There are a load of internet 'religions' out there: Pastafarianism, Dudeism, IPUism, Russell's Teapotism. There is obviously demand for something to fill the religion-shaped hole in people's lives, but that hopefully doesn't involve all those tithes, protesting outside abortion clinics, and singing dreadful hymns about the mercy of someone who allowed his own son to get nailed to a tree.
Pastafarianism may be the one for me - it may not be in the long run. But until the conventional religions start to understand that there are now multiple generations of people out there who don't believe in an omnipotent, omniscient God, let alone transubstantiation or miracles; religions are never going to get these people across their doors, and they are never going to help these disenfranchised people address their real spiritual needs.
Yesterday was 12th July - it was the 323rd anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne, in which the Roman Catholics and Protestants of Ireland knocked lumps out of each other over which unelected foreign aristocrat should rule them. The idea of the absolute power of a monarch has long since passed into history, so why were the Orange Order out marching in the streets of Glasgow last weekend, and the streets of Belfast this weekend? Trying their damnedest to antagonise as many Catholics as possible over a 300-odd year old war?
As long as mainstream religion perpetuates bollocks like that, it will never gain acceptance from me or my family. My wife is nominally Catholic, I am nominally Protestant (except that I am a Pastafarian and she's a Trekkie). Some people around here would say that we should never have got married despite loving each other and providing support and security and happiness for each other. Why? Because of a meaningless accident of birth. Prods and Tims, Montagues and Capulets, Sharks and Jets, Bigendians and Littlendians. A load of nonsense.
Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now. Juicegiver, there is a role for modern religions, even 'arch-atheist' Professor Richard Dawkins admits that there seems to be a religion-shaped hole in the human psyche. As long as old-fashioned religions fail to adapt to the last 300 years of human progress (hell, even if they manage to make it to this side of the First World War) they will appear anachronistic to millions of people who have a real need for spiritual support. And that is why Pastafarianism has a real chance to bring about a change, because it has been shaped by modern people with modern lives, not by ancient, badly translated texts in the custody of crumbly old men.
"I don't mean to sound bitter, cynical or cruel; but I am, so that's how it comes out." ~ Bill Hicks.
"To argue with a person who has renounced reason is like administering medicine to the dead." ~ Thomas Paine.
"One should not believe everything one reads on the internet." ~ Abraham Lincoln.
"If you're making a political point wearing a balaclava, you're a c***. It was true for the IRA and it's true now." ~ daftbeaker.