Where does FSM fit in with the other religions?

Published May 22nd, 2007 by Bobby Henderson


Adherents.com has ranked the major religions of the world. What surprises me is that there are only around 500 thousand Scientologists, and that there are more – 600 thousand – Rastafarians in the world. Note that I said Rastafarians, not Pastafarians. Pastafarianism did not make the list, unfortunately.

Now I’m wondering how many Pastafarians there are in the world, and how we’d go about quantifying that. The FSM website has received well over 10 million unique visitors in the last two years. I’m guessing that the number of people vaguely familiar with FSM is in the millions, but that those who consider themselves Pastafarians number only in the tens of thousands. And of those people, I’m guessing that only some of them consider this a legit religion. For others it’s a joke, satire, entertainment, whatever.

I’m wondering how the mainstream religions count members. Do they count only those who truly follow the core beliefs, and disregard those who are there mainly for the social benefits? Or do they count everyone who’s signed up, or possibly those who pay dues?

Is FSM all that different than the other religions? How many Christians Truly Believe the Bible is the Infallible Word of God, and how many are members because they enjoy the social network and lifestyle that being Christian affords them? It seems to me that many Pastafarians enjoy this community, even if they don’t actually believe there is a Flying Spaghetti Monster controlling events around us at will. Of course, many of us do.

The Church of the FSM has no organized registration process – I’ve never liked the idea of it; it seemed too close to what the major religions do… tracking, asking for money – which I’m strongly against. But maybe it’s time for FSM to become more organized. What do you think? What do you want out of FSM?

209 Responses to “Where does FSM fit in with the other religions?”

  1. Wench Nikkiee says:

    Due to unknown circumstances, the regular members of the CoFSM are all out back in a room which currently has no windows…so to speak! What this means, is that we can’t see any direct indication of RECENT COMMENTS left by anyone anywhere else. (on other topic threads…like this one here) You’ll currently find us all over at the New Server (say no more) thread. Please drop over to by clicking the “New Server” link at the top right of your screen or by clicking the following link. Then we’ll know you are here. (:)))

  2. SparrowN says:

    About numbers being misused by religions. The major religion in Norway (oh, my sweet father country) is Protestantism, and so we’ve got a National Church. Everybody who confirm their Christian beliefs, becomes a member of this National Church – the ritual of Confirmation (Note: directly translated from the Norwegian term ‘konfirmasjon’, since I don’t know the correct English one) include receiving vast amounts of money from your relatives and other family members, hence 80 or 90 percent of the population is a member of the NC. A funny thing the NC did in one of the last years of the nineties, was to include, and get this, everyone not being a member of any other religious group in their member list, since their archives had just been burnt down. That means I was a member until recently, although I never had anything to do with the church.

  3. Titus says:

    What are your major religious holidays? If you got one around December 25th, that would be great.

  4. TOML says:

    Our facebook group has 11k members, so I think its safe to assume we’ve got at least that many followers.

  5. TWL says:

    Ya’ know… I’m amazed this really has gone from being “just a joke” to being a well thought out “This is where we stand” religion. I mean, I’m Christian personally, but… It has been rather amazing to me after looking at this for the past year. When I first saw it the whole thing seemed like a joke, but now… ya’ are actually looking at things, and treating them like the real issues they are.

    A Christian saying Good Luck with whatever it is ya’ are doing.

  6. Bysshe says:

    As mentioned earlier in this thread… counting the number of pastafarians is futile since His Noodleness will simply change the figures when we’re not looking. By my last count we were near 62 billion… a number I’ll accept on faith alone.

    As for collecting donations, I’m all for that. I’ll send a few $ towards an organized effort to build and maintain a galleon though I demand it have a multitude of cannons that can shoot meatballs.

  7. Paris Hilton says:

    Shit, I’d buy this place a Galleon myself.
    But two things would need to happen.

    1. I get a permenent birth on said ship.
    2. Said ship would be used to spread the word of FSM.
    Since those things won’t happen,
    I’ll not be buying any boats for the cause.

  8. Cap'n Snacky says:

    Now, I know I know I’m a little late in responding to this, but I just came across it. I couldn’t be bothered to read all the above posts, so I hope I’m not repeating someone else’s opinion.

    It seems to me that the ultimate issue here is not how many adherents we have. Rather, I see the issue as our being overlooked and excluded. After all, I think we all know that there are more than enough of us to make a good statistical showing on that chart.

    Sometimes the best solutions come from looking to your childhood and thinking “How would I have handled this back then?” If you do that, the answer becomes obvious.

    We bake our OWN pie, and don’t invite those other snobs. And we fill it with beer and candy.

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