My New Year's resolution for 2011 was a simple one: Don't Be a Dick.
This philosophy seemed to strike a chord with others, and with one thing leading to another, I have accidentally started a new religion.
The Holy Church of Don't Be a Dick.
As a deity-curious atheist, I initially found myself horrified to be at the forefront of a new religious sect, but realised very quickly that this is a religion that does not have to be religious in the slightest.
Religion's major problem is that it attracts religious people, and sooner or later they start acting like dicks. For eg:
- taking their holy books far too seriously and killing people TO DEATH because they disagree with a literal interpretation based on the mistranslation of the Amharic word for "iPhone"
- being scared of (in no particular order) women, homosexuals, foreigners, birth control, other religions and combinations of all four
- deciding that the ritual of chanting a few words over a cream cracker turns it into the actual flesh of a magical sky zombie
- promoting ignorance to keep believers from thinking too hard and blowing the whole scam sky high (see also birth control and AIDS)
- the entire be-good-or-you-burn-in-HELL blackmail thing
- believing that the Earth is 6,000 years old, and fossils were planted by a God that loves us, but lies to us at the same time, because he loves us. Unless you're bad, and he'll KILL YOU TO DEATH, because he loves you
- ridiculous dietary and clothing requirements based on trying not to kill yourself to death if you were living in a desert 2,000 years ago
- not coveting neighbours' oxen
- The concept of Karma, which is nothing but emotional blackmail on a grand scale
- an unending list of human dickishness going back thousands of years to ensure that sun comes up, the sun goes down, crops are bountiful, and the high priest's stabby habits are kept relatively in check
Yeah, that's pretty much the work of People Being a Dick.
Therefore, there will be no churches in the Holy Church of Don't Be a Dick. No rituals. No holy books (not even worthy non-religious stuff by Dawkins, because even atheists can be dicks). No priests. No sexy nuns. No funny hats.
No hierarchy. No emotional blackmail. No collection plate. No celestial auditor watching your every move. You don't even have to actually possess a dick, either.
Just repeat the pledge: "I promise, as a member of the Holy Church of Don't Be a Dick, that I will not be a dick."
If you break your promise and act like a dick, you will be pointed at and ridiculed in public for being a dick.
No heaven. No hell. Just the knowledge that you have been a dick, and other people know.
It's simple. You get Sunday mornings in bed while the less-enlightened are on their knees, grovelling in a freezing building, before going back to their lives of Being a Dick. Instead, you get to spend your life Not Being a Dick, not having to put up with being told you are unworthy by a Dick wearing a dress.
So, how does one live as a member of The Holy Church of Don't Be a Dick? There is no mystery. There is no point wasting years of your life looking for hidden meaning, for there is none . If faced with a moral dilemma, ask yourself one question: What would TV's Wil Wheaton do? And any scholar of Wheaton's Law will tell you, the answer will be "Don't be a dick".
Wheaton died for our sins. Weekly, on Star Trek. He knows about Not Being a Dick.
You are more than welcome to join our church. No dicks. Or Bill and Ted worshippers. Splitters.
EDIT: After a number of complaints, I'm prepared to relent on the sexy nuns. Sexy nuns, everybody!