Probably the wealthiest Christo-Zedian Denomination in the inhabited universe, the proselytizing March Baptists can be traced back to Pre-Expansion Amercadia (then Earth). Their faith rests on the belief that Jesus (see: Terran Religions, Early) did indeed come again, as predicted in scripture, this time as a fellow named Zed. Zed was so dismayed at the condition of the planet (Earth) that he hung himself by his left foot from a fig tree for forty days and forty nights (see: Zed, The Dangling) and then wasted the planet (see: Wasting, The Great). He did, however (and this is where the Baptists differ from their fellow Zedians), relent and send his gospel, The Brand New Testament, to the survivors (The Faithful) through his prophet, Jim the Baptist. In the book of South Carolinians 1:35, Zed gives to his followers his famous 27 AMENDMENTS to the 10 COMMANDMENTS of Moses (Old Testament). The first seven of these are: 1) Thou shalt wear brown shoes, 2) Thou shalt purport thyself in commodious and seemly ways at all times, 3) Thou shalt talk louder than anyone else in the room, 4) Thou shalt leaveth thy door open by six inches and keep thy best foot on the floor at all times, 5) Thou shalt not be surprised by anything the Lord Thy Zed doeth unto thee, 6) Thou shalt button thy top button in the presence of thy neighbors, 7) Thou shalt March faithfully and without hesitation into the Heavens. The March Baptists took the Seventh Amendment quite literally. After the Unification, the March Baptists did more for the push into space than any other Amercadians. March Baptists researchers developed ships and weapons, March Baptist workers built them, wealthy March Baptists financed the work. They poured credits and human fodder into the new Amercadian Space Brigade. They were not among the first to go into space, however. During simulated flights it was found that non-Baptist crewmembers (the majority) developed a tendency to repeatedly bash the heads of the March Baptists into large metal objects after only a few marbecs’ confinement in the small (by our standards) ships. Only after they began to build and launch their own mission-ships were March Baptists able to realize their god’s commandment. As of this writing, the March Baptists have missions on 938 planets and free-floating temples EVERYWHERE.
Their Galactic Headquarters, the Peace Free Will Missionary Tabernacle of the Stars, is a wonder to behold. They have been responsible for a goodly number of civil wars and religious revolutions (including the Onolo Dos Actions of AE 101 that effectively put an end to the planet’s rebellion against the rule of Seven Planets). Their most Charismatic evangelist, Brother Bud, has the distinction of being the most often misquoted being in the inhabited universe. The following is his most misquoted quote: “Self-sacrifice, unless it’s God-Almighty motivated, is like plasma-powered poot. A lot of energy goes into it, but what do you get out of it in the long run?”