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Happy Halloween 2018

Published October 31st, 2018 by Bobby Henderson

Halloween is one of the few days Pastafarians can walk around in traditional dress (pirate regalia) free from judgement and persecution. People on this blessed day also seem generally open-minded / perhaps drunk, so may be more open to hearing about the virtues of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and our religion. All in all, it is a prime evangelism opportunity — I hope that everyone makes the best of it and enjoys the day.

Special thanks to all of the Pastafarian Missionaries spreading the Word.

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Statement regarding Traditional Pastafarian Headgear

Published October 18th, 2018 by Bobby Henderson

A few people have asked what’s the latest with wearing religious headgear (a Colander) at school, work, in identification photos, and so forth — is it allowed?

It’s my understanding that, with a few exceptions, the wearing of religious clothing is a protected right that has been repeatedly upheld by the courts.

But that doesn’t mean that the person you’re dealing with – like, say, the person taking your ID photo will respect that right.

If you’re trying to wear official headgear in a public setting, my advice is to take yourself as seriously as you expect others to take you. A photographer may not allow you to wear the colander if you’ve just pulled it out while giggling. But if you walk in wearing it – if it is clear that this headgear is truly a serious part of your traditional Pastafarian beliefs, as you are claiming – then they are less likely to make trouble.

I’ve also written a letter below, that you can show any interested parties if necessary, that explains that Colanders are indeed a traditional part of our belief structure, and a few notes about how this is a legally protected right, and so on.

If you run into troubles, please let me know, and I will try to help.

 

Download the letter:

Statement regarding Traditional Pastafarian Headgear (PDF)

 

Content of letter:

Statement regarding Traditional Pastafarian Headgear:

Allow me to confirm that the wearing of a Colander is a tradition in the Pastafarian faith. Not all followers dress so formally, but it is a common practice for us to do so while making official identification documents.
As you know, religion plays a serious part in many people’s lives, including the wearing of specific clothing. Believers over the years have sometimes unfortunately experienced resistance, mockery, or even discrimination for simply following the guidelines of their religion.

Thankfully case law has repeatedly affirmed that believers have a constitutionally-protected right to wear such clothing in nearly all public situations including: work, school, while taking identification photos, even in the courtroom — provided that the clothing does not cause undo harm. That is to say, that religious clothing is with very few exceptions a protected right.

We, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, are not a litigious group but of course we, along with the ACLU and others, have an interest in defending the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and the laws of the United States.

Thank you for your cooperation and May You Be Touched by His Noodly Appendage.

Sincerely,

Bobby Henderson, Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

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Kiva Team FSM has raised $4 Million

Published October 5th, 2018 by Bobby Henderson

  

Congrats everyone — Team FSM has reached $4 Million in loans on the micro-lending site Kiva. We’re now the top-lending religious congregation on Kiva, above the Buddhists, Catholics, and Muslims.

  

What is Kiva? Kiva is a organization that lets us give small loans to people in the third world 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.

Nice work everyone! If you haven’t already, please join our team here.

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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

711337 Views
40 Comments

Back Tattoo Evangelism

Published April 27th, 2018 by Bobby Henderson

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

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50 Comments

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.

1470568 Views
63 Comments

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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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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