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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



339 Responses to “I can appreciate a good joke”

  1. Vinny says:

    Thank you for that response. I did mean religion, but that was helpful. I only acused of athiests of being lifeless because I know a few that really don’t have a life. I do realize you don’t need religion, but where do you think you go after death?

    • Insightful Ape says:

      Really? Same place you go when you are under general anesthesia. Is there any reason to think otherwise?

    • The Reverend Toni Rigatoni says:

      Hello again Vinny, thanks for your question. I honestly think that we go nowhere, death is the end of being; we are, if you like, where we were before we are born. I realize that you may feel that is a somewhat nihilistic viewpoint and many would agree, but it is an essential part of atheism. It is only religion that speaks of immortality and life after death and so it is inevitable that when one rejects religion one must also reject the idea of an afterlife. I think that because we believe this is the only life we have (there’s that word again) we are able to appreciate what we have and consequently we have a heightened awareness of the need to make as much of this life as we can. Incidentally, on that last sentence rests the basis for my assertion that the majority of atheists and free-thinkers do not lead bleak lives as many would suggest. You say that you know some atheists that don’t have a life as you put it, but that is likely just a part of the human condition rather than a direct result of their atheism; I could be wrong of course but my suspicion is that there are very few atheists that are adversely affected by their godlessness or the the thought of death. I would hazard a guess that those that do have those thoughts make up a large proportion of the theists that are hanging on to their faith by their fingernails, reluctant to relinquish their belief from fear of their mortality; recently published results of the 2011 UK census indicates that there are many here in UK that are clinging on to their belief and it’s almost certain that most other western countries have similar numbers per capita. I personally have no fear of death per se, I accept death as the price we pay for life; sorry if it sounds corny but it none the less true, but I have achieved my immortality by passing on to my children and grandchildren my knowledge, my love of science and nature, my love of life and the importance of living one’s life for the benefit of others. I have taught them to think critically and rationally and not to accept what they are told without question; I learned that at my father’s knee and it has served me well.

      I hope I have answered your question to your satisfaction. I look forward to ‘chatting’ again some time.

      May the Sauce be with you.

      The Reverend

      • bruceo says:

        Great responses IA & Toni!
        Vinny, it took me a lot of years to finally give up on the idea of “The Immortal Soul”–it’s only an illusion created by your physical brain. With no more physical brain (or a brain that is either disrupted by drugs under anesthesia or too young to have yet physically developed to the point of creating that illusion) your “soul” does not exist. I think I finally accepted this fact when I thought about how, if the “soul” really is immortal, then it could have no beginning as well as no end. Mine sure did have a beginning.

      • New convert says:

        Toni – I read through many of the posts on this thread and would like to thank you for your reasoned and rational positions. I would one day wish to be as eloquent in preaching the word of the noodly one. Also, clearly your parents were touched by his noodly appendage when it came to your name.

        • The Reverend Toni Rigatoni says:

          Thank you for your kind words New Convert; may I wish you a warm welcome to the fold, it is always good to know that the Noodly One’s Appendages are reaching out into the world and touching more and more of the lost that they may be enlightened.

          May the Sauce be forever with you.

          The Reverend.

        • Atsap Revol says:

          I second the appreciation for the Reverend Toni. He is a stable source of reason and caring. We all profit from his sage posts.

          Atsap Revol, COF

        • The Reverend Toni Rigatoni says:

          Thanks Atsap, there’s still a bit of fight in the old fart yet!

          May the Sauce be with you.

          The Reverend

    • TiltedHorizon says:

      “where do you think you go after death”

      I don’t know. I do know if you spend too much time on such pondering, you may become too distracted to appreciate the existence you currently occupy. Personally it does not matter if I am right or wrong about the hereafter, it only matters that between then & now that I do the best for my family, my friends, and all those I pass by in my travels. May I enrich lives where I can, may I ease a suffering or two, and may my efforts be meaningful enough to bring smiles long after I return to nothing.

      Ramen

    • Metal Head says:

      “I know a few that really don’t have a life”

      Possibly because they refuse to purport to subscribe to the collective ego of a religious sect, for purposes of “fitting in”?

  2. Euna Decelle says:

    I have been made to uderstand that islam is not a religion but it is a culture.If so then there are no religous bigots so no problem.The only problem that we have is that some ignorant judge like to think of his child molesting,murdering and ll of the other things I do not want to say because it might offend someone,idiot that they call mohammed.Like I said it is not a religion it is a joke on the world and a bunch of idiots are following the garbage truck.If they do not like the way this country is run then thay should go back where they came from and take their leader obummer with them. I am sure he would be welcomed home by all,maybe not his wife and kids because they do not dress muslim enough.Oh well that is their problem.

    • Insightful Ape says:

      Eh, what? Islam is a creed and a culture, like all religions. Where did you get that? Oh, and “obummer”? I don’t believe racism belongs in the Church of Flying Spaghetti Monster.

  3. Teag says:

    I just wanted to thank you for your enlightening site. I have felt so alone, but I too have been touched by His Noodley appendage, and “sniff” I will never be the same again. I just wanted to express some true noodley affection amongst all the religious hate-mongers. May you be abundantly blessed daily with marinara and a generous sprinkling of parmesan- Ramen.

  4. Patti says:

    This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. What another propaganda for Atheism? All the Spaghetti Monsters are going to BURN in HELL. This isn’t even funny and it is ludicrous. This is as ridiculous as creation starting from aliens and space ships. Who thinks this crap up? We have enough sin in this world and now we have to deal with believers in a fictitious character and there has to be a connection to God, our Father in Heaven. I pity all of you lost people and your foolish beliefs and one day you will regret mocking God to stand up for something so unbelievably stupid. What’s wrong with you people? Seriously, this is nuts and anyone who believes or supports this falsehood is questionably psychotic.

    • Patti says:

      May God forgive all of the atheists who log on and post such blasphemous comments. I pity all of you.

      • Mal says:

        So you think it’s more believable that a cosmic Jewish zombie who is his own father wants me to symbolically eat his flesh and drink his blood while telepathically telling him that I accept him as my lord, so he can save me from sin that is present in all mankind because a woman made from one rib bone and a mound of dirt was fooled into eating forbidden fruit from a sacred tree by a talking snake?

        First, find out what our church is really about before judging it. You might be surprised to learn there are more than a few christian Pastafarians (the beliefs are not contradictory).
        Second, think. Blind faith is a dangerous thing. Question your beliefs. If you come up with the same answers, then your faith will be stronger for it. If you don’t, then you may just be exposed to a kernel of truth.

        Last, don’t ever pity me. Don’t hope that your god will forgive me. It is a wasted sentiment.

      • Metal Head says:

        If you really pity us, then give us some of your money. Otherwise, it is to be assumed that your statement is a thinly-veiled insult, to help you feel superior to us, and better define yourself. That’s right, feed the ego…nom, nom. Vindicate your thought patterns by invalidating all others.

    • Keith says:

      Show some maturity Patti and start to think for yourself for a change. Stop clinging to primitive beliefs and embrace reality. There does not have to be any connection with “god your father” unless you are chronically obsessed with fantasy.

    • TiltedHorizon says:

      “this is nuts and anyone who believes or supports this falsehood is questionably psychotic.”

      Welcome to religion. This is what happens when proof is not needed.

    • darkstar says:

      Trolling at 7:45 am with the added bonus of fire & brimstone.

      I do have one quesion though Patti. Which father in heaven are you referring to?

      Aditya
      Aesir
      Agni
      Airmid
      Allah
      Amon
      Anat
      Andhrimnir
      Angrboda
      Antariksha
      Anubis
      Aphrodite
      Apollo
      Ares
      Artemis
      Artio
      Asherah
      Ashwinis
      Astarte
      Astrild
      Athena
      Atla
      Atum
      Audhumla
      Ba’al Hadad
      Baalat
      Baal-Hammon
      Bacchus
      Balder
      Balor
      Bellona
      Bes
      Beyla
      Borghild
      Bragi
      Brahma
      Branwen
      Brihaspati
      Brono
      Bylgia
      Camalus
      Ceres
      Cerunnos
      Ch’eng-Huang
      Chu Jung
      Cupid
      Cyhiraeth
      Dagon
      Dagur
      Demeter
      Diana
      Dionysus
      Disen
      Dishas
      Druantia
      Duamutef
      Dyaus
      Eir
      El Elyon
      Elli
      Erh-Lang
      Eshumn
      Faunus
      Fenrir
      Flora
      Flying Spaghetti Monster
      Forseti
      Freya
      Freyr
      Frigg
      Fu-Hsing
      Ganesha
      Gefion
      Gep
      Gerd
      Giobhniu
      Hades
      Hapi
      Hapy
      Heimdall
      Hel
      Helios
      Hephaestus
      Hera
      Hermes
      Hermod
      Hestia
      Hod
      Holler
      Horus
      Hou-chi
      Hsuan-T’ien-Shang-Ti
      Idun
      Imsety
      Indra
      I-ti
      Janus
      Jord
      Jormungand
      Juno
      Jupiter
      Kalki
      Kari
      Kathirat
      Khensu
      Khnum
      Kothar
      Krishna
      Kuan Ti
      Kue’i-Hsing
      Kurma
      Kvasir
      Laga
      Lao-Tien-Yeh
      Lares
      Lei-Kung
      Libintia
      Llyr
      Lofn
      Loki
      Lotan
      Lugh
      Lu-Hsing
      Lu-Pan
      Maeve
      Magni
      Maia
      Manannan
      Mani
      Marduk
      Margawse
      Mars
      Marutas
      Matsya
      Mebd
      Melqart
      Mercury
      Mider
      Miming
      Mimir
      Min
      Minerva
      Mithras
      Modi
      Moloch
      Moordha
      Morrigan
      Mot
      Narasimha
      Nemain
      Neptune
      Njord
      Norns
      Nott
      Odin
      Ops
      Osiris
      Pales
      Parashurama
      Persephone
      Pluto
      Pomona
      Poseidon
      Prajapati
      Prithvi
      Proserpine
      Ptah
      Pusha
      Qadeshtu
      Qebehsenuef
      Ra
      Rama
      Ran
      Resheph
      Rudra
      Saga
      Saturn
      Savitr
      Selene
      Seth
      Shachar
      Shalim
      Shamayim
      Shemesh
      Shiva
      Shu
      Sif
      Sjofn
      Skadi
      Sleipnir
      Sobek
      Sobek-Ra
      Sol
      Soma
      Syn
      Tehwom
      Thor
      Thoth
      Tu-Ti
      Tyr
      Ull
      Vali
      Valkyries
      Vamuna
      Vanir
      Var
      Varuna
      Vayu
      Venus
      Vertumnus
      Vesta
      Vidar
      Vishnu
      Vishvedavas
      Vulcan
      Yam-Nahar
      Yahweh
      Yarikh
      Zedek
      Zeus

      Hmmmm?

      • TheFewTheProudTheMarinara says:

        Darkstar: You missed a few….thousand. Patti will be shocked at the absurdity of people actually believing in a Neptune or a Zeus, while missing the point that they all have as much credibility as her Yahweh.

      • Nikki says:

        notice how He stands out above the rest :P

    • GreatPastaNoodle says:

      @Patti

      “…and now we have to deal with believers in a fictitious character”

      Says the believer in a fictitious character. Oh the irony! Mu ha ha!

    • Metal Head says:

      So “this” is ludicrous, but not funny?

      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ludicrous?s=t

      Hmm, I shall now attempt to rationalize your self-contradicting statement as being somehow true and accurate. Wait, no, I stopped doing that when I became atheist.

      • Keith says:

        The Minister for Self Contradiction said that the event was “rare but not uncommon”.

    • Drained and Washed Clean says:

      I, personally, think it is hysterical. Especially when people like you get your panties in a wad. If this is so ridiculous, I would like you to provide proof of any of the ridiculous claims in your book. For instance, could you please start with the existence of your Jesus. Please provide documented evidence that he ever existed OR that he actually did any of those miracles. It would also be great if you could clear up a couple questions. Where was he born? What happened at his grave site after he died? Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John can’t seem to agree. That could also be because it wasn’t Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John who wrote those books… But you christians seems to overlook minor details like that.

      Seriously nuts is someone who believes in talking snakes, talking donkey’s, the earth stopping rotation for 24 hours, people rising from the dead, men levitating into space, and a man who is his own father coming to earth and returning as a zombie to save us all so we can partake in his flesh to worship him (since we are all so scared of him because he might destroy our entire civilization like he did to everyone else in that book of fairy tales you call the bible). You accept all of this without an ounce of question, and we are nuts? Take a look in the mirror sweetie.

    • Apprentice Frederic says:

      Ridiculous, ludicrous, and not even funny? Questionably psychotic? You and your co-religionists are UNquestionably psychotic. No! I take that back. Just unquestionably ditzy.

  5. Insightful Ape says:

    You are right patti, you completly missed what is funny here. It is stupid haters like you and your silly threats of fire and brimstone. Even more laughable is your petty and jealous god, who is not even ashamed to admit it (Genesis 20). Seriously you think “I pitty you” concern-trolling is the best way to serve your temperamental master? Nice of you to stop by, but don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  6. Nicholas says:

    I am a christian, born and raised, and frankly, im not offended by FSM. It is actually pretty embarrassing when Christians suddenly get butt hurt when people challenge then in any way. And I am not referencing the, if your slapped turn the other cheek, dealio. What i mean is that, for Christianity to work, there needs to be some level of maturity and self determination to pursue your faith. Not some fixed set of rules and dinos-never-existed mindset. If people can’t just take this as it is, then they shouldn’t be advocating for the Christian faith (well, no one should but you get what i mean.)

    • Reverend Captain Mal says:

      Well said Nicholas. While I may not agree with your beliefs and you understandably do not agree with mine, I can respect and admire your ability to discuss those differences in a mature manner. I hope you’ll stick around. I think you’ll find we’re a welcoming community when we’re not being threatened with fire and brimstone.

  7. Jon Michael says:

    I just have to say one thing. I love Jesus with my whole heart. If other people disagree, or think I’m an idiot for doing so then well… okay… I couldn’t really care any less. You can believe what you want and I’ll believe what I want. If I’m the only one in this world that believes it still then fine by me. I’ll stand by my God until the day I die. I know everyone on here’s going to just call me an idiot and foolish etc. but again… that’s fine. Call me what you want, but it won’t change a thing. I’ll still love you, and my God will still love you. I’ve been to the depths of the Earth, and I’ve seen crazy and evil things taking place. However, I also saw my God deliver me from it all. Go ahead and have a field day with this. Rip me apart. Call me dumb, and give me every single scientific reason why I’m wrong for believing what I do. I’ll still worship my king from ever fiber of my being, and I’ll love him because he loved me first.

    • Keith says:

      I won’t call you dumb. You can believe what you jolly well want, as long as you don’t try to ram it down my throat. I am curious, however, about this “been to the depths of the Earth” business. Is this literal or figurative?

    • Omnipotent Zombie says:

      You are free to believe what you want. That being said, please be sure to keep your beliefs to yourself and don’t lump them in with our schools, politics, and goverment.

      • Keith says:

        I still want him to reply about this “depths of the Earth” business. Perhaps he was kidnapped by the Deros.

        • Richard Shaver says:

          You are trodding on dangerous ground, Keith. We suggest you fashion yourself a foil beanie and put it on immediately. You are being monitored by the underworld. Your pale pink body will be tortured by Stim rays, and you will be forced to do the bidding of the cave city masters.

          R.S. and R.P.

        • Keith says:

          Why Richard (or should I say Mutan Mion), all I need to do is steal a space ship and take a hike to Quanto.

  8. caremonster1 says:

    I am a new observer of FSM and I do have to say I find it very funny. I want to say I am a believer in Christ but I myself question if I truly am a believer. A true believer has no doubts about faith in Jesus. I want to believe in this remarkable man because he is a miracle but there are so many truths out there which one do you believe? So I am doing my own research but in the in the meantime I try to follow my heart and challenge myself to the best of my knowledge and heart. I think believers and nonbelievers need to be open and free minded. We all know what is right and wrong it’s just a choice. It’s a matter of realizing that everyone has different experiences and stages of life we go through. It’s a matter of understanding each other and where we have been in life. My advice do your research before you make a judgment!

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