Sent in by Brendan
Sent in by Brendan
This has become my favorite Holiday tradition: a government institution hosts a Christian-themed display, then non-Christian groups demand a display as well, then the Christians who thought a government building was an appropriate place for a religious display get worked up by the “war on Christmas”.
The one in the news this year is a DMV in Florida with a baby Jesus display. Here’s an article in RawStory talking about it.
And a great quote by a Christian activist:
“My hope is that the Christ in Christmas is louder than a wood display and some figurines,” Pam Olsen, president of the Florida Prayer Network, explained to the Miami Herald.
“I have been pondering this for a while,” Olsen said. “The racial tensions and mass murders, the shootings at the Planned Parenthood and in California – something is very wrong in our country. We need to step back and say we need to stop. Let the sound of the Christ Child bring hope, joy and peace instead of dissension.”
I will admit that I have a small (very small) amount of sympathy for the Christians who get upset that they can’t just put a baby Jesus in the DMV and keep the “wrong” groups out. I recognize that they are more comfortable in a world where everyone shares their religious views (or keeps quiet about their own). I think this is less about promoting Christianity and more like a nostalgic yearning for simpler times. And I’ve always liked Christmas displays – even if they’re a little Jesusy – I’ve never found them too bothersome.
That said, once these Christian vs non-Christian display stories hit the news, I think it does become a highly charged issue, and the Christian warriors come out speaking loudly about the war on Christmas. This I find ridiculous, and I am very thankful that we have so many Pastafarians who stand up for our rights. I can not wait to see the FSM Holiday display this year.
 A note on Holiday: years ago we noticed there was a shift in the way people expressed winter greetings — fewer “Merry Christmas’s” and more “happy holidays”. We concluded that these people were most likely Pastafarians (albeit many of them in secret) wishing people a happy Holiday – referring to our winter celebration also known as ChriFSMas.
Good news — I’ve brought back the Holiday e-card machine this year. Some may remember this — it’s a page where you can send Holiday messages to your friends and family (it’s free). The cards are delivered by email.
There’s a couple designs and I’ll add some more if people want.
One small request: please use this card machine in good spirits, not as a way to antagonize people.
Please check it out and let me know what you think. Here’s the link: Holiday Card Machine.
The Boston Globe has a nice story about a Pastafarian lady’s successful efforts in wearing a colander in her driver’s license photo, helped by the American Humanist Association.
In August, the Lowell resident was denied a renewed license by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, she said, for wearing the metal cookware.
“They were kind of laughing at me,” Miller said. “I thought of other religions and women and thought that this was not fair. I thought, ‘Just because you haven’t heard of this belief system, [the RMV] should not be denying me a license.’ ”
According to the RMV’s website, drivers are barred from wearing hats or head covers in their photos, unless the clothing items are “for medical or religious reasons.”
Miller filed for an appeal immediately after the August incident. Through a friend, she enlisted the help of Patty DeJuneas, a member of the Secular Legal Society, a network of lawyers that assist the American Humanist Association.
You can read more about it at the Boston Globe here.
I feel like our efforts to wear Religious Headwear in Offical Identification may be misunderstood occasionally (this Boston Globe article caused more than few upset emails). I wish that it was more clear that the Church of FSM is not a mean-spirited group and that we’re not out to mock anyone’s particular religion or their religious hats. It is just that it’s weird to find these places where bureaucratic regulation and religion are entangled — and I hope that we’re doing more good than bad when we fight for equal right to use these rules. I realize that we may inadvertently offend a few religious people (and maybe annoy a few bureaucrats) and for that I’m sorry.
We can all look forward to the day when Pastafarians feel it’s socially acceptable to wear religious headwear in our daily lives.
The BBC has endorsed (albeit subtly) our theory of the origins of the universe (that the Flying Spaghetti Monster created everything) in this animated video. The video is part of The History of Ideas, on the topic of The Big Bang and the origins of the universe. The FSM appears at about 1:30.
While it could have been made more clear they support our views – one could miss the FSM if not paying attention – I’m pleased that such a respected organization as the BBC finds it appropriate to include us. Thank you to everyone involved.
I hope everyone had a nice Halloween. If you took some photos, please send to me, I would love to see.
Bless these FSM missionaries, spreading the Word. Halloween is the one night of the year when pirates and wenches are free to dress in official regalia without fear of religious persecution.
Spotted at the University of Hull:
So I checked back in on one of my fave sites and amongst other wonderful things, I notice that poor ‘Ian Harris from Wales’ failed to get his drivers license approved due to him respectfully wearing a (similarly aged as himself) colander.
I have been sporting a rather dandy Pirate headpiece for some time now, (originally inspired by Niko Alm) so thought I’d share.
I must admit, the DVLA did send my application back, stating that I was ‘wearing a hat’ and so I returned it asking for them to respect my religious beliefs/headwear. And that was that!
My passport expires in 2019, where I will be pushing for the ‘eye-patch’ combo.
Interesting that some places are cool with Pastafarian headgear on Official documents, and some are not. Probably it comes down to the opinion (and mood) of the person behind the desk, and maybe that’s ok.
I think the more instances of approval by government bureaucrats we get, the stronger our case for recognized legitimacy. It’s getting harder and harder for anyone to say this is all a joke, when we can point to dozens or hundreds of examples where government officials have looked over our documents and said OK. I feel like we’re making progress getting in the back door.
Thanks very much to Colin and all the others who have been fighting for our rights.
I retired recently after 29 years of service in the US Navy and US Coast Guard. The guys I work with know that I am an ordained minister in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. For our holiday party, for example, I ensured that His Noodly Goodness was properly represented, as well as the Festivus pole and other more mainstream (mundane) religious symbols.
In any case, at my retirement ceremony, they presented me with this most excellent headgear, appropriately decorated with my CG rank insignia.
Master Chief Petty Officer, USCG (ret)
I find it inspiring to see work people getting along. It’s obvious that Bob’s coworkers hold him in high regard, and it’s touching to see this level of religious tolerance towards Pastafarianism. Have a great retirement!
Thomas found this pirate-fish in St Cloud, Minnesota.
I’m hoping it was the owner of the wall who did this!
Evangelism is good, vandalism bad.
Wearing Official Pastafarian headgear and standing up for his rights, Ian Harris.
In Wales, UK, Ian Harris wants to wear a Colander – our religious headgear – in his driver’s license photo. The licensing authority said no because they don’t view ours as a serious religion. They do allow Yarmulkes and Hijabs, though. It would appear that our headgear meets all of the agency’s guidelines, and yet they turned Mr. Harris away.
I find it odd that an licensing agency would allow themselves to get into the messy business of qualifying the relative legitimacy of religious fashion accessories. Our Colander is no more obtrusive than many allowed headgear items and yet all over the world, our members have often found themselves turned away.
Mr Harris is organizing a Pastafarian rally in protest of this injustice this upcoming weekend in Brighton (UK).
Thank you, Mr. Harris, for having the courage to stand up for your right to religious expression.
From the Wales Online article:
Mr Harris plans to take to the streets of Brighton this Sunday to battle for his “right” to wear the metal bowl on his photo-licence, and he has called on Pastafarians across the UK to hold protests in their home areas.
Mr Harris, whose four-year-old daughter Astri is a Pastafarian, maintains that wearing a colander is the equivalent to Muslim women wearing hijabs, or Jewish men wearing skullcaps.
He said: “They (the DVLA) are not backing down about my religious exemption. No matter how much my religion is a minority religion I have a deeply held belief and I should have an exemption or otherwise there should be no exemption at all.
“They wrote to me saying my religion wasn’t serious enough but if Christians talk of speaking snakes and a virgin birth in this era of modern medicine, then why isn’t mine?
You can read more about it in the article here.