A Short but Very Wordy Tract Apologizing on the Behalf of Eris Discordia for the Existence of Other Faiths and Sects, or:
Why Do Other Religions Exist?


Traditionally, religions try to grab all the credit for everything good that happens for their God, and assign all the blame for everything that goes wrong to their assorted pantheons of ``Bad Guys.'' Since, usually, the God(s) are supposed to have created EVERYTHING, and presumably don't want any more competition for the job than absolutely necessary, this brings up the problem of where OTHER religions come from. Since other (false) faiths all blame (credit) Everything on THEIR (false) Gods, they clearly can't be right if OURS is -- so, THEIRS must go! This sort of competition usually results in each faith blaming ALL the other ones on ``The Devil'' or some other metaphysical scapegoat, followed by a concerted attempt to run the rival memetic structures out of town. As crude as this excuse is, it has its advantages -- you don't have to feel as guilty for stomping ``servants of evil'' as you might if you were abusing other ``human beings'' you just happen to have an honest disagreement with...
      Even my fellow siblings in the Discordian Doubt have been known to use this shortcut to explain away the existence of these atavistic sects -- blaming Religion, Faith, Politics and one-ply toilet paper on either the Illuminati (who, by definition, are responsible for EVERYTHING bad), or on the lumpy and much-invoked-and-abused head of and very Inventor of Seriousness, Greyface himself. However, this approach lacks style, and smacks of intellectual laziness fnord. After all, like omni-whatever deities, if Eris was offended by these Normals giving up burnt offerings to these rival/nonexistent Gods, we can only assume She would have done something about it by now. The argument that She avenged this slight by making them all look like idiots forevermore fails to hold water -- they did that all by themselves.
      So, we must ask ourselves (or at least, those of us who care about this sort of thing must ask ourselves), how did all these bogus faiths get started, and why does Eris allow them? While meditating on this problem, it has become painfully obvious to me that ALL Religions and Faiths have but One Source (besides Humanity's need for things to Make Sense, that is), and that source is Our Lady of Infinite Snickers, Eris Discordia.
      The worshippers of the Hindu deity Vishnu have dealt with the rival faith of Buddha by claiming it as their own: They claim that the Buddha was `merely' an incarnation of Vishnu, who spent an entire human lifetime on Earth spreading False Beliefs, just to sharpen peoples' wits! An ingenious approach, indeed. Unfortunately, if we were to try to extend this to include ALL the Other Religions, poor Vishnu would probably drop dead from exhaustion -- but Eris, having done it the smart way, has no such limitations. Playing off the Normals' desperate NEED for a Reason for It All, all She had to do was let the Normals invent some tall tales to start things going, then encourage their delusions -- appearing to the True Believers as an angel, or a burning bush, a winged pig, or whatever, and then sitting back to watch the Normals scurry off to worship these gods that they themselves made!
      Perhaps it strikes you as absurd that a Goddess as devoted to fun and creativity would have ANYTHING to do with the kind of stifling, joyless dogmas that have infested human minds for so long; let me remind you that Eris is the Goddess of Strife and Discord -- She delights in conflict and arguments, however trivial, and NOTHING has caused more conflicts over the most trivial things than RELIGIONS! (Also, She's omnipotent -- if She wants to do something absurd, why shouldn't She?) When all of the False faiths have been disgraced in the eyes of all sane people, then the True Absurdity of this Great Joke shall be manifest for all who have ears to see and eyes to hear! HAIL YES!
      Eris' creation of these Lesser Faiths has undoubtedly had other advantages as well, although it requires great ingenuity to find them fnord. For one thing, most faiths have plenty of lively tales and folklore associated with them -- their Holy Writ. Admittedly, while perhaps not Fine Art or Literature, these stories HAVE helped shape the behavior of COUNTLESS generations of children and often have a certain charm not unlike that of the cheesier, more lurid comic-books. Also, the competition with each other has forced dogma's followers and human sponsors to continually refine and expand on their original, Goddess-encouraged delusions, elaborating them into TOWERING MONUMENTS of HUMAN FAITH -- and their real histories can ALWAYS be used as grotesque warnings to all rational creatures that THIS COULD HAPPEN TO YOU, if you stop thinking and simply BELIEVE, so BEWARE fnord.
      Also, an interesting theory has been proposed in certain Role-Playing Games that perhaps the Gods somehow ``feed'' on the spiritual ``power'' generated by the worship of their followers. Seen in this light, Eris' refusal to reveal Herself directly to the witless masses makes perfect sense -- the kind of witless, lackadaisical, unctuous flattery the Normals like to inflict on their dissipated demiurges would be enough to give any intelligent, self-respecting divinity chronic indigestion! (This also helps explain the often psychotic behavior of various mythological figures -- their steady diet of nothing but Valium and Twinkies finally got to them...) Obviously, if this theory is true, Discordia tries to be more discerning about her sustenance. So, let us try to exhalt ourselves in our creativity and adoration of She What Done It All -- even if our worship fails to be in Good Taste, at least it'll taste good!