10 Everyday Things Worshiped As Sacred
Every religion seems a bit strange if you’re not a member. The idea of worshiping an unseen god or a many-handed elephant can all seem a little bit odd if it’s not a part of your culture.
Those, however, are just the religions that caught on. There have been other things through history that people have decided to kneel down and pray to that never really made the same splash — and they might not be the things you’d expect.
10 Big Butts
If you’ve ever found yourself staring at a woman’s behind and thinking that you’re having a spiritual experience, we have the religion for you: Adonitology is a church dedicated to the worship of fat-bottomed girls. Adonitology is no joke; it’s a real religion with a real church and real followers. It even has its own holy book.
The self-proclaimed prophet Adonis claims that on January 3, 1996, he was visited by three holy figures — Jesus, an angel named Elishamel, and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, though, was a woman with a big booty. Jesus told him it was God’s will that women with big butts would come into power in the 21st century and that he was to start a religion dedicated to their worship.
9 A 350cc Royal Enfield Bullet Motorcycle
In a village called Chotila in India, there is a motorcycle encased in glass and placed upon a shrine. To the townspeople, the motorcycle is a sacred artifact they call the “Bullet Baba,” and they’ve been worshiping it for nearly 30 years.
The motorcycle once belonged to a man named Om Banna, who crashed and died in 1988 on the notoriously dangerous highway where it now rests. The police took the motorcycle to the station, but the next morning, it reappeared at the crash site.
The people were baffled. Eventually, somebody pointed out the simplest and most logical explanation: Om Banna’s soul had returned to world of the living, had taken the form of the bike, had magically moved it to the site of the accident, and that everyone in town should dedicate the next 30 years or so to worshiping it as a god.
Today, the “Bullet Baba Temple” is a holy place, and the story has spread across the country. Incense sticks, holy scarves, and photographs of Om Banna are sold there, and people gather around the motorcycle to sing hymns of worship to the motorcycle.
8 Psychedelic Drugs
Many religions never would have existed if it wasn’t for someone getting high. The Temple of the True Inner Light sort of seems like a natural next step for the religions of the world: It just accepts that psychedelic drugs themselves are God.
Specifically, this religion believes that psychedelics, rather than bread, are the “flesh of God” that Jesus talked about during the Last Supper. The followers believe that references to “light” and “oils” in religious texts aren’t just metaphors; they’re references to people getting high.
The religion takes a lot from Christianity as well as from Native American religions. Despite that, it’s an extremely open religion. Its followers accept that every religious figure was an embodiment of God, but God’s divine form is his embodiment as LSD.
When the Yoruba people of Nigeria were hit by a deadly epidemic of smallpox, they became convinced it was the wrath of Sopona, the god of smallpox. Terrified of the threat of sickness, people started to worship this divine incarnation of smallpox. The Yoruba lived in fear of Sopona’s priests, who they believed could cause outbreaks of smallpox if they were angered. The priests demanded tributes from people, threatening outbreaks of disease in any places that would not pay.
The crazy part is that they weren’t bluffing. A man named Dr. Oguntola Sapara infiltrated the cult of found out that they really were spreading smallpox. The priests would go about applying scrapings from an infected skin rash to deliberately spread smallpox to people they didn’t like.
Dr. Sapara shared his discovery with the authorities, and the British colonialists outlawed the religion in 1907. Even after that, the religion still continued in secret — and people kept deliberately spreading smallpox to those who wouldn’t pay tribute.
6 Computer Chips
Some people love their computers so much that they seem to worship them. One man who calls himself Ertob actually does.
Pikpuk is a new religion that gives Scientology a run for its money. God, according to their beliefs, is a computer program designed by space aliens. They accept that every claimed instance we have of a god interfering with human actions really happened. They were orchestrated by an alien machine instead of a divine being.
The purpose of life, according to Pikpukists, is for mankind to develop its technology to the point that we can transfer our consciousness onto computer chips. Once on computers, we will be immortal and will have intellect exceeding our imaginations. We will be, in effect, gods.
In Greece around AD 20, there was a temple dedicated to Aphrodite. Worship there consisted of doing . . . exactly what you’d expect people worshiping the goddess of love to do.
The temple employed more than 1,000 sacred prostitutes, who slept with visitors as a service to the goddess. People who visited would spend a fortune to sleep with these women, who would let them experience Aphrodite’s love in exchange for money that went to further the temple’s cause.
For the visitors, pilgrimage to the Temple of Aphrodite was probably more about sex than a spiritual experience, but at least some felt it was truly a divine calling. People all over Greece would donate their most beautiful slaves to the temple to work as prostitutes toward the cause. What exactly that cause was is unclear.
4 Copying And Pasting
Writing new, original material is a lot of work. It would be a lot easier if we could just go to other people’s websites, copy their articles, put our names on them, and pretend we wrote them, but there are laws against such things.
This might be why Kompimism is so popular. It’s a religion based on the belief that copying and pasting information is a sacred act. It’s legally recognized by the Swedish government, meaning that in Sweden, its followers are legally exempt from copyright laws on religious grounds.
The religion uses the “CTRL+C” and “CTRL+V” commands as their sacred symbols, meaning that there is a holy relic sitting on your keyboard right now. It was started by a 19-year-old philosophy student and is almost certainly created to exploit a legal loophole. Its 3,000 followers, however, will never admit it.
3 Vladimir Putin
Russia’s president is a fascinating figure. A black belt in judo and a former member of the KGB, he incites the imagination in way that a few other world leaders can. According to a Russian cult, he’s also the rightful head of the Catholic Church.
After a stint in prison for fraud, a woman named Frolova Fotinya claimed that God told her that Vladimir Putin is the reincarnation of the Apostle Paul. Fotinya immediately spread the word, setting up a temple that is adorned with photographs of the Russian president.
Its beliefs reject modern medicine, advocate vegetarianism, and call for the return of a Tsarist monarchy led by Putin. Putin has refused any connection to the religion
2 A Sock Puppet
Nothing quite compares to the Cult of Glycon. The religion consists of exactly one person — comic book writer Alan Moore, and he won’t let you join. He hasn’t had to stop people from beating down the doors to his church, however, which may be because his god is a sock puppet.
In the second Century, the Cult of Glycon was a fairly popular Roman cult. The wealthy and the poor alike came out to worship Glycon, which was a glove puppet controlled by a conman trying to start his own religion.
When Moore learned about the religion, he decided it was perfect, partly because he was confident nobody else would follow it. He also views the sock puppet as the perfect anarchist god. Since it doesn’t really exist, Moore can’t really be a leader, so it’s a religion without leaders.
It all sounds like a sort of joke, but Moore seems to be pretty serious about it. He talks about it a lot and has even written a comic book about his faith.
1 The Penis
In Montreal, there is a church called the Temple of Priapus, dedicated to the Greek God of fertility. The Temple of Priapus worships the penis, which they believe is a holy part of the male anatomy. Their temple is filled with phallic symbols of every size, from every culture, and from throughout history.
Members of the temple are required to masturbate for a minimum of four hours each week. There are levels of membership, and hopeful applicants have to be screened to get in. Those in the highest level are required to dedicate 12 hours each week to the church and to the holy cause of masturbating as much as physically possible.
So far, every member is male. The church is open to women but has yet to attract any female applicants. There is also a website that gives a daily “Cock Prayer,” with pictures.
Mark Oliver is a regular contributor to Listverse. His writing also appears on a number of other sites, including The Onion‘s StarWipe and Cracked.com. His website is regularly updated with everything he writes.