A Kickstarter is underway to create a book entitled Religion: Ruining Everything Since 4004 BC, and it’s already a viral success. With over three weeks of funding remaining in the campaign, there have already been pledges totaling over $200 thousand — or over 13 times the original funding goal of only $15k.
Of course, when you recognize that the book is from the creator of the virally successful webcomic, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, the accumulation of a few hundred thousand dollars in advance funding in less than a week is quickly put into perspective. Realizing that the book is, in fact, a collection of religion-themed comics from that same source makes the success that much more understandable.
If you aren’t already familiar with SMBC, it’s a popular comic that touches on everything from science to philosophy, culture and human nature, and has addressed religion many times. The strips are usually brief, striking, and relatable, and are shared widely across social media.
The Kickstarter, like most, has multiple goal levels. If it reached the initial goal of $15k, the campaign had stretch goals’ reaching as high as $275k. At over $200k in six days, it looks as though there’s a better-than-fair chance of reaching that goal.
If you’re wondering how the book treats religion, and whether the title is a sign that your beliefs will be under attack (after all, “ruining everything” isn’t exactly high praise), creator Zach Weinersmith assures that it isn’t, really, a book that’s ‘mean’ to religion.
“Not really. Or, at least, the nature of the humor isn’t mean-spirited, but the comic does mock plenty of sacred concepts. If you are a religious person, we hope you laugh in the same way we hope science fans laugh at the science jokes in our last book.”
Oh, yes, Religion: Ruining Everything Since 4004 BC isn’t the first collection of SMBC comics. In fact, if you look at the title of the book Weinersmith mentions, his collection of science-themed comics, it may somewhat alleviate fears that religion is getting a particularly hard rap:
Science: Ruining Everything Since 1543
In fact, Weinersmith goes a step beyond, assuring backers that the title is just playful fun:
Do You REALLY Think Religion Ruins Everything?
No. It’s just a title to make it a fun companion to the last collection. We promise. Now relax.
However, it’s certainly true, as he admits, that sometimes the comics do make pretty sharp jabs at certain aspects of religion, poking fun at the way some religious groups treat science, the LGBT community, sexual purity, and other topics of great controversy. (One more thing — if you’re concerned that the book is anti-Christian in nature, you should know it contains jokes about a wide variety of religious beliefs, and doesn’t focus on a single religion.)
There’s also a companion book, which Weinersmith describes as a Bible so condensed it’s basically useless — that is, he says, he took each chapter of the Bible and squeezed it into a few sentences.
Though a publication date isn’t listed, the estimated delivery for backers of the Religion: Ruining Everything Since 4004 BC Kickstarter is May 2016, and with rewards on offer such as a personalized portrait, drawn by Zach Weinersmith, included in the book, and collections of all the Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal books, it’s little wonder the project has already collected so many backers.
If you’d like to support Religion: Ruining Everything Since 4004 BC, the Kickstarter page is here, and you have until November 19th (though some reward levels have limited availability).
[Image via Kickstarter]