Dudeism is a religion inspired on Jeff Bridges’ character, The Dude, from The Big Lebowski. Have you seen the movie? The Dude has become a cultural icon over the years, a sort of Marilyn Monroe for the modern American persona. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you’ve probably seen Jeff Bridges as The Dude, in all of his flip flop and bathrobe glory.
Although the movie was a box office flop during it’s release in 1998, by the early 2000’s it had become a cult classic, screening in small theaters in Los Angeles and New York and having Lebowski fests, where dozens of Dudes would gather together to play bowling, smoke weed, drink White Russians and discuss and dissect the movie. The Big Lebowski is as quotable as a movie can possibly be, and even with all it’s silliness and weirdness, you can’t help but find some truth and meaning into The Dude’s lifestyle and creed.
Dudeism, also known as The Church of The Latter Day Dude, was officially founded in 2005, and has ordained over 220,000 “Dudeist Priests” from all over the world through their website, which is surprisingly well built and legit. Dudeism has a ‘Take It Easy’ Manifesto and it’s pick of the Great Dudes In History, which includes Snoopy, Quincy Jones, and Jennifer Lawrence.
While Dudeism in its official form has been organized as a religion only recently, it has existed down through the ages in one form or another. Probably the earliest form of Dudeism was the original form of Chinese Taoism, before it went all weird with magic tricks and body fluids. The originator of Taoism, Lao Tzu, basically said “smoke ’em if you got ’em” and “mellow out, man” although he said this in ancient Chinese so something may have been lost in the translation.”
Dudeism has appeared on ABC segments, on several commercials, and on a documentary that’s still in the making. While it may sound very silly, these people consider that Dudeism is not a joke but a lifestyle, where what matters is the here and now, and your attitude towards life. If you’re still unconvinced, here are some of The Dude’s greatest lines and moments. You can check out their website here.