This HSU semester, RJ took a World Religions course. His latest assignment was to ‘Build your own religion.’ He’s always been a creative writer. I thought I would share his paper here, just for fun.
Extreme Anti-Materialism (Frodoanity)
by RJ Polyack
Once a week on Saturday’s disciples of this religion will be required to sacrifice a single item of their choice. Preferably, something that holds value to the person. The reason for this is to teach followers over time how to be comfortable with letting go of a possession. Humans spend far too much time focusing on materialism and often lose the ability to stop and smell the roses. Each item brought in for sacrifice must have a story behind it and why it means something to that person. These items will be piled into a massive fire pit and doused with gasoline and lit on fire. This teaches followers to be okay with loss of possessions so they can focus energy into more important aspects of life such as interpersonal connections and nature.
The sacred “scripture”, if you will, is called Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. This novel is incredibly important to the religion because the main character, Frodo Baggins, has one of the most powerful items in existence and chooses to destroy it instead of give in to its willpower (yes, the ring is capable of exerting its will unto others). The entire premise revolves around characters battling against their own obsession with such a powerful object. Frodo is a prime example of what all followers of this religion should strive to be like.
Going back to the mythic narrative paragraph, it is clear that Lord of the Rings plays a relatively big role in this religion. With that being said, the main symbol and/or icon of this religion is a 6-foot-tall plastic sculpture of Frodo throwing the all-powerful ring into the lava of Mount Doom which can be purchased at your local GameStop. Believers will worship this figure with an undying commitment and love. If you are eating, 6-foot-tall plastic sculpture of Frodo from GameStop should eat with you. If you are showering, 6-foot-tall plastic sculpture of Frodo from GameStop should shower with you. And finally, make sure to always tuck in the 6-foot-tall plastic sculpture of Frodo from GameStop beside you before you go to sleep.
The philosophical doctrine of Frodoanity revolves around anti-materialism. Followers believe that materialism is the cause of a large amount of societal issues such as corporate greed, poverty due to materialistic greed, etc. In order to change the world around us, we must change ourselves first. However, most people were not raised this way and have come to rely heavily on material matter such as electronics, jewelry, and money. We acknowledge our own shortcomings and are dedicated to changing and bettering ourselves not only for the personal freedom one experiences but for others around us. Each day is a new opportunity to get rid of a vice that isolates us from the rest of world.
At the top of this Frodoanity’s hierarchical pyramid is our lord and savior Frodo Baggins. Below him but equally as great would be the author of our sacred texts, J.R.R. Tolkien. Below the author would be the Thing Wraiths who preach our practices and enforce our rules. Immediately below the Thing Wraiths would be the Fronks who are monks so heavily involved in Frodoanity that they have taken a vow of silence and a vow to never give in to their materialistic urges ever again. Immediately under the Fronks would be anyone else who practices Frodoanity but has not yet taken the pledge of the Fronk.
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