Norway to the future
Friday, June 04, 2004
The beer religion
This idea popped into my mind this spring, and that everyone I talk to seem to dig: the establishment of the religion called "Øl" (Beer). Not a religion per se, we can register what is referred to as a trossamfunn (belief society) with the local authorities, and having done so -- eventually -- get state sponsorship (the Norwegian state sponsors religious groups per member on a yearly basis). If this picks up, we can become a quite large group practicing Beer, and the state will pay the organization for it. Too good to be true? Maybe, but at least it is worth our best effort!

So, to all my Norwegian friends and readers. Here is an initial draft to get the idea spreading. Please download and send me comments, revisions, ideas, and -- if you want to join -- your name, birth date and address, so that we can show the bureaucrats that we are many and ready to roll. Spread the word to whomever you think may be interested, giving them the address to this post so that they can download and comment themselves.

Oh, one thing. I will not make a very good leader for this religion, and to be honest, I don't think I want to be. I just want to set the snowball rolling, so whoever wants to become leader for what just might become a large movement, drop me a line (that is j o n m a r t i n - a t - g m x d o t n e t).

When we have had some responses and people wanting to join, the letter will be finalized and sent. Remember, for this to work, we need all the brainpower we can muster; devil's adcovates to show why this shouldn't work, creative minds to create our versions of the ten commandments, marriage and funeral rituals, and so on, people who know the law, people who are good public speakers, persons who can design flyers, persons to hand out the flyers to beer-drinking people in bars and everything else.

There is not much info on the criteria on how to start a religion, the only step-by-step article is this one from Gateavisa, which explains the formalities and a few problems to be overcome. Do your best to dig up more info, and let us make this into a great collaborative project we can be proud of when it appears on the front pages of our biggest tabloids (come on, it has to do with alcohol and religion, they love this stuff).

So, ask yourself (and your friends):
- Do you like beer?
- Are you not religious enough to be a part of our state church?
- Would you like to see the money the church gets from having you as a member go to a better cause?
- How about letting an organization who uses it to arrange religious meetings involving beer get it?
- Tired of mr Bondevik and Høybråten's way of dealing with 'tolerance'?
- Here is a chance to beat them at their home field!

In the beginning, there was hops, malt and barley...

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