I am posting this link to a recent Reason item about pop-culture religions such as the Jedi purely and solely because I want to have the phrase "a spiritual practice centered around Fred Mertz, Ethel's husband on I Love Lucy" somewhere in my blog. There. Now I'm happy.
Donewaiting.com chronicles a visit to an Ohio church's Judgement House, a sort of religious haunted house where they literally try to put the fear of God in you. And, yes, it's they who misspelled "judgment," not me. God apparently doesn't need a spell-check - either that, or the use of the British spelling means he's actually British, which would be an interesting turn of events.
Every once in a while, I take an online quiz. I don't know why. Sometimes they're halfway legitimate (in-depth personality assessment), often they're completely useless ("what kind of snack cracker are you?!?!"). I can only assume there is some deep-seated human need to be told surprising, relevatory things about ourselves, and online quizzes fulfill it quickly and simply. Or we just get really bored.
I took one about religious beliefs the other day. The Belief-O-Matic. At the outset, I thought it was a particularly pointless exercise, because I pretty much have those nailed down. But it turned out to be very interesting at the end, where they calculated the percentages of what set of religious beliefs matched my answers. It's an opportunity to examine how your beliefs overlap with others you may never have expected.
Secular Humanism (100%) Makes sense. This is how I do describe myself. Good job, Belief-O-Matic.
Unitarian Universalism (93%) I had no idea what this was. After some brief research, I found that it seems to be everything. People who are Christian, people who aren't, people who believe in a god, people who don't. Now I'm curious about the 7% they don't like about me.
Nontheist (86%) Okay. Liberal Quakers (70%). All right. Theravada Buddhism (67%) This school of Buddhism is the only religion I've ever seriously studied with the intent of following it myself, so also a plausible percentage.
Then there's some others. Scientology (33%) Well, that's either unsettling for me or hopeful for Scientologists, guess you take your pick. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (27%) Hey, I'm 27% Mormon! Who knew. My beliefs are also 17% percent comparable with Islam, Orthodox Judaism, and Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Catholic. I'm actually surprised it's that high. Jainism and Hinduism are towards the bottom of the list, which means I don't know as much about them as I thought I did.
And I have absolutely zero percent overlap with Jehovah's Witnesses. Another good call, Belief-O-Matic.
Oh, and according to another quiz, the type of apocalyptic survivor I am is "insane ninja child." I think, all in all, I'm set.