "Good Friday! It's time to do taxes!" Which in effect makes the day a Bad Friday.

Darn, now I'm a little grumpy, I abhor doing my taxes. Now I want to call today, Grumpy Friday or Freakin' Friday. Of course due to April 15th falling on the weekend, I have a day or two extra to get my taxes done, and I don't HAVE to do taxes today. So I am back to calling it Good Friday, or maybe Procrastination Friday.

At least it's not the 13th, in which case it would be Good Friday the 13th, and wouldn't that seem extra dangerous? Throw in a full moon and I'd probably hide inside all day and night.

The Church of No Preference offers no preference on how one deals with Good Friday, except we do like to say what we would say on any Friday, "Have a good Friday!"

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Statistics Support Us

In February and March 2002 the Pew Research Council conducted a survey of 2,002 adults. Questions about religious preference were included. The results are below:

Religious Preference% June 1996% March 2001March 2002
Christian 84 82 82
Jewish 1 1 1
Muslim * 1 *
Other non-Christian 3 2 1
Atheist * 1 1
Agnostic * 2 2
Something else (SPECIFY) * 1 2
No preference 11 8 10
Don't know/Refused 1 2 1
TOTAL 100 100 100

11% said they do not believe in God but do believe in a "universal spirit" or "higher power"; 3% said they do not believe in God or a spirit or power. In a separate question, 1% said they are atheists (those who believe there is no God), 2% said they are agnostics (those unsure whether there is a God), and 11% said they have no religious preference. The no-preference category includes people "who may not be ready to declare themselves atheists or agnostics," Pew Director Andrew Kohut says.


This research shows that The Church of No Preference has much potential to grow very large. Only the category "Christian" ranked higher than "No Preference." We at the church are on a mission to expand our sectless sect. Looking at the chart, it seems obvious that first we must make ourselves known to all the No Preferentists and then to entice the Christians into declaring themselves having no preference.

I've always thought that the main reason Christians don't want to leave their religion is the threat of hell. Well, Christians, I'm here to tell you that hell doesn't exist at the Church of No Preference if you should care to believe that, we have no preference. We promise not to threaten that you will go to hell for not believing so faithfully in Jesus.

We do have members who believe in hell, which they believe is a hellava place to go. And we have members that don't believe in hell. "Hell No, We Won't Go," is a chant they like to use. And we have members that believe Hell is a town in Michigan, which is another hellava place to go.

So you can see we really have no preference about hell. Give us a chance, the above statistics show we are bigger than you ever thought. The Church of No Preference, a place where hell can freeze over, or not.