So recently I was visiting my elderly mother, and as she often does, she asked me a question about some aspect of popular culture with which she is not familiar. I braced to once again explain Facebook to her, but this time it was something else. She wanted to know: "What is Scientology?"
I explained as best I could about how L. Ron Hubbard wrote bad science fiction and then created "Dianetics." I told her how it was all fairly culty and attracted a fair amount of celebrities -- particularly closeted ones who think they can be "cleared" of their sexual preference. My mother retained that dissatisfied look on her face, the one she has when I'm not adequately answering her question. "Yes, Mark, but why do they call it a Church?" That was easy enough. "Because Churches are tax-exempt, Mom."
Later on, this conversation came back to me when I was reading an angry blog post denouncing the ex-gay movement. I mused on Facebook that perhaps we should throw in the towel on this issue, declaring ourselves all former heterosexuals who successfully "prayed away the straight." A friend reacted with the suggestion that we'd probably get far more rights if we actually reframed our sexual preference as a religious choice. So I googled "Church of the Homosexual." For all the predictable results using those words, I was surprised to find out that no one seems to have actually tried to claim homosexuality a religion.
I mean, really, if Scientology can call itself a Church, why can't we? I don't know about you, but I could use some tax-exempt status when I bang the old headboard. And we could finally use protections afforded freedom of religion by the Constitution -- hey, if it's good enough for Fred Phelps, it's good enough for me.
I know this going to take a lot of paperwork, so I figure I might as well start by laying out some central tenets. This rough draft is mostly for the IRS, but you've got to start somewhere, right?
At the Church of the Homosexual:
- We worship a lesbian goddess named Brianna. She enjoys rescuing pit bulls and watching Rachel Maddow and is working on losing those last 20 pounds. (She wears it well!)
- We have one prayer: "Oh, my God, I'm going to come!"
- We believe in reincarnation, but only after a year of personal training at Golds and applying the most amazing moisturizer from this way-cute Brazilian dermatologist I met. You'll die.
- We believe in the literal word of the Bible -- Men's Vogue to you.
- The union of a man and a woman ("mixed marriage") is clearly intended for procreative purposes only, as opposite-sex relationships have a failure rate of over 50 percent.
- Oh, for Christ's sake, are you really defriending me over that? It was a joke.
- Joe Manganiello is so hot.
- We love 8. (Is that too obvious?)
- What do you mean, "Don't forget the lesbians"? I made Brianna Master of the Universe, didn't I? It's never enough with her.
- OK, we'll name the softball league after her dog-walking business. Happy?
These ten commandments form the sacred core of our beliefs and should be enough to get us nonprofit status.
Now all I have to do is find a boyfriend.
Pray for me.
Follow Mark Olmsted on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MarquisMarq