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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. HydroElectric4 says:

    Well I think that it is a real religion. The joke idea of FSM is not a joke to some, however the main point at the start was to validate beliefs, which is why all other religions were created; to explain things they could not. I can’t name all the ways in which FSM, to every person who considers themselves “pastafarian” IS REAL.
    Seriously. It’s considered to be real by rules of creating a religion.

  2. Maurog says:

    It’s all according to the will of the Noodly One. The ones He chooses, He touches with His noodly appendage and their eyes open so they can see Pastafarianism for the true religion it is. The rest, He blinds and they consider it a joke, a mockery, a parody or something else along these lines. This is the grand mystery.

    We can’t communicate the true awesomeness of feeling FSM’s appendages guiding us to those who haven’t been touched yet any more than a bird can teach a fish how to fly. We can only pray for them to be chosen by Flying Spaghetti Monster too.

  3. DigitalMorgan says:

    I think the original point of this string was that making fun of a religion is ‘wrong’ . I point out two things;

    1. To parody or mock something is one way of shedding light on the short-comings of it. Religion, to the non-believer, lacks reason; therefor, given the all-encompassing rule it has over people, it needs to be spotlighted by ANY method, including making fun of it.

    2. I’ve heard plenty of mocking from the pulpit, it aimed at silly cults, other sects, other religions. All in all, religious folk are hypocrites in that they think it funny until THEIR brand of religion is mocked.

  4. Interested Party says:

    One definition of religion (most dictionaries seemed similar):
    The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.

    So, in the end, someone must actually believe in The Flying Spaghetti Monster to qualify it as a religion. But that’s all. If you believe in it, it is. The only one who can ever know that is you. This is true of all religions, really. And in the end, you can’t prove the truth in one belief by showing the wrong in others. (rhetorical.)

    • Atsap Revol says:

      I believe…I believe. So the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a REAL religion. PBOH and on His Prophet Bobby.

      Ramen
      Atsap Revol, The Reverent

  5. Kiba of the Golden Noodle says:

    Alright, so… I didn’t spend my time reading through the (at this point) hundred-plus comments. I did a glance-over as I scrolled down to the post, but that’s about it, so if I’m repeating what anybody else has said, my apologies.

    First, I can see Nikhil’s point. I’m not going to bash it or anything he’s said, because it’s sturdily-founded and was written with concern. However, by posting the ‘Hate Mail’ (which I have noticed isn’t just hate-mail, it’s anything that could make an impact, even if it’s an impact against Pastafarianism,) it allows people to see what some of their more (or even less) extreme religious counterparts will post. It’s effectively lifting a veil that, until now, was relatively untouched. You may be wondering what I mean. I mean, generally, the mail full of veiled (or plain) threats sent to one religious institution or another was left unmentioned, or perhaps remarked upon in passing. By putting so much of it up, this site effectively reveals the kind of things a more extreme church-goer (of any church) would say, and possibly even do. It also shines a light on how, forgive my phrasing if it doesn’t fit, laid back Pastafarians are, in that we don’t send mail of similar sorts telling people that if they don’t believe our way, they’re going to get raped by a goat-man, or whatever.

    I, personally, do not subscribe to any specific religion, simply for the fact that, while there are points that do jump out at me in almost every religion, there are too many points that just don’t seem right to me. Pastafarianism, while created as Satire, is the kind of religion I can get behind. It does not, as of yet, commit violence against other faiths, and it accepts anyone, of any gender or ethnicity.

    I’ve spoken to many Christians that say, “We are a peace-loving group.” That is a half-truth. The religion’s core values are peaceful, as exampled by the Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.” However, by and large, Christianity is as bloody as any ‘pagan’ religion. Millions were summarily executed, simply because they had not been raised in a christian atmosphere and believed in another god or gods. Countless wars have been waged in its name, such as the Crusades. People were even burned alive as ‘witches’ because something said or done did not fit with a community’s religious beliefs.

    I’m repeating myself, but Pastafarianism, even amongst ‘hardcore’ believers (notice the quotes,) is very peaceful, urging members to respond to hate with satire, and respond to confusion with reasonable conversation.

    ‘I think, therefor I am.’
    ‘I believe in this, therefore it is real to me.’

    Anyway… 29 hours without sleep. THis is probably confusing, and probably going to explode in my face. Whatever. In keeping with Atsap Revol…

    Ramen
    Kiba, of the Golden Noodle

    • Studley Goodpasta says:

      “in that we don’t send mail of similar sorts telling people that if they don’t believe our way, they’re going to get raped by a goat-man, or whatever”

      Is it not the case that His Noodliness likes to touch his creations in a friendly, loving way, that we may know Him and pass on the sentiment? Not to beat or terrify us with His rigid noodles or harsh tales of a pastaless afterlife in a sauceless pot?

      Peace and may the sauce be upon you.

      RAmen

      Studley

  6. Jake says:

    Has any one notice how offended religious people get when you even come close to making a point against the religion, or even come close to a joke? How about when you totally just own someone in an argument? Coincidence?

    • TheFewTheProudTheMarinara says:

      You’ll get the same reaction when you corner someone in any indefensible position. They feel foolish, and direct their anger from themselves (for being so wrong) to the person who brought it to their attention. That’s why no one wanted to tell the emperor he had no clothes.

    • TiltedHorizon says:

      With all fairness to theists, challenging one’s foundational beliefs is a jagged pill to swallow. I recall an old news article from a Latin county where superstitious villagers chased scientists out of their village for concluding that the “drained” animal carcases on their farms were not victims of the dreaded chupacabra. The scientists were able to prove that the condition of the bodies were actually the byproduct of decomposition and natural exsanguination. One would think the truth would have been more comforting than the idea that a demonic goat sucking monster is lurking about but considering the outcome, it would seem people prefer their superstitions.

      • TheFewTheProudTheMarinara says:

        They were told those superstitions by people they loved and respected, TH. So they take it personal when outsiders tell them something different.

  7. Inge says:

    Weeeell, who is to say what is and what isn’t a religion? These days it isn’t too hard to believe in someone who hears it all and sees it all. If you are using Yahoo, Google, Facebook or an electronic device with the fruity symbol on, your own government is able to. I’d rather have a friendly noodly guy watching….

  8. ricardo cabeza says:

    Pastafarianism is obviously not a real religion for the simple reason that nobody believes that there is a flying spaghetti monster. Real religions have plenty of people that do believe their nonsense.

    • Rev. Wulff says:

      The only difference between us and the so-called “real” religions is that we don’t (yet) enjoy tax free status. I have never seen a case where it is a requirement to believe the doctrine you are preaching, especially when you consider the buybull thumping, hypocritical, conservative politicians running amok in the US.

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