| Preach to the choir|
|Crux of the matter|
|Speak of the devil|
|An act of faith|
A parody religion is a modern religion thought up to mock or ape the principles, beliefs, and self-righteousness of "real" religions — those in which people seriously believe.
List of parody religions
These examples were created by writers, often to make some kind of satirical point about religion.
- Absolute Truth Ministries (ATM) - featured in season 3 of the TV comedy Weeds
- Bokononism (From the novel Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut) - in the book it was created as a fake religion to control indigenous people, and its scripture claims that all its claims are "foma" (harmless untruths).
- Truffidianism - from Jeff Vandermer's fantasy novel Finch, a parody of Roman Catholicism.
- Verdukianism - the "Secret Santa" episode of TV sitcom 30 Rock (s4e08), Dec. 10, 2009
Inspired by fiction
Many fictions inspire a desire to be like a character or to take some characters as offering lessons to live by. These are examples where people have gone from mere fandom to trying to create some kind of actual religion.
Note that other fandoms e.g. Star Trek have produced fans inspired by an ideology, such as Star Trek's ideas about peace and world government, and other aspects of fandom can resemble a religion (icons and sacred objects, pilgrimage, saint-like figures). However if an attraction is primarily to rational principles such as world/universal government and humanist values, then this might not be considered a true religion, although the boundaries are fuzzy.
- Arceusology - Pokémon.
- Church of the God Emperor of Mankind/ecclesiarchy - seemingly connected with Warhammer 40k
- Church of Madoka. Haruhiism (see below) is Heresy. Madoka died for your sins. Inspired by the anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
- Dudeism. A vaguely Daoist-esque religion based on the tenets of The Dude from the Coen Brothers' film The Big Lebowski.
- The First Church of Pacman (click on the image to enter). A parody religion created by Pacman collector Tim Crist. Here's footage of Reverend Shoebox bible-thumping.
- Gloomism (worship of the Pokémon Gloom as a god). Opposes Arceusology and calls Arceus a false god.
- The Great Space Butterfly - created by fans of Youtuber and gaming personality Jesse Cox.
- Haruhiism (if you like anime)
- Helicalism/Helixism (worship of the Helix Fossil) and most of the many other Twitch Plays Pokémon-based religions
- Jedi - from Star Wars
Not connected with fictional works
Many of these are countercultural or hacker jokes; some were created explicitly to expose the benefits other religions, like Christianity, receive from the state.
- The Church of Emacs (See: Saint IGNUcius, FSF)
- The Church of Firefox
- Church of Google
- Church of the Helix Choir - Pokémon.
- The Church Of Inglip - no fucking clue.
- Church of Stop Shopping. An anti-consumerist, culture jamming, performance community headed by "Reverend Billy" (no, not that Reverend Billy) whose targets have included BP, Monsanto and Starbucks.
- Church of the SubGenius - suspiciously similar to actual money-grubbing UFO cults, known for its "Eternal Salvation, or TRIPLE Your Money Back" guarantee.
- Pastafarianism - one of the classics, often used in arguments about freedom of/from religion.
- Frisbeeterianism - Founded by comedian George Carlin, it celebrates the universality and perfection of the shape of the frisbee. Adherents believe that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and no one can get it down.
- Really Reformed Church of Wikipedia - they have a song.
- Scientology - uniquely on this list, its adherents don't know it.[note 1]
- Unicornism - worship of the Invisible Pink Unicorn, like Pastafarianism intended primarily to expose hypocrisy and bias towards other, older, less fun religions.
Parody religions that can be taken seriously
- Church of Euthanasia - known for its advocacy of population reduction and in particular its slogan "Save the Planet, Kill Yourself"
- Church of the SubGenius
- A credo for unhappy singles
- Scientology - unfortunately its adherents do.
- The Satanic Temple
- The Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church, a Christian sect based on the Jazz legend John Coltrane has been active for more than 50 years in San Francisco, California. According to Rev. F. W. King they are "Coltrane-conscious".
Parody religions that are probably bad for your health
- Celestial Teapotism
- Kissing Hank's Ass
- Scientology - if you happen to need psychological or psychiatric help.
- Russell's Teapot
- Last Thursdayism
- Scientific Geoterrapinism
- Landover Baptist Church
- Betty Bowers
- Unitarian Universalism - some Christians think they're taking the piss
- Seriously. He started it for fun with some writer buddies.
- Majestic, Weeds at fandom.com
- Twenty Writers: Kurt Vonnegut’s Bokononism in Cat’s Cradle, Jim Nelson, 18 March 2018
- The Books of Bokonon, extracted from Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
- Crystal Dragon Jesus, TV Tropes
- The Office and 30 Rock – “Secret Santa”, Cultural Leanings, 10 Dec 2009
- Verdukians, 30 Rock at fandom.com
- Star Trek Fandom as a Religious Phenomenon, Michael Jindra, Sociology of Religion, Vol. 55, No. 1, Religious Experience (Spring, 1994), pp. 27-51 (25 pages)
- Why players around the world gobbled up Pac-man, Smithsonian Magazine, May 22, 2020
- Inglip, Inglipnomicon on fandom.com
- See the Wikipedia article on Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping.
- Frisbeeterianism, Religion News Service, 24 June 2008
- Unmasking Lucien Greaves, Leader of the Satanic Temple, Vice, Jul 30, 2013
- Trolling Hell: Is the Satanic Temple a Prank, the Start of a New Religious Movement — or Both?, Village Voice, July 22, 2014
- Five Decades On, An Eclectic Church Preaches The Message Of John Coltrane
- The Church of St. John Coltrane: Jazz and German Tourists