Picking a Religion
At the start each Fantasy Religion season players pick a starting religion. These include but are not limited to the following: Scientology, Islam (Shiite, Sunni and Druse), various Protestant denominations (Baptists, Methodists, Lutheran, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Unitarian, Mormon, etc.), Catholics, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Baha’i, Shinto, Judaism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism and Atheism. A complete list of the religions of the world can be found here. To make it more exciting, the religion you chose need not be the one you practice or grew up with.
The league “commissioner” will be determined by a simple rock-paper-scissors game among players. The winner will act as the commissioner and for the duration of the season will be called by the name of that player’s religion’s supreme deity – e.g., L. Ron, God, YHWH, Buddha, etc. Failure to address the commissioner by his/her proper title will result in your religion being banished from the fantasy league and thus beginning your religion’s diaspora.
Every month for eight months players rotate religions, and each month players collect positive and negative points based on religion-related current events. For the last month of the season players will end with their starting religion. At the end of the season, which corresponds with the start of football pre-season, the player with the most points wins the dollar amount of the points earned. The losers, in addition to having to pay the winner a pro-rata share of the winnings, have to practice the winning religion until the start of the next fantasy religion season.
The list below is a sample of the types of scoring events and suggested point value for each event. Additional scoring events and points can be determined by the players at the beginning of each season.
+100 points: A new mega church for your religion opens in an affluent suburban neighborhood.
+250 points: Your religion allows women and gays to be ministers.
+550 points: A new a hip-hop translation of your religion’s holy book gains wide-spread acceptance.
+350 points: Your religion gains strong ties to the executive branch of your country’s government.
-1,000 points: Local clergymen of your religion are convicted on child molestation charges.
+50 points: An image of your religion’s savior is found in a Denver omelet at IHOP or a water stain on a ceiling in a retirement home in Arizona.
+75 points: Your religion’s earthly leader is lauded in the fashion press.
– 500 points: A major newspaper declares your deity is dead.
+35 points: Action figures of your religion’s prophet are a big hit over the gift-giving season.
-40 points: A boat load of the action figures is lost at sea in a typhoon on the way from China.
-5,000 points: Followers of your religion are killed by the thousands by a mustachioed madman.
-75 points: Followers of your religion are thrown into a lions’ den for sport.
-250 points: Your religion is mocked on “This Week in God” on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
-250 points: Your religion’s followers are accused of controlling the world’s banking, jewelry, and entertainment industries.
+750 points: Your religion’s followers actually do control the world’s banking, jewelry and entertainment industries.
+1,000 points: A major act of terrorism is successful by fanatics of your religion.
-500 points: Major act of terrorism is thwarted.
-750 points: Suicide bombers of your religion discover there are not 70 virgins waiting for them in Paradise.
-10 points: Scores of your religion’s followers are trampled in annual pilgrimage to a holy site. Multiply the number of dead pilgrims by -10 points.
+75 points: Miracles are performed by local clergyman.
-85 points: Above miracles are found to be a hoax.
+25 points: Courts uphold your religion’s right to use psychedelics as part of its worship service/rituals.
+350 points: Your religion’s holiest figure is reincarnated in a young, handsome boy.
-250 points: Boy who is the reincarnation of your religion’s holiest figure goes missing.
-400 points: Membership in your denomination plummets as legalistic adherence to two thousand year old practices repels modern day worshippers.
– 200 points: A best-selling novel posits that your religion’s holiest man had sex, contrary to popular belief.
-600 points: An editorial cartoon about your religion sparks world-wide protests resulting in scores of deaths plus -10 points for each death.
-150 points: An oily televangelist predicts the return of your religion’s messiah, which does not happen.
-100 points: A missionary couple from your religion is boiled and eaten by an equatorial tribe.
+250 points: A famous actor extols the virtues of your religion on television.
-250 points: The famous actor later makes an ass of himself while referencing your religion on television.
-1,000,000 points for all players: Holy F@#$ing Sh!t! Everything in the Book of Revelations happens.