Now Forming: The Church of Music
Can I Get a Witness, or Do I Need a Lawyer?
So I googled up "How to Start a Church."
Voila! A blog popped up on wikihow.com.
The opening paragraph stated: "A church is a spiritual community that comes together in common fellowship. If you're dissatisfied with your local options and have a group of likeminded thinkers and believers, you may be interested in branching out on your own to worship in your own way"
So I read further.
Turns out there are three steps to forming one.
So I figured I'd run through the checklist to see if I can legally form this tribe....
STEP ONE: BEGINNING FELLOWSHIP
Start a Home Spiritual Discussion Group. That's easy enough. I've been discussing music in a variety of settings, including record stores, SXSW panels, industry publications, countless bars, and this very blog, for over 40 years. Doing it at home, or in some other venue protected by the freedom of religious immunity, will be even easier.
Define the Scope of the Church. Sounds hard, but this was easy, too. I just had to answer a couple of questions to "define my aims":
Possible membership? Endless. Music has been here forever, and it has affected every culture in history. I already know hundreds of people that believe in it as much as I do.
Location? Wherever we can listen to it. My house. Your house. The Internet. These days music is pretty much everywhere. And so shall be my church.
Is your commitment part-time or full? Hmmm. I'm not suggesting that music is the only answer (or that I've got any answers at all), just a powerful force. However, it's not the only important force -- there's love, family, nature, and philosophy -- so I'll work part-time.
Your financial aims? Um, I don't have any financial aims. Has that disqualified me from being a religion? (The answer I gave to my question was "Is the Pope Catholic?," which gave me so much ironic amusement that I had to share it).
Draft Church Bylaws and a Statement of Belief. Wikihow says I should think of this as a "Declaration of Independence" for my church.
Well, I'm not a big fan of bylaws, but apparently any sort of government-condoned religion must be bureaucratic, so I'll make our declaration of independence something simple like:
We love music and we believe in it's power. The members of The Church of Music shall gather together to worship, listen to, discuss, and promote its effect on us and our culture.
Assign Corporate Officers. Again with the corporate bullshit. Since I have to file the docs, I'll guess I'll be president. Or maybe the reverend. The Reverend Record Store Geek. I like the sound of that.
Name Your Church. Done. Why The Church of Music? It has to be all-encompassing. We can have masses and sermons dedicated to certain genres, but there's no way that anyone who truly worships music can restrict themselves beyond that.
Okay, what's next?