Jan/Feb 2009 Humor/Satire

Church of Bogusta

by Stephen Healey

Artwork by Robert Hoover

At the Church of Bogusta, we adhere to this simple creed. Italicized sentences are commentary and not to be construed as theologically binding.

1. Bogusta is the Final True Religion (FTR). All earlier forms of human religiosity, while noble in certain respects, were shadows, copies, types, intimations, first drafts. Bogusta summarizes all truth and cannot be surpassed. Certain greedy purveyors of postmodern swill have started new religious movements by distorting our truths. Among these are the Church of Boguso, the Church of Burgerso, and the Church of Bullsheet. Stay away from these swineherds, and join us in celebration of Ultimate Truth down at 68 Main St.

2. Bogustans believe (FTR) the divine is a six-sided octagon: six aspects, eight sides: six in eight, and eight in six. Some heretics have erroneously claimed that there are eight sides and six aspects, but we have silenced them through a volley of anathemas.

3. Bogustans teach (FTR) that the interaction of sides and aspects leads to divine incarnations: the Buddha, Moses, Jesus, Plato, Gandhi, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mother Tracy [note: not Teresa], being the more important forerunners to Bogusta the Magnificent—otherwise known as Brother Mel, and BM for short. Do the math, there are 48 of them. We googled saints using FTR criteria and uncovered 46 saints that meet our criteria. BM is 47th. The 48th saint we call Bogusta Oblivioso—BO for short. We believe he'll appear during a nationally televised Golf championship. There are some in our midst who hold that the 48th saint will appear during a rerun of the Beverly Hillbillies when Jethro is ciphering and Elly May is looking real good.

4. BM is our lord, savior, antidote, noble eight-fold path and twelve-step program combined, way, truth, life, light, meat and potatoes, and chief banana. It is a custom of ours to shout, Hosanna banana, hosanna banana, when BM appears.

5. Our scripture is perfect, word for word, jot for jot, tittle for tittle, comma for comma splice. The current text, available by way of amazon.com, is not the scripture itself, but only a representation, a copy, an image, a translation, a human work. The Actual Scripture (FTR) exists only in the Original Manuscripts, and these are written in the ancient language of credullo. Through translation, poor copies, and occasional scribal emendation, the currently available text is, well, less than perfect. It's still good, mind you.

6. Bogustans have found the solution to life's ills, a truth undiscovered by all other religions, saints, and lonely horned up office workers. The truth is Love. Love people, love, love, love, love, love. We're excited about love; we are a pistol in the pocket religion if there ever was one. Come up and see us sometime. One of our mottos is "Your lifestyle is Your business: your truth is Our Business." We call this the YYOB principle, for short.

7. Bogustans have set aside relics and rituals, and honor Reason and Science in everything we do, so long as it's not too extreme. Gravity, we believe in that; evolution, we're not so sure. Can you just imagine, swinging from vine to vine, and then one fine day dropping down to earth and saying, "Good day to become a man." Talk about gullibility!

8. The sole Bogustan ritual is bilking, commanded and demanded by BM himself, incarnation of the FTR 8in6 (FTR 8n6 principle). In bilking, we give back to the almighty ever-flowing bounteous almsgiving God. We are unlike False Prophets who set tithe at 10% for everyone (as if everyone can afford the same amount). In bilking, we'll run the percentage as high as a believer's faith and bank account will go. You'll give your last mite? Amen, sister. 100% of your income? Bring it on, God loves a cheerful giver. 120% of your income, counting fat advances on your visa card? Now that is faith, with a capital F. Give like that and you better open your coffers because God will open the floodgates of bounty and drown you with cash, falling like manna from heaven. Why not consider a direct deposit into the Bogusta Central Divine 6in8 Treasury? If you send an old-fashioned check, just indicate that any member of the Royal Stewards (i.e., Brother Mel, Sister Paulette, or Brother Alias) can cash it.

9. Bogustans give and take in marriage, but intermarriage is forbidden. You're going to marry somebody, they should know the truth. Truth is like putting spectacles on a blind man. You don't want him walking into doors. Get the spectacles on him first, then marry him. The exception is a marriage of convenience, which sometimes is blessed by the Central 8in6 Membership Committee [Chair: Mel; Co-Chairs: Paulette and Alias], if the partner is clearly and abundantly blessed by God—and willing to sponsor his helpmeet's bilking.

10. Bogustans believe in the afterlife. Death is an illusion; when the light goes out, the light bulb is still there. When your body dies, your family should jump and shout with joy. You're going to a better place. Who wants to live in Kansas anyway? All those annoying bodily functions, no more. Just a quick skip down a barely lighted tunnel, a few high fives at the end of it, then you're off to Bogusta Paradise. Free drinks and buffalo wings at 10 cents apiece—for eternity.

If you'd like to join us, send a letter of inquiry:

68 Main

Or, if you prefer to remain anonymous, even masquerade as a Jew, Christian, or Mason, send a donation. That's really all it takes.


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