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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. Uuugggg says:

    “Do Unto Others” you say? Respect? I would like someone to point out when I am egregiously wrong. I would like people to disrespect my idiotic beliefs. This website is Par for the course!

  2. Mr Cooper (allhailfsm) says:

    testing gravitar

    • gordon_uk says:

      Not fair, It kept telling me that gordon_uk was in use!!!

      • Mr Cooper (allhailfsm) says:

        it doesnt matter on this site your name is normal, my name on gravitar is mrcooperallhailfsm

        • gordon_uk says:

          Thanks fella

  3. Lex says:

    If Alfred knew how many angry letters flood your inbox when you declare yourself an atheist, he would understand perfectly the need of a HateMail tab. The hatemail came first and it wasn’t ours.

    Also “Pounding others into the dust” is not begging for an argument, is more akin to the lines of “giving an appropriate response to those who are really begging for a fight”. Let me explain how this works: you put them in front of the mirror, they realize their mistake, they blush, then they go.
    Well, most of them. Some still roam.

    They may not understand at first what we are trying to say, or may try to shift the burden of responsibility towards us; alleging rudeness, but the most rude pastafarian i’ve seen in this site, is 50 times more educated than the most rude christian.
    (I mean, seriously, how many times one can say f*ck u in a sentence before it starts to lose its meaning… Its absurd. Those mails are real, those people ARE real.)

    Also creationism is still an ever present menace, threatening to collapse all systems of education and law, and drag us back to the dark ages once again. And for who’s benefit? I mean, If you really think that Kent Hovind, or Ted Haggard or Michael Behe believes in any god, in a Completely sincere way, then you could say that every used car dealer also believes that his cars are the best machines ever built.
    We are not disrespecting religion itself, but the stupidity therein. If it seems that we are bashing christianity directly, is because they are strongly entwined, to the point is very difficult to differentiate them.
    That needs to be fixed.

    Until We (pastafarians, agnostics, atheists) are recognized and respected in every single country of the planet, I will not set aside my keyboard; lest I turn myself an accomplice to their evil deeds, just by remaining silent. That is exaggerated to put it in those words, granted, but it’s true.

    Once again, sorry for my poor english, I’m practicing every day to improve it, but some errors still may (and will) show on this response.

    • Drained and Washed Clean says:

      I think you are doing fabulous :)

  4. Mariner says:

    I’m sorry, respect is earned, not given. When people like you, Alfred, come here and bash us for what we believe, why the hell should we respect you? You obviously don’t respect us, but you and other want us to respect religion because it has some nice philosophy? You have to earn that from me, I will not give it to one who doesn’t deserve it.

  5. Hollee says:

    Wow, a lot of sweeping generalizations are in that letter. If Pastafarians want to be assholes, that is their right, same as every other religious nutter. The mean comments posted after each piece of hate mail only represents a small number of Pastafarians, the same way extremist Christians are only a tiny fraction of that group. And by the way, the Internet is full of jackasses, we’re no different from them, and neither are you. RAmen.

    • Troller Jones says:

      Speak for yourself dude. We’re not all assholes. You may be, but not I nor most of us. We have a hate mail tab for a reason, and that’s to give intelligent and thoughtful replies (whether argumentative or just to point out how dumb the hate mailers are) to people who are the ones attempting to insult us. Like someone else mentioned, the hate mail came before the hate mail tab.

      • Hollee says:

        I never said we’re all assholes, but there are clearly a few assholes among the commentators of this site, and those were the ones to which I was referring.

        • plumberbob says:

          Let me assure you that if I were to go to some other religious community’s website for any reason, I would conduct my business with them with full respect for their mythology. I do not preach or expect conversions; that’s none of my business. If, however, some fundagelical comes to this,the site of my community,and starts ranting or preaching, or being disrespectful, I believe that it is my right, here, to be as disrespectful, sarcastic, preachy, and patronizing, as I feel it is necessary to embarrass, humiliate, and also to teach.

          We have a mission to advance science and rationality; we need to remember and keep that in mind while we’re dealing with the ignorant and uneducated who are usually really terrified that they might not be on the true path to enlightenment.

          The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than
          the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.
          George Bernard Shaw, Playwright, critic, political activist (1856 – 1950)

          “The Bible is a wonderful source of inspiration for those who do not understand it” – George Santayana

          It says something about the idiocy of our age that one finds oneself having to come up with new arguments in favor of the thesis that anvils don’t float.

          RAmen

        • Troller Jones says:

          It’s very noble of you to respect theistic religious beliefs of others, however, as an anti-theist (sounds so evil, lol) I preach out against religion, or I find it extremely offensive and harmful to the world in general. Religion (besides Pastafarianism, of course) is murderous and threatening and has done great harm to the world for centuries and continues to this day. One good example (besides all the obvious examples such as suicide bombings and child molesting priests) would be the Boy Scouts of America. Since being taken over by various religious organizations (majority of funding) they have gone from being a good and helpful organization, to a racist and offensive one. I was a boy scout and gained my eagle about 6-7 months ago, but nearly quit just a month or so before then after finding out that atheists weren’t allowed in the BSA. I was so pissed when I found this out, but I played along with their bullshit and pretended to be religious in some way (I didn’t have to until I found out one of the scoutmasters was going to ask me something like, “how have you fulfilled your service to God?”) to get my eagle only to not piss my parents off. I’ve wanted nothing to do with the BSA since then, unless it was to protest against them. And, in fact, this brings me to my next point against the BSA. The BSA claims to be a private organization, where they can discriminate, and accept or decline anyone into their group, against anyone they want. However, I found out they also receive a bit of funding from the government (our tax dollars), not to mention the scouts often go on outings in public places or to a military base, or something, for free or little of charge. Now, it is to my understanding that any organization (or building, property, school, or anything for that matter) funded by the government is considered public, and runs under the laws of the Constitution. However, the BSA considers themselves a private organization (private, meaning, they cannot be receiving government funding, or otherwise be considered public) and discriminates against a couple, or few, minorities yet receives government funding while not abiding by the Constitutional laws. People have attempted to sue the BSA based on the argument that they discriminate in general, but has anyone tried suing them based on this argument? This gives me an idea…

        • Hollee says:

          Troller Jones said “Religion (besides Pastafarianism, of course) is murderous and threatening and has done great harm to the world for centuries and continues to this day.”

          Buddhism. Taoism. Paganism. Three religions that are about peace, just like every other religion, except you don’t hear about hundreds of them killing each other or others in the name of their religion. You, sir, are generalizing in your argument.

          Also: Jones claims that the Boy Scouts of America get some government funding. All I can find is various banks and businesses that support the scouts, and if I remember correctly the scouts do some fund raising on their own. Soooooo….care to back up your claim about them getting government funding? Show some proof, otherwise, you’ve got no argument.

        • plumberbob says:

          For the same reason that I don’t preach CFSM gospel if I’m at other houses of worship, I so refrain if I’m at others’ websites. My “respect” is limited to not stampeding the herd in their own corral.

          RAmen

        • Troller Jones says:

          I apologize for the generalization. You are right, those religions are harmless, to name a few, however, my point was with the more major religions (Christianity and Islam). All religions preach peace, but many (the top at least) believe non-believers are immoral and should be converted or killed. What you see in the Middle East, the suicide bombings and the like, is Islamic extremists trying to kill us for not believing in their religion. You might think, “well that might just be because we invaded their country!” Muslims have suicided Hindus in India for being non-believers, and 9/11? We didn’t invade until AFTER 9/11. Not to mention the tension, and years of war, between the Islamic countries and Israel as a result of religious differences. All religions preach peace, some just hate others for not liking theirs is all.

          As for the BSA, private organizations cannot be associated with public property (my troop was allowed to organize at the local Presbytarian church because it’s privately owned). The BSA getting free or $1 access to a public building, etc, is an example of the BSA (private) becoming associated with a school, or State Park (public). Read this article (here’s you’re proof, I’ve had it for quite some time to back up my arguments, now that you reminded me): http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,164547,00.html.

          If you’d like to continue this argument, I can easily find more proof backing me up. I’ve done much research on the subject as it is, I just failed to document most of it.

        • Troller Jones says:

          As for the funding issue, I forgot to mention, it is a known fact that the BSA receives huge bundles of money from the churches. And yes, they do have fund raisers, but that only accounts for a small portion of their funding. If my troop in town were funded solely on fund raising, we wouldn’t have a troop, because theirs not enough people in our town to support us.

        • Troller Jones says:

          So does this mean you can’t find evidence against my argument, or what? You urged me to find evidence backing up my argument, and I did, but I assumed it meant you wanted to read my evidence, and then respond to it, which you have failed to do so far. Since my last reply, I have also found much more evidence supporting my point.

          I can understand why people get upset when people like myself flame the BSA for any reason, because they “create better people in the world” or something like that. But what you people can’t seem to understand, is that I don’t hate them for what they teach, but for their prejudice. For they do not teach religion, they simply don’t allow membership otherwise. Here they are, a supposed peace loving, helpful organization, yet they disclude atheists, agnostics, and homosexuals into their organization claiming they are “not good role models,” and bullshit like that. That right there, is what all of you fail to understand. If the BSA went back to it’s original state, before they were taken over by the churches, I would have no quarrel with them, none at all. This is a damn good reason why religion (the major ones) is harmful. If you were to do a little research yourself (and I mean all of you), you would find that the BSA has dropped in membership by like, 20-25% or so in the last decade, probably because of their prejudice. The only way for the BSA to save themselves now is for them to not allow the churches to control them, or even find new sources of funding altogether.

        • Troller Jones says:

          Apparently he’s got nothing left to say on the subject. I showed him the evidence, proved him wrong, and now he’s got nothing left to say, not even to admit he was wrong…

  6. person says:

    welll, this has gone strangely off topic

    • Mr Cooper (all hail FSM) says:

      but the FSM is everywhere so it can never go off topic as he is off topic and on topic

  7. theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

    A. I have seen much, much more venom in the hate-mailers than I have seen from fellow Pastafarians.
    B. Very few come here to argue their points. They come to threaten, curse or spout their liturgy.
    C. Why SHOULD we respect their beliefs? If I were to somehow address a group of nuclear physicists and put forth some radical supposition contrary to all observed facts, should they respect me? Yet I know more about nuclear physics (very, very little) than any cleric on earth knows about the nature of his or her god(s).

    If I were to publicly question the existence of Allah in a Muslim country, how badly would I be “respected”?

    • Agneithist says:

      Marinara…

      I will say this, most religions today are a hodgepodge of philosophies over the years and are not pure to their origins. I am not a religious historian by any means, but when you see sprinkles of different ideals within current dogma, it’s hard to put any stock in them.

      Trey Parker and Matt Stone were threatened with death of they aired a cartoon that depicted Allah. Real forgiving religion. The funny things, as with most religions, I do not think Allah wants his followers walking around killing people in his name. Religion can be a good guide for living in social groups, it’s the followers that @uck it up.

      I think most of us do not know much about nuclear physics…I’ve read some of the material, but WOW, way over my head.

  8. James says:

    “C. Why SHOULD we respect their beliefs? If I were to somehow address a group of nuclear physicists and put forth some radical supposition contrary to all observed facts, should they respect me? Yet I know more about nuclear physics (very, very little) than any cleric on earth knows about the nature of his or her god(s).”

    Because by not respecting the 99% of religious people who do not hate you, you have become the very thing you are so against. A hate mongering, venom filled person (at least to them). You have to remember that the jerks who post that crap here are the a-holes, and they are a very small minority of a religious group. Why become one of them? Why antagonize with the same tactics they use? Hate breeds Hate. Use more intelligent arguments, take emotion out of the discussion and these people melt. The original elegance of this website was to show these people they are wrong by using intelligent, logical, (and very humorous) tactics. That is what the original poster misses and I agree.

    • Troller Jones says:

      You are right, the majority of theists wouldn’t bother us. But their religion, most religions in fact, believe that non-believers should die, or at least attempt to be converted. That right there, deserves no respect at all. Now whether or not most theists believe this is right, they do support their religion, and by supporting their religion, they are supporting it’s teachings, no matter what. They aren’t all the same, but none of them deserve respect either way.

    • theFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

      Yesterday 64 innocent people died in Uganda because a radical group wants EVERYONE to live under Islamic law. They’re not about to respect the views of the majority. Are most Muslims this fanatical? No, however polls taken in the more moderate Muslim countries still show the majority condone suicide bombings under certain conditions. The time has come to realize that religion has become a real threat to life on earth. That’s right – even the silent majority who stand by and do nothing.

    • tekhedd says:

      I think your definition of “respect” is different from my definition of “respect.”

      I can be nice to people without respecting their beliefs, and without hating them. My mother is Lutheran; I can love and respect her without respecting her religion or her beliefs.

      “Without evidence, you’ve got no reason to believe, apart from your willingness to believe. So, why is that worthy of respect, any more than your willingness to poke yourself in the eye with a pencil?” (Pat Condell) I can give you the benefit of the doubt and respect you as another human being, but if you believe crazy things I do not have to respect that.

      I might choose to use tact. Tact is optional. If you send anti-beef emails to a pro-steak website, do not expect tact.

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