The One True God
(Printed in the Towanda Daily Review on March 24, 2001.)
At a recent school board meeting, press and public pressure forced a revote on whether an evangelical group known as the Power Team should be allowed to present their program during an in-school assembly at the Towanda High School. The vote on the original proposal for the Power Team assembly lost two to six; the revote, with a stipulation that the daytime assembly be completely secular with no mention of evening evangelical sessions, won seven to one.
The Power Team is a Christian group of former athletes who smash bricks, break blocks of ice, and explode water bottles in an attempt to deliver a message against drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, and suicide. One would generally have to seek the World Wrestling Federation to find something of better quality. Public schools are targeted for their daytime programs to raise attendance for the evening event which is a major crusade to save souls and raise cash.
I'm sure that press and public support for the Power Team would have been just as strong had they been Catholics, Muslims, Jews, or Scientoligists rather than Christians. So I decided that for my opinions to be more credible, I had better reform and give up my evil liberal secular ways and get some religion. Thus, even if my reformed opinion opposed that of the majority of religious voices, it would be from a religious perspective, and automatically be more credible here in the United States, particularly the south and in Bradford County.
But what religion should I join? I want to select the one true religion and worship the one true god.
A quick review of the Yellow Pages for Bradford and Sullivan counties shows 159 religious entries, 133 if I don't count chiropractors. Most of the 133 are Christian variants including Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Assemblies of God, Episcopal, Unitarian-Universalist, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Latter-Day-Saints. Though Christianity is the number one religion in the U.S., it is second and third in the world after Islam if Christianity is broken into Catholic and Protestant. Worldwide, the choices expand to all of the above, plus Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese traditional religion, Judaism, Sikhism, Baha'i faiths, Jainism, Shinto, Scientology, Rastafarianism, and hundreds more resulting from variants and combinations.
Because every religion claims to be the one true religion worshiping the one true god, the selection of the real one true religion would be difficult. Previously, I discounted all religions. This sounds bad except for the fact that religious adherents discount all of the other religions except for their own. Thus conservatively assuming only 100 religions, I don't believe in any of the 100. But each adherent doesn't believe in the other 99. I'm currently 100% non-believer, while each adherent of the other religions is 99% non-believer. So we're not that far apart.
My proposal for the selection of the mother of all religions is to invite a group composed of a devout representative from each denomination to my home where they would select the one true religion of the one true god. Of course, once that had been decided, we would all convert to that religion, form our own "one true" Power Team, and go out to convert the rest of those religious infidels.
I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John L. Ferri