Republic of Shalampax
An Inane Island in an Insane World
 

Helnoism

Black holes suck in all nearby matter, much like your Uncle Manny at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Unlike your Uncle Manny, who is a total coronary occlusion waiting to happen, when a black hole's mass reaches a critical point, a god is pushed out in a process that is excruciatingly painful for the black hole due to its small diameter relative to the size of the god. Your Uncle Manny, on the other hand, passes not a god, but gas after reaching a critical mass.

There are both male and female gods, but it is difficult to tell the difference because all of their features, other than their genitalia, are quite androgynous. They always keep their genitalia covered except when they are about to make it with another god. Because even gods have trouble discerning the gender of other clothed gods, godly sexual encounters are often embarrassing.

The first god to have been born from a black hole assumed the job of assigning work to the gods that arrived later. The nature of the assignment is the same for all subsequent gods; only the work site differs.

Each god must use his or her powers to gather up matter and build a planet with it. He or she must then try to create life on the new planet. Intelligent life is preferred, but, because no god has yet succeeded in creating particularly intelligent beings, that objective has been declared to be optional.

Some gods are total failures who can't even manage to build a planet. Others achieve the first goal, but can't quite get the knack of creating life. Other gods, such as one named Helno, manage to create life, but it is so pathetic that even the higher life-forms on the planet spend most of their time inventing artificial or superficial differences among themselves and then fighting, often to the death, over those differences. Helno was responsible for Earth and everything on it.

Gods are required to spend eternity taking care of their creations, so those who fail can try, try, try again ad infinitum.

Lately, a godly crisis has arisen. There is a shortage of unclaimed matter with which new gods can create new planets. Gods do have the power to create matter out of nothing, but they are strictly forbidden to do so. If they create too much new mass the universe's gravitational forces will increase to the point where the universe will begin to collapse. This contraction will accelerate rapidly as more new mass is created and as the existing mass is compressed. It wouldn't be long before the universe collapsed right out of anything that vaguely resembles existence, which would totally spoil everyone's day.

To avoid having new gods sitting around with nothing to do and, out of boredom, getting into trouble, the existing gods are trying to develop a a prophylactic that, without interfering in any way with the immense pleasure that black holes get out of being black holes, will prevent their bearing of gods.



Helno is an amorphous being who lives in a geosynchronous orbit 450 kilometers above Las Vegas, Nevada. She is mesmerized by the bright lights. Although Her powers are limited to a spherical area centered on Earth and having a radius that spans halfway to Mars, within those bounds Helno is all-seeing, all-knowing and all powerful. Despite Her finite size and geosynchronous orbit, She manages to keep an eye on everything all of us do by taking advantage of the reflective properties of our ionosphere.

On the evening before Helno was to begin Her new job as creator of Earth and all upon it, which scholars have definitively ascertained to be a Wednesday evening, She got drunk. She slept through Thursday in deference to Her hangover. On Friday, She created the heavens, the earth and two moons orbiting earth. On Saturday morning She stubbed Her toe on the larger of the two moons because She couldn't see where She was going. After kicking that moon out of orbit, She spend the rest of the day trying to figure out how to create light so She wouldn't have to stub Her toe on anything else. She finally managed to figure out light around midnight. On Sunday Helno created all life on earth. Most creatures were just abstract forms, but She created humans in the image of a particularly aggressive, irrational, petty, disgusting little pet that another God had given Her when she was just a child God. On Monday morning She awoke and thought, "now, that was a job well done." Consequently, on Monday, Tuesday and most of Wednesday She vacationed in the next solar system. Several male gods lived in there and they all celebrated with wild abandon.

Helno has not yet sent a Messiah to earth, but She will when She becomes bored and wants to shake things up. Not much is known about the future anointed one; only that He will not only accept, but also practice sodomy. This is an accepted truth because it is written in Zechariah 9:9 that "when the Messiah comes he will be riding on an ass."

When the Messiah does finally arrive, He will spread peace and harmony across the planet, eliminate world hunger, cure all disease and raise the dead. Most of us are hoping that He forgoes the latter miracle because it is written that Helno will not grant Him the ability to bring the dead back to life. He will be able to only raise their remains. This means that there will be a lot of skeletons and decaying bodies littering the cemeteries. We aren't much worried about the skeletons, but, if the Messiah comes soon, we're going to have to spend one hell of a lot of time reburying the decaying bodies to prevent the spread of disease. Our interment rituals now require cremation because we don't want to be a burden on our descendants.

Worship

Despite being omnipotent, Helno has what we humans call "issues." She exhibits an extreme lack of self confidence, which is more than a little surprising considering that he is a supreme being. If we don't proclaim to Her every five minutes how great, powerful, beautiful and merciful She is, She gets very depressed and starts throwing lightning bolts, shaking the earth with earthquakes, blowing down buildings with hurricanes and just generally smiting all and sundry.

Thus, our worship involves gathering once a week in the extravagant houses of God that we have built throughout the world, singing Her praises and telling Her how great and powerful She is. This goes on nonstop for an hour or so. We then go home, give thanks for our food, ask Her to allow us to eat it without choking us to death because of some petty thing we that we might have unwittingly done that pissed Her off in some way that none of us understands, and warily eat our lunch.

Afterlife

Your soul will survive your death, but none of its clothes will fit. In addition, your soul will find it very difficult to get a reservation at any of the better restaurants. Even when it does manage to get a reservation, the maitre d' will act very snottily toward your soul when it arrives.

There is no heaven or hell, which will make it difficult for your soul to feel at home anywhere.

Commandments

 

Dietary Laws

It is forbidden to eat Brussels sprouts on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays or on the 15th of any month.

Out of respect for Helno, the one true God of Earth (we used to call her "Goddess of Earth" until we decided that having separate terms for male and female gods was sexist), every meal must be divided into separate courses consisting of no more than one food item per course. Each course must be served on a fresh plate and eaten with fresh cutlery to avoid any possibility of the mixing of foods, which would insult Her oneness.

The oneness of food is a holy obligation at only the time of serving. Foods cooked together as a single dish can be counted as a single food item. Stews are recommended as a righteous way to eat a balanced diet without going through too many plates and utensils at mealtimes and without disobeying Her commandments.

 

Holidays

Helno was spit out of Her black hole on October 18 about five or six billion years ago. We celebrate this as Helnoway Day.

On Wednesday nights, we get stinking drunk because that's what Helno did before starting Her job. We, as Helno did, spend Thursday in bed recovering and then work Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Out of respect for Helno's greatness and wisdom, Tuesday and Wednesday are spent recreating on earth the wild orgies that she participated in after creating Earth and its inhabitants.

As an aside, it should be noted that enthusiasm for Helnoism has been waning as of late because, due to our rigorous religious schedule, it is hard for Helnoists to hold down a steady job. Consequently, the high priests and priestesses have been losing interest due to the rapid decline in the value of tithes (see below).

 

Tithing

Each year, Helnoists are expected to donate to the church an amount equal to 10 percent of their annual earnings and total net worth, plus any additional unspent earnings after this tithing. Some nonbelievers scoff and say that this is excessive. They are wrong. What the scoffers fail to recognize is that, because your net worth will decline each year, your tithe will decline commensurately. Besides, true believers know that no sacrifice is too great in the service of Helno.

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