Take a break from the solemn world of your gods and explore the divine comedy of parody religions.

Atheists are like the pesky kids in the neighbourhood who derive untold joy from pricking other people’s balloons. Bursting the bubble of belief is what they relish doing with missionary zeal. Sharp logic is often their most preferred tool. And sometimes, it is cutting sarcasm, packaged creatively as ‘parody religions’. The beauty of parody is: it allows the atheist to mock our quirky narrative of faith by holding a distorting mirror to the deliciously caricaturable features of the almighty.

The levity of it all may even make our gods smile. So how about entering the altar of parody religions and finding out, what the devil it’s all about?

Pastafarianism: Come, worship the noodle

Imagine an epicurean cult that believes a beer volcano and stripper factory to be their heaven, an invisible Flying Spaghetti Monster to be their god, the love of pasta to be the true sign of divinity and the pirate to be the role model for all citizens. That’s Pastafarianism for you. Created to ridicule creationists, Pastafarianism is about ending all prayers with Ramen instead of Amen, celebrating Pastover instead of Passover and following 8 commandments that forbid the notion of following commandments. If Arnold Schwarzenegger were an adherent, his catch phrase would have been ‘Pasta la vista, baby!’

The Church of the Sub Genius: All hail the slacker

A profit-based religion, the Church of the Sub Genius has a mythical salesman named Bob Dobbs as its messiah. His mission is to help us sub geniuses in the single-minded pursuit of slack, a magical quality that can only be acquired by assiduously shirking hard work and constant courtship of sex. The Church offers a guarantee no other religion offers: Eternal salvation or triple your money back! Now that’s an offer no genius will refuse.

Dudeism: Lebowski is our lord

Throughout human history, books have birthed religions. The Big Lebowski (a dark comedy from the Coen brothers) will surely be the only movie to result in a belief system. Founded by Oliver Benjamin, Dudeism was apparently inspired by the lazy bum character played by Jeff Bridges. Billed as ‘The Church of the Latter-Day Dude’, the group advocates not thinking too much, taking it easy, going with the flow and avoiding the rat race like plague. The proudly slowest growing religion can be aptly summed up with the maxim: “the early bird may catch the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese.”

Discordianism: Why so serious?

Discordianism is a religion disguised as a joke disguised as a religion. Founded by Malaclypse the Younger and Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst, the sect is based on the veneration of a loopy lady named Discordia, the Greek goddess of chaos. Discordians feel that order is pointless and reality is worthless. So might as well be whimsically random and utterly nonsensical. That explains why despite having an elaborately drafted Pentabarf (a set of 5 holy laws), the fifth law prohibits members from believing what they read! For spouting a lot of blather, we recommend it strictly for the Bunkum Chandra Chatterjees.

Googlism: Your search for nirvana ends here.

Founded by Matt Macpherson, the Church of Google is of the view that Google is the god of gods as it knows everything humankind has known. Being everywhere all at once, the search engine like savant has answers to everything. Also considering ‘Google’ is searched more often than Krishna, Buddha, Jesus and Allah put together, it’s clear as to who wins the popularity contest outright. Who can dispute that logic? The way things are going, don’t be surprised if devotees start singing: Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy domain!