For the past few weeks, HuffPost has hosted an array of respondents -- including spiritual leaders, world leaders, personalities and celebrities -- who are asked to fill in the blank for the statement: God is...
The series led up to and accompanied the November 13 opening of the documentary Oh My God?
God set us up way before we arrived. Like a movie producer, God did the prep work, built the sets, got the casting ready, and financed our great, big movie masterpiece. But God isn't the director. He doesn't run your picture. We are the director of our lives. God doesn't pull the strings. He just wants us to have fun, make a good movie, and to follow our dreams.
That analogy was embedded deep within the world pop culture. That's because pop culture is where my religion lives. We at The Church of Ed Wood look at things differently and take a different road than most religions out there. The bible is an amazing thing and has helped many people. But we Woodites gain our strength through ourselves and our love for films, movies, books, and the pursuit of our dreams. We use the life of late director Ed Wood and his films to inject spirituality and religious theories and ideals into those who get little fulfillment from more mainstream religions like Christianity. By looking at his films and his life, we learn to lead happy, positive lives.
We are of a generation raised by pop culture instead of parents. The bible has been replaced by a television set churning out MTV and Comedy Central 24-7. That's why I think that a pop-culture based religion such as this one is so important because the religions of the old world are being forgotten in a mad dash towards Star Wars and the Lord of the Rings. This is a new era where Jesus and the Ten Commandments are being replaced by the internet and American Idol and it's time for the religions of the world to adapt to the new fast pace that society is evolving or else the religions of man will go the way of 8-track tapes.
And yes, we are serious. We are not some sarcastic, tongue in cheek religion that's totally made up like the Shatnertology or the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Scientology. We find our strength and belief in the world of movies with Ed Wood as our guide.
Ed Wood's dream was to make movies. That was all. He never wanted to be a singer in some crappy band or have children, although there is talk of him having some sort of daughter. All he wanted to do with his entire life, from when he was just a little kid watching Universal horror films in old, grand theaters of the forties and fifties, was to make movies and make people happy. That's all he wanted. And he never let the reality of his situation get in the way of achieving those dreams.
Sure he lacked a budget, better actors, advertising, or a proper Hollywood style of screen writing. But he never let anything stand in the way of his dream, which was to make people happy with his stories.
He suffered for it, though. He suffered laughter, taunts, and he died an old, drunk, broken shell of a man. He died for his films, the ultimate sacrifice that is now lost in a sea of repetitive, multimillion dollar, computer generated motion picture monstrosities. Ed Wood died for his movies. All he wanted was to make movies. And now we live for them. Sure he had hubcaps on strings but what's more real, a hubcap on a string or a million dollar computer generated James Cameron spaceship?
God is not jumping in and saving the day like Batman and he's not deciding every decision we make like some massive video game. God, wherever he is, is watching us and hoping that we have fun with our lives and do what makes us happy. So like Ed Wood we should all follow our dreams and not let reality hinder us. If you want to be a singer, then sing. If you want to be an actor, then act.
Just be yourself, the you that you know you are, and don't worry if you feel stupid or you make a fool of yourself. Ed Wood was an alcoholic transvestite filmmaker during one of the most puritanical times in American history. He was who he was and like him we strive to be who we are and follow our own dreams, whatever they may be.
And when you achieve your dreams, I believe that God is somewhere watching us and smiling. And, probably, so is Eddie Wood.
Read the previous responses, from Oh My God?'s director Peter Rodger; from Dr. Lawrence Blair; and from Demartini Institute founder Dr. John Demartini
Reverend Steve Galindo founded The Church of Ed Wood as a joke in 1996 and in a year transformed it into a serious religion that now boasts over 3,000 followers worldwide. For more on The Church of Ed Wood you can visit their web site: http://www.edwood.org/