Adherents.com has ranked the major religions of the world. What surprises me is that there are only around 500 thousand Scientologists, and that there are more – 600 thousand – Rastafarians in the world. Note that I said Rastafarians, not Pastafarians. Pastafarianism did not make the list, unfortunately.
Now I’m wondering how many Pastafarians there are in the world, and how we’d go about quantifying that. The FSM website has received well over 10 million unique visitors in the last two years. I’m guessing that the number of people vaguely familiar with FSM is in the millions, but that those who consider themselves Pastafarians number only in the tens of thousands. And of those people, I’m guessing that only some of them consider this a legit religion. For others it’s a joke, satire, entertainment, whatever.
I’m wondering how the mainstream religions count members. Do they count only those who truly follow the core beliefs, and disregard those who are there mainly for the social benefits? Or do they count everyone who’s signed up, or possibly those who pay dues?
Is FSM all that different than the other religions? How many Christians Truly Believe the Bible is the Infallible Word of God, and how many are members because they enjoy the social network and lifestyle that being Christian affords them? It seems to me that many Pastafarians enjoy this community, even if they don’t actually believe there is a Flying Spaghetti Monster controlling events around us at will. Of course, many of us do.
The Church of the FSM has no organized registration process – I’ve never liked the idea of it; it seemed too close to what the major religions do… tracking, asking for money – which I’m strongly against. But maybe it’s time for FSM to become more organized. What do you think? What do you want out of FSM?