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Easy Money


By John Rosenthal

I DON'T KNOW why it took me so long to realize which career will provide me with the most money for the least amount of work, but I've finally done it. It's not investment banking, and it's not professional basketball or working late nights at Tommy's.

For a while, I figured the quickest way to get rich was to start a group to compete with the Class Gift and the Endowment for Divestiture. As long as seniors were opening their pocketbooks for these institutions, they could probably shell out a few more dollars for The Endowment for John N. Rosenthal.

"Harvard has provided you with four years of fun and learning," read my campaign literature. "Now why don't you contribute to the continued fun and learning of one of Harvard's most inventive students? Give to The Endowment for John N. Rosenthal!"

Well, after a few rounds of hysterical laughter from my classmates and a curious call from the Ad Board, I decided there were easier ways of making money.

FINALLY, I came upon it. The world's best paying job, of course, is that of the televangelist. And who better to save the sagging TV evangelism industry from the latest round of corruption and scandals than a fresh Harvard graduate like myself?

The only problem is I lacked a religion about which to broadcast from a bully pulpit. I could have faked all the stuff about God and fire and brimstone and the earth erupting if we lose our faith, but I needed something for my followers to believe in. Therefore, I have organized the Church of Religious Consciousness. Anybody who is conscious can join...and any one who can join can send me spare cash.

The Church of Religious Consciousness is easy to belong to. Instead of disallowing things that people enjoy--like ham and cheese sandwiches or BLTs (Judaism), hamburgers on Friday (Catholicism), or meat (Hindu)--the Church will disallow things that nobody like to eat anyway. Spinach, liver, tongue, brussel sprouts, and broccoli-cheese pasta are all on the list of foods that you are forbidden from eating as a member of the Church.

The surplus that will be left of these foods will be sent to starving children in Africa. This will have the extra benefit of making it impossible for your mother to tell you that there are children in Africa wishing fot the chance to eat your brussel sprouts.

Instead of outlawing practices like pre-marital sex, birth-control, interfaith marriages, homosexuality and wife-swapping, the Church will encourage them. The only practices that will be disallowed are things like making it a federal case when some sleezbag lampoons you in an offensive magazine.

The Church will only celebrate the most festive holidays. No religious ceremonies that require fasting or giving up sex for several months. July 4th will be the holiest day of the year, followed closely by St. Patrick's Day and Christmas. Any other holiday that provides a day off from work will be worked into the Church's religious calendar. As I said, it will be very easy to be very religious in the Church of Religious Consciousness.

There will be some strict requirements however. No Church member can gain religious salvation without performing good deeds (sharing a case of beer, for instance), giving to charity (a donation to the Church should suffice), displaying religious piety (giving large gifts to the Church), and practicing abstinence (no drinking before giving large gifts to the Church).

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