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Applique evangelism

Published August 8th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

applique

I am a recent convert to Pastafarianism. I saw the news about the guy in Austria getting his official ID picture with a pasta strainer hat, and had to know more about the Flying Spaghetti Monster.  I dimly remember mention of FSM in the past, probably in 2005, but didn’t then realize the good work that was being done in keeping ID out of the schools using humor and reason, but am now completely converted.

I wanted to share a picture of the applique I just completed, especially since I won’t be able to wear it for quite some time. (It’s on a fleece vest and the heat index was over 100 most of the time I was working on it.)  I wish your store had jackets or coats so we could show our FSM pride all year long here in the north, t-shirts just aren’t visible for much of the year in the upper Midwest.

Thanks!

Lucy the ‘splainer

Des Moines, Iowa

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50 Comments

Is this the FSM in an ancient cave painting?

Published August 3rd, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

ancient-cave-painting

On my last vacation on Corsica, I managed to take a photo of an ancient cave painting.

The tour guide told us the paintings are dated back to 22.000 – 23.000 BC.
Let this be a sign to all who doubt the existence of the noodly one,
depicted here giving blessing to humans, deer and what seem to be flying penguins.

And let those who dare call this photoshopped see the errors of their minds and eat more pasta.

Arrrr,
Torsten

As is the custom with significant religious discoveries, I suggest we all have faith in the legitimacy of this painting now, before there is evidence to form a reasoned opinion (and after, in the case of contrary evidence shedding doubt.)  I Believe.

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212 Comments

Pastafarianism in the military

Published July 26th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

Here’s a guest post by Justin Griffith.  Justin is well known for his fight against the idea that “there are no Atheists in Foxholes”.  He was recently profiled in the New York Times for his activism.

FSM_dogtags

A little while ago, news broke about a Pastafarian winning the right to wearing a pasta strainer on his head for his official driver’s license photograph *edit: it seems that there was no legal battle*. Coincidentally, around the same time, I got a few emails from the contributors to a Wikipedia article on Religious Symbols in the US Military asking if I would contribute a photograph of my Atheist dog tags.

Shortly after I donated the photograph to Wikipedia, the photo was added to the Flying Spaghetti Monster entry as well. Awesome.

I actually have a few funny stories about FSM and the Army. *warning: quoting a Drill Sergeant is NSFW*

Why the Flying Spaghetti Monster was bigger than Jesus in boot camp.

Holy_Book

There are strict rules about what non-military texts you can posses during boot camp. They only allow one book, and it must be a holy book from your religion. As you’d expect from this rule, there were a few Bibles, a Koran, and even a Book of Mormon in various wall-lockers in my company. Most people just didn’t have a book at all.

I, however, brought my copy of The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

My book was incredibly popular, and people kept talking about it during the few short breaks you get during the typical boot camp day. Then other people would hear about it and ask me if they could borrow it. Everyone laughed like a bastard, and really enjoyed it.

Many people told me that the book really made some sense to them. I must have accidentally converted dozens of people, as the humorous parody religion’s messages actually sank in.

Drill Sergeant VS Flying Spaghetti Monster

At one point my Drill Sergeant tried to take it away from me. He thought it was just some book that I smuggled in. Keep in mind that Drill Sergeants are professionally trained in the art of not laughing at anything (yelling and freaking out are more appropriate responses to most situations.)

Anyway, this is the gist of the conversation:

Drill Sergeant: “Private Griffith – is that some contraband?”

Me: “No, Drill Sergeant. It’s my holy book.

Drill_Sargeant

Drill Sergeant: “Give that to me…” *Yoink!* “Flying Spaghetti Monster!? What the fuck?”

Me: ”I’m a Pastafarian, Drill Sergeant.”

[he shot me a look like he was t minus 5 seconds from throwing me into the Sun]

Drill Sergeant: “Are you fucking with me? Are you fucking with me at 0600, Private Griffith? Before I even get some goddamned breakfast?”

[I did my best to return the intensely humorless stone face.]

Me: “No, Drill Sergeant.”

Drill Sergeant: “Flying Spaghetti Monster!? I don’t fucking believe it!!!”

Me:I believe it, Drill Sergeant.”

Drill Sergeant: “What the hell is wrong with you, warrior?”

[I went for broke]

Me: “Drill Sergeant, I’m afraid I can’t really talk to you about this any further unless I’m in my religious clothing. I need to be in full pirate regalia, or at the very least wearing an eye patch.”

….Then he just looked at me for about 30 seconds. Crickets. Time stopped… The other soldiers that were around were extremely scared of the coming mass punishment they imagined that I had surely just earned them.

Then he flipped through the book. He read a few sentences out loud. And then it happened.

He smiled.

Then he handed me my book and told me to do some push ups – a slap on the wrist. And my punishment was really only for making him smile, not for anything else. He just couldn’t bring himself to treat this situation like every other situation.

My recruiter put his own religion on my forms, instead of Atheist.

First off, I actually had quite an ordeal simply getting my ID tags to accurately reflect my atheism. When I was speaking to Army recruiters, the first one that I worked with was a very religious person. Normally, this isn’t relevant. However, when asked what my religion was, I answered “Atheist”. He entered a “Baptist” variation.

At one point he asked me to look over his computer screen for any errors, and I hastily fixed this. I only had a few seconds, so I scrolled through the list and found “NO-REL-PREF”. A few days later, I had more issues with this recruiter and asked to be assigned to another one. He was great, but I guess he forgot to fix my religious preference on my forms as I requested. A similar set of circumstances prevented the mistake from being corrected when they were being issued at Basic Training.

YES-REL-PREF

Religious Preference – that’s the Army’s term. It’s a little garish and awkward, but it does the job. I was pissed off that I was stuck with dog tags that said “NO-REL-PREF”. I do have a religious preference – “none for me please… Atheist!” That’s not the same as “I don’t have a religious preference”.

I’ve thought about religion quite seriously, and I most certainly have a preference. Atheist has been on the military’s approved list of responses to this question for quite some time, so I was not breaking any barriers. I was finally told that I could (and did) change my religious preference to Atheist on my paperwork, but that I couldn’t receive updated dog tags. I was told that soldiers change their last names and religious preferences frequently enough, but must get their updated dog tags made off post at their own expense.

I was a little bit angered that I now had to buy my own set of ID tags to fix this, but at least I had an answer and a way forward.

FLY-SPA-MON

Being a former creationist, I really identified with Flying Spaghetti Monster meme. Leaving creationist indoctrination was a long and painful journey for me. Absurd as FSM might be, it’s as culturally significant to me as religion is to many others. I truly identify with it, appreciating both the humor and the reality underpinning the parody religion.

Obviously, a strictly serious answer to the question about my religious preference is “Atheist”. But given the amount of hassle I went through to get my dog tags corrected – I decided it was time for some levity. Unfortunately, the limited writing space is a factor. I considered these:

FLY-SPA-MON
PASTAFARIAN

But I wanted to include ATHEIST too, so in the end I settled with

ATHEIST / FSM

And I’m happy with that. Yes, these are legitimate ‘officially accepted’ dog tags by the way. Interestingly, there are more than a few that legitimate sets that say “Jedi Knight”.

You can check out Justin’s excellent website Rock Beyond Belief here.

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16 Comments

FSM Forever–Arizona license plate

Published July 26th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

FSM4Evr

Toni sent in this superb example of license plate evangelism.  Excellent! 

On the plate, is it just me or does it look like there’s a smoke trail coming off the Saguaro cactus, up behind where the ‘4’ is printed.  It’s as if the cactus has caught fire from the desert heat. 

I lived there a few years ago and on one particularly scorching day the interior plastics in my car deformed from the heat. The rear view mirror became unaffixed to the window.  I left it dangling by the wire for spite.  I don’t live there anymore.

367193 Views
48 Comments

Watch this uplifting FSM propaganda video

Published July 25th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

I love this video so much.  Years ago I had the experience of watching an authentic over-the-top propaganda show and this video is spot on.  Who can resist accepting information as Truth when it’s set against delightful music and animation?  I think all good propaganda straddles the boundary between happy and creepy.   My question to you is: what emotions did this invoke?

1246683 Views
800 Comments

What exactly do you think you are going to prove?

Published July 22nd, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

What exactly do you think you are going to prove? it’s just disrespectful to other human beings faiths and beliefs, and im sure u of all people should know u can’t put any sense into say a devout christian. Honestly, what your doing is the equivalant of making a rude, sarcastic joke to a child that doesn’t understand humor. u cant tell a christian thats been raised from birth to believe that there’s a magic man in the clouds that he’s wrong. you’ll just get what uve been getting, hate mail, and death threats. God is the equivalant of santa exept the child is never told he isn’t real until it’s to late. and u think your doing a good thing by making up this pastafarian crap to prove how absurd the idea of god is. what i don’t think u understand is that u cant argue with idiots about this stuff as most christians are dont know a thing about science.(I apoligize to all respectable christian scientists). as an athiest, im disgusted what youre doing. like making fun of christians being killed by somali’s, and u quoting, "apparently they thought there god could give them safe passage"(yes ive read ur website). really, did it ever, or does it ever occur to you that these people are actually human being’s with family’s and feeling’s, and just because they think the world was created  differantly than u, u have to mock them… that’s kind of a dick move. your being no better than they are(religious people) by making fun of and disrespecting other people just ’cause they think differantly than u. oh wait u are religous, u worship a flying spaggetti monster. which means i have the right to ridicule u on how stupid your dumbfuck religion is(oh may the great pasta diety forgive me for my sin) and dont deny that u worship the all mighty pasta king, because your the leader of the church. with the true words of your religion written on a piece of paper. it’s ironic that u, by trying to prove how bad religion is. go about it by u yourself inbodying everything that is wrong with human beliefs. u are everything that is wrong with athiesm. u go around acting all superior and pompus, like u know better than everyone else and tell them why there wrong mockingly. the world would be a better place if u took all your "followers" (butt pirates) got on a pirate ship and ate spaggetti until you all died of overeating.have u ever heard the term live and let live? and i love it how  u post all the hate mail u get on a your page to be ridiculed by your cronies( who by the way need to get of the internet and do something productive)yes we all the the bible huggars are gonna say dumb stuff because they’re uneducated. but that doesn’t mean u have to be immature and make fun of there faults so just lay off. even though this message sounds hostile just know i agree with what your’e trying to do (i think) educating people, i just wholly disagree with how u are going about it.

-David

A short response from Bobby:

It’s not our intention to mock or offend anyone. But I realize people sometimes feel mocked  or offended.

It might be fair to say that we’re disrespectful.  I would agree that most Pastafarians don’t respect the notion that religion should sit on a pedestal.  We don’t think that because an action is explained in the context of religion it is exempt from the scrutiny it otherwise would have been subjected to.  Religion is not a free pass for crazy ideas and crazy actions. 

I would agree that it’s not our place to pass judgment on those who see the world through a lens of religion.  But neither is it our place to ignore when personal belief becomes public action.  We can accept that some choose to teach their kids the earth is 6000 years old and that dinosaurs are a myth.  But if they push for those ideas to be taught in our schools, it’s no longer a question of respecting personal belief.

The idea that rational minded people must be anti-religion is a wrong one, I think.   If we must draw a line to divide ourselves, I’d prefer the line be positioned between reasonable and unreasonable people, rather than religious and non-religious people.  

It’s one thing to see the world through a lens, and another thing to act as if it’s the only lens that can exist.

I believe there is no group more tolerant of other religious and nonreligious groups than Pastafarians, without question.  The death of the Christian sailors by pirates was a sad thing for everyone who heard of it, I’m sure.  My hope is that it doesn’t happen again.  The hard question is:  will criticizing the decision to venture into dangerous areas on the basis of faith help avoid a similar situation in the future?  I don’t know the answer.  But I wonder how many of their friends and family wish they had shaken them and said this is a bad idea, don’t do this.  This is one of the hard questions – this line between respect and concern. 

341344 Views
19 Comments

Spaghetti Monster soap–clean living

Published July 20th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

Clean_Living

I am a huge fan of The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and I also make natural lye soap, so of course I had to find a way to marry the two. 

I have created these soaps – they smell like spaghetti sauce – oregano in tomato sauce.  Since these are lye soaps, they don’t dry out so they also make excellent decorations.  I have one watching over me at my desk at work.

-Christina

354653 Views
14 Comments

Birthday present made of wires

Published July 19th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

wirefsm

Samuel received this for his birthday.  Very nice.  I can’t quite tell what the meatballs are made of.

480120 Views
67 Comments

Did eyes evolve from meatballs?

Published July 16th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

After much thinking, I came up with a theory about evolution. Maybe our eyes evolved from meatballs, and our eyelashes were spaghetti!

- Jason

spagetii_eyes

This theory sounds as plausible as some I’ve heard, but I am skeptical.  I know that we see the world through the lens of our religion, and even in matters of science we decide what is True by consensus, and that we are prone to accepting only what fits our already-decided ideology, but perhaps it’s time to demand more rigorous standards.  Or, dare I say it, accept the conclusions by the unGodly (FSM) heathens in academia.  Can there be some compromise?

Someone please set me straight, I think I am having a faith/reason crisis. 

703852 Views
218 Comments

Jesus was a Pastafarian

Published July 14th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

Jesus-FSM-Color_sm

Here is our friend Stephen Klinger’s newest creation.  What I like most about this piece, besides the FSM pouring beer on a stripper, is the prominent display of Jesus – an unexpected element in Pastafarian art.  I can imagine both Christians and Atheists might be offended over this, if they try.  I think that’s what I like about it.

What do you guys think? 

Update – A concerned stripper writes:

I am a devoted and practicing member of the Church of the FSM. I am also a stripper. Sure, laugh it up. I take my job seriously, and I love my job. It just so happens that I’m quite capable of reasoning and critical thinking, though, and when introduced to the Church and its teachings, I immediately declared myself a member. It seemed like the perfect fit for me, the one I’ve been looking for all of these years.

There’s a post of Jesus with FSM in the background, pouring beer on a stripper. Does the FSM really do this? I’m having a crisis of faith over here. If the FSM really does pour beer on strippers, I don’t think I can be a part of the Church anymore.

It doesn’t seem like it fits the general theme of peace that is going on. I don’t think pirates would have doused strippers in beer without their explicit request to do so. And although strippers tend to love beer (And I certainly do! I celebrate on Fridays, as recommended.), I wonder whether the stripper in the picture is actually consenting and requesting that she be doused in beer.

In order for strippers to do their jobs properly, they can’t be sticky from beer, and most guys tend to want their strippers dry and clean. It also seems like it is a hazard to a stripper’s safety, and could cause serious injury or death by slipping on the pools of beer that would form. I am sure that the FSM would not want a death attributed to him, even a stripper’s. And I am absolutely positive that strippers find beer being poured on them to be too messy and too much trouble to be worth it.

All of this said, I’m having a crisis of faith. Is this what the FSM wants from me? To be dangerously doused in beer while in my 7" stilettos? I can’t risk my safety or my financial well-being.

Now what? Do I leave the Church of the FSM? How do I reconcile the feelings I have about the FSM? Can anyone offer me some advice?

Love and Peace to the FSM Community,

–Piper

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