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I can appreciate a good joke

Published February 15th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

I can appreciate a good joke as much as any other guy.  But there’s a difference between making a joke and insulting other people.  When you begin to bring in specific religious practice or condemnations for not doing as the religion "requires," that becomes an insult.  Think of it this way: your website is good, but what’s the point of your occasional advertisement on the bottom with a picture of the religious book of FSM saying "Save Your Heathen Soul"?  It directly says to others that if you don’t believe what we tell you, you’re wrong and going to hell.  Yes, I’m a Christian, no I don’t believe most of the things in the church’s past were okay.  I simply choose to believe that there is a God, and if anybody has any questions about my faith, I’ll be happy to answer and guide them if that’s what they want.  If they believe otherwise, I’ll allow them to stay that way, because there’s nothing I can do to force their belief.  All I’m really saying is, think about what purpose each thing you say serves, and whether it’s taking it a step too far.
~DJN

The point of our church is not to offend, but understand it is bound to happen.  Most of us in the Church of FSM are not anti-religion, and we have many Pastafarians who are active members of mainstream religions.  Part of what we’re doing here is questioning ideas considered rude to question.  Or, knocking down religion a peg – however you want to look at it.  We think it’s a dangerous situation for institutions and ideas to be above scrutiny.  

At the risk of spoiling the “Save Your Heathen Soul” joke, I’ll explain it.  You see, Christians often threaten nonbelievers with THEIR hell-place for various sins or sinful lifestyles – either explicitly, or indirectly, or in a judging veiled-friendliness sort of way.  But nonbelievers DON’T BELIEVE IN YOUR HELL.  Aside from the fact that we find it offensive the idea that we need a rulebook to define our morality, it is a strange proposition to be invited to believe in scripture in order to be saved from a consequence of it.  The “Save Your Heathen Soul” joke is a nod to other nonbelievers who have experienced this phenomenon. 

But, DJN, I honestly like Christians, the majority of those I know – and my experience in running the Church of the FSM has only increased my opinion of Christians (really).  I believe that the majority of Christians are thoughtful and open-minded, and that most are members of churches partly because of a belief in God, and partly because of the social benefits and community that being part of a church allows.  I get a ton of emails from thoughtful Christians who understand what we’re doing here at the Church of FSM – people like you who don’t approve of the abuses perpetrated in the Name of God. 

So, understand that around here there is an effort not to offend people, but at the same take a hard look at the strange business of religion. And in this way we give Glory to The Almighty Flying Spaghetti Monster, the one and only True God, who someday I hope Touches you with His Noodly Appendage so that you may know His Loving Embrace. 

-bobby



350 Responses to “I can appreciate a good joke”

  1. Merax says:

    Religious beliefs vary considerably, and so do their commandments, their views about what is sacred and what is not, their values, their sins or their stance toward sexuality, women or even toward various kinds of animals and food.

    In a society that endorses the freedom of religion and strives for tolerance between the many denominations, it will always remain a challenge to protect the rights of one group without violating another groups rights.

    A necessary sacrifice to overcome this challenge is to accept that what is holy for one person, is not holy – perhaps not even of importat – for another person. For those who do not share the same faith, the rules, rewards and punishments of the others faith are meaningless.

    I am sure you do likewise when it comes to christianity. You do not feel obliged to avoid pork, nor do fear to end up in hell for not accepting mohammad as allah’s prophet. You also know that many do not consider Jesus Christ the Messiah and don’t think twice about it.
    That’s normal. It’s a requirement when people of different faiths want to live together peacefully. When pastafarians “threaten” heathens with hell, it is to be taken with a grain of salt – or several spoonfull. It is intended as a satire ( I hope ), meant to mirror the over-zealous comments from some other believers like “I’ll pray for you”, “repent or be punished for your sins” and similar warnings.

    When the thought that someone else is convinced *you* will go to *his* religions hell for being a heathen, remember that your religion has similar threats for *him*. And remember, you have braved the threats of so many gods, from Amon-Ra to Zeus, are you really insulted by the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

    Well, you should be, Heathen!

  2. Pirate Queen L says:

    Dear DJN,

    Thanks for your calm commentary. I just want to point out believing in a god does not make you a Christian. Believing Jesus was Christ is what makes you a Christian. People of the Jewish faith believe in a god too – your same god – they just differ on the Messiah question. Hindus believe in many gods, and we Pastafarians believe in a god too – the FSM.
    I’d like to say we preach tolerance and you are always welcome to join us.

    RAmen,

    L

  3. puppygoogoo says:

    OK so your upset, take a deep breath and relax. Now have you read our bible? I have read yours and others in trying to gain an understanding of your perspective. Now, if you cant take the joke as has been said before dont come here. The term “i simply choose” makes a strong statement in the fact that you sound like you have found an answer, which may be right or wrong, and dont keep seeking knowledge. I also find it quite saddening that people need the fear of hell to motivate them to be good, surely as a human being you should want to do the right thing. I would be interested, however, to hear your views on subjects like evolution, homosexuality and any more you wish to discuss.

    RAmen Bretheren

    Puppygoogoo

  4. stylusmobilus says:

    I’m sure I speak for most Pastafarians when I say thank you for appreciating the website. Until the ship is up and sailing it is the Church we come to for guidance and I am glad you approve.

    Thanks also for the critique. Remember, though, Xtianity (and other religions) have brought in ‘specific religious practice or condemnations for not doing as the religion “requires,”‘ so I guess in that regard we don’t differ too much, if you were to assume that we wish to ‘save your heathen soul’ as most Xtians would regard it.

    I’m also glad you recognise you cannot force our beliefs, but does your willingness to ‘allow’ us to stay the way we are, and the suggestion of ‘guidance’ smack of a slight leaning toward bigotry? Does your percieved empowerment of belief in a god put you at a level above us, in your opinion?

    That would be taking things a step too far, and may warrant a bit of thought about the purposes of some of your comments as well.

    • Keith says:

      I was thinking of saying something clever concerning the belief in hell but I see it has all been said before: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Hell
      My personal opinion, which cannot be backed up by evidence, is that if there is an afterlife, you take your hell with you.

      • stylusmobilus says:

        Thanks for the link big fulla. Yes, there isn’t much to add to that, sourced or unsourced.

        I suppose, we could always find a quote from His Noodliness about our Hell of stale, warm beer and ugly wenches. They don’t seem to have found a reference from the FSM. Maybe someone did get something up there but in their desire to conceal the truth the Xtians may have had it removed.

        But hey, we don’t need evidence, Hell, and God, can be anything we want them to be…..

        • Keith says:

          Stale beer has its uses. it can be turned into vinegar. As for ugly women, where I live there is a shopping centre frequented by hordes of ugly, bad tempered, foul mouthed, fat and smelly women accompanied by hordes of equally obnoxious and foul mouthed children. Evidently someone finds them attractive enough to endure mating with them: ergo I assume they would find Pastafarian hell quite accommodating.

  5. Insightful Ape says:

    DJN,
    I am a pastafarian. No I don’t believe most of the things in the church’s past were okay.  I simply choose to believe that there is a Flying Spaggetti Monster and if anybody has any questions about my faith, I’ll be happy to answer and guide them if that’s what they want.  If they believe otherwise, I’ll allow them to stay that way, because there’s nothing I can do to force their belief (not that I believe in that nonsense called freedom of conscience).  All I’m really saying is, think about what purpose each thing you say serves, and whether it’s taking it a step too far.
    RAmen

  6. Wench Melody (UK) says:

    DKN, first of all, thank you for not ranting or screaming or swearing at us, as so many do. We appreciate the manner of your approach.

    The effect, however, is spoiled a bit when you proceed to accuse us of insulting Christians. Our religion is just that – a religion in its own right, and thus exactly as entitled (or not) to receive respect as Christianity. It is also a mirror of religions everywhere, I think, and therein, I believe, lies the problem for some Christians. The intrinsically ridiculous nature of some of our professed beliefs mirrors too closely the beliefs held, often with an increasingly insecure grasp, by those who profess Christianity.

    I am sorry, DKN, if we make you uncomfortable. We truly regret that. The sad thing is, the journey from ignorance and delusion to knowledge and clear-seeing often is uncomfortable. That is why we seek to prevent our children from having to make that uncomfortable journey by preventing the teaching of mythology in science classes in the first place.

    May you be touched by His noodly appendage.

    Mx

    • tomato27 says:

      chupa

      • tekHedd says:

        …cabra

      • Slurreydude says:

        I don’t see how Melody’s comment relates to a community in Russia O.O

        Have some pasta, it helps one think more clearly.

    • Ubi Dubium says:

      Thank you Wench Melody. I was about to write an insightful post about how the CoFSM holds up a mirror to other religions and, lo and behold, you have already done it.

  7. tomato27 says:

    all of you are crack heads retards

    • tekHedd says:

      We have a new troll!

      • Insightful Ape says:

        Why did His Noodliness create so many trolls unfamiliar with rules of punctuation, capitalization, and basic spelling?
        I think trolls are indeed the trials of the Noodly One testing the strength of our faith.

        • Keith says:

          Trolls are creatures of myth. Ignore it and it will cease to exist.

        • Danimal says:

          I think trolls, by definition, can’t spell or use proper punctuation and capitalization.

    • TiltedHorizon says:

      @tomato27 says: “all of you are crack heads retards”

      Could be worse, we could be religious.

  8. tekHedd says:

    “I can appreciate a good joke as much as any other guy.”

    When somebody says this, you just know the next thing they’re going to do is prove that it’s not true. Case in point… :D

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