No. The Most churches play religion as a team sport, with God as their mascot instead of their Captain. We live our religion, with the Blind Chihuahua as our totem, and God as our co-pilot. (We think God wants us to pilot our own lives, but that God is always available to help. We first saw the phrase "God is my co-pilot" emblazoned on the back of a garbage truck that ran over a neighbor's dog in the 1960's.) The Blind Chihuahua reminds us that "now we see through a glass darkly." — 1 Cor 13:12
What do you mean by "The Courage to be Ridiculous before God?
Conservative churches emphasize that people have gone bad, liberal churches emphasize that people were created good. We emphasize that people are funny, and that God has a sense of humor. "The Courage to be Ridiculous before God" is part of what it takes to admit the truth about ourselves, namely that sometimes, even when we are at our most serious, we humans are just plain silly. This is a form of confession, made endurable, even enjoyable, by humor. It also pokes fun at Paul Tillich's book, The Courage to Be.
What about VCBC's other slogans and its Logo?
"We can't be right about everything we believe. Thank God, we don't have to be," is a re-statement of the mainstream Protestant tenet that the source of Salvation is God, not one's own efforts or opinions. Good works and good opinions are expressions of salvation, not a cause of it. So relax. You don't have to get is exactly right. Which is a good thing, because we humans can't get it exactly right. We are all like little Blind Chihuahuas.
"There is more to Religion than pleasing your Imaginary Friend," is a caution against the idolatry that contaminates belief. In so much of Religion, believers project elements of themselves and their cultures onto their concept of Divinity, and then, based on obedience to that projection, proceed to sin against themselves, their fellow humans, Nature, and God. We recommend a little humility before trying to do God's Service. As we said, we are all like little Blind Chihuahuas.
With that as preamble, the Blind Chihuahua is a totem that does not stand for God. It stands for us. For the evolution of our Logo's appearance, click here.
Is VCBC a real church?
VCBC is a collection of magnetized micro-domains on a hard disk spinning in a vault owned by our web service provider. At your request they are translated into voltage pulses and sent to your computer, which displays them on your screen as colored dots. What your eyes and brain do from there is your business. In other words, VCBC is all in your mind. If your mind is real, that's good enough for us. Right. Here's a serious answer.
Does VCBC have members?
Since every sentient being is a virtual Blind Chihuahua with respect to God (or Ultimate Reality), everyone is a member of The Virtual Church of the Blind Chihuahua. We find that VCBC members are usually:
- In Denial. Most people are scandalized by VCBC, or would be if they knew about it. They deny that they are members, and we agree with them, so as to reduce church conflict. Since our opinions do not count, this makes them members.
- In Virtual Reality. Many people like VCBC, or would if they knew about it. In one way or another, they acknowledge that when it comes to God (or Ultimate Reality), we are all like little Blind Chihuahuas, as we said above.
- In Real Virtuality. Some people do things like recommending VCBC to their friends, giving us money, buying and wearing/displaying our stuff, or posting comments on our blog(s), or even contributing their creative works (in digital format) to our sites. They not only acknowledge their chihuahuahood, they celebrate it. BTW, we are seeking bi-lingual moderators so that we may offer our forum in more languages and provide translations of sites like this one.
We have priests, pastors, bishops, metropolitans, popes, imams, yogis, monks, shamans, etc. Your religious credentials are as valid in VCBC as anywhere.
If VCBC is so inclusive, what's with all the Christian stuff?
This (the first, and so far the only) manifestation of VCBC is predominately Christian, because its maintenance person (aka the Pooper Scooper) is Christian. Other manifestations may predominately express other religions. (In the unlikely event that you wish to manifest VCBC in another language or religion, contact us and we'll work something out.) If this website's inclusion of the wisdom of other faiths seems in your eyes to water down its Christianity, try somewhere else. It's a big web and the standard stuff is easy to find.
Then what's the point?
We are all doing our best to be faithful to God according to our various religions. Unfortunately, that best needs help. Look at all the conflict in the world, much of which is about matters of belief. Rather than fight over religion, we want to help each other to be as honest as we possibly can to God, ourselves, each other, and our world. If you respond to this by changing your religion, don't blame us. We are not responsible for what you believe. What you believe is between you and God, even if you're an atheist. Since Fundamentalists think they are responsible for what you believe, which leads them to try to control what you believe, we believe they are legitimate targets for humor, as are we all.
How does VCBC define Christianity?
Lean and mean, like St. Paul: "I knew only Christ, and him crucified." We think that to be a Christian means to experience God through Christ. We believe that Christ was God experiencing life and death (at our hands) as an ordinary guy, and that Christ rose from the dead to lead us to eternal life. However, since those who focus exclusively on the life to come often neglect to care for those they meet in the here and now (think what a jerk Tolstoy was to his wife, for example) we tend to focus on the path immediately ahead of us. We trust God to take care of our ultimate destination.
Does VCBC maintain that the Bible is true?
We believe that every word in the Bible is as intended by God for us to receive, including all the contradictions, redactions, and factual errors which have been noted by the last two centuries of archaeological and literary-historical critical analysis of the Bible and extra-biblical texts. All of those little problems are puzzles for the reader that enhance the Bible's power to awaken the Light of Truth within you. They also serve as a sign that we should worship God, not our Scriptures.
What about the Scriptures of other religions?
God's Truth is infinite, and therefore cannot be confined to any finite string of words, no matter whose Scripture it is. God's Truth is everywhere. It leaks into the Scriptures of religions other than your own. It lives in your personal experience and in your heart. It is stamped into every aspect of the cosmos, and it cannot be confined even to that. And it is a living Truth, who seeks you. You cannot escape it forever.
What are VCBC's politics?
If the shape of the political spectrum can be compared to a dancer's butt, then we have been flatulated up from the center. We vociferously oppose both right-wing and left-wing fundamentalism in politics. We also support the appearance of "None of the Above" on every ballot for elective office.
Who's in charge of VCBC?
Since VCBC manifests itself only on the web, the maintenance person for this site, aka the Pooper Scooper, is in charge. He consults other people on matters of taste, style and content, but ultimately he gets the blame for what goes on here, because he controls the site and writes most of the material. When the time comes, he is counting on God to stop him dead in his tracks.
How long has this been going on?
VCBC was launched on 4 July 1996.
Is VCBC subversive?
Besides being a church, VCBC is also a miniscule conspiracy to help virtues like civility, honesty, kindness, and common sense achieve world domination, one mind at a time. Our weapons are humor and irony guided by faith and reason. We make no apologies, and take no prisoners. Resistance is futile.
Is the Blind Chihuahua theme a send-up of Shoko Asahara, the blind leader of the Aum Shinrikyo cult that released nerve gas into the Tokyo subway?
Absolutely not. The original Blind Chihuahua lived in Austin, Texas in the late 1970's. If we wanted to parody these folks, we would create a ficticious character called Shocko Assahola and run with it. However, since these people are extremely dangerous kooks, we decided to let sleeping dogs lie, as it were.
Is the Virtual Church of the Blind Chihuahua affiliated with any recognizable religious denomination?
This manifestation of VCBC is an unacknowledged, ecumenical boil on the bum of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Some have speculated that this is the ELCA's way of attempting to reproduce asexually. Others deny this, on grounds that it would elevate VCBC to the status of bastard child. Most believe that VCBC is a non-serious local infection of the ELCA body politic that will go away by itself.
Did you know there is Another VCBC?
Yup. They're a conservative Baptist congregation just down the road. If you don't like us, maybe you'll like them.
What's with the advertising? Are you just a bunch of capitalist tools?
Actually, Capitalism is one of our tools. We use it because the others don't make any money. If you think we go too far in trying to serve both God and mammon, try visiting The Church of Cash. In any case, our goal for ads, sales, and donations is to pay our web-hosting expenses. If we ever make more than that, we reserve the right to use it for whatever we wish, including but not limited to bicycle parts, books, chocolate and beer. Oh, maybe a nice dessert wine, or even a shrubbery.
Is the Virtual Church of the Blind Chihuahua affiliated in any way with Taco Bell?
No. Our Chihuahua appeared first, and ours always wears dark glasses, speaks without an accent, and has a penis. (Taco Bell's Chihuahua is a female cross-dresser.) The Blind Chihuahua displays his penis to honor those religionists who behave as if that organ were an antenna that lets the bearer hear directly from God. We suggest that they try another channel.