elf: Rainbow sparkly fairy (Eris Is A Planet)
[personal profile] elf posting in [community profile] fifthtrinity
From the pamphlet to distribute at PantheaCon:

Fifth Trinity Church

We are a tribe of philosophers, theologians, magicians, scientists, artists, clowns and similar maniacs who are intrigued with Eris, Goddess of Confusion, and her doings.

We believe She sent visions to Her chosen emissaries, later known as Omar Ravenhurst and Malaclypse the Younger, which led them to record the sacred scripture: "Principia Discordia, or, How I found Goddess and what I did to Her when I found Her," wherein is explained absolutely everything worth knowing about absolutely anything. The principles of our faith are contained within the Principia, but for those whose Eris-given insight doesn't find it sufficient, we recognize that several other scriptures contain portions of Her holy message. We believe Eris speaks to each person individually, and guides his or her actions toward her goals, which are incomprehensible to humankind.

We believe some persons are more adept than others are recognizing Eris' voice, and we accord those persons the respect due their holy status. (Insert picture of 5-legged elephant.)

We attempt to understand Eris' message as expressed through all that exists. We attempt to inflict understanding of Eris' message on others.

We believe that all things are true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense.

Why A Church?

Because we can. Because Discordianism is one of the least-acknowledged Pagan religions; everyone thinks we're a joke. (Well, we are. But that doesn't mean we're not a religion.) Because the thought of Discordian military chaplains witnessing to Southern Baptists is a gleeful one. Because the Satanists are bogarting all the fear, and the eclectic neo-Wiccans are laying claim to "anything you want it to be" as if they invented it. Because Discordian clergy deserve to be ordained for their own spirituality, not just under the ULC's "anything goes" rubric.

We deserve our own "anything goes" rubric!

But Really... Why a Church?

A church is an organization with the intended purpose of practicing a religion. This is an organization; we intend to practice a religion. (Until we get it right.) That makes us a church.
(A lot of followers of Eris object to the word "organization." I suggest that they consider it a derivative of "organ"--a living thing with a specific function, not "organize" meaning "to categorize and sort." Or think, "a device for making loud music," 'cos we do that too.)

Isn't Discordianism A Bit Too... umm, Weird For A Legal Church?

At first, we thought so. But we did some research. We found: What do these have in common?

They acknowledge as their leader someone who was killed two thousand years ago, and if he's still active (the rest of us call that "undead"), doesn't reside on this planet. Wow. The head of all these churches is someone who has no driver's license, can't sign forms, won't appear on camera, and does not breathe.

Nothing any Discordian could come up with would out-weird that. I mean, we could elect a cabbage to be head of our church, and at least it would be something that drinks water and can get sunburn.

What Makes Discordianism A Religion, Not Just A Joke?

Being a joke doesn't exempt something from being a religion. A religion can be defined as a meme intended to lead people to a specific form of the religious experience: "the ecstatic, incontrovertibly certain, subjective discovery of answers to seven basic spiritual questions." (Questions viewable at this IJ post

The I.R.S. Criteria for Consideration of Churches

The IRS has a set of 14 criteria it uses to determine whether an organization qualifies as a church. They do not recognize "religions," only "churches, as an official list of religions would violate First Amendment rights to freedom from laws pertaining to or establishing religions. An organization is not required to have all of these; a majority is generally considered conclusive, and even a few would be enough, if they were well-explained and indicated sacerdotal function and religious activity in the community.
  1. A distinct legal existence.
  2. A recognized creed and form of worship.
  3. A definite and distinct ecclesiastical government.
  4. A formal code of doctrine and discipline.
  5. A distinct religious history.
  6. A membership not associated with any other church or denomination.
  7. A complete organization of ordained ministers ministering to their congregations.
  8. Ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of study.
  9. A literature of its own.

  10. Established places of worship.
  11. Regular congregations.
  12. Regular religious services
  13. Sunday schools for the religious instruction of the young.
  14. Schools for the preparation of its ministers.

Remember Waco: Is Your Church B.A.T.F. Approved?

(no subject)

Date: 2008-02-12 01:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] telarus.livejournal.com
Good, in process, yet quite good.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-02-12 08:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ellie-nor.livejournal.com
Miss, miss, can I join your church please miss?


fifthtrinity: A gold 5-fingered Hand of Eris with the words "Hail Eris" on its sides. (Default)Fifth Trinity (Discordian) Church

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