After reading that 26-page New Yorker article on Scientology, I’m convinced that I’m in the wrong racket. Inventing a religion and publishing its Scriptures for mass consumption is most definitely the way to fame, fortune, and quite possibly the largest phalanx of lawyers on retainer imaginable.
And so, with that in mind…
I shall call my new religion THE TEMPLE OF JUSTIFYING CALAMITY.
Its deity shall be PANTU BABA.
The deity’s sole avatar shall be called MIMI.
It’s sole Prophet and Master of the Exegetical Arts shall be called WALLACE CLEAVER (no, not that one).
And the Sacred Scriptures of the new faith shall be THE BOOK OF KEVIN.
READ NOW WHAT IT IS OUR FAITH PROFESSES, and BE AWED.
What We Believe
1. We believe that Pantu Baba, the Vile, the Irascible, the Arbitrary, eternal and almighty god of all that is was or ever shall be, has created all things in a fit of pique. Which explains Detroit. And Comcast.
2. We believe that Pantu Baba, who revels in the sufferings of the wicked and the good alike, has foreordained owing to his own perverse pleasure the Three Crappy Curses of the Afterlife* for every last man woman child and beast, as well as some cruciferous vegetables, sparing no one but the 77 Lucky Bastards, whose identity is known only to Pantu Baba and his avatar, Mimi, and who will enter the bliss of the Really Fun Thursday.
3. We believe that the sacred scriptures, known collectively as Kevin, are inerrant, infallible, and fully authoritative in all they describe, including the creation of woman from Crème de Menthe and the creation of the known and unknown universe 36 years ago with the appearance of great age in order to confound the learned and over-leisured.
4. We believe that every last man woman child and beast, and some cruciferous vegetables, are beholden to Pantu Baba for all good things in this life, no matter how meager, which includes, but is not limited to, functioning bile ducts. In acknowledgment of their absolute dependence on Pantu Baba for their very bowel movements, every last man woman child and beast, and some cruciferous vegetables, will tithe 20% of their gross income, including gambling earnings, to their local Temple of Justifying Calamity.
5. We believe that in order to circumvent many great punishments in the present age, every last man woman child and beast, and some cruciferous vegetables, are obligated to perform deeds of Quixotic Naughtiness, congruent with their sheer entertainment value. These include, but are not limited to, ringing a neighbor’s doorbell and running away, playing David Cassidy albums really loud during Christian Lent, refusing to separate out one’s garbages such that paper plastic and metal are so confused as to ensure a toxic environment for many generations to come, leaving the seat up.
6. We believe that Pantu Baba has preordained as an act of sheer spite that only a minuscule minority of sentient beings will enjoy with unbridled delight their brief sojourn in the present age, such that the miseries of the poor, the halt, the deformed, the mad, the sick, the weird can only be multiplied. Therefore, any attempt to mitigate such sufferings of the disgusting, or the joys of the overfed and self-satisfied, will prove fruitless in the long run and result only in cramps.
7. We believe that the priests of Pantu Baba, known collectively as the Elders or the Old Ones or the Saggy Ones or the Vicious Self-Righteous Blowhards, are to be accorded all manner of honor praise and renumeration in keeping with their great and glorious duty of honoring praising and renumerating Pantu Baba, the Vile, the Irascible, the Arbitrary, Patron of All Who Need Patronizing.
8. We believe that full and true members of the Temple of Justifying Calamity must undergo two sacramentalizing rites, and will thereafter be eligible for privileges unknown to the unbelieving rabble one usually encounters at 7/11. Those rites are: the Jiggling of the Innards (initiatory/one-time only) and the sharing of the Toblerone (weekly/ongoing).
9. There is but one Duly Anointed Seer — Wallace Cleaver (no, not that one) — to whom the wisdom of Pantu Baba has ever been fully communicated and in whom all Due Wetness resides re: interpretation of Kevin. Priests of Pantu Baba are to swear fealty oaths to the Seer (not to be confused with the Sears and their crappy Kenmore products). The Seer will communicate sporadically and will dispense wisdom, instruction, and, quite possibly, local laws permitting, prescription antidepressants.
10. Every morning upon wakening, all members of the Temple of Justifying Calamity will recite the Three Futilities: I will act as if I were free. I will act as if I were happy. I will act as if I didn’t have to act as if I were free and happy.
11. We are neither Eastern in our thinking, nor Western, nor Northern, nor Southern. Instead, we are like the wind, after a particularly bad burrito. We are first here, then there, then everywhere, until someone cracks a window.
12. Most important, and to be emblazoned on the very souls of all who read this thing here, we are now, and forevermore, a tax-exempt organization.
THE THREE CRAPPY CURSES OF THE AFTERLIFE
- Copperhead snakes are introduced into every orifice so as to burrow and gnaw their way throughout the writhing agonized body of the miserable Accursed One until the sum total of his her or its agonizing sufferings reach an intensity so great as to rival that of three Earth suns. And then we start over.
- The Accursed One is immolated on a red hot spike and forced to recite the lyrics to “Sister Golden Hair” without making that face.
- The Accursed One is forced to perform three perfect palms-out pullups.