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.
A concerned supporter
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.