The Pupae of Irony
by Jim Cleveland
From ‘Slouching Through Apocalypse,’ a volume of Serio-Comedy with skits, satires, spoofs and essays.
On the planet of Irony, somewhere in a galaxy like ours …
One of the major religions there is the Cataract Church, said to be established originally by a saintly man who represented altruistic love, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and a personal religion of feeding the hungry, clothing the needy, serving one another.
He was tortured and killed by two other collaborating religions, known as the Pagonads and The Juice.
The Cataracts reveled and worshipped in his martydom and said it was all the fault of all Ironians today, given the sinful aspect of breeding through the generations. One sin splattered all over everybody through the ages. They henceforth worked against the Pagonads and The Juice in every possible way. We’re all guilty but they are worse because they actually did the deed.
Thank Goodness, the Saint had resurrected anyway, and some said: So what’s the big deal? Mortal death is followed by resurrection. Let’s try to work with the other religions since they really didn’t know he was divine when they executed him for violating religious law and trashing the temple.
They were excommunicated, often tortured into a confession and then killed because of it.
Over the years the Cataracts changed to serve their inherent needs for power, wealth and control. This had irritated many, and the saintly man was now represented by other churches too. They thought they did do it better, and they thought the Cataracts were like eyesores, fighting many wars to prove it.
In the old days, the Cataracts had an army too, and some working deals with a number of others. Once a dissenting theologian named Eddie published a critical editorial and they nailed Eddie to the church house door.
At one time deep into history, the 259th leader, or Pupae, of the Cataracts, FuddyDuddy III, died of senility and was revered as a Saint because he traveled broadly to do ceremonies. His frequent flier miles were astronomical, breaking the local galaxy record, which was set by Paris Hilton just before her symbolic crash into the Paris Hilton.
Under his regime, Cataract membership had plummeted by 30 percent and hundreds of priests had been convicted as child abusing perverts, draining the church’s vast wealth in court settlements that had inexplicably been hoarded so that people could go hungry and needy and be beholden to them for a few showy alms.
It was a good strategy for a time but the pedophile scandal revealed a vast fortune, dubious financial dealings, and proved extremely costly during this Pupae’s showy regime. He was named a Saint nonetheless, since the condition of the church was always the fault of its members anyway. And if the first Pupae could be a Saint, then why not everybody who held the office, except maybe Pope Pus IV, who genocided two races of people and burned down more than a dozen libraries.
Seems that many ritualists on this planet had also gone over to the Pentecostarians who let worshippers be part of the church by feeling the holy spirit and singing and praising themselves instead of watching men march in robes and quote rote in monotone.
As people became well-educated, they left the Cataract church as being illogical and far behind the times, and interest waned. Why don’t the adults get a choir already? And get these kids out of here and back home, where they will be safer.
FDII was named a Saint despite all of this, and even as many spiritual seekers of the age had discovered a personal relationship with God that made all else unnecessary. These dastardly Gnu Age people began to chastise the Cataracts for actually creating and promoting in the world Evil Curses. Those curses were named as:
Celibacy. A repudiation and dishonoring of one of God’s greatest gifts to mortals, sexuality.
Sexuality. The church was charged with equating sexuality with evil and not celebrating it as a sacrament.
Child Abuse. A horror perpetuated by the sexual frustrations of celibacy and sex-guilt and associating it with evil temptation.
Gender Bias. Women had not been considered worthy of priesthood or wifehood. It was evident that the gender was as highly qualified as the other.
Birth Control. A massive worldwide need was short-circuited by the church’s need to produce masses of little Cataracts.
Abortion. Made necessary by human stupidity and lack of church guidance, made so much worse by lack of birth control. Sperm does not have to be injected inside the female in sexual intimacy, Anti-Cataracts railed, plus medical science can prevent accidents, and adoption programs can manage them.
Abstinence. An idiotic concept promoted by the Church. Deprive yourself of God’s gifts for awhile because you think he wants you to.
Sacrifice. Why would God ask for that? Silly concept designed to promote humility and subservience to really wise priests who kept all of the intellectual books away from the people to perpetuate their ignorance.
Guilt. People realized that they did not personally commit any sins at any time in history and are essentially responsible for their own lives today.
The Hell Myth. The church was accused of creating a mythical spiritual torture chamber to scare people into support.
Euthanasia. God doesn’t ordain that people be kept marginally alive in a vegetative state. Critics asked: Where is the long-extolled Cataract faith? Why can’t we make transitions without so much death fear?
Homosexuality. Truly commonplace through the centuries, but the church condemned it while providing it with a fertile environment. How could it possibly be a sin, many wondered. There is no credible evidence. A veil was lifted and the church fell into deeper disdain, revealed more as an arrogant, abstinence-poisoned despot, promoting sexual perversion and repudiation of God’s gift of intimacy with one another.
Support of Horrible Regimes. The story was: Let the Cataracts come into the third world. We have big bribes for you, and then we will support your regime if you keep your crap under the table and help us build our missions. Indigeneous people are savages who must be conquered and civilized.
Finally, the church’s history just became too much weight and it continued to decline as people began to feed their minds by actually reading and researching things as they were advised to do in the Stillness. The Pupae used to have armies, they discovered, and they slaughtered Pagonads all across Europe and desecrated their temples, women and children not excluded except for slavery.
Then, with all this condemning light coming in, and in desperation, the church’s Redbird hierarchy counterattacked. All of these so-called evils charged against them were deemed to be devil-driven assaults against the Holy Church and its Eternal Values, by the Anti-Christ, no doubt. The reeling Cataracts appointed a tough-minded Pupae, GenoDick IV, who would take a renewed and strong stand for True Church Values against the onslaughts of thinking people, common sense and altruistic love of all people on of the planet.
But the more the new Pupae preached, he became increasingly irrelevant to people’s minds and hearts and souls since postures were now known to be cheap and worthless in the light of realities. He railed on for a few years with a Return to Faith Inquisition to ward off the Anti-Christ. But new religions flourished, built upon a union of mind-body-spirit and a personal relationship with a cosmic First Source without regard to any silly dogma that some shysters would arrogantly deem Holy.
During this time, many of the people of Irony finally realized that the only possible thing that could be considered Holy in their world would not be a building or a location or a piece of history, or a document, or a church or a symbol or a folk tale or some guy’s experience on the side of some road.
The only thing we are to make Holy is this world is our selves, our own personalities, they realized.
With this great knowledge, the people of Irony began working together cohesively and found an exciting adventure building the world to an era that they would call Light and Life. If we all love another, they thought, then it won’t matter if all the religions and their tomes disappear. And so they began to actually disappear except for many which reformed for socializing, singing, potluck suppers and ice cream receptions and a lot of love among everybody, without any doctrine nailed to the door, or Marty either.
They studied and enjoyed many fine works of philosophy and science and theology and pure entertainment. Giant Worship Revelries filled stadiums and arenas and pastures worldwide. Thousands of voices rising up together in love.
The Inquisitor Pupae got more criticism than ever before. Membership continued to fall, and church members even more did what they pleased because it made spiritual sense to them in their personal relationship with God, and they didn’t attend services much any more since they seemed to be senseless rituals compared to the exciting time they could spend at home with God, their loving Father, and Stillness sessions with friends. And they began withholding that 10 per cent tithe to more appropriately spend those dollars on direct needs of family and friends and refreshments to follow their meditation sessions.
Soon this Pupae passed on and the church Redbirds this time scrambled to find some way to save the church from its still growing irrelevancy and the continuing sex scandals, defections, lesbianism, fist fights breaking out in monasteries, protests by women dressed as priests and homosexual groups holding their own masses in the parks.
The next Pupae wanted to make amends and save the Cataract Vision. Clearly under pressure, the new exalted Pupae said that women could become priests. But by then women said they didn’t want to be priests.
Priests can marry too. That’s okay, came the general reply. We don’t have to be a priest in order to marry. And Priesthood isn’t nearly as much fun as my Stillness group and having my celestial teachers counsel me directly via the thoughts, questions and feelings in my mind.
Birth control in the name of God is okay too, said the new Pupae. Well, you don’t have anything to do with it anyway, was the response. My relationships are my business, not some Pupae’s, who doesn’t even understand and experience the greatest thing on the human earth, family. He ain’t been there or done that, so what does he really know?
We will sell much of the gold and real estate to feed more of the poor, said the new Pupae. He was simply asked why they hadn’t done more over the centuries and why they had been so disrespectful and cruel to indigenous people.
So after all of this, and at last report, religious institutions were still coming and going and evolving on this planet of Irony, in this galaxy similar to ours. And the people there were coming and going and evolving too. The plan was working there too.
And as this evolvement led to opening up the universe circuits, people began to see all these similar, parallel adventures of evolving personalities on all these other time and space worlds in the various galaxies of the universe of universes. And people’s minds and hearts were then really opened and they began to collectively say:
God Almighty! Look at all of these time and space worlds. Wow! And just think, we are all just children of the universe … like little Pupae.