What is a religion?
First of all, we have to ask ourselves, "What is a religion?" Well I actually googled this, and it gave me 3 definitions. However the 3rd definition best suits my hypothesis. "A pursuit of interest followed with great devotion." No one can deny that both hardcore fans and religitards both pursue their interests with great devotion.
What is a fandom?
So, now we've answered that question, we have to ask ourselves "What is a fandom?" I mean, I quite like the TV show "Breaking Bad". But does simply liking something make me part of a fandom?
So I typed into google, "Define: Fandom". This is what I got:
- Fandom (consisting of fan [fanatic] plus the suffix -dom, as in kingdom) is a term used to refer to a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of empathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest.
Blimey! That's a mouth full.
When I first read this paragraph of a definition, I had to google some of the words.
Subculture: a group of people with a culture (whether distinct or hidden) which makes them different from the larger culture that they belong to, known as the "dominant" culture.
Camaraderie: mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together.
Once I actually got thinking, I managed to come up with a few similarities between religions and fandoms.
First of all, they both enjoy a gathering.
Religious people usually gather at a church/mosque/synagogue. Whereas fans tend to gather at conventions. However the principle is still the same; people with a common interest gather to celebrate their interest.
Secondly, those of you with a Tumblr account will be aware that a lot of fans find rather deep and passionate philosophies within their TV shows/films/books.
For example, I am a rather big fan of "Doctor Who", and some of the things the Doctor has said, I have applied to my life.
"There's no point being grown-up if you can't be childish sometimes."- 4th Doctor, Played by Tom Baker.
"The first face this face saw. We all change. When you think about it, we're all different people all through our lives, and that's okay, that's good, you got to keep moving, so long as you remember all people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this. Not one day. I swear. I will always remember when the Doctor was me."- 11th Doctor, Played by Matt Smith.
"Courage isn't just a matter of not being frightened, you know. It's being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway."- 3rd Doctor, Played by John Pertwee.
Just as fans find deep philosophy in their thing, many religious people find deep philosophy in their religion.
Now you might be thinking "But Dinosatan, religions believe in a god/gods of some sort."
If this is what you think, you're wrong! There are many atheistic religions (although that does sound slightly oxymoronic) including, Buddhism, Levayan Satanism, Scientology, and Jediism.
You may have read my article "Jediism: a Fandom too far or a true religion".
In it, I discussed how "Jediism" is a real religion, and more realistic than the mainstream religions. However I think you can still apply the messages and philosophies from things to your life without having to turn it into a religion.
So, in a way, I suppose that fandom is in some ways a form of religion.
However unlike most religions, fandoms do not have suicide bombers, anti-gay rallies and a load of pointless bullshit rules that you will burn in hell for disobeying.