Religion. Architect of and witness to man's greater good and man's greatest evil. Holder of life’s most enduring perplexities, and distributor of answers to the greatest peculiarities of existence. From crude primal beginnings to an epiphany in telecasting, religion has since the dawn of time shaped man's very being, and to this day can be seen adorning bumpers everywhere.
Commonly accepted history teaches us that religion found its beginnings in the invention of an early stone age man named Urgh. No doubt a pioneer of his time, it is said that Urgh fashioned the very first unit of religion with but the simple stone tools available at the time. This very first unit of religion, Religion v. 1.0 BETA, was never depicted in cave wall paintings, but it is hypothesized that it assumed the shape of a rock, and featured “rock like” characteristics. With his new religion in hand, Urgh set about “converting” his neighbors with sharp blows to head. Sadly, this initial attempt at religion failed as many of the converts were inadvertently killed in the process. However, fail as it might, religion, like a sharp blow to the head, would burn on in the minds of the masses.
Soon man discovered that, just like leading brands of painkillers, “one often isn’t enough”. Thus polytheism, the worship of multiple gods, was born. No society carried this tribal notion further than the ancient Egyptians. The obviously over imaginative Egyptians instilled in their many gods specific animal characteristics. Hathor the goddess of love, for example, took the form of a cow. Thoth, the god of ancient writings, took the form of a baboon. Quack, god of the toilet bowl cleaner, took the form of a duck. While this system retained its popularity for centuries, people eventually grew tired of baboon worship and bovine-esque love. Also, the ironic humor of having a fish as the god of fish eventually wore off as people realized that it was neither ironic nor humorous.
The last great people to embrace polytheism were the Vikings. The Viking gods can be organized into two very distinct categories. One category contains gods who are involved in war, and the other contains gods who warred, but did other “stuff” on occasion as well. The mythology surrounding the Norse gods often captures the imagination of contemporary man, however, the reality was often less fantastic than depicted. Thor was actually a journeyman who did mostly plumbing, not carpentry. Odin, far from being the ‘chief’ divinity of the Norse pantheon “Valhalla”, was actually just a ‘chef’ who ran a bakery named “Vanilla”, after its famously delectable pastries. Freya, the war goddess of beauty and love was said to get the first pick of those slain in battle and bear them too Valhalla. In reality she was just trying to find a decent guy to settle down with and possibly start a family, something not to extensive; the usual 2 and ½ kids, a dog, a decent bi-level in suburbs, maybe a swimming pool, weekends at Tupperware parties and a health club membership, that sort of thing.
Eventually, numerous humanoid prophets to the heavens representing a single god were to emerge and capture the hearts of men everywhere. In 2000 BC, Abraham gained contact with god, who promised the new followers of a single deity endless and bountiful lands filled with bagels and other delectable breakfast and light brunch fare. Being something of a muffin man himself, Abraham at first refused, but eventually saw the way and founded the Jewish people. From there on out, it was smooth sailing for the Jews.
In the year 1 AD….make that 5 BC, Jesus Christ was born. The confusion over this date originated with the Scythian Monk ‘Dennis the Short’ who many years ago calculated, erroneously, the year of Jesus Christ’s birth. Had he paid attention in math class, it would now be the year 2010. I would own a hover car, and possibly a robotic maid, if there is any truth to be found in the teachings of “The Jetsons”. Anyone who's put out that we don’t yet have food pills or nuclear powered family sedans can blame Dennis. Anyway, where was I….Jesus Christ. Lord and savior of at least a few, Jesus led a fascinating existence, and tales of his greatness still resound to this day. Why, I can’t buy a pair of sandals at JCPenny or go water-skiing without thinking of him, such is the influence he wields. Yes, Jesus Christ, a really swell fella.
Of course, before Jesus, there was Buddha. It is said that Siddhartha Gautama, a Tibetan prince, found enlightenment and became Buddha by sitting under a bodhi tree after a six year spiritual journey to experience the anguishes of life. I myself will often, after a harrowing journey to the refrigerator, eat a bowl of LIFE cereal and sit under a roof constructed entirely of wood. The main difference between Buddhism and other mainstream religions is that Buddhism’s founder had very little facial hair. This audacious experiment in clean shaven faith, while controversial, eventually paid great dividends. The carving of a great many giant golden statues was made a much simpler task thanks to Siddhartha’s respectable grooming habits.
One of the dominant religions to emerge in the ADs was Islam. Founded by Mohammed “The Prophet”(no doubt a humble man), Islam took beard-centric religion to a whole new level. Its extremist behavior has become a bane on many; Islam has created powerful enemies in Schick, Braun, Phillips, and Wahl. In addition to promoting facial hair, Islam also brought to the world a very particular diet. Its exclusive behavior towards pigs at first upset the swine community, but this upset quickly gave way to relief as the hogs learned what fate befell their herbivore cousins, sheep.
The latest craze in the world of religion is Scientology. Scientology has had many celebrities grace its hallowed halls. Illustrious and distinguished individuals like Patrick Swayze, John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, and Beck are just a few of the true giants of modern intelligentsia that have helped push Scientology to near recognition. Founded by the progressively lengthening L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology promotes “the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, others, and all of life.” What this means, basically and in layman’s terms, is that Tom Cruise is an idiot.
Currently, religion sits on a tedious pinnacle. The doubters cite that no caring god would instill on this world the evil that is the Baldwin brothers. Conversely, the believers see the Baldwins as nothing less than Satan’s own work, and the very existence of Satan, in the form of William Baldwin, is proof of a god. Whatever the truth behind life’s greatest mystery, we should all rest assured knowing that a mutual hatred of the Baldwins binds each and every one of us together in blissful accord.