Some of you may have seen my brief explanation of what Vinotology is on the new website. I have always gotten a lot of questions about this, and I finally decided that I would just post it on the site. Vinotology is a cult that I’m starting, ala Scientology. I read once where L. Ron Hubbard said that he didn’t know why he had been writing sci-fi books, when the real money was in starting a religion. So far I haven’t found this to hold true in my case, but I have admittedly been lax in promoting my new religion. Anyway, I may not have written a classic work like Battlefield Earth, but I doubt the religion gig could pay less than my writing career thus far.

As a part of starting the “Church of Vinotology”, I figured that I probably needed to flesh out some tenants of the faith. Right now they are a little vague (or non-existent), so I’ve requested the help of my readers in defining what, exactly, it means to be a Vinotologist. I have yet to receive any suggested doctrines, but it takes time to build a religion.

Anyway, one thing that I want to make clear from the very beginning, is that Vinotology does not seek to be at odds with anyone’s current religion. We are inclusive, and view our role as Vinotologists as being an complimentary to other faiths. Truth be told, we aren’t really a religion, so much as a psuedo-scientific-hedonistic club. As an example of our inclusiveness, I myself am a professing Lutheran. As a part of our liturgical year, we are currently entering the season of Lent.

For those who don’t know, here is what Wikipedia has to say about Lent -

Lent in the Christian tradition, is the period of the liturgical year leading up to Easter. Lent is a time of sacrifice for Jesus. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial — for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Among observers of Lent, it is common practice to give something up for the 40 days that cover the season. Some groups have specific ways that their followers are supposed to observe the season, but us Lutherans are pretty much left to our own devices when it comes to the question of giving something up. Some people do, some don’t. I guess it’s only fair, seeing as Lutherans are not encouraged to engage in the excesses of Mardi Gras, so maybe we don’t need so much suffering to compensate.

So, that long story all leads me to my point. I think that a good tenant of Vinotology would be, “Thou Shalt Not Give Up Wine For Lent.” I mean, I really don’t think God would want that. Jesus first miracle was changing water into wine after all, so he obviously likes the stuff. Sure, give up something that’s important to you, but nothing pains me more than seeing one of my fellow winos trying to make the long stretch leading up to Easter abstaining from one of God’s greatest gifts. You can’t think of something else to give up. Here are some good ones that I’ve heard:

  • Television (You’ll be better off anyway)
  • Carbs (I like it, combine a diet with a religious practice. Multitasking.)
  • The snooze bar (For those braver than I)

I myself and giving up beef for the second year in a row. Those who know me, know that this is a big deal. I love my steak and burgers. Anyone else giving something up for Lent? What about ideas for some articles of the Vinotology doctine? Love to get your thoughts.