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A Warning

Published April 9th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

While I am not of your "religion". I will not trash your website like the majority of the blundering baboons around here, instead I am here to support not your religion, but your attempt to keep religion and education separate. The constitution gives the people not only of freedom of religion but freedom from it. By teaching religion in any public school you are effectively taking away that right. Many, however argue that it is by "majority rules" that the teaching is decided. This argument is stultifying to many of  the proponents of this argument, because if this was true, slavery would still be legal.

I am a Hindu and have an open mind to virtually all religions. I know that this religion is not a real religion; but an attempt to show the errors and flaws of most organized religion and those who support it’s full integration into state affairs. I support your attempt to show how religion should not be taught in public education. The majority of people ranting on your website are not venting against the concept of separation of religion and public education, but against your satire of their religion.

Yet, I must warn you not to take this to far. You’re tab with the word hate mail is almost doing this. I am not worried too much about this, but the whole thing will make some people very irate. It might push some maniac over the edge and cause them to grab a gun and go after you. This has happened in the past, remember Malcolm X? Thus, I propose that you put somewhere on your front page of the site, that this is not an actual religion but an attempt to keep religion out of public schools.

Thank You,

A concerned supporter

Nikhil

I don’t think Nikhil meant direct criticism (or veiled threat) with this message.  

I take issue with the idea of real religion, as if such a thing can be defined and agreed upon.  I’ve said it in the past and I still believe strongly that there is no classification of religion without agenda.  I don’t expect mainstream religion (or a government influenced by mainstream religion) to see ours as a real religion because there is every incentive to see us as something else.  A joke, a way to mock their beliefs.  They will see us in terms that serve their purpose.

Most Pastafarians do want to keep religion out of schools, most of us are against tax exemptions (and indirect subsidies) for religious institutions.  We object to the power religion is allowed in government, and the excuses made for leaders of religion.  We’re saddened that it’s still seen as improper to criticize anything related to mainstream religion.

But this isn’t just because we’re Pastafarians.  It’s because Pastafarians are rational, reasonable, intelligent people who are not driven by any particular dogmatic thinking.  We are individuals who reject the concept of faith-over-reason, of indoctrination, and the fact that we’ve formed a group does not mean that we’ve come to these conclusions because that’s the group opinion.

Why does humor invalidate our beliefs?  I see this argument all the time and don’t understand it.  The idea that FSM is not an actual religion because it’s satire or this or that is obviously a joke – so what?  I’d argue that for the same reason Jon Stewart’s Daily Show has value as actual news, FSM has value as actual religion.  Different, yes, but that is the point.  Not everyone gets it – but again, that is the point.  We reject lowest common denominator indoctrination in favor of nuanced thinking

Is it just that mainstream religion is so utterly humorless?  Most religious people I know have a great sense of humor but I think they would agree that the institution of religion is rigid and stifling.  There are obvious areas where it’s not ok to make a joke.  One of the creepiest things I find about religion is that feeling that everyone is trying to act very serious. 

Our religion may not fit the definition of real religion as defined by outsiders.   But make no mistake – we have no ambition for FSM to be similar to mainstream religions.  How we’re classified is not important to us.  And while we understand that not everyone will get what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, it’s not our intention to offend – but nor is it our highest priority to avoid offense. 



132 Responses to “A Warning”

  1. Austin says:

    erm… if you’re gunna start calling it a “real” religion I might have to consider leaving… but seriously, I don’t think it’s fair t say you don’t see the distinction between FSM worship and say, Islam or Scientology. Whether or not they are “real’-er is debatable, that (at least some of) their believers are more sincere is not. Not taking a position on this morally, just think the response to Nikhil’s email was intellectually disingenuous. This is something I would think my fellow Pastafarians would take very seriously.

    • Duke says:

      Well actually Bobby said no such thing, he clearly states that there are differences between FSM and other religions and that FSM does not intend to be similar to mainstream religions (“—…we have no ambition for FSM to be similar to mainstream religions… ” *last paragraph*). He also doesn’t reply that it is a ‘real’ religion. However, in the “About”-section of this site it says that “Pastafarianism is a real religion”, and so it goes on to somewhat define it. I think that Bobby has a different definition of religion, as there are a lot of definitions for that particular word.

    • Alex says:

      Well, in order to compete with, and therefore effectively counter, mainstream religion, we must act the part. It’s basically bending over backwards on one point to prove a greater point. We all do it.
      RAmen.

  2. ed says:

    Let’s discuss some serious theology for a minute. All religions are equal to the FSM in the sense that all believe in a “really” false deity(ies). They are different when it comes to the followers objective. The “serious”
    expect compensation from their belief, avoidance of punishement and torture and finally and easy life in the afterlife. The FSM only the satisfaction of demonstraritng what they consider an absurdity in a humorous stylye whlie living on the “valley of tears”. And finally they differ in their time of existence. The “real” ones are relly old and have long histories (in many ways terrible, bloody and devilish histories) and the FSM is just a baby without any sin yet commited. Their congretations meet for different reason. The old ones to worship, the young one to laugh of worship.

    Given enough time, the FSM, may develop into a “real” one due to the always available mass of people willing to misinterpret whatever including a joke. Flying Spaghetty Monster forbids. Amen.

  3. Giao says:

    blasphemy! How dare he deny His noodly presence. He will boil for this!

  4. Christina says:

    Bobby – your response here is offensive to me. To be more specific, it’s the double spaces between each sentence that are offending me. *shields eyes*

    • Mal says:

      Hahahaha…. wait, I double space between sentences.

      • Drained and Washed Clean says:

        Me too…

  5. Ashok says:

    I am a Hindooo and I clearly see truth in FSM.
    In fact to me it sounds much more reasonable than X-inity and X-slam.
    I also want to declare my equal respect to Pasterferian religion and X-inity and X-slam. Also please note that I have no obligation to have equal respect to X-inity and X-slam because these fake religions have disrespect for my Hindooo religion while Patsreferian are open minded and peaceful.

    Pasterferian religion has string backing in my value systems because:
    1) It relates with Pasta (out of sheer coincidence) which is a vegeterain dish and I am vegetarian.
    2) It does not ask for killing or miming others which is in line with Hindoo thought of “Ahimsa Pramo Dharmah”, meaning non-violence (lack of the desire to harm) is the ultimate dharma (duty).
    3) As per renown Hindoo poet and saint Tulsidas “Jaaki Rahi Bhawna Jaisi, Hari Moorat dekhi tihu taisi”, meaning that Everyone see Ishwar in a form that conforms to their own character. So paterferians may as well see their god in form of Pasta. Pasta is no less real that God is.
    May be I will call myself a pasterferian Hindoo from now onward.

    • Atsap Revol says:

      Dear Ashok,

      We welcome you to our Pastafarian congregation. You are quite right, we have never started a war, carried out a genocide, or captured a city by slaying all the inhabitants, including women and suckling babes. Our god, the FSM, is a peaceful god compared to some other gods I could mention. Hinduism and Pastafarianism are very compatible, so you may, indeed, call yourself a “Pastafarian Hindu” from now on, and I may choose to become a Hindu Pastafarian.

      Ramen to you my friend,
      Atsap Revol

  6. Ashok says:

    Thanks Astap for your kind words. Indeed you are blessed.

    Upon more thinking, I have also found Pastaferianity is ahead of X-inity and X-slam at a philosophical level. Lets examine how by asking these two questions to any proposed theosophical doctrine.
    1) What is the tangible proof of existence of your proposed creator of the universe?
    2) What tangible proof that he created universe?

    The answers in the cases of X-inity and X-slam is (1) None and (2) None. While the answer in case of Pastaferianity is (1) Pasta (2) The fact that millions of pasta meals eaten everyday.
    Their gods exists only in their minds while FSM exists in our plates in form of delicious, mouth watering, nourishing, formless, healthy pasta.

    Let me ask a very simple questions to everyone. If you are stranded on an island and dying of hunger, what would save you, Jesus or Pasta?

    • Northstardjn says:

      Let us also remember that pasta, like people, comes in many forms, colors, shapes, and sizes, each unique unto itself yet related to all the others through form as well as function. There is pasts that is gluten free, pasta that is green, whole wheat, and egg. Indeed, the forms of pasta may be infinite, limited only by our imaginations.

      In sooth, there will be no starvation when Pasta is present.

      rAMEN

  7. Interested says:

    I’ve found that the more intelligent someone is, the more tolerant their likely to be. It’s not an exact science, but I’ve been in “advanced learning programs” for most of my life. Racism, sexism, religious fanaticism- all that stuff doesn’t seem to exist in there. Sure, it does as a joke, but none of us really believe that stuff. People keep saying that those kinds of programs isolate us from other people, but, at least at our school, that’s neither true nor really a bad thing. Sure, we don’t interact with other, “lesser” (not really, but it’s fun to act arrogant and sanctimonious sometimes, as long as it’s just an act) people unless we want to, but personally I’d rather not. A lot of them are just so hard to talk to intelligently. Admittedly my school is full of people who live in ghettos, and I can’t understand their accents for the life of me, but still.

    The fact that I’m gay is pretty much an open secret, and while most of the classes are atheist or agnostic or don’t even care (like me), there are plenty of devout Christians and even a few Jews in my classes. And guess what? No one appears to care. Sure, one of my friends (who is also one of those devout Christians) once said, a little jokingly, “You’re going to Hell, but that’s not my problem!” but other than that, nothing. He’s one of those guys who actually believes in Creationism and that the Earth was created 10,000 years ago, but in spite of that we actually have pretty intelligent conversations about theology, the Bible, and the nature of God, and our arguments have no effect on our friendship. Just because someone believes in something that seems ridiculous to you doesn’t mean they’re stupid. It’s just when they try to impose those beliefs on you that it becomes a sign of imbecility. :)

    On the other hand, I’m pretty sure he would have amazing lawlz over this site. :D I just may convert, because FSM may or may not exist, but at least he has never lied to me. Unlike the cake.

    Although, if you think about it, God asks that you believe in him, and that you put your faith in him (or something like that). But if you had proof of God, wouldn’t that mean that it’s not faith anymore? You wouldn’t believe, you would just know. Maybe that’s why He had the Bible written by ancient Bronze Age goatherders with chauvinistic tendencies and a hypocritical streak. He had to know that thousands of years down the line not everyone would accept that as evidence.

    • Interested says:

      That would be “they’re”, not “their”. I apologize, my only excuse is that I had to leave the computer briefly and must not have seen the error in my final skim-through.

  8. DX says:

    Hello

    Just wanted to make a point about education about religion. Of course no single religion should be taught in school with the purpose of converting the pupils into believers. That is a key point in a secular school system.

    But you can teach _about_ religion(s) as a subject. The students can learn what religions exist, have existed and how they work and what their beliefs are. This is good knowledge to have when interacting with other people.

    Many deeply religious persons can’t comprehend the latter form of education but just assume the former when they here there is a class on religion. And of course they assume it is a class in their religion and not some other cult.

    Gladly, the good kind of class on religion has been standard in Sweden, where I live, for at least 20 years.

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