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Religion beat became a test of faith

Published August 14th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

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I just read this article in The Los Angeles Times. A religion columnist for the Times questions his faith after the stories he covered deeply affected him: ex-Mormans ostracized by their friends and family for leaving the Church, the Catholic Church molestation and cover-up scandal, exploitation of the desperate by TV evangelists, etc.

Part of what drew me to Christianity were the radical teachings of Jesus — to love your enemy, to protect the vulnerable and to lovingly bring lost sheep back into the fold.

As I reported the story, I wondered how faithful Mormons — many of whom rigorously followother biblical commands such as giving 10% of their income to the church — could miss so badly on one of Jesus’ primary lessons?

I sought solace in another belief: that a church’s heart is in the pews, not the pulpits. Certainly the people who were reading my stories would recoil and, in the end, recapture God’s house. Instead, I saw parishioners reflexively support priests who had molested children by writing glowing letters to bishops and judges, offering them jobs or even raising their bail while cursing the victims, often to their faces.

TBN [Trinity Broadcasting Network]’s creed is that if viewers send money to the network, God will repay them with great riches and good health. Even people deeply in debt are encouraged to put donations on credit cards.

“If you have been healed or saved or blessed through TBN and have not contributed … you are robbing God and will lose your reward in heaven,” Paul Crouch, co-founder of the Orange County-based network, once told viewers. Meanwhile, Crouch and his wife, Jan, live like tycoons.

I highly recommend reading it. These are issues that caused a lot of people to lose faith in their religion – or at least faith in members and leaders of their religion. Happily, many have found a home here. I find these sorts of articles way more interesting than those by atheists and the anti-religious. Anyway, read it if you have a chance.

Here’s the link

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FSM currency

Published August 12th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

Sent by Hannes as a suggestion of what money may look like in the future.

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mardi gras

Published August 8th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

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I wonder what’s in the sack.

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Creationist appointed head of Texas State Board of Education

Published August 5th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

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The Dallas Morning News reports that Texas Governor Rick Perry has appointed a creationist to head the Texas State Board of Education. Dr. McLeroy has been a member of the board for 8 years and has consistently voted with the other social conservatives on issues such as textbook section.

Many in Texas are worried by McLeroy’s record:

Dr. McLeroy was one of four board members who voted against proposed high school biology textbooks because he felt their coverage of evolution was “too dogmatic” and did not include possible flaws in Charles Darwin’s theory of how life on Earth evolved from lower forms.

McLeroy, though, has his reasons:

Dr. McLeroy said his vote on the biology books had nothing to do with censorship or religion and was based on “good science.”

It is wrong to teach opinion as fact,” he said.

I think that Pastafarians will find McLeroy an important ally on the war on “Natural Science”. We believe, as does he, that there very well may be SuperNatural explanations that better explain the universe. And science, even though it is the defined as the study of the Natural world, can simply be expanded to fit other theories. As with all things, more is better.

The article does not indicate what type of creation theory McLeroy subscribes to. It would be convenient if he was a Pastafarian, but whether or not he is yet enlightened, he’s done a service to SuperNatural theorii by expanding the definition of science.

I suggest that we contact Dr. McLeroy and begin preperations for inclusion of the FSM theory of creation in the Texas school curriculum. i.e. that the Flying Spaghetti Monster changes our observations to make it appear that the world conforms to Natural scientific theory.

Dr. McLeroy’s contact info:
Don McLeroy
9277 Brookwater Circle
College Station, TX 77845
979 846-1174 (FAX)

note -this info may be old. Anyone know?

Let’s really get organized and get into this. This affects all of us.

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Netherlands FSM procession

Published August 5th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

I received this email from Mark Van den Borre. I think this is exactly what the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is about. I am pleased beyond words that our religion has spread all around the world. -bobby

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Yesterday, a friend and I did a tiny procession in front of the Evangelische Omroep (EO), Hilversum, the Netherlands. They believe in creation of the earth in six days. They refuse to recognise evolution theory as an extremely high probability scientific theory. That reflects into them cutting and modifying scenes from BBC animal documentaries.

Our goal was to try and have the Flying Spaghetti Monster touch the EO people with Its Noodly Appendages, so that they too could enjoy the benefits of pastafarianism. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out yet.
Maybe It was just too busy doing other stuff.

We received quite some press attention. We made national radio in Holland, video coverage on the national news television website, two big newspapers in Belgium, _the_ most popular news blog in the Dutch speaking community, and more.

Web: http://pastafaris.org
Video coverage: http://www.nosheadlines.nl/forum.php/list_messages/7544 .
News blog: http://frontpage.fok.nl/nieuws/79926

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fsm worship quilt

Published August 2nd, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

This FSM worship quilt was made by Don and his wench Laurie. I think it’s very impressive.

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Pastafarian activism

Published July 29th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

Charles Akben-Marchand sent me the following email which I will repost here to hopefully inspire further Pastafarian activism. -bobby

I would like to draw your attention to a letter to the editor I wrote that was printed in a major local paper, the Ottawa Citizen (text of letter below).

There is a small debate being carried out in the letters section as to the appropriateness of state funding to religious schools in Ontario. While my contribution to this discussion focuses more on the nature of atheism and the separation of church and state, I was amused that the editor retained the reference to FSM.

Sincerely,
Charles

Text of letter:
Accepting difference
The Ottawa Citizen

Letter-writer T. Edward Gardiner tries to paint atheism as an alternative “religion” and claims that “imposing atheism” in schools is tantamount to an unofficial state religion.

However, atheism literally means “not religion.” It is the absence of belief (in one God, many gods, or Flying Spaghetti Monsters). Unlike religions, atheism has no unifying text or system of beliefs, no membership, no place of worship, nor any recognition by the state through special tax exemptions.

For the public school system to “impose” atheism on schoolchildren, it would have to actively teach that there is no God. But public schools teach neither a presence nor an absence of a god.

Mr. Gardiner admits that a Protestant school probably wouldn’t teach the slice of Protestantism he prefers, but insists on being able to outsource his children’s moral education to a state-funded Protestant school anyway. Parents should be teaching their children the moral and religious values of their choice by sitting down and talking with their children, or by bringing their children along with them to religious services.

Public schooling is not an “everybody thinks the same” view; rather, it is a view that “everybody thinks differently, so let’s not take sides.” Otherwise, where would the division end? Separate schools for Liberals and Conservatives — and Greens?

Charles Akben-Marchand,

Ottawa

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stained glass

Published July 28th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

This stained glass was created by Steven Bunch. Maybe it could hang in the first FSM Church(/ pirate ship). It’s very impressive. I’m always amazed at the creativity the FSM inspires.

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Acura Style FSM photo-op

Published July 27th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

This article was spotted in the Summer 2007 edition of Acura Style. The article is about Second Life, and if you look closely, the FSM has made an appearanace in the lower right photo.

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The article doesn’t mention the FSM, only that “not all avatars take human form”. I wonder if the author is a Pastafarian.

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An elaborate spoof on Intelligent Design, The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is neither too elaborate nor too spoofy to succeed in nailing the fallacies of ID. It's even wackier than Jonathan Swift's suggestion that the Irish eat their children as a way to keep them from being a burden, and it may offend just as many people, but Henderson puts satire to the same serious use that Swift did. Oh, yes, it is very funny. -- Scientific American.


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