141536 Views
833 Comments

Treat other religions with respect

Published July 9th, 2010 by Bobby Henderson

When I first found this site, I was thoroughly amused.  I understand and even agree with your argument on the teaching of the Theory of Intelligent Design in public schools.  Your way of presenting this was very amusing, and wittily got your opinion expressed on the subject matter.

I sincerely wish I would’ve stopped scanning your website after reading your letter.
It was the attitude of the rest of the website that made me stop and feel terrible for the people who disagree with you.  From the video of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float performing a "religious action" on a random person to the tab specially designed for hate mail, I was instantly turned off to your concept of how you express your opinions.

Believing in something is one thing, but pounding others into the dust–pretty much BEGGING for the opportunity for someone to argue with you?  That’s something entirely different.  I know people must be begging for the hate mail that only screams at what a dumb religion yours is… just so that you can slam your argument into their faces. 

I think your message got lost a long time ago, Bobby.  It’s really sad… you had a good thing going, I think.  It’s really sad that your message of "don’t teach Intelligent Design in our schools" turned into "religion is pointless", which then turned into "everyone who believes in a religion is below me, and that gives me the right to completely disrespect everything they stand for".  It’s really sad that people join this group just so that they can slam onto other people.  Because really?  What are you hoping to accomplish at this point?

I may not agree with Christianity 100%, but I do believe "Do Unto Others" is a great philosophy to live by.  So is "Turn The Other Cheek".  Basically, treat other religions with respect… but if they don’t honor your viewpoints back?  Take the high road.  Maybe make a simple comment (like your letter) and be done with it.  By dragging it out like this, you’re making yourself look bad… and that’s all.

Thank you for your time,
-Alfred



833 Responses to “Treat other religions with respect”

  1. tim says:

    Oh, great: another one.

    “Believing in something is one thing, but pounding others into the dust–pretty much BEGGING for the opportunity for someone to argue with you?”
    I sincerely couldn’t agree more. It bugs me when they come to MY door, talking up their zombie messiah, and warning me that I’m doomed to spend eternity in a pit of fire unless I concede that their view is the only correct one, too.

    Now, then, “… by dragging it out like this,” as you so eloquently phrase it, a movement is created, and individuals realize that they’re not alone in a world dominated by people with nonsensical notions about how the universe operates. If this weren’t “being drug out,” then the world would lose sight of the situation, which still persists. As far as the bit about “doing unto others” is concerned, I can’t speak for everyone, but I personally will consider living up to that particular standard of *your* religious dogma when you and your fellow Christians do. Cheers.

  2. tekhedd says:

    Most of the people here are pretty nice. Oh sure, there are a few extremely abusive commenters. And clearly those people are enabled by the rest of us, and would not exist without the power base of a large group of skeptical FSM followers. But, (we claim) they do not represent the FSM community as a whole, because they are radicals and are not following the mainstream of FSM teachings. This absolves us of *all responsibility*. They are what I would call FSM or skeptical fundamentalists, they are a small minority. Sorry if they are bothering you! But if they come to your town and try to make worship of any god other than FSM illegal, or blow up buildings in your town, be assured we will shake our heads in mild disapproval and post comments here about how they it’s “a shame that some people misrepresent our cause in this way.” So, see, it’s OK?

    (BTW, I do think some of the anti-religious people take it a bit too far. If you really are that mad at Christians go to exchristian.net and work through your anger for a while, you know?)

    On a completely different tack, I’m also a huge fan of “do unto others!” On the other hand, I am *not* a fan of “turn the other cheek.” That just makes you a two-time victim. Or, in the case of my parents, a chronic victim. Philosophy like that is a great way to keep the common rabble in their place, but it’s no way for a thinking, self-respecting person to live.

    Great, I’m multi-posting comments now. :( New mantra: “I will not comment hastily.”

    • Pastafarina Pirate Dan says:

      Actually, I was told that “turn the other cheek” has been misinterpreted for the last few centuries. According to one historian (sorry, I don’t remember the name), at the time of Jesus (if he existed) it was common for slaves and servants to be struck with the back of the hand by their master. Striking with the palm was only done to equals. Turning the “other cheek” would for the one who struck you (with the back of his hand) to use the palm to strick you a second time, therefore you would be implying your equality. This then would be a very subversive thing to do. So turning the other cheek wasn’t the passive action it’s come to be.

      Of course on the main topic of this post, Alfred is way off base. The non-pastafarian’s came to this site with their hatefilled posts first. The type of vitriol they use doesn’t deserve any respect.

      RAmen

  3. Lioss says:

    I really wish that others religions treat pastafarianism with respect.
    As a pastafarian I never thought about writing insluting mail to christian,muslim…website as “true believers” do.
    To be respected,start by respecting.
    And if for you to don’t share your belief is a lake of respect,you have a problem with 5 billions humans.

    • StJason says:

      To be fair, if we had issues with Muslem or Buddist, or Taoist, or even Subgenii trying to take over our schools and coming onto this page and insulting everyone, I’m fairly certain that they’d get the same backhanding that we regularly give out to the Christians. Funny thing though. I don’t see hordes of foaming-mouth Jews writing us to tell us how wrong we are.

      • Lioss says:

        Maybe because proselytism is forbidden for jewish.

        • StJason says:

          But it’s not for Muslems (for example). How often are you seeing (in America, at least) Imams decrying the degradation of society and pressuring public figures to bring the traditional teaching of The Prophet into schools?

          Technically, you don’t even see this in the middle east. Due to the rampant deregulated social network, any dolt can build their own school and teach whatever they want… hey… do you think that’s why they are so in favor of privatizing schools?

        • Lioss says:

          I’m french,and here religion is banished from all the public administration and school,it’s in our constitution.So teachers can’t teach what they want to kids.Private schools must have a contract with state,they can’t teach what they want either.
          There are so many thing in Usa education that seems impossible here…

        • tekhedd says:

          Well, mostly Muslems believe in predestination, so it’s sort of pointless to try to convert you as God has already cast about half of us into a fiery hell, and does not care. The idea of free will is there, but weak; it’s more a religion of conquest than conversion. Which is why you’re more likely to have someone threaten to cut your head off than to convert you. (Of course, just for saying this, I could be risking death threats. Isn’t religion wondeful?)

  4. darkstar says:

    Alfred states: “I may not agree with Christianity 100%, but I do believe “Do Unto Others” is a great philosophy to live by.”

    The Golden Rule is not inherent to Christianity:

    The Ancient Egyptian concept of Maat appears in the story of The Eloquent Peasant which is dated to the Middle Kingdom (c. 2040 – 1650 BCE): “Now this is the command: Do to the doer to cause that he do.”

    The late period (c. 1080 – 332 BCE): “That which you hate to be done to you, do not do to another.”

    Ancient Greek philosophies:

    “Do not do to your neighbor what you would take ill from him.” – Pittacus

    “Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing.” – Thales

    “What you do not want to happen to you, do not do it yourself either. ” – Sextus the Pythagorean

    “Do not do to others what would anger you if done to you by others.” – Isocrates

    “What thou avoidest suffering thyself seek not to impose on others.” – Epictetus

    “It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly (agreeing ‘neither to harm nor be harmed’), and it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living a pleasant life.” – Epicurus

    “One should never do wrong in return, nor mistreat any man, no matter how one has been mistreated by him.” – Plato’s Socrates (Crito, 49c)

    From the scriptures of the Bahá’í Faith:

    “Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not.”

    “Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself.”

    “And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbour that which thou choosest for thyself.”

    - Bahá’u'lláh

    Buddhism:

    “Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill.”

    “One who, while himself seeking happiness, oppresses with violence other beings who also desire happiness, will not attain happiness hereafter.” – Dhammapada

    Confucianism:

    “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” – Confucius

    Hinduism:

    “One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one’s own self. This, in brief, is the rule of dharma. Other behavior is due to selfish desires.” – Brihaspati, Mahabharata

    Islam:

    “Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you.” – Muhammad

    Jainism:

    “Nothing which breathes, which exists, which lives, or which has essence or potential of life, should be destroyed or ruled over, or subjugated, or harmed, or denied of its essence or potential.”

    “In support of this Truth, I ask you a question – “Is sorrow or pain desirable to you ?” If you say “yes it is”, it would be a lie. If you say, “No, It is not” you will be expressing the truth. Just as sorrow or pain is not desirable to you, so it is to all which breathe, exist, live or have any essence of life. To you and all, it is undesirable, and painful, and repugnant.”

    - From the Acaranga Sutra

    “Just as pain is not agreeable to you, it is so with others. Knowing this principle of equality treat other with respect and compassion.” – Suman Suttam

    Taoism:

    “The sage has no interest of his own, but takes the interests of the people as his own. He is kind to the kind; he is also kind to the unkind: for Virtue is kind. He is faithful to the faithful; he is also faithful to the unfaithful: for Virtue is faithful.” – Tao Teh Ching

    “Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.” – T’ai Shang Kan Ying P’ien

    Now, please take another gander over this website, and ask yourself honestly: how many of all these other religions who practice the Golden Rule are here trolling this website and slobbering spiteful vitriol besides fundamentalist Christians? And why does it seem that only Christians are the ones who are offended?

    I think this mostly is simply the result of the age-old axiom: “you reap what you sow.”

    • Matt says:

      It’s a common trend that many religious people believe without (their) religion, there would be no ‘morality’.

  5. Ren says:

    I have to admit that turning the other cheek does not appeal to me. I haven’t found conceding to your opposition to be constructive or conducive to understanding each other better. I think this is a great place for like-minded people to have discussions and for those not like-minded to have open dialogue with others about ideas different from their own. The truth is that we are the minority, and many people reject our beliefs (or non-beliefs) as soon as we try to voice our opinions. I very much enjoy the commentary from users on this site and find many both clever and smart! What are the users “doing unto others” that’s so terrible.. asking for evidence, being critical, and open-minded? I do not respect religion, and I do not respect any fascist that says I must. However, I respect the RIGHT to believe in whatever absurd superstitions or supernatural things in which people have faith. I also acknowledge that only certain countries afford people that luxury. So, with that said, long live FSM!!

    AND fact – this religion is just as legitimate as any other religion

    PS When I visit any affiliates of Ask.com it has a link at the top of the page that says “Jesus Loves You.” I really think this should say “FSM Loves You.”

  6. Insightful Ape says:

    Are we having an epidemic of respect-seeking concern trolls these days? Or is this one just a suckpuppet, following the last one?
    Either way, Alfred, to answer your question, respect is not a right. It is something you earn. I don’t “respect” creationists because they haven’t earned it. The fact that their views are based on religion is simply irrelevant.
    There is no code of ethics that all opinions should be respected. Trying to enforce this unwritten rule is not rare, though, and it is a blatant violation of freedom of speech.
    Case in point: the Scandinavian nations still have to deal with the aftermath of publications of prophet mohamad in 2006 in the form of terrorist plots. We shouldn’t renounce our freedoms because some people want us muzzled. (And that includes you).

    • Hazywind says:

      Very insightful Ape (I like the name by way). Religious bigots changed their strategies. They realized that bible thumping and parroting verses made them look so old and so passé that they now are dressing in lamb skin trumpeting tolerance, respect and political correctness. This should not surprise anybody. Changing tactics, deceit and pretense have been employed by these people hallucinating and intoxicated with the power of their useless God to avoid scrutiny. If they can’t repress humanity with threat, they will appeal to humanity’s good side with a plea (oh don’t pick on me, I am helpless, a saint, a martyr and I only have God/Jesus as my savior – sounds pathetic isn’t it?). If it suits them, everybody should be politically correct, everybody should be respectful and everybody should be tolerant. It is a cop out really and they are good at that. God work in mysterious way and Mohammad is His prophet – not only sounds silly, it is dumb.

      Religion should have gone by the way of the dragons and Greek mythology. Let us make it happen by poking fun of it. Expose these so called prophets, i.e. Mohammad, Jesus, Ted Haggard, the Pope for who and what they really are – charlatan, swindler and narcissists.

      Alfred – you are not above anybody else in this site. Stop pretending to be holier than thou and get off your high horse. Do you really believe that trying to sound nice will keep you in the good side of your contemptibly inadequate God?

      Wouldn’t you rather have a heaping bowl of delicious spaghetti and meatballs content with the fact that everything is going to all right by letting go of your pretentions?

      Hazywind

      • Insightful Ape says:

        Thanks bud.
        This is not the only occasion they have changed tactics, though.
        Look at creationism, for example. Anti-science propaganda was presented in the 1980s as “creation science”. Once that was declared unconstitutional they rebranded it “intelligent design”. Since that was struck down at the Dover trial they have taken up a new name, “strengths and weaknesses”.
        They don’t realize it, but they are practically showing us how “evolution through natural selection” works.

      • StJason says:

        Now, that may go to far. It brings comfort and some very low-quality psychological counciling to people. So it should be treated similarly to other facets of our culture that do the same: pets, fuzzy blankets, arts & crafts, and teddy bears.

        • Mr Cooper (allhailfsm) says:

          but to be fair Mohhammed (peace by upon him) did preach peace and all of his actions were documentated at the time of them happening, as for this jesus fellow, can’t say i’ve heqard of him.
          I know it appears im symaptheic to Islam but to be fair thay do get a lot of trouble from people

        • Insightful Ape says:

          Mohammad was a warlord.
          He preached peace before he took power.

        • Noodle Wisdom says:

          Mohammad was also a pedophile, “marrying” many girls and consummating the marriages when the girls were as young as 9 years old. A real prince.

        • tekhedd says:

          Preached peace and tolerance early on, but later that was canceled out. Look up “abrogation.” Nonbelievers must be converted or killed: that is canon.

          Now it’s a religion of peace…for Muslim men.

      • Agneithist says:

        I couldn’t agree more with your take on the “rebranding of religion”. I think it’s hilarious that new age religious zealots will nudge non-believers with their elbow saying, “Look how foolish those guys are, preaching from the bible. They have it all wrong. Jesus never meant that. I’ll tell you exactly what he meant. We’ve been looking at it all wrong for two thousand years.” Then that very individual will go on to explain the exact same content, just rephrasing it. It’s plagiarism on a grand scheme. Only they neglect to mention how many times the actual gospel has changed, how many languages it’s been translated into, and how many times other philosophies have been synergized into what we call the bible today. If you want a good laugh, go the following site:
        Gospelrevolution.com

        I wonder how seriously of a crime jesus considers plagiarism?

      • tekhedd says:

        “Religion should have gone by the way of the dragons and Greek mythology. Let us make it happen by poking fun of it.”

        While I want to agree with you, we must not forget that the “argument from absurdity” is fundamentally flawed. There is a fundamental difference between “poking fun” and “exposing serious flaws through satire.” I try to do the latter, because the former just makes people want to hit you with a stick.

  7. Drained and Washed Clean says:

    I sincerely wish I would’ve stopped scanning your website after reading your letter.
    It was the attitude of the rest of the website that made me stop and feel terrible for the people who disagree with you.
    – I don’t. Those that come here and are respectful find a respectful conversation, and those that come here to flame us get flamed. I don’t see the need to treat those who are disrespectful with respect. As someone has already said, respect is earned.

    From the video of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float performing a “religious action” on a random person to the tab specially designed for hate mail, I was instantly turned off to your concept of how you express your opinions.
    – But some people express their opinions in Christianity by going to soldiers’ funerals and screaming at their parents and holding signs saying their loved ones are going to hell. Others express their beliefs by blowing up abortion clinics. Others go door to door and basically tell everyone if they don’t agree they will suffer eternally. I am turned off by all of those concepts. Where is your protest to that? We don’t threaten. We don’t kill. Some of us are anti-theists and are allowed to express our opinions as such. There are Pastafarians who don’t agree with some of the art and they say so. No one cuts them down for it. They share their opinion; we share ours. If what we say offends you, leave. Oh, and you apparently failed to notice the Concerned Criticism on the hatemail title… How convenient.

    Believing in something is one thing, but pounding others into the dust–pretty much BEGGING for the opportunity for someone to argue with you?
    – When people come here and threaten physical harm, threaten us with hell, tell us how stupid we are, and try to say they are absolutely right without any proof of course we pound them. I don’t see us going to Christian sites and telling them they are absolutely ridiculous. I don’t walk into a mosque and throw pigs blood on them and say “In the eyes of the FSM it is just marinara!” That would be pounding. We are content to discuss on our website. Those who come here and are assholes do so at their own risk.

    That’s something entirely different. I know people must be begging for the hate mail that only screams at what a dumb religion yours is… just so that you can slam your argument into their faces.
    – No, I hope for the day that everyone comes to the realization that they can exist without god and without the hate that is associated with it. But that is me. I am an anti-theist. Some on this website are agnostics, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews… We are respectful of each other. But I say again, those who come here looking for a fight are going to get one. I will not stand by and allow someone to talk to my community and I like that.

    I think your message got lost a long time ago, Bobby. It’s really sad… you had a good thing going, I think. It’s really sad that your message of “don’t teach Intelligent Design in our schools” turned into “religion is pointless”, which then turned into “everyone who believes in a religion is below me, and that gives me the right to completely disrespect everything they stand for”. It’s really sad that people join this group just so that they can slam onto other people. Because really? What are you hoping to accomplish at this point?
    – I do not have to respect beliefs that I find archaic and harmful. You obviously don’t respect my opinion because it is not in line with yours. You seem to perceive not agreeing with your religion as disrespectful. I am allowed to have my opinion. I am allowed to argue my points (sometimes more “respectfully” than others). We don’t join to slam, we join to find like minded people. Same reason you go to church.

    I may not agree with Christianity 100%, but I do believe “Do Unto Others” is a great philosophy to live by. So is “Turn The Other Cheek”.
    – I will say again, I will treat everyone with respect until they disrespect me. I find no need to waste energy being nice to people who are threatening my well being (eternally or otherwise).

    Basically, treat other religions with respect… but if they don’t honor your viewpoints back? Take the high road.
    – No. I don’t care if they don’t want to listen, but I am, again, allowed to state my viewpoint, and my evidence that backs up my beliefs. That is not disrespectful. That is honestly. If you are unable to accept that others have different opinions and are allowed to share them and their reasoning behind them, then maybe you should find a country that only allows the expression of one opinion. You may feel more comfortable there.

    Maybe make a simple comment (like your letter) and be done with it. By dragging it out like this, you’re making yourself look bad… and that’s all.
    – No, those who come here and are assholes make themselves look bad. Think of it like football. Those that come here are on offense. We are on defense. Just because we are on defense doesn’t mean that we stand there and let them score. We do our job which is to defend our team.

    • darkstar says:

      “No, those who come here and are assholes make themselves look bad. Think of it like football. Those that come here are on offense. We are on defense. Just because we are on defense doesn’t mean that we stand there and let them score. We do our job which is to defend our team.”

      And defend it well we do! :)

    • Nenya says:

      I liked this reply. It shows (and so does other replies on this topic) that we can give serious and courteous replies when it is called for.
      (english is not my first language)

    • Justin Chase says:

      exactly…

  8. Danimal says:

    Alfred,
    I respect religion for the same reason I respect a wounded bear. It is dangerous and irrational and I would avoid it if I could, but now that’s here I’ll try to keep my distance until someone can put it out of its misery.

    Pastafarians do at times have harsh replies but I’m OK with that as long as they are making a valid point. This is a satire and biting criticism is going to be expected. However, the idiots who post gems like, “Fukkk u buddy. FSM 4lyfe” I could do without even if they do support the FSM.

    Also, Christopher and Phyve, you make good points. I wish there were still “thumbs up” buttons
    (See Alfred, I respect Bobby but I can still be critical of some elements of the website redesign.)

    Danimal

    • Bobby says:

      I’ll put back the thumb up / thumbs down buttons if I can.

      • gordon_uk says:

        Yey, also what’s with the odd faces? Can we change them?

        • Mr Cooper (all hail FSM) says:

          Oh, before I forget, Gordon what part of Uk you from? I’m from the Midlands

        • gordon_uk says:

          its hard to say we sort of fit in two areas west anglia / south midlands

        • Bobby Henderson says:

          Yeah you can.. they are “gravatars” .. globally recognized avatars that follow you from site to site – http://www.gravatar.com

        • gordon_uk says:

          cool, thanks

      • Danimal says:

        One more reason Bobby is my hero!

Leave a Reply