Tasha Dhanraj’s Thought for Week 2: Starting my own religion

In her latest column, Tasha’s starting her own religion and she’s recruiting for disciples…

Quite frankly, if anyone is best placed to start a new religion it’s me. I have been studying theology for almost two years now.

Just as we recruit all of our country’s politicians from Oxford’s pool of PPE students, theologians are the natural choice to leaf new cults religions.

I have attended over two whole lectures about three different religions in the last year alone. I even read the introduction of a book about how religions function. It was twenty pages long. I got this, guys.

I’ve looked into securing space on Cornmarket to do my preaching. There are so many religious leaders there every day it must be a successful marketing ploy. Or maybe every religion that has a table on Cornmarket has never recruited a single soul to their eternal afterlife party and are just there to show off their leaflets to the other religions. I’m assuming it’s the former.

One of the key problems with street evangelising, though, is over-confident, cocky theology students who have an inflated ego after a particularly energetic tutorial and who then decide to challenge the preachers on every translation.

Obviously I have never done this… more than once… in one day. The good thing is, with a religion I’ve only just made up received divine revelation for – there’s literally nobody to challenge me. If anyone does come up with a way to challenge me, I will just discover a new interpretation of my religion and all will be fine.

The decision to become the 21st Century Jesus is not one I take lightly. I got the idea at 3 am when writing an essay on the Nature of Religion and I decided that inventing my own religion would help my argument. It did not. Nevertheless, the religion that my overworked brain invented was so ingenious that I’m certain it wasn’t out of desperation and fear of a 2:2, but was actually a message from God.

This is a direct quote from that essay. Do memorise it – soon it will become scripture:

“What if I believed in a divine all-loving, omniscient, omnipotent God who was actually a dog and who had sent other dogs to earth to look after humanity and that the purpose of life is to die and be reincarnated as a dog if you are a good person and a cat if you are a bad person?”

Reconstruction of the scene of inspiration

I am no longer living in the hypothetical. This was divine revelation. I believe it to be true.

Like all good religions, this one will motivate through fear. If you don’t feel that coming back as a cat is a good enough punishment to scare you into follow me, the Dog God informed me that if you come back as a cat nine times then on the tenth time you’ll burn in a fiery hell pit where you will spend eternity revising for collections that never get marked.

Follow me.

I’m not going to hold weekly meetings, there won’t be any weird rules about sex and there won’t be weird songs (other than our anthem, Who Let the Dogs Out?). All I ask from you is to be kind to one another, give me unwavering loyalty and that you set up a weekly direct debit to my Cayman Islands account. In return, I promise you that when we all die I will probably be proved right and you’ll maybe have done enough to be reborn as a dog.

Peace be with you.