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Rebecca’s FSM Inspired Valedictorian Speech

Published July 2nd, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

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Seniors in my high school are allowed to paint a mural on the walls of the art room at the end of the year, and I chose the flying spaghetti monster. I also mentioned the flying spaghetti monster in my valedictorian speech. I’ll include it in the email. I hope the mural lives up to the image of his noodly appendages. 

Valedictorian Speech Below

Hi, everyone. Before we get our diplomas, I want to tell you all a short story. The story of an art project I did. At the end of the year, each senior in art is allowed the opportunity to preserve themselves in a mural on the walls of the art room. I decided I wanted to paint one. The only question was what would I paint? I considered pop culture references and inspirational flowery messages of hope, but ultimately, I decided on something I thought was strange enough to inspire interest and maybe a few people could look at it and see something uniquely for themselves. I chose the flying spaghetti monster. For those of you who don’t know, the flying spaghetti monster is the emblem of the “pastafarian” movement, which is a rather silly group that questions the validity of blind acceptance, instead promoting logic. I did not choose the flying spaghetti monster to make a political or religious statement. To me, the flying spaghetti monster represents an ideal I think is being undervalued in our society—the ability to laugh at things that are ridiculous, and more importantly, the value of being ridiculous and silly. A thing does not have to be serious in life to be important. I think that that’s something I never really understood before. The importance of being unapologetically ridiculous, the joy that humor can bring, the profundity of absurdity; it’s all so clear to me now. The outlandish can instill wonder and happiness. What better reason is there for art? And so I painted the flying spaghetti monster, hoping that someday, someone would find in it a muse of silliness for their own life, something to tell them to be novel and unafraid to take chances.

If I could offer you all one bit of guidance from my life to your own, whether you are going to work, college, or the military, it would be that when life gives you the chance to go on an adventure, always take it. It doesn’t have to be the literal road trip, or journey-through-the-jungle-kind of adventure. It just has to be something new. And it doesn’t always have to be a place. An adventure can be a job, or a class, or a person. Always remember to push yourselves out of your comfort zones. Most of my regrets from high school have been not going on an adventure because I was too afraid of failing. And I don’t think I’ve ever regretted an adventure either, even if it rains, which usually does happen. It’s taken me a long time to understand this, but living in the moment doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The realization that absolutely everyone dies and that this single day will mean very little in the larger scope of my life has allowed me to let go a bit. Relinquishing those fears that we bear as shields over our hearts is never easy, but well worth it, however uncomfortable it may be.

So, as we walk into a different stage in our lives, I encourage you all to improvise, to sample everything, to search until you find a dream, and fight until that dream is realized. Remember to search for wonder, and every now and again, let curiosity get the best of you, for it’s the only way to continue to grow, and always keep your heart and mind light. In the words of a great playwright and my favorite author, “Life is too important to be taken seriously.” Stay gold, everyone."

-Rebecca

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Art Gallery sighting

Published June 30th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

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I went to an art gallery today. Only one piece caught my eye – Sfumato by Teresita Fernandez (attached). It’s a sign! What do you think it means?

-Ben

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House plant sighting

Published June 29th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

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My hoya (house plant) had grown too heavy for the wooden trellis supporting it so my hubby cut down-to-size a metal trellis we had in the barn for me.  I set it up in the planter, moved the planter back against the wall, then stepped back to behold…

Rhonda

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66 Comments

Russia playground sighting

Published June 25th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

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I would guess that it’s some kind of FSM totem pole from an ancient Russian culture, now half buried in the ground and used as a jungle gym on a playground… ;)

-Manja

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FSM Father’s Day Present

Published June 19th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

I have just received the best Father’s Day present ever! My 8 year old was so excited to give me my present! He’s been talking about it for days. "Daddy, you will love your Father’s Day present!" Well, he was right. The fact that he made this at school and it made his teacher say, "What the heck is that?", made me bust a gut. Here is the card he made and the paper weight for me to use on my desk at work(I’m a banker, so it should look completely odd on my desk. lol). Awesome. I’m a very proud dad…

-Jamie

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fathers-day-card

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Vandalism update

Published June 16th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

KTVZ in Bend put up an article about the community response to the Bend church vandalism.  Very cool – I am happy to see this.

To most people, there is nothing humorous about crime, or religious beliefs.

But a group with a name many would find amusing is very serious about helping two churches vandalized in its name.

Word of Sunday night’s tagging spread to Pastafarian members with the Church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster and atheists across the country.

One of them decided to do something about it – from halfway across the country.

"You know, when I saw this church get vandalized and someone did it, I guess through atheism or Pastafarianism, I just figured the church, even though they are wrong and even though I disagree with their beliefs, they didn’t deserve this," atheist Hemant Mehta said Wednesday. "So I think a lot of readers on my site would agree with this, so I asked them if they would consider chipping in."

Hemant Mehta, who goes by "the friendly atheist," created a church cleanup donation fund online from his home in Chicago.

You can check out the full article here.

Thanks again to everyone who chipped in to the cleanup fund. 

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art class evangelism

Published June 15th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

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Hello, My name is Siobhan (shabon) and I am 13 years old. During art class, we had to do a "cultural Item" drawing, and the first thing I thought of was, of course, the FSM. Sadly, the teacher marked it as a "Fantasy drawing" until I corrected her.

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59 Comments

Vandalism is Not OK

Published June 15th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

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Last night, vandals spray-painted “Praise the FSM” and pirate-fish on two Christian churches in Bend, Oregon.

This is not ok.  This is counter to everything we stand for and acts like these only set back our cause.  I don’t know who did this, but I will try to find out.

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From KTVZ in Bend:

"Praise the FSM": These are the words written, spray-painted and tagged across not one, but two churches on opposite sides of Bend Sunday night.

When Pastor John Bluebaugh of Christian Life Center got the news Monday morning, his first thought was, "Not again."

"Really, what went through my mind was, about six months we were tagged as well," said Bluebaugh. "It was the same kind of deal — different symbols, different sayings, but the exact same places."

There are markings left six months ago from vandals who drew Harry Potter-type slogans across the church.

Now, they’ve got a whole different mess to deal with. The graffiti apparently refers to The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, an online group of people who claim they do not believe in religion but rather in what they call Pastafarianism.

Let’s set an example and clean this up.

Hemant Mehta of Friendly Atheist has started a cleanup fund.  Please chip in if you can.

From Hemant:

I don’t know how much the cleanup will cost, but if more money is raised than they need, I’ll give the rest to Foundation Beyond Belief (an organization that encourages atheists to give to secular charities).

Just a note: I know there is a feeling by some that it’s not our place to raise money for Christian churches. But let’s be clear, this is only about making a bad situation right. It’s in our interest to send a message that we don’t approve of vandalism. Ideally it will be our response that people remember, not the vandalism by a few who don’t get what we’re about. So, let me just say thank you to everyone who has chipped in, and especially to Hemant for organizing the fund.

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PZ Myers responds to Pastafarian

Published June 14th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

I thought I’d share my latest battle with science.  PZ Meyers is an outspoken atheist and Biologist.  I went along to his talk in proper garb and questioned him on obvious discrepancies in his arguments against ID theory.

-Reverend Malin

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1,836 Comments

I spent a while thinking (hate-mail)

Published June 14th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

I spent a while thinking of a good reply to this, without sounding like some sort of inbred hick or perhaps maybe to get your attention. However, I realize that there pretty much is no way for that to happen, if you put this in your hate-mail section, I’ll probably be mocked just as much as the next guy, who put the stupid comment about how you could never buy a pirate ship. I’m OK with that, I just wish people will actually think about what I have to say rather then ignorantly mocking what I believe personally. Whatever may happen, I don’t really mind, except that I cannot bring myself to be silent on this issue.

I am a Christian, whatever you may think about me, or absurd assumptions you may have about what I look like, think like, or speak like, realize this, I think all beliefs should be treated with equality. Atheism, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Agonist, Voodoo, whatever, I don’t care, if you believe that you are correct, then you have every right in the world to believe that with all your heart, and nobody should force you to believe what they believe. Now I also believe in open criticism of any of these religions, meaning your Pastafarian view that openly mocks religion. However, it is also my right to criticize the criticism, meaning though while I believe it is your right to mock, harass, and generally make religious persons miserable, I don’t believe it is morally right.

Atheism is a belief just as much as Christianity. Say whatever you want about facts and how religion is stupid and all those who practice it are all idiots, but it still comes down to the fundamental truth that you must believe this to be more true over the other option. I am again, completely fine with that, and that is why I love America so much, because we CAN believe differently then one another, and still live peacefully (to a degree) together. However, mocking is not the right way to go about arguing your belief.
By the way, here is the definition of mocking:

1. Tease or laugh at in a scornful or contemptuous manner.

2. Make (something) seem laughably unreal or impossible.

To laugh at someone else’s belief that they dedicate their lives to is not funny or humorous, but I believe is rather childish and immature. This is the main reason why I would much rather sit down calmly with an atheist and have a rational discussion about each other’s beliefs, instead of smacking them in the face with a bible, and shouting how they are going to hell for not believing the undeniable truth that is the bible, or worse, calling their belief idiotic and getting my group of friends together and laughing and pointing in his face.

Of course there are people that do this, hence, you, and there will always be people like you. My job is try to convince you to be rational and discuss each others view points.

I could never put myself in your mindset and read this the same way through your eyes. To you, I just look like another idiot who took this seriously and decided to write a concerned letter and waste his time trying to teach you to be respectful, but the truth is, writing this helps me put my thoughts in order anyways.

If you do have one ounce of thought for my beliefs, at least view this letter with respect, and try to think about what I am thinking when I read this:

http://www.globalone.tv/forum/topics/student-punished-for-spaghetti?groupUrl=flyingspaghettimonster

What I am thinking is that the joke has gone to far. Of course this letter asks for intelligent discussion, and that seems to have never existed in your website, so before I go, let my put it in your language.

Fuck you, and lay off religion asshole.

Sincerely,
Austin

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