Oh God, I think that it’s time for me to start my own religion. I’ll call it New Orleans Culinary Pagan Buddhist Hokey Pokey (that’s what it’s all about!) or Children of a Lesser God, LLC Inc. (CLG). It’s high time—high time, I say—for the children of a lesser god to band together and take their place among the Big Boppers With Beards who haven’t done squat except foster hatred, fear, war, oppression, and persecution. Can I get a witness? Add to that misogyny, prejudice, environmental destruction, and slavery (get the picture?). They’re generally subject to a dreadful fashion sense and eat questionable food products; with that, you have pretty much all the world’s major religions in a nutshell. As we (CLG) say: “How sick is that?
We (CLG) are better than that. The first thing we’ll do is eliminate the death penalty—no, not the abominable retribution penal system, archaic “get even” approach to crime, although that’ll have to go as well. I’m talking about the life sentence we get with the Styx crossing. I say, “Screw that!” If indeed life’s too short, why die? The way I see it, the concept of Heaven and Hell is simply a way to keep us in line by promising an afterlife in which we will have to pay or play because of our behavior on this mortal coil. Why buy into that if you’re not going to leave? Believe what you will: I ain’t dying. I’ll live forever, until I make a liar out of myself. My god, although a lesser one, does not have death in store for me—rather, a life of friendliness, craftiness, irreverence, and gumbo. I don’t need an incentive to be good; lord, I’ve been told enough times that I’m good for nuthin, so I’m goin’ with that.
Next, we’ll find a cure for bacon or for pork in general. Oh, I know it’s the tastiest food product ever invented, but hogs are fine, sentient beings that we overfeed, keep in unsociable living conditions, and slaughter (against their wills). We stuff their own flesh into their own intestines, smoke them, grill them, and put them into our own bodies—how sick is that? We say: Leave those piggies to go to market, stay home, and eat what they damn well please before going “wee wee wee” (all the way home)! I realize that smoked dead pig will be a hard habit to cure, but folks, we gotta do it!
Speaking of smoking: “Take finely shredded vegetable matter, roll it into a tube of paper, light it on fire, stick it in our mouths, and suck that smoke in”—and it doesn’t get you comfortably numb like marijuana—how sick is that? NO SMOKING TOBACCO!
We will also observe a Monday Sabbath with the blessed sacraments of red beans, rice, and our holy water of Crystal Hot sauce. We cannot help that the rest of the world takes Saturday and Sunday as days of rest; we’ll take Mondays as well and have a religiously sanctioned three-day weekend—every blessed week!
We’ll build an altar to patience, which will take a longer time than the construction on Louisiana Avenue; have an anarchist’s mass (which no one will attend); and sing hymns according to the Gospels of James (Brown), Nina (Simone), Frank (Sinatra), and Stevie (Wonder or Nicks, take your pick). We’ll create our creator in the image of an eight-month-old child—you know, the age when wisdom is ours, we communicate in coos and cries, are gender-neutral, and have no facial hair.
An eight-month-old is the perfect image of a lesser god. Those of you who have had children know how perfect and knowing they are at that age, before they forget all the wisdom that they learned in their last life. All hail eight-month-olds, when life is as simple as mother’s milk and the changing of a diaper is a major event. Plus, eight-month-olds have reached a plateau where they sleep the night through and are just learning to get upright; after that, they become prejudicially influenced (f*cked) by their environment. Everything’s perfect at eight months.
Each Monday service will be an adventure of discovery: avocados, chocolate, breadsticks, applesauce, and finding our big toes. We’ll meditate on the meaning of meanings, the in-between of the in-between, the sounds of silence, and the wonders of cookie dough. We’ll play nice, share, and won’t abide by anything that can hurt another person.
Holidays: Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, all the solstices, and Santa’s Birthday. The Easter Bunny will officiate; we’ll all have deviled eggs with jam.
However, being children of a lesser god does not exempt us from working for the common good. We’ll teach our children well, give comfort to the sick, feed the hungry, and learn the words to Village People songs. We’ll dance the Funky Chicken, Pony, Surfer Bird, Monkey, Jump Back Jack, and See Ya Later Alligator. From the gospel of James, we’ll sing “I Feel Good” (‘cause I got you!) and “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.” No one need die for our sins because we won’t accept any doctrine that defines sin. Being good for goodness’s sake and being harmlessly crazy but not stupid is our lane, and we’ll stay in it.
We’ll wear mismatched socks, play with jacks and yo-yos, and avoid social media (we’re sociable enough without media). We’ll spend our off-time shopping at farmers markets and cooking things that are good for our bodies and spirits and sharing them with our brethren (everyone).
There are no dues or tithes; we’ll worship wherever we are, each body a temple and every home a church. We’ll change the world, and we’ll do it dressed to the nines!