Prepare to be sorted

Of all the characters in the Harry Potter series, my favorite is the Sorting Hat.

Okay, my second–I love Luna Lovegood.  I totally would've gone out with her if I'd gone to Hogwarts. 

Maybe it's a new thing, or maybe it's just something I notice more now, but it seems lots of my friends are wrangling with their spiritual lives.  At Hogwarts, first year students are made to sit before the entire school, while the Sorting Hat is placed upon their heads.  The Hat looks into their minds, takes into account talents and strengths the kids don't even know they have, then assigns them to one of the houses.  The Sorting Hat's judgment is infallible.

Most of the characters in Harry Potter are just fine, don't get me wrong, but I think the world would be so much better if everyone could sit down and put on the Hat.  Imagine how much easier our lives would be if a third party could tell us our optimal path. 

"Hmm.  Yes.  Lots of intelligence, but absolutely no discipline.  Strong in science.  Math aptitude is there, but ends at Pre-Calculus.  Pretty good writer, excellent mind for trivia and capacity for alcohol.  You should forget about pre-med–you'll never be a doctor–and stay with Kristen from the 10th grade bus stop.  She's your ultimate.  You should go to University of Georgia, double-major in Pharmacy and English, and write a comedic parody of the PDR.  You'll make pretty good money.  Let Kristen quit law school and teach–it's her destiny.  It will make her happy, and if she becomes a lawyer, she'll cheat on you with every partner in the firm (male and female).  Make sure to learn as much as you can from your grandfather, because he'll drop dead when you're 17."

Obviously, that would be awesome, but it exceeds the Sorting Hat's scope.  If only it could sort us onto our best spiritual path. 

A friend who's looking for a spiritual home mentioned the Belief-O-Matic quiz on Beliefnet.com.  You answer 20 questions, and it tabulates your answers, compares them to a list of faiths, and gives you your top matches.  It doesn't tell you what to believe, but which faiths best share what you already believe.  It's always interesting whenever I've taken it–really? Baha'i or Liberal Quaker? Huh?–and the questions always make me think.  It's not infallible, though.  I'm sure my answers change from day to day, and God only knows (grin) what faith profiles they use.

That's why the Sorting Hat would be so much cooler.  Then I'd know, definitively, that I was supposed to be a Unitarian-Universalist, and I'd be able to give you directions to the right church. 

Just so you'd be on time when I married Luna Lovegood. 

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46 Responses to “Prepare to be sorted”

  1. When I took the test it said Updating site, No Answer available… I'm doomed I knew it. Baha'i… I fear that might be a cult. They tried to give me money to join, beware.

  2. I'm doomed I knew it.Nah. I probably broke it.

  3. My results:
    1. Orthodox Quaker (100%) 2. Seventh Day Adventist (87%) 3. Eastern Orthodox (86%) 4. Roman Catholic (86%)The 4th is my actual practicing religion, and I used to have a roommate in college who was a Quaker. But she was odd, not influential. Very interesting little survey! Or virtual sorting hat, if you prefer. 🙂 I've never gotten 100% on anything that tries to put me in a category, so the above results are a new experience for me. Luna was kickass. 🙂 LOVEd her. I could identify with her. I always felt like the weird one, but only because the rest of the world didn't quite 'get' it. If only they could see, it would all make perfect sense to them. 😉

  4. I think Luna would be a Quaker.

  5. You rock Tom. The sorting hat would be super cool. I could use it in all aspects of my life right now!

  6. interesting quiz, Tom. my top 10 percentile results –
    1. Unitarian Universalism (100%) 2. Secular Humanism (98%) 3. Liberal Quakers (91%) 4. Theravada Buddhism (90%)as a non-practicer of religion, I reckon I'm closest to a Secular Humanist; I'd consider meself agnostic rather than atheist.

  7. Great post. Where was the sorting hat in my junior year in high school? I think my guidance counsellor told me I should be an asparagus farmer or something.My belief-o-matic result: 100% Neo-Pagan. So now I'm like, "Ooooh, cool. Er, wtf is a Neo-Pagan?" Sadly it's less sexy than it sounds. I do love that Roman Catholic is at the bottom of my list, though: 24%, just above Jehovah's Witness. There goes 20 years of hardcore RC training. The Jesuits would be so proud.

  8. interesting.i got 100% for liberal quaker and 99% for orthodox quaker. apparently, i should be a quaker.i do like their oatmeal.i wish i had a sorting hat. then i'd know what the hell i'm supposed to be doing. heh.

  9. all is right with the world again, I'm 100% Reformed Judiasm.
    L'chai-im! To life!

  10. Baruch Hashem, Calley. I was worried about your soul when it refused to sort you. Reform Judaism was really high on my results too, which kind of surprised me, not being Jewish and all.

  11. I should be a UU 100% or Liberal Quaker 91%Is this test a recruitment tactic of Quakers or something? :DI kinda disagree with the lower ranges, though — it thinks I'd be a better Scientologist than Hindu or Catholic? I didn't see any space-alien questions.Also, the fact that it thought I'd make a better Orthodox Jew than a bunch of other things ignores 2 important things: 1) women should be equal and 2) bacon is the greatest food EVAR.

  12. Bacon goes well with Quaker Oats. 😉

  13. Yay for making This Is Good or whatever they're calling it. This Is Culture. 🙂
    Tom, you're CULTURE!

  14. Congratulations on the Vox spotlighting, Tom. Well-deserved. 😀

  15. Found this on [Culture is Good]. Interesting quiz. My belief-o-matic came up with this:
    Unitarian Universalism (100%), followed by Liberal Quaker (92%) and Secular Humanism (85%).

  16. Kel, as I've told you repeatedly, you'll always be my culture maven. I'll let you know when Luna and I tie the knot. 😉

  17. Thanks, my Neo-Pagan friend.

  18. It seems a lot of people score highly with Quakers (myself included), yet there are only 350,000 Quakers worldwide. It seems like there'd be more. I know a few UU's, but no actual Quakers. Strange.

  19. Found this in the culture section and took the quiz. Imagine my delight to find I was 100% Neo-Pagan and 83% UU and 83% something I can't remember . . .
    As to the Sorting Hat I am afraid that once I got sorted I'd spend all my time trying to prove it wrong. There is a basic contraryness in my nature that resists "sorting", the poor Hat would probably have to lie to manipulate me into rebelling into the exact possition in life it had determined for me. Like the Fates it would hand me the keys to my own destruction. Or something. 🙂
    And I think I was Luna Lovegood. She's the character I identify the most with anyway. Although I don't think I was ever that patient or forgiving.

  20. When you do, please introduce me to Hermione. 🙂

  21. oh, i would so love to be sorted by the sorting hat! if only it would tell me what kind of career i'd be good at and find fulfilling and has good income! sigh, feel so lost at the moment!

  22. What a clever post. I would love to have a sorting hat. Not really for religion but for other things like your job or career.

  23. She's been asking about you. She wants to meet Sam, too (and of course he's invited). BTW, I'd laugh myself incontinent if your patronus were an alligator. 😉

  24. No way. My daemon is a monkey, so I bet my patronus would be a monkey, too. There has to be some sort of correlation.
    I'm not sure if Sam has formal-wear, so he may have to decline. 🙂 Also, he gets kind of cranky if he's not the center of attention.

  25. Problem solved: Sam can be my best man. Apparently, my daemon is an ornery, megalomaniacal cat. If I had a patronus, I'm sure Ana-Sofia would smite it out of jealousy.

  26. Sam accepts the offer. 🙂
    He's currently planning your bachelor party. I've been sworn to secrecy, but so far I've heard him muttering something about special drinks and an afterparty.

  27. I am not surprisingly 100% Secular Humanist. As for sorting…it would make things a lot easier, but I think a lot of life is figuring things out for yourself. I still don't know what I want to do with my life, but I've always been a one-day-at-a-time sort of person, so perhaps, if I knew what I had to do, I'd be more stressed out and upset about things. I like to take things as they come.

  28. Uh-oh. I saw what Nick Nolte looked like after he went out drinking with Sam. I'm in, but he's driving.

  29. Sam was never charged in that, just so you know.

  30. Yeah, and O.J. was acquitted, too. 😉

  31. When I was young, my family attended a Unitarian church for a while. I was too young to understand when they abruptly decided to stop going there. All I remember about that church was being given the book "TA for Tots" by Alvin Freed. Man, I wish I still had that.I didn't read enough of the HP books to know who Luna Lovegood is, but how could you not lust after a girl with a name like that?

  32. not trying to convert you or anything but you can believe ANYTHING you want and still be a unitarian universalist!

  33. I've always seen the Sorting Hat as kind of a personality sorter, sort of like the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. I've taken several online sorting hat tests and I usually come out as a Ravenclaw, though sometimes I'll end up in Slytherin, though never Gryffindor or Hufflepuff. I found a sorting hat test that was directly based on MBTI, and I got Ravenclaw:As a Ravenclaw and as an NTP, you are intellectual, independent, and
    value excellence in yourself and in those around you. You have a strong
    sense of curiosity, and in general can see many aspects of a single
    issue or debate. You have a strong drive to acquire knowledge and set
    very high standards for yourself and those around you. You enjoy being
    challenged, and can accept constructive criticism without taking it
    personally. You are probably at least somewhat unconventional, and will
    not usually follow authority for its own sake; instead, you will
    consider the issue at hand and make a decision for yourself.To take this test, click here.As far as my favorite character on Harry Potter, that has to be Lucius Malfoy. The man is sex on legs.As for the Belief O Matic, I got Unitarian Universalist, 100%

  34. *clinks glasses of mead*I'm an NTP Ravenclaw, also. I always figured I'd be in Ravenclaw. The dorks in Gryffindor and Slytherin could obsess and fight over Quidditch, while I'd be cooking up steroids in the potions lab, and selling them to each. Lucius Malfoy is one of the few characters I like more in the movies than in the books–Jason Isaacs absolutely nails him. I thing Alan Rickman does the same with Snape, although nowhere near as suavely. And God help anyone who thinks Snape is "sex on legs." 😉 Thanks for the link.

  35. My results were as expected! 😉

    1.
    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (100%)

    Another great post, Tom!

  36. Thanks.See? The Sorting Hat knew right where to put you. 😉

  37. Great post, and I LOVE that your favorite character is such an unusual one 🙂

  38. Interesting idea, but then I kind of like crashing about, finding my own way and not being sure. That's part of the fun, isn't it? 😉

  39. Great idea all in all but you would have the same clique' problems that they had in the book. Everyone would hate the kiss asses, oh wait they already do. One question though…. Which Luna are you marrying? The one form the book or the movie? The actress is sweet but I don't think that the writer/director let her do the role any justice. Interesting theory.

  40. The girl who plays Luna in the films is precious, and I think she did a good job. That said, you're right: she's so much better in the book, and it's the book Luna–whose things get stolen, then turn up the night of the year end feast–that I'd be chasing. You know, if I were a teenager again.

  41. The Hat is a multi-tasking, loyalty-testing, Gryffindor Sword-concealing, sarcastic, singing ViewMaster of the soul. As such, I don't think it got enough page time, which makes it doubly worthy of attention. And Luna kicks ass and is sweet at the same time. (I guess she becomes Luna Longbottom?)

  42. I've taken this quiz several times before, and I always seem to get 100% for Neo-pagan. The rest are always really random though. I love the idea of having the sorting hat tell you what you should be though. And I'd so attend your wedding to Luna, she's have great decorations lol

  43. I'd give the poor hat a nervous breakdown. 😦

  44. I think right now the Religious Sorting Hat for most people is called "family". 100% Secular Humanism.

  45. ooh. grats. this made front page on Vox News. 🙂

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