Posts Tagged ‘religion’

3 religions in Salt Lake City, ranked

May 2nd, 2019

Salt Lake City is a hotbed for religious activities. Perhaps it’s because it’s the home of the Salt Lake itself, which is often compared to the Dead Sea.

Here I’m taking a look at three religions that stuck out at me in Salt Lake City, and ranking them from best to… least best. Without further ado, here they are.

City Creek Center

1. Capitalism

Capitalism is the number one religion in the United States, though some adherents to this fundamentalist religion also hold secondary faiths as well.

City Creek Center, located at South Temple and West Temple is a multistory indoor/outdoor shrine to capitalism. This sacred site features well manicured gardens and water features throughout.

The largest chapel, known as “Macy’s,” offers a variety of both holy and unholy garments and household wares.

Temple Square

2. Mormonism/The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Just north of City Creek Center is Temple Square. This site is the heart of Mormonism, or whatever it’s called now. This sacred site also features well manicured gardens and water features throughout.

The largest chapel, known as the “office building,” houses many floors of workers promoting Mormonism (or whatever it’s called now.)

Bonus fact: Mormonism holds the official Guinness world record as the “world’s whitest religion.”

Summum Pyramid

3. Summum

A small pyramid on the rural outskirts of Salt Lake City is the spiritual home of Summum. This religion is inspired by ancient Egypt, sort of like Rosicrucianism but with a greater emphasis on drinking homemade wine. Oh and they mummify both human and feline remains.

The religion’s philosophies are a little… convoluted, even by the standards of 1970’s American religions, which is why it’s ranked last on this list. Sorry, Summum, but you’re going to need a bigger pyramid if you want to stay competitive in Salt Lake City’s religion scene.

Gilgal Sculpture Garden

May 2nd, 2019

Gilgal Sculpture Garden

Gilgal Sculpture Garden Gilgal Sculpture Garden Gilgal Sculpture Garden Gilgal Sculpture Garden

There’s a lot of strange stuff in Salt Lake City. Something about living in a desert seems to drive people in unexpected ways. And what could be more unexpected than the Gilgal Sculpture Garden?

Created by amateur artist Thomas Battersby Child Jr., the sculptures represent his own interpretation of Mormonism. And yes, that interpretation happens to involve Mormon founder Joseph Smith’s head on a sphinx for some reason. The garden is maintained by a group of people who took over after Child passed away.

Today this unusual sculpture garden sits in an unassuming a public space surrounded by big chain stores, yet somehow feels far from civilization.

My recommendation: This is a small, backyard-sized sculpture garden that’s open to the public. Check it out if you’re looking for weird stuff to see in Salt Lake City. It’s a little bit of a trek to get there, but it’s walkable from the main Public Library or Liberty Park. It’s completely free.

International Church of Cannabis

April 27th, 2019

International Church of Cannabis
International Church of Cannabis International Church of Cannabis International Church of Cannabis International Church of Cannabis

As a Pink Floyd song ended, the psychedelic animation on the interior walls and ceilings faded into a rotating star field, and the audio of Steve Jobs’ “Here’s to the crazy ones” played. Then a song by The Doors came on along with more trippy visuals.

It was easy to forget I was sitting on a church pew as these visuals filled with room accompanied by 1960’s hippie rock music. This wasn’t your typical church: it’s the International Church of Cannabis.

Most of the information online about the place is wildly out of date, but essentially if you’re not a church member you can pay $15 for the 30 minute Beyond guided meditation and light show. This takes place during the public hours on Fridays and weekends. There’s no free entry to the church space anymore for non-members. Hey, everyone has to pay their bills.

After the show you can take photos of the colorful murals lining the walls and ceilings of the main space seen in the photo gallery above. Even though the visuals are projected over these murals, for the most part they’re not visible during the light show.

Members of the church are called Elevationists and you can read more about their beliefs here. The tl;dr version is they treat marijuana as a sacrament but have no strict dogma. No marijuana consumption is allowed inside during public hours.

Despite the name there’s nothing “international” about this church, they only have a single congregation. It’s very much something you’d only find in Denver.

The church is located in the sleepy Washington Park (aka “Wash Park”) neighborhood, a short walk from the Alameda light rail station.

My recommendation: While I can’t tell you if the religion of Elevationism is right for you, if you want to see a light show timed to 1960’s music and see some amazing murals all in one place, pay a visit to the International Church of Cannabis while visiting Denver.


August 24th, 2018


As of this week I’m an officially ordained minister of the Church of the SubGenius. I am not alone in this pecular profession; you too can become a SubGenius minister yourself for the low price of $35 plus shipping!

What is this church, you ask? It’s the world’s only admittedly for profit religion; donations are not tax exempt.

The teachings are simple. In the 1950’s a pipe smoking salesman named JR “Bob” Dobbs assembled a television set only to be contacted by a video feed of JHVH-1, a somewhat evil alien god. The rest as they say is history. The message of “Bob” and his primary wife, the blessed anti-virgin “Connie,” is that we must achieve maximum Slack before planet Earth is destroyed on X-Day in 1998.

But wait — what is Slack? And didn’t our planet survive 1998? The answers are simple. Slack is indefinable, and due to the conspiracy nobody knows what year it is, let alone if we’re on planet Earth, or if 1998 was upside down and the planet will actually end in 8661.

Unfortunately “Bob” was assassinated here in San Francisco at the Victoria Theater in 1984 while on stage with Dr. Owll (known to the conspiracy as Harry S. Robbins, aka Dr. Hal, aka Commander 14) though “Bob” occasionally comes back to life when it’s convenient.

As a minister of the Church am I able to assist in your marriage? Absolutely, unless you subjugate yourself to the conspiracy’s definition of marriage. For those who care about immigration or taxes seek out a minister who’s part of the conspiracy.

Praise “Bob”! All hail Slack! It’s time to pull the wool over your own eyes — only the Church of the SubGenius offers eternal salvation guaranteed or triple your money back.

The Two Commandments

May 23rd, 2011

With all this “rapture” nonsense over the weekend, I thought it was a good time to re-visit a classic George Carlin bit in which he narrows the 10 commandments down to a much more reasonable number, simply by cutting out the crap.