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Who Recognizes this Utah Pastafarian?

Published November 18th, 2014 by Bobby Henderson

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Asia Lemmon, also known as Jessica Steinhauser, an atheist and member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, said she wanted to wear the colander, also known as a pasta strainer, on her head for the photo to make a statement.

And years before this, she went by Asia Carrera, a well known adult film star.

The Spectrum just put out an article about how all of this went down. Asia is a very smart lady and I respect her motives – and bravery – for doing this in the middle of Mormon country.

Here’s the article, it’s great: CFSM ‘Pastafarian’ makes statement

Trivia: Asia also appeared in The Big Lebowski, in the Logjammin’ scene with Karl Hungus, one of the Nihilists ( /cable expert).

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Pastafarian Inmate Sues Prison

Published November 7th, 2014 by Bobby Henderson

pirate

In FSM news — Nebraska prisoner Stephen Cavanaugh is suing over the right to pursue his faith in the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Specifically he wants:

* to dress in religious garments — that is, full pirate regalia — and,

* to take part in weekly meetings with others who hold similar beliefs

He’s also asking for $5 Million in damages related to “deep emotional, psychological, and spiritual pain resulting from being allowed to practice my religion, and Mr. Bartlet [Religious Coordinator, Nebraska State Pen]‘s repeated mocking and insulting of my faith.”

I’m skeptical of anyone asking for money, and my immediate thought was that this is a frivolous lawsuit. But after reading the court documents and talking with people in the know, I feel that here is a troubled guy who is legitimately trying to pursue his faith and, only after being stymied by the in-house prison channels, was forced to take the fight to the courts. Yes the dollar amount he’s asking for is exorbitant (and in my view, hurts his case), but the underlying complaint feels legitimate to me.

One thing I found alarming: in the court docs there’s a claim by prison officials that, when looking into Cavanaugh’s religion, they found “the founder of Pastafarianism stated that it was a parody of religion”, and used this as a reason to deny Cavanaugh his requests for religious garments and group prayer.

They may or may not be referring to me, I don’t know — but I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to any Nebraskan prison officials, and if I did I wouldn’t have used those words.

For the record, I don’t believe Pastafarianism is a parody.

What I say, sometimes, is that some number of Pastafarians do not believe in a literal Flying Spaghetti Monster or our Creation story. And that is perfectly fine — it’s a common thing even in mainstream religion to be skeptical of scripture. The distinction is that in FSM, the culture is more accepting of people who are skeptical-minded, while in many mainstream religions, doubt is seen as an affront to the Dogmatic Truth.

My point is that there are doubters in religion in general, simply because religious scripture can be full of nonsense. You wouldn’t say Christianity is a parody just because some members don’t buy the part about the world being created in 7 days and the talking snake, etc.

Religion is more than a collection of beliefs and rituals, it’s a way to form community and a framework to make sense of our place in the universe. And on this level, I think Prison officials did Cavanaugh a disservice in not allowing him to pursue his faith. I mean, he wasn’t asking for that much. He wanted to buy a pirate costume with his own money and hang out with some other Pastafarians once a week.

One last point I’d like to make: lets consider that maybe the prison officials are simply unenlightened about the FSM. Maybe this is just a misunderstanding, rather than outright religious persecution. I suspect that Mr. Cavanaugh may be willing to call of the fight if the prison officials would relent and allow him to pursue his faith.

Here are the best articles I’ve found, if you’d like to keep reading about Cavanaugh’s case:

[1] Great article (and spectacular title) by ThinkProgress about the Cavanaugh lawsuit — Inmate Sues Prison Claiming His Religious Liberty Entitles Him To Dress Like A Pirate

[2] The raw court documents (PDF)

[3] Here’s an article where some lawyers are discussing whether the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster may have some influence in rethinking the RLUIPA (religion in prison) laws — Can the Flying Spaghetti Monster Reshape RLUIPA?

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The Vancouver pride parade douche was not one of us

Published August 7th, 2014 by Bobby Henderson

This guy, Bill Whatcott,

fatdouche

has nothing to do with the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

We hear he crashed a Vancouver pride parade posing as a member of the Calgary Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and then passed out anti-gay leaflets.

I find it all very sad, and while I hope no one actually believed this douche represents the Church of the FSM, I wonder if there’s anything that can be done to keep him from using our name and symbols in the future.

Here’s an article talking about their antics.

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Kiva Team FSM has reached $2 Million in Loans

Published March 24th, 2014 by Bobby Henderson

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Team FSM has reached $2 Million in loans on the micro-lending site Kiva. We’re now the top-lending religious congregation on Kiva, above the Buddhists, Catholics, Muslims, and — especially pleasing to me – above the Mormons, who we’ve been in a friendly competition with for years. Congratulations everyone!

suck it, mormons

What is Kiva? Kiva is a platform where you can make small loans to people in poor areas that need help starting small business. We make small, interest-free loans towards the projects we support, and Kiva combines them to fund the loan to the person who wants to build a small workshop, farm, restaurant, fruit stand, etc. These are interest-fee loans in places like Cambodia, Peru, Uganda — places where traditional bank lending to the poor is unavailable (or predatory). Kiva ensures that the loans are paid out and that the money is paid back. A lot of us feel this is the best way of bringing economic growth to the poorest areas.

I’ve had a good experience with Kiva and I encourage anyone interested to check it out. And please join our amazing team and help us continue to trounce the mainstream religion teams.

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FSM Server Needs Home

Published December 23rd, 2013 by Bobby Henderson

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I’m looking for a place to co-locate our new server. We need a spot to hold a 1U size chassis, a few IPs, on a fast un-metered connection. I’m hoping to get it settled in the next few weeks. Please contact me if you know of a good deal. Thanks !

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The Holy Colander, blessed of His Noodlyness because He Boiled for Us inside it, has once again confirmed its rightful place among the Holiest of religious head garments!

Aaron Williams, an Egg Harbor NJ Pastafarian and Sauced Beyond Marinated, has paid tribute to the just Licencing Laws of New Jersey and honoured Lord Glob by wearing the Holy Colander for a renewal photo. Joining Niko Alm with the desire to etch his devotion to the One True Monster in perpetuity, Aaron insisted that the Colander did not breach the Licencing Law.

Despite Aaron Spreading the Truth, the Unenlightened, dedicated as they are to the Law of New Jersey, were compelled to refer this Holy Matter to the State.

Here are some excerpts of  Aaron’s Epistles of Enlightenment to the MVC from the original South Brunswick Patch report written by Davy James:

“What we deem as different or embarrassing is different from what another individual deems as different or embarrassing, in terms of religious practices,” Williams told Patch on Tuesday.

“Had it been a turban or a head scarf, or something from a mainstream religion, then it would’ve been fine,” he said. “I guess since they hadn’t heard of the religion, that’s why they opposed it. But that’s not really acceptable to me. They’re not in a position to discriminate against religions that are mainstream, or not mainstream, just because they may not have heard about it.”

“The people there were very polite, but I’d like to have better training for their employees, so I may be looking into some way to educate their employees on their own policies,” he said. “I feel like after I expressed my opinions and beliefs they were definitely more accepting. I was met with hostility at first and they were asking me what my problem was.

“I didn’t have a problem, they had the problem. After I expressed myself, they realized I wasn’t just some crazy person, but they still didn’t let me wear the strainer for my picture.”

Here is a link to Davy’s original article.

May His Noodlyness Touch the Unenlightened that they become strengthened by Protein, and that the Colander takes its true place not only among the world’s great head garments of faith but on the photo of every Pastafarian driver licence holder!

PBUY!

(Thanks to South Brunswick Patch and Davy James)

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Kiva Team FSM is close to 1 Million

Published March 26th, 2012 by Bobby Henderson

As of right now our team is at $970k – please consider joining us if you haven’t already.  We can use all the help we can get.

For those who don’t know, Kiva is a nonprofit micro-lending organization that allows us to lend money to entrepreneurs in developing countries. 

Please check it out and consider joining our team (there are now over 3000 of us).  We’re getting *very* close to the $1million mark.

Kiva Team FSM

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Request for sound designer

Published October 13th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

Anyone out there with sound experience and willing to help with a student project?  Please get in touch with Matt, details below. Click for big version.

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Certificate of Ordination update

Published August 30th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

If you ordered a certificate in the last week it’s in one of these mailers that were sent out yesterday:

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The response was more than I anticipated and the majority of newly minted Pastafarian ministers live outside of the US which I did not expect. 

There are at least 5 weddings planned in which a Pastafarian minister will officiate.  I’ve gotten quite a few emails saying you are not allowed to do this.  But like I’ve said, we maintain that our religion is as legitimate as any other.   By all measures, our religion is more intellectually honest than any faith-based religion.   If, when an ordained Pastafarian minister applies for a license to perform wedding in his or her region, the bureaucrat who processes those applications can reject it, if they wish.  To date I’m not aware of that happening, but I realize there is some hoop-jumping required in certain areas.   I am happy to write Letters of Good Standing or any other official documents that they may require.

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To answer a question: I will make these as long as people want them and I am in the country.  I move around a lot so if you would like one I’d recommend ordering it now.  

Ordination Certificate order page

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Austrian Wins Right To Wear Pasta Strainer In Driver’s License

Published July 13th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

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Pastafarian Niko Alm has won the right to wear a colander as religious headgear on his Austrian driver’s license.  Congratulations!

Niko Alm first applied for the licence three years ago after reading that headgear was allowed in official pictures only for confessional reasons.

Mr Alm said the sieve was a requirement of his religion, pastafarianism.

The Austrian authorities required him to obtain a doctor’s certificate that he was "psychologically fit" to drive.

The BBC article is fantastic and can be found here.

4x4Colander

You can follow the link to (google’s translation of) Niko’s blog: here.

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