I try to stay away from politics and religion as much as possible, but recent events have made me consider both of them more than I generally like to. Mostly, I’ve been getting angry about people who are complete assholes and use their religion as an excuse for their behavior. It doesn’t matter what religion you subscribe to: none of them have “act like a total douche” in their codes of behavior. Mike and I were discussing this last night when I began to reiterate a believe I’ve held for quite some time: most religions have pretty much the exact same message if you take out the stuff specific to their God or Goddess or whatever. And I came to an Awesome Realization.
(A Few Isolated Examples Of The) Ten Commandments (Christianity and Judaism)
Thou shalt not murder: murdering people is kind of a dick move.
Thou shalt not steal: stealing things is something only a dick would do.
Thou shalt not covet your neighbor’s wife: you’d have to be a complete dick to covet your neighbor’s wife!
A few Islam Rules
Do not confound truth with falsehood: because if you lie, you’re probably a dick.
If you do not have complete knowledge about anything, better keep your mouth shut. You might think that speaking about something without full knowledge is a trivial matter. But it might have grave consequences: if you spread rumors based on hearsay, you’re a dick. (There are actually quite a few rules along these lines according to my research.)
Spy not upon one another: because if you do, you’re a dick!
Treat kindly your parents, relatives, orphans and those who have been left alone in society: being mean to these people just makes you more of a dick.
Do not expect a return for your good behavior, not even thanks: mostly because if you do things expecting to have people treat you well in return, you’ll end up feeling entitled to everything just because you drive a hybrid and then you’ll be a total dick.
Some Hindu Rules
Ahimsa: non-violence: because violent people are dicks.
Satya: to live in the truth: like the lying thing up there–dicks.
Daya: compassion: if you are not compassionate, chances are you’re a dick.
The Witches’ Rede
Eight words the witches’ rede fulfill: an it harm none, do what ye will: do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t harm anyone because harming people is totally a dick move.
Okay, so I think I’ve covered a few of the major religions up there. From everything I’ve read, the rules in all of them boil down to three things: (1) worship God(s/dess/whatever), (2) public health measures from millennia ago, and, most importantly, (3): DON’T BE A DICK.
Where have we heard that before? If you’re any sort of geek, probably from Wil Wheaton. That’s right–some celebrity dude’s personal motto and code of conduct has perfectly summed up that of ever major religion and probably most minor ones. (Also, I didn’t include all of what Jesus is said to have said, but it all boils down to “don’t be a dick.” I mean, come on: “Let he among us without sin be the first to condemn” [note: I’m not sure if that’s one of the translations of the Bible or Rent’s summary], “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” etc.)
So basically, Wil Wheaton is telling us the exact same thing as all the religions AND he’s already got a huge following. If he wanted to, he would have no problem starting up his own new religion. I mean, come on. You’d be Wheatonist, right? He is a nice person (I know because I follow him on Twitter) and he wants you to be a nice person, and that’s the point of the religion. Sounds pretty solid to me.
Why he shouldn’t: Here is the problem. You see the caption for that image up there? Did anything in your brain rebel against that? Even if yours did, I bet a lot of people’s wouldn’t. Even though I totally can’t imagine Wil Wheaton purposefully starting a cult, any religion he started would turn into one just because people love him that goddamn much.
Things I Overheard Wil Wheaton Saying in a Hypothetical World Where He’d Started a Religion:
-“Hey, what’s with the robes? D&D? Huh. Okay. Whatever.” (A few minutes later, different group) “Hey, what’s with the robes? Need a DM? Dammit, why are you bowing to me?”
-“Is that a 50-foot statue of me? Why are you building a 50-foot statue of me? Fuck, NO do NOT hang the non-believers from the statue! Take that down right now!”
-“Why are you repeating everything I say? And what’s with the monotone? Stop calling me Master!”
-“Guys seriously I did not call for a mass suicide on this day what are you doing STOP IT–” (Moments later, every single one of Wil Wheaton’s followers killed themselves. Aside from Wil himself, everyone left on Earth was a dick.)
Wil Wheaton already has enough of a cult following as it is. A religion would only make things worse, but I do hope that his cult following actually listens to his “don’t be a dick” thing. It’s kind of important.
Wil Wheaton, if you’re reading this, please don’t start your own religion.