People have been inventing their own belief systems for a long time. Religion has historically been used not just to explain our place in this mixed-up universe but to shape culture and provide social order. Some religions have one God, some have many and other none. Some use crackers for communion, others marijuana or peyote.
More than ever, Americans are trying out various religions, searching for that—and I used this phrase pejoratively—perfect fit. And, this week only, you can be rewarded for starting your own religion. The Washington Post’s Style section, which put out the call, can’t promise you eternal life, or even a better one now, but the judges will send the best creator (little “c”) a trophy. Hallelujah.
Second place receives “Brides Behaving Badly,” a collection of wedding photos from what must have been the alumnae of the Tonya Harding School of Elegant Deportment and Apparel.
But builder beware: just because you create your own gods doesn’t mean you don’t have to answer to the God. (In fact, I understand it works just the opposite.)