The One True Faith
You're a Discordian Whether or Not You Want to Be

In the fashion which is (and has been) popular with most (if not all) other religions, I will now attempt to show how all religions are really ought but variations on Discordianism, and all of them share in the fullness of the Erisian Revelation.
      Take as our first, example, Christianity. They hold the belief that god is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, omnibenevolent and, one could assume, omnimagazine. This has been a source of problems for theologians from day one, because ``If god is all-powerful and all-good, why do such icky things happen to people? Also, where did evil come from? Why do people go to Hell?'' Those who have pondered this deeply have come up with a rather tidy explanation:
``God created us with free will, so that we can do whatever we want to do. We can choose him and be happy forever in his grace, or we can choose to turn away from him and damn ourselves to Hell eternal. The choice is totally ours.''

      Now, this is all well and good except for the fact that this assumption leads us to yet another problem, which I will illustrate by way of several short Marvel-esque WHAT-IF? tales, to follow.
      Now, when god was going to create the universe, (for those getting ready to give me a hard time about talking about ``before creation'' because there clearly can't be time as we know it before there's a universe, don't. The only pertinent point here is that god had complete control over creation) his omniscience would allow him to know everything that was ever going to happen. He, in effect, had a divine plan all set, from opening curtain to last act. He knew, well in advance, that there were lots and lots of people who were going to be created in an imperfect manner, reject his love and suffer for eternity on the Lake-O-Fire®. ``Oh well,'' spake the Creator, and went ahead and created this Veil of Sorrow for his beloved children. He did the macrocosmic equivalent of dropping an anvil on a kitten and saying ``Nonono, gravity killed the kitten.'' Now, no one who buys all this ``omnibenevolent'' stuff will let that explanation pass. Heck, I think it would be grounds for eviction as godhead. I offer the following, alternate possibility (cue the Wayne's World diddlee-doo diddlee-doo diddlee-doo...)...
      Rather than create a divine plan for creation, god decided that he would much rather just get something interesting going without necessarily knowing what was going to happen until after creation. He closed his eyes, pulled a handful of Raw Creative Energy® out of his pocket and BLAMMO!!! here we all are. This is much nicer, I think. Of course, it also means that god, quite deliberately, infused the whole process of creation with a healthy dose of Chaos, for no reason other than to make the whole deal a wee bit more fun. Now, who would do such a silly thing except our Lady of Rollicking Ha-Ha's?
      Or, alternately, you may feel free to decide that, since god is unbounded by logic, neither of these explanations need hold any truth, despite the fact that they're the only possibilities we can come up with (now, don't start hedging; either he had a plan, or he didn't. P or Not-P). Of course, that leads to the conclusion that this whole reason thing is a sack of moldering jelly beans, which means that the whole of human existence is one grand Joke. Why's that, you ask? Well, the only way we can think is reasonably (that is, using reason). If we can't deduce any of the really important Truths by using the only method of thought open to us, then clearly we're just cats jumping for a rubber mouse that our owner won't ever let us catch.
      We wandered quite far afield on this one, but it does actually tie together (albeit in a strange-looking Boyscoutesque knot). Now, Christians will clearly not allow the first (god the kitten-killer) scenario. Also, they will probably not go for the second (god with his eyes closed) one, either. They'll probably go along with the third right up to the point where human existence is exposed as a Joke. Since both the second and third scenarios result in the universe being based largely on Chaos and/or Humor, it is clear that Christians are Discordians (though they don't know it).
      Judaism's true nature can be found out readily by using similar heresi... er, reasoning as was used to expose Christianity. Jews believe that there are certain things that god wants them to do (most of which have to do with not touching a pig or your wife; I'll leave the proof that this alone marks Judaism as a sect of Discordianism as an exercise for the reader [hint: if you can make 5 particularly rancid jokes out of the Holy Tenets of some faith, you can prove it to be a sect of Discordianism via the Law of Fives ]). Now, if god feels the need to tell you to do something, it follows readily that he isn't quite sure that you'll do it all by yourself. If god doesn't know how any particular person will act, this implies that, not only did he close his eyes when he set the clockwork in motion, but that he still has them closed (if we again attempt the old ``well, God doesn't have to conform to your logic, you Devil-worshipping, paganesque yudda yudda yudda...'' we end up with the same conclusion that we found ourselves at earlier when we argued thusly)! If that isn't proof that their YHWH and our ERIS are one-and-the-same, brothers and sisters of Discordia, then you are clearly close-minded and therefore are not able to see the Truth I preach for what it is (hey, that line works pretty well. I guess the Christians have come up with some neat stuff). In fact, I would say that the Jews are much closer to the true Erisian nature of their religion (probably because they didn't have that well-meaning upstart carpenter gumming up the works).
      Okay, now move in real close and cover this page for the next few minutes; it's generally a bad idea to piss off the Moslems (you'd think I'd learn after the Satanic Verses incident, but never accuse a Discordian of knowing when to keep his mouth shut). Islam bears a striking resemblance to both Christianity and Judaism, mainly because good old Muhammad lived on the outskirts of Mecca, and hence could have revelations that were whatever the 622 A.D. equivalent of ``politically correct'' was. Take a basically set and accepted metaphysics, add a whole lot of head-lopping to please the children and chauvinism to please the other children (oh, relax; I'm just pandering to the Feminists) and bingo! you get the fastest-growing sect of Discordianism on record. Sure, they're a little violent for my tastes, but that's mainly due to the influence of Greyface; the insanity all flows from Eris. I think the absurd metaphysics which we've already discussed combined with the apparent lunacy of the bunch marks them very clearly as our (thankfully quite distant) Brothers.
      Next on the hit parade: Buddhism. I'll constrain myself to discuss only Theravada (now known more often as the ``Mahayana'', or ``Lesser Vehicle'', mainly due to the influence of a later school which called itself the ``Greater Vehicle'') Buddhism, which was the first known form of Buddhism. If I can prove that the original Buddhism is naught but another form of Discordianism, it shouldn't be too difficult to prove that the other forms of Buddhism are but imperfect variations on a theme. Buddhists of this school (henceforth called simply ``Buddhists''; I need disclaimers like this to keep myself out of trouble with the ``Vehicle of the Thunderbolt'' Buddhists) believe that nothing is permanent, but rather that everything is in a state of constant change. They also believe that the I that we suppose exists is nothing but an illusion formed by interplay between various physical and psychic factors. The psychic factors have a natural craving for permanence, which is not achievable, so we reincarnate time after time, with the psychic factors drawing physical existence to themselves until we eventually realize the illusion for what it is and reach Nirvana (which means ``blowing out'', much in the way a candle flame [which is really a complex interplay of energy and matter rather than an ``substance''] is blown out; note that the flame isn't destroyed [conservation of energy and all that, you know] but reduced to its separate components). Buddhists don't bother considering questions like ``Why did this process start?'' and other (in their opinion) idiotic questions. They don't worry about such questions because they are, quite simply, not of any consequence. What does it matter if we evolved or were put together from the leftovers of some cosmic turkey dinner? We're here, and that's that. Let's turn to more practical matters, like getting the Hell out of here. Since we're ever so slightly less pragmatic than our brothers, let us delve into this paltry mystery of origin.
      Our ``individual'' existence starts when the cosmic forces manage to somehow tangle themselves into a kind of knot that starts believing that it's Henry Kissinger (for example). This, according to the Buddhists, is a uniformly bad thing because this ``knot'' has a natural predisposition towards completely illusory beliefs (and hence the Four Sorrows of Buddhism, which all stem from this unfortunate yen for permanence). Buddhism is silent as to why the cosmic forces have such a tendency towards getting together to create a poor deluded fool because, alas, the one truly important bit of knowledge from the venerable Gautama Buddha somehow managed to slip through his disciples' fingers (probably because their own veils of maya [illusion] wouldn't allow such a truth through). Note that the cosmic forces get-together always results in a doofus that has to trip over his own karma for any number of lifetimes because he has, built-in, the entirely wrong set of ``intuitive truths.'' Something must be the cause of the cosmic forces getting tangled up so ridiculously often (at least 5 billion times as of the last census, with more every year). The mutual affinity of the cosmic forces is due, I believe, to a sense of humor which bends the forces towards each other. Why else would they get together so often to bring about such a silly thing? Eris could have no better definition than ``a universal, all-pervading, eternal sense of humor.''
      Since we're in India already (and I for one don't feel like stopping here twice; you'd be shocked how hard it is to find a McDonald's in a country where cows are sacred), we may as well consider Hinduism next. I suppose we could be content with scooping all of Hinduism under our umbrella simply because one of the Four Ends of Man that they hold as sacred is having a good time (o'course, they normally list it as being less important than duty and virtuousness, but hey, Greyface is everywhere). Far be it from me, however, to be content in saying so little that could get people mad at me. Let us consider a story from the Bhagavad Gita in order to expose the inherent silliness of Hindu metaphysics (and thus, lest we forget, its undeniable link to She Who Done It All).
      It seems that Arjuna (big-time warrior-hero guy) was reluctant to enter into battle in which he would have to kill large numbers of his friends and relatives in the name of securing his kingdom. Krishna (local incarnation of the divinity) assured him that the soul is deathless and that this physical world is but a shadow of true Reality, so he should not feel remorse in killing people because they couldn't really die anyway. Krishna went on to claim that, if Arjuna didn't fight, he would be shirking his duty. Bottom line: ``Go out there and kill your friends; they won't really die or anything (no, really). Besides, your duty to this illusory world is much more important than your Uncle Virender.'' Dunno. Sounds like god is giving Arjuna a wonderfully complex line of bullshit (and we all know what that means).
      Continuing eastward, we next find ourselves in China, home of Taoism and Confuscianism, which are arguably complementary aspects of classical Chinese thought. Confuscianism is more philosophy than religion (and I intend to save the proof that all philosophies are variations of Discordianism for another treatise, seeing how long this one is already), so I'll limit myself to discussing Taoism, which differs from Discordianism in name only. Taoism, with its yin/yang that so admirably approximates our own Sacred Chao, even shares the tactics of Discordianism: to free the mind via patent absurdity (known as ``Nonsense as Salvation,'' as The Golden Secret explains). Let us consider some passages from the Lao Tzu, the book of choice for discerning Taoists.
``Always nonexistent, That we may apprehend its inner secret;
Always existent, That we may discern its outer manifestations.
These two are the same; Only as they manifest themselves they receive different names.
That they are the same is the mystery.
Mystery of all mysteries!''

      Existent, nonexistent; P and Not-P. ``These two are the same.'' What utter, wonderful nonsense! Would that we could make our homes where Lao Tzu made his (Wackyland, that is)! What does Lao Tzu have to say of mankind's insane quest for the Truth (the mantle thrust upon us by Greyface, most reviled of the vile)?
``It was when knowledge and intelligence arose, That there appeared much hypocrisy... Banish sageliness, discard wisdom, And the people will be benefited a hundredfold.''

      'Nuff said.
      Now, for a quick tally. According to the most recent numbers I can get my hands on, I've shown that 2.3 billion people are calling themselves any number of odd things, but are really Discordians. That, my brethren (and sistren [can't get those Feminists mad]), makes us the largest Disorganized religion on the whole silly (and I've shown the ``silly'' part beyond a shadow of a doubt) planet.
      Therefore, walk proudly into church on Sunday morning, stroll up to the pulpit and read the Sunday comics out loud to the congregation! Sashay into the Temple on Saturday and make some good use of one of those Holy Flippy-Fliers! The next time you see a man prostrate towards Mecca, hop on his back and yell ``Giddap!'' These men are your Brothers, after all, and will know how to treat you.