One of my best friends was telling me of that flying spaghetti monster church. Never heard of it until last night. So, with all these "joke" religions about, how do we interpret them? Some members act like it's a legitimate belief, while others just pretty much talk in a mocking manner towards religion itself. If we were to eliminate religion, would these things like SubGenius and FSM churches go with them or because of the fact that they are jokes or serious jokes, they will still have free reign? In addition, do these churches also get legitimate tax breaks like the Christians? If not, then I think the govt. is doing some discrimination then.
several years ago, i became an ordained minister of the universal life church of modesto, CA. i've never been to california, by the way... i did it online. the ordination was free, and for $35 i got an ID card and a CLERGY parking placard and some certificates, should i decide to perform a marriage, eulogy, or baptism... all of which i can legally do. as i understand it, i only need to have five people follow me in order to have a legitimate "congregation," and at that point i can become tax exempt, even insofar as using my home as a "church" and not paying property taxes.
i'm not only an atheist, i'm an anti-theist. i only did this to mock the church, and to point out that their only concern is monetary if they're willing to ordain someone like me. i haven't abused it yet just because i like retaining the higher ground, although i'm considering starting one of those bad-ass raelian sex cults... you know, for fun.
as far as these "joke" religions, i really don't think too many people take them seriously... although there are nutjobs in every little part of the world... but i also think that things like this wouldn't even come up if religion were abolished because there'd be nothing to poke fun at.
and i'm pretty sure they do get tax breaks, but that's just conjecture on my part.