All of this inspiring activity by our sisters and brothers in Egypt, Libya, and other areas of the Middle East got me thinking…
since they will no longer be under the oppressive, bloody thumbs of their dictators, they will (very likely) be starving for just a taste of the many other religious options now available to them on the free world’s spiritual menu. Even if they wish for nothing more than to express their own personalized spin on Islam, they will soon be able to. And they will also be able to feast on any dish they choose while seated at the fabulous table that freedom and democracy has reserved for them:
Ahmed Abdel Moneim: Shalom. I’d like a table, please.
Maitre D’: Shalom, sir. Do you have a reservation?
Ahmed Abdel Moneim: Uh, yes. Allah akbahr, I do. Table for 16 million, 8 o’clock.
Maitre D’: Under what name, sir?
Ahmed Abdel Moneim: It should be under “Freedom.”
Maitre D’: Begging your forgiveness, my hungry and most respected brother… but could you spell that, please?
Ahmed Abdel Moneim: Most certainly, I can, gracious host with elegant demeanor. That’s F as in Finally, R as in Really f—ing rad, E as in E’temaad, E as in E’temaad, D as in Daa’ood, O as in over, and M as in Mecca.
Maitre D’: I’m sorry, sir, I don’t see you on here. You are certain it was for tonight at 8 o’clock?
Ahmed Abdel Moneim: Oh, of course, yes, yes… Many apologies and Allah be praised. We are perhaps a little late. Traffic, you know. We were supposed to be here at 8 o’clock 40 YEARS AGO. But Allah (is in his infinite wisdom) has seen fit that we should come now. So….
Maitre D’: Ah, yes. Right this way, sir. (And my brother I beg of you– please present any coupons for which Allah himself has judged you worthy of receiving to your server before ordering.) Also– I strongly recommend the new American dish “Joes Are Most Sloppy.”
In case our sisters and brothers in the Arab world need suggestions of what their new-found faiths will be (again– be it Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Hindu, Zionist Hedonism– whatever they want), I thought I’d share a wonderful idea I read about in one of my favorite books of all time: Rob Brezsny’s book (Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia).
Brezsny encourages his readers to make up their own religion & change the name of their newly-formed, one-of-a-kind, custom-made faith regularly (i.e. the “Born-Again Pagan Church of Amazed Anarchists,” the “Ism-Free Sect of the Love Butter Congregation,” etc.) I love this idea so much that as of today I am now a devout follower of the…
“Bacon-Lovers for Compassionate World Yumminess”
Members of my congregation must stop whatever they are doing 5 times a day to cook bacon while facing Graceland and reciting the St. Francis prayer (or the lyrics to Rock the Casbah if it’s Friday). And on Sundays we’ll seek out really mean, cranky people and lovingly force-feed them that day’s ration of crispy, porky holiness in hopes of converting them, or at least making them less mean, less hungry… more yummy.