Dudeism helps some get through life stress free

Ryan Friend

Dudeism helps junior Alex DeCourville cope with the daily stresses of life.

According to Dudeism.com, the mantra behind the religion is, ”Life is short and complicated, and nobody knows what to do about it. So don’t do anything about it. Just take it easy, man.”

DeCourville became ordained in Dudeism in December 2007, making him an official Dudeist.

“Dudeism encourages you not to let the world’s problems get to you,” DeCourville said.

The only requirement to be officially part of the faith is becoming ordained by sending an e-mail, which goes along with the laid-back practices.

DeCourville, an electronic media production major, admires Jeff Bridge’s character, “The Dude,” from “The Big Lebowski” to the extent that he looks to him as a highly regarded role model. The Dude is not a deity to DeCourville, but as the friends from the film say, the Dude is “the voice of reason.”

“I’ve always been a fan of ‘The Big Lebowski,’” DeCourville said. “It is something I wanted to be a part of.”

In many religions, the act of believing isn’t good enough, but all his newly found creed requires is to live life the way you want, DeCourville said.

Dudeism is a religion that doesn’t have a plan for salvation or preach of humanity’s final destination, like other belief systems. Believers are not required to believe in a god or gods.

Oliver Benjamin, the founder of Dudeism, said the religion is non-theistic and has no rules of conduct. He said his philosophy “can’t easily contradict any of the dogma” in existing belief structures. Benjamin has examined other beliefs besides his own.

“I have been a lifelong seeker, studying many of the world’s philosophical, religious and so-called spiritual traditions,” Benjamin said. “Almost all of them take things way too seriously.”

Even though Dudeism does not require the belief in a supreme being, DeCourville believes in one.

“I can’t speak for other Dudeists, but I still believe in God,” DeCourville said.

Last Halloween, he dressed up as The Dude, wearing his flannel shorts, tan long-sleeve shirt and his aviator sunglasses.

Mitch Cooper, president of the Dive, an inter-denominational Christian student organization, said he thinks Dudeism is silly, but he is not offended.

“People should reflect their thoughts and feelings about eternal salvation,” Cooper said.

Contact religion reporter Ryan Friend at [email protected].