Starting a Religion

I had intended to explain why I have no target on my charity page but to be honest the whole thing makes me feel a little icky. I have never been great with money and talking about it feels a little … erm dirty. Probably a bit of a sad and pointless confession as it is such an important part of everyone’s life but hey, what can you do? I blame the parents and grandparents with their very firm belief in biblical charity.  Yes I was raised in a churchy household where we went to church on Sunday, youth group during the week and, believed in a Jebus who was on the side of the poor and oppressed. No prosperity preaching for us, we were resolute in staying on the right side of the meek and lowly to make sure we got our place in heaven. Most of that has been jettisoned as I grew up and started thinking for myself but old habits die hard and one of the things left over is my dubious approach to riches of all kinds.

Thanks to my childhood indoctrination having a target would make me feel like I was on the wrong side, the same reason that I don’t really like the big charity machines. A target would make me feel a bit dishonest, I have already paid so there are no expenses to cover.  Everything that is donated on the page goes to the Meeting Room and Conservatory Club. If you think that all costs should be covered just think of the entry fee as my cash donation to the charities I have chosen. If I really wanted to arrange my running like a business I would have covered my expenses by working out a cost analysis and then producing a target but hey… That would mean fighting back against all those years of conditioning by the church of the poor folk and, a fundamental change in my world view. I always thought charity was about giving, not fiscal acumen. In my eyes the money that you give should actually go to the charity that you want to support and not to fund anyone’s hobby.  If I really wanted to fund my hobby with generous donations from people who thought they were making the world a better place I would start a religion. At least I would feel like it was a more honest way to go about being dishonest.

Hang on a moment, inspiration may have just struck.  What do I need to make a good religion?  With my childhood I must have some idea.  OK first off some kind of creed or purpose.  A reason why people should join.  Of course if my religion is based on running which to be honest it probably should be if I am going to justify funding my hobby, then the benefits are obvious. Exercise keeps you healthy both physically and mentally, number one ticked off easy.  Hmmm what else is needed?  I know some kind of ritual where people can get together and share a communal experience as an act of affirmation.  A kind of running church service maybe.  We could get all the worshippers together once a week and do something running related.  A bit of a challenge but not enough to discourage people.  A sign of commitment without being impossible to accomplish.  We wouldn’t want to compete with already existing religions.  We can wean people off and bring them to see the runners particular version of the light.  That rules Sunday out and most people are working through the week.  Saturday morning it is.

Yes a 5k run on a Saturday morning where crowds of runners gather together all over the country to celebrate their mutual love of running and benefit from all the things that being part of a community gives. Sounds perfect…..

Hang on that sounds familiar?

Curse you Sinton-Hewitt you beat me to it. Just one bloody idea I had to cynically fund my hobby and you were already there with parkrun.  Oh well, at least I have a place to go on Saturday morning to run with others.  Now if anyone else can think of another way for me to fund my hobby without the inconvenience of having to work please get in touch.


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