I was told that the Dalai Lama’s brother died recently and that he will be reincarnated in about 10 days. First, how awesome is it that this guy gets to come back in 10 days? Maybe it is only 10 days because he is the brother of the Dalai Lama. If he was just a cousin, for instance, it would probably be more like 30 days.
Anyway, it got me thinking that I am getting kind of ripped off by being a Christian. Christianity doesn’t have too many cool things. Yes, if you are Catholic you get to have the ashes put on your forehead. (I always had that done when I was a kid because I thought it looked cool). Yes, you could eat some wafers and grape juice or speak in tongues and freak out all of the children around you. Still, that doesn’t hold a candle to reincarnation.
I started to look around for other religions with better fringe benefits. Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism all seem to be cut from a similar cloth. You have Karma and reincarnation but, honestly, they have a LOT of people in their chain of command you have to keep track of. I want an easy religion with good perks.
Next up was Islam. If you believe in Islam you are known as a Muslim. Now, they have been getting a bad rap lately but it is the 2nd largest religion in the world so it must have something going for it. First, Islam lets you have up to 4 wives. That sounds ok but I can get that by being a Mormon. Plus, you need to pray 5 times a day. I could probably do this but the payoff would need to be pretty big.
Of course the biggest perk for being a Muslim is getting 72 virgins when you go to heaven. (They must sell a ton of Viagra in Islam heaven). What you may not know is that you also get 80,000 servants in heaven! At first I thought, “I have found my calling”. Then I started thinking of the logistics. First, who is managing these 80,000 servants? Plus, you know that 72 virgins are going to be fighting with each other all of the time and who needs that kind of aggravation? The deal killer for me, however, was reading that a German theologian says that the word “virgin” in Arabic actually means “white grapes”. Talk about a rip off. I bet all of those Muslim suicide bombers are pretty pissed off about this.
So, it seems, with all of the cool stuff you can get with different religions, there are also a litany of rules and no guaranteed payoff. Do this, don’t do that, kneel here, eat this, don’t eat that…and on and on. My life is complicated enough the way it is. I guess I will just continue to follow my God who is not at all demanding, doesn’t look to smite people, has a sense of humor, doesn’t have a ton of rules and is generally a nice person / entity.
Having said that, the next time one of those religions start where they are going to catch a ride to heaven on a comet, wearing cool black sneakers, I am there!
P.S. To all of my Scientology friends; sorry, I just don’t have the funds to join your team.