Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Church of the Latter-Day Dude

I like to cover strange religions here on Augoeides, and recently this one was brought to my attention - The Church of the Latter-Day Dude. That's right, it's a religion based on the Coen brothers film The Big Lebowski. It's certainly weird, but no more so than the Tiger Woods church or the Twilight church, both of which I've covered in the past.

It's also a lot more tongue-in-cheek. I'm still hoping that the Twilight church was a joke, because they sounded serious about believing that the fictional characters in the Twilight universe were real people. The Big Lebowski is also a work of fiction, but there's nothing like that going on here. As far as their beliefs go, anyone familiar with the film will be able to guess the central tenet of Dudism, which is to "abide." You know, just like The Dude.

Show the world that you’ve got what it takes to take it easy. As an ordained Dudeist Priest, you can minister over religious ceremonies in most U.S. States (laws vary, so check with your local County Clerk first), and assorted other countries. Preside over a wedding, funeral, or any kind of celebration with pride and authority.Or just kick back and enjoy the knowledge that you’re an ordained minister at one of the most easygoing religions in the world. There are currently over 220,000 Dudeist Priests world-wide. Help spread the Dude word!

The emphasis on ordination here reveals one of the reasons that "churches" like this exist. In the United States, only an ordained minister or government official can officiate at events like weddings. The Universal Life Church was the first group to offer ordination over the Internet for this purpose, and others have now gotten in on the game.

As an aside, I got myself ordained through ULC to officiate at a friend's wedding this summer. When people question me about it being a fly-by-night organization I make sure to point out that they've reformed - they don't ordain cats any more! On the application form, it now specifies that you must be human, whereas it didn't back in the late 1990's.

It's time that we separated civil and religious marriage. Make civil marriages civil only, and then churches can perform whatever rite they or the families want in accordance with their policies. Not only would this resolve the issues surrounding same-sex marriage, but it would be more in accordance with the constitutional separation of church and state.

With marriages set up that way, if you wanted a friend to officiate your ceremony they could do so as long as the legal paperwork for the marriage itself got filed properly. He or she wouldn't need to find someplace online to obtain ordination - though the Church of the Latter-Day Dude is amusing enough that some might do so anyway.

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Unknown said...

Which religion is not a joke in the first place?

Scott Stenwick said...

Most of the major religions got started so far back it's hard to say. It's certainly possible that the pop culture of the past was just as influential in their formation as books and movies are today.

So does that mean two thousand years from now Dudism will have spread to the stars as we colonize new worlds? That would be pretty darn hilarious. Especially if its adherents have become all serious about "abiding" properly.