The Seussican church is a religion established in the middle of the twentieth century which focuses on the writings of Theodor Seuss Geisel who wrote under the pen name Dr. Seuss. Seuss is the central figure to the religion and is considered the most highly revered prophet. Seussican teachings revolve around the series of texts authored and illustrated by Seuss. Although the texts are central to any Seussican sect, there does exist ontological and teleological variation between them. For example, some sects regard the stories as holy parables, yet do not assert that the figures and events of the parables literally occurred. Consequently, literalists maintain the belief that their holy texts are a literally true description of events and individuals involved in the stories literally occurred. Each group remains stalwart dismissal of the ontological commitments of the other group.
Holy Texts Edit
Seussicans regard the writings to be divinely inspired and centrally necessary for living a moral life. Although Seuss is not himself wholly divine, he was the vessel through which the holy teachings emerged. Central texts include “Oh, the Thinks You Can Think”, “The Lorax”, “The Cat in the Hat”, and “Yertle the Turtle”. Religious practices involving the texts include reading them individually, with close family members, and also in collective ceremony. Most commonly, parents will read the texts to youths prior to bed in hopes of facilitating connection with the divine. This traditional Seussican practice has penetrated mainstream culture and can be found in non-Seussican households as well. Anti-Seussican groups claim that through colorful imagery and imaginative language, Seussican texts are propagandic in nature and serve as a gateway to the religion. Seussicans maintain that the irresistible quality which draws individuals to the texts provides evidence of its holy nature.
Use of Meter Edit
A characteristic feature of these texts is their unique use of poetic meter. Poetic meter is concerned with the rhyming pattern and structure between verses. Examples of featured meters include iambic pentameter and trochaic tetrameter. Seussican texts feature these unique patterns of rhyme and emphasis and are considered a central component of their deific evidence. Although followers undergo deep religious experiences induced by the meter of the holy texts, a more striking religious practice involves holy days where followers are restricted to communicating solely in this manner. For each holiday, Seussicans may only communicate in a form of meter found in their holy texts. This is often problematic, for many followers find synthesizing their thoughts in the appropriate form to be difficult. Those who exhibit exceptional skill in this domain are regarded as more divine and often find leadership positions within the church.
Naming Practices Edit
Another common practice which enable non-followers to easily distinguish members of this religion is the naming practices for children. Seussicans will name each child after one of the religious figures depicted in their texts. An increase in popularity of this religion has led to an abundance of children named “Yertle”, “Cindy Lou”, and “Horton”. Since Seussicans who do not bear a holy name are often perceived as being lower status members, it is common to take a holy name regardless of one’s birth name.