No, not the Pope's visit to England.
No, it's not the story of how that poor cartoonist who started Drawing Mohammed Day now must live in hiding (click here for piece).
No. I found inspiration in a story concerning the Church of Body Modification (there's the link so you know I'm not making this up!).
The story in a nutshell (see full article here) - A 14 year old girl who lives in Raleigh, NC has a nose ring (if we are following the above formula this is neither insane or stupid). This girl, unsurprisingly, goes to school. The school has a policy against facial jewelry and has suspended the girl because she won't take the ring out. Is this just me or does this rule seem arbitrary and stupid? You know there is this Jedi move that therapists use to help folks put things in perspective. It is the "What's the worst thing that can happen?" question. What would happen if all the students walked into school with nose rings!
I predict chaos. The esteemed Dr Peter Venkman summed up the consequences of a similar situation years ago.
Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria! - from the 1984 movie Ghostbusters
That's the Stupid part of the equation.
Now for the Insane variable.
Why doesn't the 14 year old in question want to take out her nose ring?
It's against her religion.
She belongs to the Church of Body Modification. This is a real church with about 3,500 members and has a non-tax status. On the plus side there is no Sky Fairy to this faith. However, there is still a lot of wacky wackiness going on there. This is from their home page.
The Church of Body Modification represents a collection of members practicing ancient and modern body modification rites. We believe these rites are essential to our spirituality. Practicing body modification and engaging in body manipulation rituals strengthen the bond between mind, body, and soul. By doing so, we ensure that we live as spiritually complete and healthy individuals.Really? Sticking stuff into your body makes you a better person? Are there any peer reviewed studies on this? Can you really ensure that by sticking stuff into your body (I think that includes tattoos too... they're needles involved) that you will live a spiritually complete and healthy life? I don't know, that just seems insane. Harmless, but insane (arguably the best kind of insane). I'm all for you having the right to do this. Be my guest. If my child grows up to be a member of this esteemed church I'll go to whatever service is necessary (weddings should be a hoot, with the joining of two people) and I'll shut up like I would in any other service (more or less).
This just supports my theory that if you're the only one with the crazy ideas, they lock you up in a Psych unit and/or tell you to take the anti-crazy pills. If you get a gaggle of like minded people BAM! you've got yourself a religion.
I have a few quick ideas for a new religion that I want to throw out to Purgatory's readers.
Church of Banging My Head Against The Wall - I believe that minor brain damage can only make me a betterer (hey, the brain damage is working already!) person.
Church of Sex - It may not make you a better person, but who the cares?
Church of I Get What I Want When I Want It! - Someone has stuff you want? Take it. If they argue tell them they are being intolerant and going to Hell.
Remember, we just need to get enough people to believe.
This is Purgatory.