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Nuclear Pasta in neutron stars

Published September 16th, 2018 by Bobby Henderson

Scientists in Portugal have found spaghetti-like structures in neutron stars, showing more evidence of His Noodly Appendage at work:

About a kilometer below the surface of a neutron star, atomic nuclei are squeezed together so close that they merge into clumps of nuclear matter, a dense mixture of neutrons and protons. These as-yet theoretical clumps are thought to be shaped like blobs, tubes or sheets, and are named after their noodle look-alikes, including gnocchi, spaghetti and lasagna. Even deeper in the neutron star, the nuclear matter fully takes over. The burnt-out star’s entire core is nuclear matter, like one giant atomic nucleus.

Nuclear pasta is incredibly dense, about 100 trillion times the density of water.

You can read more about it here at Science News.

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Enjoying legal protection to dress in Pirate Regalia at work

Let me share this article written by Daniel Dowdy for the Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion about employment protections for Pastafarians in the workplace. For all of us who want to take off every Friday from work without fear of reprisal (religious discrimination) this is important. Mr Dowdy goes into detail about the history of the Church and what if any allowances can reasonably be asked of employers, citing decades of law. It’s an incredible piece of work and written in an approachable and entertaining way. I was blown away.

I’ll paste some excerpts of the article below, but please take the time to read the article if you have any interest in this stuff – you won’t be disappointed.

Here’s the link to the Rutgers Journal article.

And here’s some excerpts:

Your newly hired employee, Toni, has just walked into your office on her first day at Meerkat Manufacturing, the private corporation where you serve as a mid-level manager. She is donning a weathered vest with eighteen buttons, a flowing woolen coat over the top that has oversized cuffs (though it’s mid-July), striped pants that bag and tuck into high black socks just above her knees. On her head is a large metal colander, the same kind you have under your sink at home. She’s come to request Fridays off. Every Friday. Toni says that as a “Pastafarian” she is entitled to have every Friday off as a religious holiday.

Title VII of the Civil Rights act of 1964 makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee or prospective employee on the basis of religion, among other protected classes.

This definition has been considered overly broad by its critics.5 To this day, Title VII religious protection law is a veritable wild west. It follows that nontraditional religions would, in a great number of cases,6 be included under this protected class. The question presented to Joe, our fictitious HR Director, and the same question to be answered in this note is: does Pastafarianism (i.e. subscription to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster), which has been repeatedly criticized as nothing more than parody and satire,7 elicit protection under Title VII? If so, how much accommodation is required? If not, why not?

Henderson goes on to explain that “[s]ome Pastafarians honestly believe in the FSM, and some see it as satire.” Continuing:
Compare our religion to those that are built on lies. I am not talking necessarily about mainstream religions (which themselves are often full of mysticism and ad-hoc reasoning), but think of cults, or churches where the leaders are scamming their followers out of money. These are groups where the followers fully believe. Are these churches legitimate since they have many True Believers?

Henderson also clarifies that Pastafarianism is “not a joke. Elements of our religion are sometimes described as satire and there are many members who do not literally believe our scripture, but this isn’t unusual in religion. A lot of Christians don’t believe the Bible is literally true – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t True Christians.” The Gospel further bolsters CFSM’s religious assertions with a “Disclaimer” at the beginning of the text which reads:
While Pastafarianism is the only religion based on empirical evidence, it should also be noted that this is a faith-based book. Attentive readers will note numerous holes and contradictions throughout the text; they will even find blatant lies and exaggerations. These have been placed there to test the reader’s faith.

It is clear that Pastafarianism is not a traditional belief, given its only recent popularity and its foreign seeming practices. If Bobby Henderson is to be believed, that the CFSM is “not an atheists club,” then an analysis of the protected class membership of its followers as nontheists will be unnecessary. For the purposes of this note, as well as the required precarious judicial distinction between the truth of a belief and the truth of the sincerity of that belief, we must assume that Pastafarians generally do not fall under protected class status on the basis of nontheism, but rather, under a theory of non-traditional theism. There does not seem to be a great distinction between worship of the sun god, Ra, and that of the FSM.151 On the basis of non-traditional religious belief, therefore, there seems to be no barrier to Title VII protection.

The beliefs and practices avowed by The Gospel are not built on a foundation of mere political or secular beliefs. While certainly Pastafarian practices are likely to seem unacceptable, illogical, inconsistent, or incomprehensible to some, if not a large majority of reasonable people, this will not disqualify the CFSM’s followers from protection under Title VII.

Talking to Mr. Dowdy a bit, I don’t know his exact opinion on whether Pastafarians should be granted allowances to dress as Pirates and take every Friday off of work… I believe the larger point of his article is that courts should not be deciding what is and what is not a True religion and it’s not their place to maintain a list of protected religious activities that are deemed acceptable in the workplace. Perhaps we can convince him that Pastafarianism is the One True religion and deserves extra allowances.

Again here is the link to the full Rutgers Journal article, please read it if you’ve got some time.

Thank you to Mr. Dowdy. I predict a bright future for him (he just graduated from Rutgers with a Law degree) – and I hope that he will keep in touch with the Church and let us know what’s on his mind. Maybe we can brainstorm some questions to ask him from time to time.

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Migrant family separation is wrong

Published June 18th, 2018 by Bobby Henderson

The Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents is wrong and immoral.

Migrants arriving to the US with nothing, looking for a better life, deserve our respect and empathy. Families applying for asylum should not be treated as criminals. Of course.

It is good that some religious groups have been speaking out about this. I was impressed that the Methodists called it wrong. I agree that Jesus would be appalled.

But shame on you, the 75% of white evangelicals who continue to support this regime. You’ve shown who you are – please do not try to claim the moral high-ground again.

Film project needs support

Published May 10th, 2018 by Bobby Henderson

Please join me in supporting this Film project out of Spain. The premise: A family is about to celebrate a Pastafarian communion but they debate if they should invite the Christian conservative granny or not.

https://www.verkami.com/locale/en/projects/20597-ramen

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Back Tattoo Evangelism

Published April 27th, 2018 by Bobby Henderson

Check out Mike’s tattoo, he’s from Denmark. Amazing:

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Join our FSM Telegram channel

Published January 15th, 2018 by Bobby Henderson

Hey, for people who use the chatting app Telegram, you can add our just-started channel FSMChurch for all things Flying Spaghetti Monster. Join us.

Note — the original link was broken. It’s now been updated. Come join us if you want to chat.

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Pastafarian Council Member Wins Re-Election

Published November 10th, 2017 by Bobby Henderson

Congratulations to Pastafarian Christopher Schaeffer for winning re-election to the Pomfret New York Town Council.

Mr. Schaeffer enjoyed (perhaps suffered) internet fame when he wore a Colander during his first swearing-in ceremony in 2014.

To my knowledge no elected Pastafarian has yet worn Full Pirate Regalia in an official photo.

By the election results, it is clear the voters approve of Mr. Schaeffer, despite (perhaps because of) his public religious views.

Congrats, and keep up the good work, sir.

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Noodle Mass discrimination in Germany

Published August 7th, 2017 by Bobby Henderson

German courts have ruled that Pastafarians are not allowed to post announcements of services alongside those of other churches.

One of the signs that was ordered to be removed:

The German Pastafarians put these signs up years ago in Templin after other churches were allowed to post signs. There were complaints by locals who felt mocked, and it’s been in the Brandenburg state court system ever since.

It’s disappointing that the courts would discriminate against the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

From the New York Post,

Brandenburg state court ruled Wednesday the group can’t claim the rights of a religious or philosophical community. Judges said its criticism of others’ beliefs doesn’t constitute a philosophy.

I find the reasoning dishonest. They could have made a fair point to say Pastafarians do not share an unquestioning faith of our own Dogma in the way that happens in many religions – that we do not necessarily Truly Believe our outlandish stories in the way that others might – but it is an absurd idea that the majority of Pastafarians have joined the Church in order to criticize others’ beliefs. What a cynical view.

Is it hard to believe that people who are wired to reject faith could be drawn to a religion that respects Reason, one that is OK with Believers not fully swallowing Dogma? Perhaps there are people who enjoy the community of a church, without the necessity of denying Reality?

Aside from that, I do not feel that Pastafarians are inherently judgmental people — I haven’t yet experienced this “criticism of others’ beliefs” that the courts have projected onto our members. In fact that sort of judgmental criticism sounds like what I’ve seen in mainstream churches.

No matter. I’m confident that we’ll win in the end. And I think there is value when government institutions are forced to show their biases. They have ruled against us, but in doing so have exposed their own discriminatory attitude. It may be that the growth of the Church of the FSM is in part due to the reaction of fair-minded people, after these setbacks happen. In other words, a few small-minded people with power have asserted their Authority and “won”, but many more people will hear of what took place and form their own opinions, and that is a win for us.

I would like to thank the German Pastafarians for keeping up the fight. You are an inspiration to us all.

The best article about this court case is here. At the top right you can translate into English.

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Success (and trouble) for Arizona Pastafarian’s ID Photo

Published June 2nd, 2017 by Bobby Henderson

Congratulations to Mr. Corbett — Arizona finally allowed him to wear a colander in his ID photo, after many attempts.

“I tried a couple different locations and was met with a lot of pushback and resistance,” he said. “I was scorned at every location I went to, and they put out a memo about me, so by the time I got to (the) fourth and fifth MVD, they stopped me at the door.

“They got angry at me and treated me with such disrespect.”

He recently tried again and, after talking with the location’s manager, was able to take the photo. He received his official ID in the mail Tuesday.

“I was really excited,” Corbett said. “I felt, in that moment, that I won my battle. It was a huge victory for me.”

However, it seems that Arizona bureaucrats heard about this and will try to take the license back:

A spokesman for the Arizona Department of Transportation, which oversees the Motor Vehicle Division, released a statement on the matter.

“MVD license and ID photos are meant to show a person’s typical daily appearance and allow for religious expression or medical needs. Photos are filtered through facial recognition technology and if an error occurs, the photo can be recalled,” the statement said.

Spokesman Doug Nick later added that “we will go through the process to pull this credential.”

So we’ll see what happens.

Whatever the outcome, it’s nice to see people like Mr. Corbett fighting for their rights. The struggle itself is so important.

Our view is that it’s inappropriate for a government organization to make a judgment based on a person’s religion. If the head covering meets the visibility requirements, it should be allowed no matter what religion that hat is associated with.

Sometimes the DMV workers don’t know the rules fully, and that is understandable. Perhaps some of the workers are letting their personal views color their behavior, which is unfortunate but human. What is more interesting is in cases like Mr. Corbett’s, where management gets involved — the actions they take will be very important to watch.

For now let’s give the Arizona officials the benefit of the doubt and hope that Mr. Corbett will be afforded the same rights as members of other religions.

Again, congratulations on the win, Mr. Corbett, and thank you for your effort. And thank you to Pastafarians everywhere, who are fighting for their rights.

There’s a nice article about this at USA Today here.

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Australia Officially Recognizes the Church of FSM

Published May 22nd, 2017 by Bobby Henderson

 

Big news

The government of Australia, after years of court proceedings, has decided that Pastafarians will be allowed to wear religious headgear in ID photos.

 

Here’s the backstory

A few years ago, a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster Australia (CFSMA), was allowed to wear his headgear (colander) when photographed for his license, but later forced to surrender the license for a replacement, without headgear.

Preshalin obtained his NSW driver’s license last year, and, at the time, was permitted to wear his religious headwear for his photograph. He has now been informed that he must surrender his present license and have a new photograph taken without his religious headwear, as the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is not a ‘recognised religion’.

The CFSMA has been fighting in court ever since, and today they were informed that a decision had been made to allow Pastafarians equal religious protection. Victory!

From Captain Tanya Watkin’s media release:

On behalf of the CFSMA I am delighted to announce that the Hon. Melinda Pavey, NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, has confirmed that the present policy enforced by RMS regarding religious head coverings in driver’s licenses (that specifically named Pastafarians as being subject to discrimination by not allowing our chosen head covering to be worn) will be changed. The new policy will reflect the fact that NSW Government Departments will show respect and consideration towards all people who wear a head covering. When the new policy is implemented, people will no longer have their stated religion checked against a list of ‘recognised’ religions.

Congratulations to the CFSMA

The Church of FSM Australia continues to blow me away. Tanya Watkins, Captain of CFSMA, especially, deserves a round of applause — she took it on herself to lead the fight, and after more than two years, won a victory for Pastafarians everywhere.

Sincere thanks, and congratulations, to Tanya and everyone from the CFSMA.

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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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