Virtual Religions

The following sites exhibit some of the features of religions, but may seem more or less unusual by conventional standards. Several actually are intended to be satirical, if not cynical, while others are serious. In short, these examples illustrate a wide range of human motivations and attitudes concerning religious sentiments, beliefs, impulses, and practices. Whether or not any particular claimant to the status of religion deserves that designation is open to question in the modern world -- without exemption. Those listed are termed virtual religions because their primary location appears to be cyberspace where they enjoy a noteworthy degree of "virtual reality."

    Proposed Examples of Virtual Religions
  • Center for Duck Studies
    [The creative expression of Jason Truesdell, this site offers itself as a virtual gateway to Duck Consciousness through an artful collection of webbed pages.]
  • Church of the Subgenius
    [The patriarch of putative religions of late modernity, a tradition with its own icon (the not politically-correct pipe-smoking Bob Dobbs) and its own mode of grace (known as Slack). Occasionally breaking through into ordinary reality, the Church is a phenomenon indeed. For ordination or facsimile, see below.]
  • Church of Virus
    [One expression of the general movement dedicated to the consideration and exploration of memes, which (it is said) are the mental, attitudinal, and/or behavioral counterpart to genes. Just as we are genetically encoded beings, it is said, so are we memetically entrained creatures, too. In short, Church of Virus both is not and is what you think!]
  • Cosmofy - The Internet Universal Religion
    [The short-short version of the Cosmofy manifesto reads as follows: "The interdependence of the peoples of the world is pushing the human race along the road to an international ethical community with a common cultural value orientation. This road had up till now been blocked by the traditional coercion exerted by dogmatic 'religious' and ideological cults with their competing moral authorities. It is only now that the new doctrine of Cosmosofy achieves the mental and moral breakthrough as a continuation of the Enlightenment, by recognising itself as a true religion and in fact on the basis of expandable critical, ethical reason which is common to all humans and which corresponds to their religious disposition. Thus, for the first time in the history of mankind, a generally valid value system for common goals becomes available to everybody. This universal, undogmatic, new religion requires consistent reforms in education, politics, law and science. The cultural crisis is unmasked as a leadership crisis."]
  • Digitalism
    [A cyber metaphysician at work.]
  • Electric Messiah
    [This is only one dimension of the Rat-Bite site. That should be sufficient warning. If it is not, here is another warning. Do not look at the photo of the Electric Messiah for very long, and definitely do not operate heavy equipment for some time afterwards.]
  • First Church of Jesus Christ, Elvis
    [Neither more nor less than an outpouring of love for the King. This devotional site proposes "striking parallels" exist between the life and character of the best-known citizen of Memphis and the best-known citizen of Nazareth.]
  • The God Page
    [Not very serious (or very humorous) and apparently inspired by Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.]
  • Landover Baptist Church
    [A very sharp parody professionally produced by Americhrist Ltd. Be sure to consult the About Landover Baptist page.]
  • Partenia
    [Certainly not a Virtual Religion, but a virtual Catholic diocese that is an Internet legend and began when Pope John Paul II moved Jacques Gaillot, then bishop of Evreux, to Partenia, a place covered with sand. Definitely worth a visit.]
  • Technosophy
    [An interesting site that assumes that nature itself is technologically organized.]
  • Virtual Church of the Blind Chihuahua
    [Actually fronts for a sophisticated Christian site. Charming nevertheless. It offers the following slogan or maxim: "the courage to be ridiculous before God."]

    Virtual Ordinations
  • Church of the SubGenius
    [Some racy language here, and certainly a mercenary bent, but if ordination is what you want, apparently it can be had.]
  • United Christian Ministries International
    [All the information you need to start your own.]
  • Universal Life Church
    [An ordination form is conveniently provided for "ordination for the asking."]
  • Universal Ministries
    [Their perspective is: "Ordination is simply the empowerment to perform marriages." Ordination is simply the empowerment to perform marriages.]

    Directories and Links to Virtual Religion Sites
  • Deify Yourself -- The Beginner's Guide to Self Immortalization
  • Yahoo! Cyberculture Religions
    [A collection of links to sites of bizarre, amazing, and/or dim "religions."]

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