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How to create your own religion? – An Ethiopian guide

February 1, 2014

One of the most enjoyable moments surfing the Internet is bumping with the numerous self-help ‘how to …’ guides. From that point of view, Internet users are divided into two contrasting categories: those who write/talk/illustrate how to …’ and those who read/listen/watch ‘how to …”. In other words, everybody is the master of everyone and everyone is a pupil of everybody.  You’d get some of the guides creepy as  How to make your own vagina or How to become a vampire or How to make a Ph.D. Diploma and so forth. Endless guides. Myriad ideas.

Hereby, I’m doing the ‘how to create your own religion’ stuff — using exclusively Ethiopian traditional and modern materials. Googling tips and tricks on creating your own religion is a mayhem work. There’re a lot of them. You can’t afford all you got. The very purpose of this blog is simplifying these daunting task. Putting all the resources in one place in a very illustrated fashion.

Five steps. One grand religion. A multitude of followers. All that you need is a dead tyrant.

Fortunately, one ruthless tyrant kicked the bucket on July or August 2012. They said the only good tyrant is a dead one. True. He’s an angel. Let’s descend to the steps one by one. Please, be cautious of not missing and mingling the steps. If you missteps or interlace the steps, the writer is not responsible for the results.

Step one: Creation

In the beginning, man created god! Create your own god. According to a recent data over  96 percent of Ethiopians believe in the God of Abraham or they or they subscribe one of the three Abrahamic middle eastern products — Christianity, Islam, or Judaism. Let’s deviate from this imported-mainstream-freemium subscription and take the premium version — create your own god. Call him/her/their ‘MZ‘. Great. You came half to the first steps. Felt good already? Let’s finish the creation and naming by adjectivizing it. I can provide you some from my archives. (you can use all for free but except the ™ed):

ተወርዋሪ ኮከብ፣ ጀግና ፣ ደፋር፣ ህያው፣ ፍቅር፣ የአፍሪካ አለኝታ™፣ የዓለም ብርሃን፣ የድሃ መከታ፣ የመሪዎች መሪ፣ እንባ አባሽ፣ የወጣቱ አለኝታ፣ የኢትዮጵያ አይን ብሌን፣ አዋቂ፣ የመጠቀ፣ ታላቅ፣ የህዝቡ አጉራሽ፣ ባለራዕይ፣ ባለዓላማ፣ ታጋይ፣ ክቡር ፣ የረቀቀ™፣ ሳይንቲስት፣ ቅን፣ ደግ፣ የልማት ፊትአውራሪ፣ የጦር ሜዳ አናፂ፣ መሀንዲስ፣ ሰላማዊ፣ ዲሞክራሲያዊ፣ ባለብሩህ አዕምሮ፣ እረፍት የለሹ፣ ገበሬው፣ ባለአዝመራው፣ ዘላለማዊ፣ ድንቅ፣ መብረቁ፣ የቁርጥ ቀን ልጅ፣ አልባሽ – አጉራሽ፣ ለጠላቶቹ ሳይቀር ደግ የሚመኝ፣ ባለ ግርማ ሞገስ፣ የማይነቀስ- የማይወቀስ™፣ የድህነትን ገዳይ፣ የዲሞክራሲ አዋላጅ™፣ ቆራጥ፣ አስተዋይ፣ ምክንያታዊ፣ የቀለም ቀንድ፣ መፅሃፍ ትራሱ፣ እንቅልፍ ለምኔ፣ እረፍት አልባ፣ ሳተና፣ እውነታን ፈላጊ፣ ስትራቴጂ ቀያሽ፣ ሊቀ-ሊቃውንት፣ የሰላም አምባሳደር…

Whatever you want. Take care of plagiarism. For those of you who’re visual learners, the following picturized adjectives could be a little help:

architect-of-the-ethiopian-renaissance

The architect

I Monetary form!

The wealth

The One and the Only!

The leader

Step Two: Immortalization

Gods are immortal. So do your god be. Once you’re done with the creation, the next step is immortalization. Immortalization is the most important step that differs humans with gods. Immortalization requires propaganda, intellect, and deceitfulness. You should be a minstrel who is able to say:

‹መለስ ዜናዊ› ታላቅ መስፍን፣
ነበሩ ሲሉ ባገራችን፣
እንዲያ ሳያጡ ሰገነት፣
ምነው አደሩ ፈረስ ቤት፣
ሞከሩት እንጂ አልኖሩም፣
ከዳሞት አልቀሩም፡፡››

As well as a polyglot bard, who’s able to say rhymes over rhymes as:

‹‹ለአዳም ዐባይ ሀበሀገሩ ገነት መለስ አዶናይ፤
በከመሜጦ መቅድም ምስለ ሰራዊት መካልይ፤
ኃበ ብዙኃን ሜጦ ለመናኔ ዓለም ግዕዝ መስፍነ ዓለም ነብይ፡፡››

ትርጉም፡

‹‹አዶናይ መለስ ዓዳም ዐባይን ወደሀገሩ ገነት፤
ከሠራዊቶቼ ጋር አስቀድሞ እንደመለሰው
የዓለም ገዥ ነብይ ዓለምን የናቀግዕዝን ወደ ብዙዎቹ መለሰው፡፡››

Further beyond the stanzas, there’s a monument. Monumentalization of your not yet famous god is another tool of immortalizing it. You may take a lesson or two from the following instances:

1004807_499810016766008_2108523414_n

A mural is important

564625_451042871642723_635527394_n
A statue is glorious
image

We all love paintings

Step 3: Ubiquity

Once you anoint the mass immortalizing your god, don’t forget to put it everywhere. If a god is not omnipresent, that’s a god who deserves to perish. You know what? The mass is amnesiac — which forgets things easily. The one essential tool to tackle this syndrome is the ubiquitousness of your recently created — reread step one — God. Make it everywhere and anywhere possible, so that it becomes impossible not to notice its presence.  Yours truly got some illustrations:

prime-minister

The lord loves to take all the credit

Meles-at-meskelsquare
Let the little ones be the lord’s
images (6)

The lord has conquered death

Step 4: Declaration

Now, your God is immortal stuck in the public’s memory. Please, organize a little inaugural party and declare your religion. Congratulations for successfully creating your own religion. You may prepare a presser titling: “I am a born-again believer and my religion is MZ“.

Remember to introduce the shrine, the way of worshiping and the manner of prayer. I mean like this:

Touch him, you will be blessed!

Touch him and be touched by its grace

Ohhh
Bow down to the lord
Praise the Lord!

O! Lord …

Step 5: Let there be multitudes of enemies

Finally, mastering the invention enemies. After all, virtue is not a virtue without the existence of vice. Goodness is the kind sister of badness. Darkness the state of non-light. To resonate down into the congregation, your god needs an adversary. A fierce-blasphemy-spitting filthy adversary, who celebrate and mock the importance of the death of your god:

Haters gonna hate!

Haters gonna hate

Haters may asleep at your gods divine funeral!

Haters gonna mock

This’s it. You create your own god in a few minutes and from now on it’s unto you to collect tithe in the name of your compassionate god or to ‘heal’ every kind of malady that your god created in the first place. Is that not funny? It maybe, but that’s what they called entrepreneurship.

P.S.

One important thing is missed here — a holy scripture. You need to have a book, which compiles what your god is all about and the do’s and don’t’s:

Quotes are preferable!

Quotes are preferable

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