Tag Archives: satire

*Nothing needed to assemble nothing church for nobodies


The study of theology is the study of nothing. It is founded in nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authorities; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and admits of no conclusion. Thomas Pain

Chicago (AP) – Roy Larson, religion writer for the Chicago Sun-Times, recently had a visitor at the newspaper. Gene Townsend wanted to talk to him about a new church.
“When I introduced myself, I was struck by his lack of enthusiasm. The reason soon became clear,” said Larson.
Their conversation went like this:
“I understand you’re starting a new church.”
“That’s right,” replied Townsend.
“What’s it called?”
“The Church of the Living Apathists.”
“What’s an apathist?”
“Someone who’s apathetic.”
“Why did you ask for the religion writer?” Larson asked.
“Because we’re religious apathists. We’re apathetic about religion. If we were apathetic about sports, I would have asked for the sports writer.”
“You said ‘we’. That means you’ve got some cohorts. Right?”
“Have you gotten yourselves organized?”
“We’ve had a few meetings. We’ve got the application blanks to organize as a not-for-profit corporation in Illinois.”
“Do you plan to file them?”
“I don’t know. So far we’ve been too apathetic. Besides, we don’t have an address. Or any money. And we never will.”
“Do you have any scriptures?”
“Yeah. It’s a book filled with blank pages.”
“What’s your chief symbol?”
“It’s a gray rectangle. It symbolizes nothing.”
“Are you the high priest or are there any ministers in your church?”
“A true priest in our faith would be one who wouldn’t show up for meetings.”
“Doesn’t that make you a phony? Why did you bestir yourself to come in and tell me about your new church?” asked Larson.
Townsend said: “I guess you’d have to say I’m not a true believer. I’m a borderline apathist.”
“Why did you come in?”
“I just happened to be walking by the building and decided to stop.”
“Do you plan to call any meetings to get your church under way?”
“We’re thinking about it.”
“How do you rate your chances of success?”
“Great. If we call a meeting, chances are no one will come. And that will mean the meeting is successful.”
“What’s your potential membership?”
“Already, I think 10 per cent of the American people are members. Maybe, it’s 100 per cent.”
“Just one more question. As you see it, what must I do to be saved?”
“Nothing. Absolutely nothing.”
“I see. Well, keep the faith, friend.”
“Thank you. And may the god of emptiness be with you.”

*This article was taken verbatim from “The Southeast Missourian”, January 30th, 1976. See here.

**Painting by Zdislav Beksinski

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Believe in me!

Here’s a free piece of advice. You have to believe in yourself! In your story! Ups… those damn slips of the tongue, I mean, you have to believe in me! Yes, in me and my story that I am trying so hard to sell to you. Believe in me, so that you can make my dreams come true. I mean, who else, if not you, can change the world? Be the change you want to see in the world. Be me! You have to believe in me! I am me because of you. And you are you because of me. And if I am I because you are you and you are you because I am I, then I am you and you are I. Twist it whatever way you want, but the fact remains that we are fundamentally inseparable from one another.
I receive daily ten thousand letters from all parts of the world asking me the same questions all over again and again. “Why are you so awesome?”, “How did you achieve your dreams?” and “What’s your formula for success?”. Since I cannot respond to each and every inquiry individually, my answer to you all collectively is this: “Believe in me!” It is really that simple. There is no need to think it through any further. No need to over-intellectualize or analyze beyond the obvious. You only have to remember this golden maxim and repeat it before going to bed every night: “Believe in me!” There are no conspiracy theories or monetary matters involved in here. I can assure you of that. Take my word for it. I have no hidden agendas and no ulterior motives. In fact, I have no self-interest at all in what I’m about to tell you. I only want to help people. I only want to help you. Believe in me. Continue reading

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