Welcome to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

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  • Was this the first tree-topper? Read

  • The FSM made another appearance on my favorite show of all time, Futurama. Read

  • Behold these magnificent FSMas lights Read

  • Become a Pastafarian Minister - Official Certificates of Ordination now available Read

  • Congratulations to Bomba, t-shirt design contest winner. Read

  • Rachel Maddow talks about Darwin day and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Read

  • Senator Grassley's megachurch probe was bullshit Read

  • Official church stance on homosexual marriage, by Katie Read

  • Read the Open Letter that started everything (though we maintain the Church has existed in secrecy for hundreds of years.) Read


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Campus Ministers

Published January 24th, 2015 by Bobby Henderson

icsmall

Pastafarian Minister Dan Scott spotted a couple of campus ministers preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ (in a less than tolerant tone) in front of the University of Houston, so he decided to do some evangelizing on behalf of the FSM. Judging by their faces this looks to have been a great success in church-to-church interaction.

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In response to the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks

Published January 16th, 2015 by Bobby Henderson

hebdo

The P.A.S.T.A Foundation wrote this article in response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks titled In Defense of Religious Satire. I like it, a lot of great points in here:

As the world continues to reel from the vicious terrorist attack that left 12 dead at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, for some in the West the inevitable finger pointing and blame game has already begun. In one corner, right-wing blowhards attempt to smear the entire Muslim faith of over 1 billion people with the heinous acts of two fanatics. While in another corner, politically-correct ninnies minimize the horrible killing of these writers and cartoonists by referencing the paper’s history of “xenophobia, racism, sexism, and homophobia” and claiming the publication somehow “provoked” the violence from Islamic extremists.

Both of these reactions are an affront to civil society. We cannot blame the whole of the followers of Islam for the actions of a group of marginalized individuals. Painting with this broad-brush point of view is a major contributor to the ease with which an entire society can label Muslims as “the other”. It’s this mentality that helps support military imperialism and the wholesale torture and killing of people in far off countries. The second mind-set, one that would explain away the barbaric nature of these killings by limiting freedom of speech, takes away one of our most potent defenses against fanaticism on all sides of the spectrum: Humor and Satire.

[read the rest here on J.T. Eberhard's1 Patheos blog.]

What do I think about the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks and the aftermath?

I’ve been trying to stay out of it until the noise dies down. I hear a lot of voices saying what’s obvious and true: this was a sad, terrible act done by some extremists; this is a predictable outcome of blind, extreme faith; the few extreme members don’t represent the whole of any group.

One thing I believe: it is the groups who feel their beliefs are above criticism who are in need of being deflated a bit with humorous satire. This idea that some beliefs can’t be questioned is a cancer. But let’s please try to confront it in a positive way.

There was a great interview on NPR this week with a man who has reversed his radical views and is now fighting against the underlying causes of extremism. He makes the point that in Islam there is a core belief, even amongst many moderate members, that the prophet Muhhammad can not be criticized or joked about, and that this is at odds with modern democratic society where we demand the right to poke at our institutions/leaders/beliefs. Definitely worth listening to if you’ve got 30mins. Here’s the link: How Orwell’s Animal Farm Led A Radical Muslim to Moderation.

1. Side note — Early FSM people may remember J.T. Eberhard from the Missouri Pastafarians group. I was always a fan of his — one of my favorite things he did was building a box-fort in the middle of campus as a statement about religious discrimination.

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Happy Holidays

Published December 27th, 2014 by Bobby Henderson

I hope everyone is having a great Holiday[1] season and a merry FSMas. Here are some of my favorite festive things this year:

Tyler’s pipe cleaner ornament

Tyler's pipe cleaner ornament

Bianca’s FSM tree

bianca fsmas tree

Martin’s FSM emblem topped tree

martins fsmas tree

Laura’s fingerpuppet ornament

Lauras finger puppet

This dude sent me a Holiday greeting claiming to be a Pastafarian and I believe him.

arr i have a beer

Lily made this beautiful Holiday card.

holiday card by lily

[1] A note on Holiday: some years ago we noticed there was a shift in the way people expressed greetings this time of year — less and less Merry Christmas and more and more Happy holidays. We concluded that these people were probably Pastafarians wishing people a happy Holiday – referring to our winter celebration also known as FSMas.

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Who Recognizes this Utah Pastafarian?

Published November 18th, 2014 by Bobby Henderson

stgspaghettimonster111601

Asia Lemmon, also known as Jessica Steinhauser, an atheist and member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, said she wanted to wear the colander, also known as a pasta strainer, on her head for the photo to make a statement.

And years before this, she went by Asia Carrera, a well known adult film star.

The Spectrum just put out an article about how all of this went down. Asia is a very smart lady and I respect her motives – and bravery – for doing this in the middle of Mormon country.

Here’s the article, it’s great: CFSM ‘Pastafarian’ makes statement

Trivia: Asia also appeared in The Big Lebowski, in the Logjammin’ scene with Karl Hungus, one of the Nihilists ( /cable expert).

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Pastafarian Inmate Sues Prison

Published November 7th, 2014 by Bobby Henderson

pirate

In FSM news — Nebraska prisoner Stephen Cavanaugh is suing over the right to pursue his faith in the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Specifically he wants:

* to dress in religious garments — that is, full pirate regalia — and,

* to take part in weekly meetings with others who hold similar beliefs

He’s also asking for $5 Million in damages related to “deep emotional, psychological, and spiritual pain resulting from being allowed to practice my religion, and Mr. Bartlet [Religious Coordinator, Nebraska State Pen]‘s repeated mocking and insulting of my faith.”

I’m skeptical of anyone asking for money, and my immediate thought was that this is a frivolous lawsuit. But after reading the court documents and talking with people in the know, I feel that here is a troubled guy who is legitimately trying to pursue his faith and, only after being stymied by the in-house prison channels, was forced to take the fight to the courts. Yes the dollar amount he’s asking for is exorbitant (and in my view, hurts his case), but the underlying complaint feels legitimate to me.

One thing I found alarming: in the court docs there’s a claim by prison officials that, when looking into Cavanaugh’s religion, they found “the founder of Pastafarianism stated that it was a parody of religion”, and used this as a reason to deny Cavanaugh his requests for religious garments and group prayer.

They may or may not be referring to me, I don’t know — but I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to any Nebraskan prison officials, and if I did I wouldn’t have used those words.

For the record, I don’t believe Pastafarianism is a parody.

What I say, sometimes, is that some number of Pastafarians do not believe in a literal Flying Spaghetti Monster or our Creation story. And that is perfectly fine — it’s a common thing even in mainstream religion to be skeptical of scripture. The distinction is that in FSM, the culture is more accepting of people who are skeptical-minded, while in many mainstream religions, doubt is seen as an affront to the Dogmatic Truth.

My point is that there are doubters in religion in general, simply because religious scripture can be full of nonsense. You wouldn’t say Christianity is a parody just because some members don’t buy the part about the world being created in 7 days and the talking snake, etc.

Religion is more than a collection of beliefs and rituals, it’s a way to form community and a framework to make sense of our place in the universe. And on this level, I think Prison officials did Cavanaugh a disservice in not allowing him to pursue his faith. I mean, he wasn’t asking for that much. He wanted to buy a pirate costume with his own money and hang out with some other Pastafarians once a week.

One last point I’d like to make: lets consider that maybe the prison officials are simply unenlightened about the FSM. Maybe this is just a misunderstanding, rather than outright religious persecution. I suspect that Mr. Cavanaugh may be willing to call of the fight if the prison officials would relent and allow him to pursue his faith.

Here are the best articles I’ve found, if you’d like to keep reading about Cavanaugh’s case:

[1] Great article (and spectacular title) by ThinkProgress about the Cavanaugh lawsuit — Inmate Sues Prison Claiming His Religious Liberty Entitles Him To Dress Like A Pirate

[2] The raw court documents (PDF)

[3] Here’s an article where some lawyers are discussing whether the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster may have some influence in rethinking the RLUIPA (religion in prison) laws — Can the Flying Spaghetti Monster Reshape RLUIPA?

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Stained Glass

Published September 20th, 2014 by Bobby Henderson

Stephan made this beautiful stained glass window.

fsmoutside

The design was influenced by a previous contributor who had done a computer mockup of what the FSM would look like on stained glass.

I made a few modifications in order for it to be feasible, and for it to fit in an 24″x18′ frame.

You can see more of Stephan’s work here.

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Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day

Published September 19th, 2014 by Bobby Henderson

fsm_girls2

I hope everyone has a great time.

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The Vancouver pride parade douche was not one of us

Published August 7th, 2014 by Bobby Henderson

This guy, Bill Whatcott,

fatdouche

has nothing to do with the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

We hear he crashed a Vancouver pride parade posing as a member of the Calgary Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and then passed out anti-gay leaflets.

I find it all very sad, and while I hope no one actually believed this douche represents the Church of the FSM, I wonder if there’s anything that can be done to keep him from using our name and symbols in the future.

Here’s an article talking about their antics.

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Kiva Team FSM has reached $2 Million in Loans

Published March 24th, 2014 by Bobby Henderson

2million

Team FSM has reached $2 Million in loans on the micro-lending site Kiva. We’re now the top-lending religious congregation on Kiva, above the Buddhists, Catholics, Muslims, and — especially pleasing to me – above the Mormons, who we’ve been in a friendly competition with for years. Congratulations everyone!

suck it, mormons

What is Kiva? Kiva is a platform where you can make small loans to people in poor areas that need help starting small business. We make small, interest-free loans towards the projects we support, and Kiva combines them to fund the loan to the person who wants to build a small workshop, farm, restaurant, fruit stand, etc. These are interest-fee loans in places like Cambodia, Peru, Uganda — places where traditional bank lending to the poor is unavailable (or predatory). Kiva ensures that the loans are paid out and that the money is paid back. A lot of us feel this is the best way of bringing economic growth to the poorest areas.

I’ve had a good experience with Kiva and I encourage anyone interested to check it out. And please join our amazing team and help us continue to trounce the mainstream religion teams.

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Pastafarian minister sworn into office

Published January 6th, 2014 by Bobby Henderson

sworn-in

Encouraging news, reported by The Observer out of Dunkirk, New York:

A unique style of headwear was present during newly-seated Pomfret Town Council member Christopher Schaeffer’s oath of office Thursday afternoon, but it wasn’t intended to keep his head warm.

Schaeffer wore a colander (a strainer typically used to drain water from spaghetti) while Town Clerk Allison Dispense administered the oath of office to him before the board’s reorganizational meeting. When the OBSERVER asked afterward why he wore a colander on his head, Schaeffer said he was a minister with an even more unique organization – the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

This may be the first openly Pastafarian sworn into office. For sure, the first to be sworn in wearing a colander.

I imagine Council member Schaeffer is getting a lot of heat because of the news coverage. Some people will see it as obnoxious or a sign that he’s not taking the oath of office seriously. But I am completely confident that Schaeffer will distinguish himself as a Council member of the highest caliber.

Scaeffer’s statement at the end of the article says it all:

“Mostly, I’m just looking forward to making sure that the town is run smoothly and we meet the needs of all of our citizens,” he said. “If anybody ever has any concerns or questions, I hope they contact me, because I want to make sure that everyone is represented.”

You can read the article here at the Observer.

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