As an “agnostic,” one finds often that you are alone in the world. There are millions of you, but it’s extremely hard to set up an “agnostic” church, because most churches are religious institutions devoted to the worship of a certainty. The closest thing to an agnostic church I’ve found in this life is the Unitarian church, followed closely by the church of Satan, the latter of which has an ideology (and a stupid, intentionally confrontational and misleading name) and the former of which is broadly rooted in Christianity.
If I were required to be anything that already exists, I suppose I’d be a Unitarian, for lack of any better options.
But I’m not. So I’m not. I’m a searcher - agnostic in the true sense, I’m open-minded and looking for a path through the muck and the mire, guided by my own conscience. I love discussing religion, but most of the interested parties have already made up their mind one way or another, so the conversation tends to take the form of Preach-equivocate-preach-equivocate and essentially resembles the sensation of me banging my head against a brick wall. Eventually I get dizzy enough to make concessions, a phenomenon I think explains most of the success of organized religion.
I don’t have a religious community, but I want a religious community, and since a proper one doesn’t exist, I’m going to make one. I’m going to start a religion.
The religion I’m forming has no particular ideology. It is quite literally a church of agnosticism. There’s a sense recently that people have started worshiping books at the expense of god, and I feel that this is problematic. God is being taken out of his/her/its own picture.
The only requisite for being a member, a “Namer of god,” is an open mind. You don’t even have to stop being a Catholic, or a Jew, or a Muslim. Keep your old faith if you want it. The only rule within the bounds of the church is toleration. You may seek converts to your old faith within the bounds of this new one, but should they choose to seek god in another manner, you may not obstruct them. If you do not believe that your current religion allows for such tolerance, then this is not the place for you. But if you’re sick of all this fighting, bickering, killing, maiming, stealing, lying, cheating, men and women who claim that their way is the only way, then maybe this is right for you.
One day, I hope to set up sanctuaries where people who are willing to listen, to try to understand, to seek truth rather than begging for revelation like a dog begging for table scraps, can gather and talk, can sermonize, can argue, can shout and cry and pray in whatever way and language they damn well please, and do it all under one roof: a statement of solidarity in their differences.
We all want to get to god. I think all this my-way-or-the-highway crap is just that. Crap. I think it detracts from the brotherhood of man. I think it detracts from god’s vision of the world. I think it causes unnecessary pain and suffering, and distracts believers from what really matters, from the greater good, and from the humanity of those around them.
So I hereby declare the formation of the Namers of god, those who seek the name of god however they might choose to. Those who are tired of being the black sheep, the lone operator. Those who are tired of being stereotyped as atheists, abused as non-believers, harassed and distrusted for their “ungodliness.” We will be a bastion for the lost, the confused, and all the various believers who, for minor differences, have begun to feel themselves estranged from their establishments. I think this is as good a time as any to make our own way in the world.
Let there be a new, less exclusive club of god, and for a symbol take whatever the hell you want and wear it out. You can borrow mine if you’d like, or wear another. It doesn’t matter, so long as when someone asks "what does that symbol mean" you reply "It means I'm a Namer of god."
In truth, I started this religion quite some time ago, but I’ve been the only member, and the idea has been refining since then, mulling about in brain-juices and being bounced off unsuspecting minds in one form or another.
My personal beliefs are ultimately irrelevant to the religion, but I feel they should be outlined nonetheless, in case anyone should feel like jumping on board for the hell of it, or just wants to know where I’m coming from:
I believe that god exists in the unknown, and is responsible for the unknown. You could say he/she/it exists in the cracks of our knowledge. As we learn more, god becomes bigger, because the cracks in our knowledge become more numerous and larger (the more complex our image of the universe becomes, the more questions we have in proportion to our answers). But god also becomes farther away and less relevant to our daily lives. One way to put it would be that as soon as we know something, it becomes our responsibility.
Metaphorically speaking, think of god as a good parent and our species as a child. That which the child cannot understand, the parent protects them from (to the best of their abilities), but that which they can understand becomes more and more their own responsibility to deal with. Laundry, Yard work, Dating, homework, one by one things that the child’s parents help with become things that they don’t. Eventually, food, lodging, clothing, and all other bucks get passed, and the child is responsible for everything. The child will ask his or her parent for advice from time to time, and receive it, and when unforeseen circumstances deal them a bad hand, the parent may bail them out. But the parent no longer intervenes directly in their daily, hourly, minutely life.
Sure, that means the child has more responsibility than he’d sometimes like, but that’s just part of growing up, and responsibility is a necessary side-effect of freedom. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the child to grow up, even if he/she might not want to.
One could extend that principle to say that mankind may have been bound by god to rules before, but those rules are being reevaluated as we grow. Christianity in many ways envisioned itself as a growing-up from Judaism... much of the new testament is a tract of liberation, promising to mankind that a new pact has been formed with god. You get less allowance, and you’ll have to get a job, but you can own a car now and go on dates, and your curfew is midnight now, rather than ten. You get to wear cotton and eat pigs. That sort of stuff. A pretty grand idea if someone hadn’t come along and started mucking up the principle.
In short, in my estimation, it’s time for mankind to move out of the nest altogether and start taking responsibility for itself. It's time we stop justifying our actions and start understanding them.
But that’s mine. Take up the mantle of a Namer and show me yours.
Anyway, if anyone wants to take on the mantle and feels the need for some officialness (after all, the point of this whole mess is to form a community of sorts), email me at Karrakis@gmail.com and I’ll start building a roster, just for fun. Who knows but that one day, we might graduate to having a forum!
This is the symbol I’ve taken up. Whether you take it up yourself or craft your own is your own beef.
That’s my ten cents for the day.
Tomorrow: The same thing we do every night, Pinky, try to take over the world.