Parody Religions

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Parody religions are religious or spiritual beliefs that are created as a form of satire or commentary on established religious practices, doctrines, or institutions. These religions often employ humor, irony, and exaggeration to critique or question the tenets of mainstream religions.

This article aims to explore five notable examples of parody religions, the targets of their parody, and the implied criticisms inherent in their doctrines.

1. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (Pastafarianism)


Creationism and Intelligent Design theories, particularly as they relate to public education.


The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster posits that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. Followers, known as Pastafarians, engage in rituals that mimic traditional religious practices, such as wearing a colander on their heads as religious headgear.

Implied Criticism

The religion serves as a critique of the teaching of Creationism and Intelligent Design in public schools, arguing that if one “theory” should be taught, then other, equally unprovable theories should also be included. It highlights the importance of keeping religious beliefs separate from empirical science education.

2. Discordianism


Organized religion and dogmatic belief systems.


Discordianism worships Eris, the Greek goddess of chaos and discord. The religion is based on the idea that chaos is all that there is and that order and disorder are both illusions.

Implied Criticism

Discordianism criticizes the rigidity and dogma of organized religions, suggesting that they are arbitrary constructs. It challenges the notion that religious truths are absolute, promoting instead a form of radical agnosticism.

3. The Church of the SubGenius


Televangelism, cult of personality, and mainstream religious and corporate institutions.


The Church of the SubGenius is built around the worship of J.R. “Bob” Dobbs, a figure who is depicted as a Ward Cleaver-like character smoking a pipe. The church satirizes religious broadcasts by mimicking their style in a hyperbolic manner.

Implied Criticism

The Church of the SubGenius critiques the commercialization of religion and the cult-like following that charismatic religious leaders can generate. It also mocks the simplistic answers provided by mainstream religions and corporations to complex life questions.

4. Invisible Pink Unicorn (IPU)


Theistic beliefs, specifically arguments for the existence of an all-powerful, all-knowing deity.


The Invisible Pink Unicorn is an invisible, yet somehow also pink, unicorn that believers cite as proof that invisible beings can exist and have an impact on the world.

Implied Criticism

The IPU serves to parody the logical inconsistencies in theistic beliefs, particularly the idea that a deity can be both all-powerful and all-good given the existence of evil in the world. It questions the validity of faith as a pathway to truth.

5. Last Thursdayism


Young Earth Creationism and the idea of a universe created by a divine being.


Last Thursdayism posits that the universe was created last Thursday, but with the appearance of being billions of years old. It mimics the argument used by Young Earth Creationists that God created the Earth with the appearance of age.

Implied Criticism

This parody religion critiques the circular logic and lack of empirical evidence in Young Earth Creationism. It highlights the absurdity of believing in a young universe despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary.


Parody religions serve as a unique form of social and religious commentary, using humor and satire to question or critique established religious norms and beliefs. From the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s critique of Creationism in education to Discordianism’s challenge to religious dogma, these parody religions offer insightful criticisms of their targets, wrapped in a veneer of humor and absurdity.

Further study

  1. Henderson, Bobby. “The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.” Villard, 2006.
  2. Malaclypse the Younger. “Principia Discordia.” Rip Off Press, 1970.
  3. Stang, Ivan. “The Book of the SubGenius.” Simon & Schuster, 1987.
  4. Dawkins, Richard. “The God Delusion.” Bantam Books, 2006.
  5. Sagan, Carl and Ann Druyan. “The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.” Random House, 1995.

Note: This article is written for educational purposes and aims to provide an objective overview of the subject. It does not endorse any religious views.

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