Fringe Month: What is that?

I’ve seen comments on forums where people actually Googled “Fringe” as a religion.

Okay, in all fairness I do have the other religions listed by name. I’ll give you that. But I thought it was funny.

Fringe month will cover a few things. One of the misfortunes regarding Project Conversion is that I cannot cover every religion in the course of a year. My wife has already threatened my life in advance for making this a two-year gig so that’s out too. So what I’ll do is take June and spend some time with lesser-known faiths, sects, and organizations that hang…on the fringe of big, organized religion.

No, I don’t have a list.

Every month so far has been strictly regimented and organized. June gives me a month to be spontaneous, to stretch my legs a little, and act a little more unpredictable. One day I might cover something on cults. Another day I might post a funny video I found on YouTube. Anything goes.

I will also take this time to review my progress. Think of it as the half-time locker room talk. What can I improve on? What do you like/dislike? These are things I need to hear from you on during the month to carry us forward. June is also a staging period for the last half of the year. I will contact and/or visit my Mentors for the other religions and make preparations.

Another important part of June: Vacation. That’s right. For the first week of June, I am on laptop lockdown. My family (along with in-laws) are going to the beach and I am forbidden from doing anything related to Project Conversion. For five whole days. Holy crap. I can’t breathe! I, I…

Okay, I think I can handle it. One week out of the year shouldn’t be bad right? I’m tough. Plus, I’m prepared. The post you are now reading is pre-loaded. Smart cookie, I know.

So that’s what we can look forward to in June. If you belong to a faith tradition that fits outside the mainstream, I’d love to hear from you. Actually, I’d love to hear from any of you for no apparent reason.

Also, something fun. I need a new tattoo. Because you are possibly the coolest folks on the planet, I’m setting up a contest. I’d like for the more artistically inclined members of our congregation to design a tattoo for me which involves symbology from all the faiths I cover this year. This can either be one whole piece or a scheme that involves symbols tattooed on different parts of the body.

Here are the rules:

1) No ink between the waist and knees or below the ankles

2) No ink above the shoulder.

3) No disrespectful images/words regarding the faiths.

4) Have fun.

I will choose the winning piece at the end of the year and apply the tattoo in 2012. The winner will get…I dunno, but it will be insanely cool and worth your effort. Promise.

Send all entries as a JPG file to

Good luck.

Peace out.

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  • Dan Jensen

    Thou shalt cover Shinto, sayeth the Lord thy Dog.

  • Pagolesher

    Andrew, I hope you have (had) a great vacation.

    Suggestions for the coming months:
    Bibliography page (similar to the links page, only that give Titles & Authors (if applicable) of the books you have used in your studies).
    More photos.

  • Editor B

    Sounds very interesting. Looking forward to it.

    You asked for recommendations, so here goes. I am very interested in: nature spirituality, naturalistic paganism, humanistic paganism, naturalistic pantheism, dark green religion, earth reverence. These are all slightly different approaches, but close enough that I think of them together.

    I know you are looking at Wicca in October, which is great, but of course there’s a lot more to paganism than Wicca. I’d certainly welcome any exploration of attempts to reconstruct ancient faiths. But my interest lies more in the naturalistic, earth-centered approaches.

    Have fun at the beach.

    • Anonymous

      Great suggestion. I’m actually half Native American, so this would give me a nice chance to explore those roots.

  • valeria_oh

    Two fringe topics I am curious about are Sant Mat and Subud.

  • Jennifer Lopez

    oooh, love the tattoo idea! my drawing skills aren’t that fabulous, but i’m excited to see what someone else comes up with.

    • Anonymous

      You and me both! I’m due for another one ; )

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