Parody religion

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Crux of the matter
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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[edit]

In fiction[edit]

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[1]
  • Bokononism (From the novel Cat's CradleWikipedia 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).[2][3]
  • Truffidianism - from Jeff Vandermer's fantasy novel Finch, a parody of Roman Catholicism.[4]
  • Verdukianism - the "Secret Santa" episode of TV sitcom 30 Rock (s4e08), Dec. 10, 2009[5][6]

Inspired by fiction[edit]

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).[7] 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[citation needed]
  • Church of Madoka.Wikipedia Haruhiism (see below) is Heresy. Madoka died for your sins. Inspired by the anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
  • Dudeism. A vaguely Daoist-esqueWikipedia religion based on the tenets of The Dude from the Coen Brothers' film The Big Lebowski.Wikipedia
  • The First Church of Pacman (click on the image to enter). A parody religion created by Pacman collector Tim Crist.[8] 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.Wikipedia
  • HaruhiismWikipedia (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
  • Ang Dating DoonWikipedia (English: What Used to be There) - a parody of Ang Dating DaanWikipedia (English: The Old Path), which is produced by the Members Church of God InternationalWikipedia in the form of a skit in the Filipino sketch comedy series Bubble GangWikipedia. A recurring gag is that of the satirical use of the theme song from the anime television series Chōdenji Machine Voltes V ("Voltes V no Uta" by Mitsuko Horie, Koorogi '73 and Columbia Cradle Club) which also served as a convenient way to promote the then-recent re-runs of the anime on GMA Network. Despite concerns from the Catholic-majority Philippines who take offence at the supposed religious mockery, Ang Dating Doon actually received plaudits from MCGI themselves, particularly the late Eli SorianoWikipedia who cited the sketch as having helped promote his ministry.[9][10]

Not connected with fictional works[edit]

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[11] - no fucking clue.
  • Church of Stop Shopping. An anti-consumerist, culture jamming,Wikipedia performance community headed by "Reverend Billy"Wikipedia (no, not that Reverend Billy) whose targets have included BP, Monsanto and Starbucks.[12]
  • Iglesia MaradonianaWikipedia (literally Church of Maradona or Maradonian Church) - A fan club of the late Argentine footballer Diego Maradona, whom they believe to be the greatest of all time. The Maradonian Church is a textbook example of the quasi-religious following football draws among its fans, and as such is viewed as a tongue-in-cheek parody intended to celebrate Maradona's legacy in spite of criticism that it is mocking at Christianity, which is the dominant religion in Maradona's native Argentina.[13]
  • Church of the SubGenius - suspiciously similar to actual money-grubbing UFO cults, known for its "Eternal Salvation, or TRIPLE Your Money Back" guarantee.
  • The First Church of the Last Laugh — "The World's Oldest Religion. The World's Largest Church. 150% less dogma and only ONE High Holy Day."[14]
  • 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.[15]
  • 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[edit]

Parody religions that are probably bad for your health[edit]

And here's a related joke[edit]

Last Thursday, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the Invisible Pink Unicorn, J.R. "Bob" Dobbs, and Eris walked into a bar. The bartender cried out, "You guys can't be serious!"

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. Seriously. He started it for fun with some writer buddies.


  1. Majestic, Weeds at
  2. Twenty Writers: Kurt Vonnegut’s Bokononism in Cat’s Cradle, Jim Nelson, 18 March 2018
  3. The Books of Bokonon, extracted from Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  4. Crystal Dragon Jesus, TV Tropes
  5. The Office and 30 Rock – “Secret Santa”, Cultural Leanings, 10 Dec 2009
  6. Verdukians, 30 Rock at
  7. 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)
  8. Why players around the world gobbled up Pac-man, Smithsonian Magazine, May 22, 2020
  9. Castro, Levi M. (March 2000). "Special Report". Ang Dating Daan magazine (The Old Path) 58 (10): page 12.
  10. "Brod Pete to Bro. Eli: 'Marami akong natutunan sa Biblia dahil sa kanya'". Retrieved March 16, 2024.
  11. Inglip, Inglipnomicon on
  12. See the Wikipedia article on Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping.
  13. Football as a Religion: The Church of Maradona
  14. The First Church of the Last Laugh (archived from January 13, 2020).
  15. Frisbeeterianism, Religion News Service, 24 June 2008
  16. Unmasking Lucien Greaves, Leader of the Satanic Temple, Vice, Jul 30, 2013
  17. Trolling Hell: Is the Satanic Temple a Prank, the Start of a New Religious Movement — or Both?, Village Voice, July 22, 2014
  18. Five Decades On, An Eclectic Church Preaches The Message Of John Coltrane
  19. The Church of St. John Coltrane: Jazz and German Tourists