Treat other religions with respect

Published July 9th, 2010 by Bobby Henderson

When I first found this site, I was thoroughly amused.  I understand and even agree with your argument on the teaching of the Theory of Intelligent Design in public schools.  Your way of presenting this was very amusing, and wittily got your opinion expressed on the subject matter.

I sincerely wish I would’ve stopped scanning your website after reading your letter.
It was the attitude of the rest of the website that made me stop and feel terrible for the people who disagree with you.  From the video of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float performing a "religious action" on a random person to the tab specially designed for hate mail, I was instantly turned off to your concept of how you express your opinions.

Believing in something is one thing, but pounding others into the dust–pretty much BEGGING for the opportunity for someone to argue with you?  That’s something entirely different.  I know people must be begging for the hate mail that only screams at what a dumb religion yours is… just so that you can slam your argument into their faces. 

I think your message got lost a long time ago, Bobby.  It’s really sad… you had a good thing going, I think.  It’s really sad that your message of "don’t teach Intelligent Design in our schools" turned into "religion is pointless", which then turned into "everyone who believes in a religion is below me, and that gives me the right to completely disrespect everything they stand for".  It’s really sad that people join this group just so that they can slam onto other people.  Because really?  What are you hoping to accomplish at this point?

I may not agree with Christianity 100%, but I do believe "Do Unto Others" is a great philosophy to live by.  So is "Turn The Other Cheek".  Basically, treat other religions with respect… but if they don’t honor your viewpoints back?  Take the high road.  Maybe make a simple comment (like your letter) and be done with it.  By dragging it out like this, you’re making yourself look bad… and that’s all.

Thank you for your time,

838 Responses to “Treat other religions with respect”

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  1. Greg says:

    Agreed. I love the Original idea. but on scanning the site a bit I dont want to be involved. I will use this idea in descusions with people on religion (as an example on the level with the tea cup in space) but i will not declaire myslef a pastafarian. It makes me feel ‘Silly’ as an athiest.

    And i have found that if you present yourself as believing this to a religeous person it is fairly easy for the conversation to be disregarded.

    • Drained and Washed Clean says:

      Presenting yourself as an atheist leads to the conversation being disregarded. There are people out there who don’t think we should have citizenship, we shouldn’t be allowed to vote, we shouldn’t be allowed to run for office… It doesn’t matter how I present myself to a “religious” person. I don’t believe in god so I am disregarded.

      • Brian says:

        D&WC: I agree with the original letter, 4th paragraph specifically. In your comment, one can easily replace atheist with Christian and it would be just as applicable if not moreso. The “tolerance” movement has seen increased tolerance for everything but religion. I’m sorry you’ve seen persecution for your beliefs (or lack thereof), but in my experience, one is much more likely to incur negative social ramifications for his religious beliefs than non beliefs. Maybe that’s just here in Portland. I hope where you are the religious and non religious folks learn to live and let live.

        • Drained and Washed Clean says:

          First, you live in Portland. West Coast. That should be enough said right there.

          “Just as applicable if not more so”…? Seriously? There is ONE atheist Congressman. It is basically a requirement to proclaim faith in this god thing in order to be elected. So, you can’t proclaim an injustice there. Where are the masses screaming that Christians shouldn’t be elected into office? Or shouldn’t be allowed to vote? Or should have their citizenship revoked?

          You see the “tolerance” movement as a decrease for religion because religion was the one not being tolerant in the first place. Those things should never have been tolerated in the first place. Religion is dictating who can and cannot get married in this country where all are supposed to be equal. Religion is a requirement in order to be elected into office in a country that is supposed to have religious freedom (which includes the right to say there is no god). Religion tells scientists they cannot study certain things even though it could save lives in a country where we are supposed to have the right to live. Religion is trying to teach mythology disguised as science in public schools in a country where the government is not supposed to choose a national religion.

          Religion currently permeates every facet of our society when it should just be a private matter. So, when religious people start minding their own business and actually let other people live, then I will respond in kind.

        • Miles says:

          Very well said. This whole just let them believe what they want and respect thing is bs. I watch everyday how some stupid superstitious belief influences some law or policy. Christianity knows its on its last legs and now wants everyone to place nice. Go screw yourselves. For far too long society has been controlled and shaped through Christianity. Far too many wars, murders and rapings of little boys have occurred directly caused by Christianity. They have stifled scientific and cultural progress for far too long and people are finally starting to see what a crock of bs it is. Be worried Christians, your time is running out.

          The time for playing nice is over. Christianity doesn’t deserve to be treated with the respect of the high road. It should be stabbed in the back while sleeping with the little boys it loves so much.

        • Atsap Revol says:


          Good post! I livein Portland, and it is a bullshit town with truly weird social mores. But I disagree with Brian. Persecution of non-Christians is alive and well here. Religion permeates, often hypocritically, every corner of our society. Yet the Religious Right continues to scream for prayer in school and a copy of the Ten Commandments in every court house.

        • Cusedds says:

          There is more than one atheist elected official…. I would be surprised if more ” educated” people are not atheist… I think that admitting that you are is just committing political suicide.

        • Gordon_UK says:


          The one thing I have noticed with the religious is their confusion between ‘religious discrimination’ and their loss of religious privilege. For example here in the UK the CofE is up in arms claiming their human rights as being ignored because pending law will prevent them discriminating against women and gays.

          Also in response to your “one is much more likely to incur negative social ramifications for his religious beliefs than non beliefs” then how come both George W Bush and Tony Blair felt comfortable declaring their belief?

          So stop talking out your ass.


        • Troller Jones says:

          First off, I would like to say that “Drained and Washed Clean” makes a very strong and accurate point. If you’ve ever watched the movie “Religulous,” Bill is talking to this one Christian woman who’s not only saying that God (Or Jesus, one or the other, or both) is going to save the Jews (as if Jews are terrible people or something) to a Jew’s face, but she even said she would never vote for a non-religious politician, and went on to say that she would only vote for the most deeply religious politician into office (or something like that, haven’t seen it in awhile). Atheists are some of the most hated minority in not only the US, but the world as well. theists are the ones to discriminate, not the atheists (least not as much).Personally, I love listening to a theist argue his point, cuz it’s hilarious.

        • Vik says:

          Speaking of Religulous, there was a clear call to arms in that movie for athiests to stand up and be counted, to end out timid hiding in the corners or general apathy towards all of this. Something like 16% of Americans are athiest or non-religious, making us one of the largest minority groups by far. Yet we effectively have no voice in the direction of this country because we are cast as amoral villains, some going as far as saying we aren’t citizens and have no rights.

          We will not be silent. We don’t plan on starting any crusades, but we damn well will exercise our freedom of speech. To those who feel belittled by our arguments, all I can suggest is you found your beliefs on more stable grounds.

          I end with a quote I enjoyed:

          “And giving respect to this mentality is exactly what’s gotten us into the mess we’re in. We’ve given religion ideas above its station and we’ve persuaded it that it’s something it is not, when the truth is that faith is the deliberate suspension of disbelief. It’s an act of will. It’s not a state of grace, it’s a state of choice. Because without evidence, you’ve got no reason to believe apart from your willingness to believe. So why is that worthy of respect any more than your willingness to poke yourself in the eye with a pencil?” — Pat Condell

  2. Donald says:

    this guys makes some very good points. ive seen some pretty rude posts at times by some of our fellow pastafarians… perhaps religion is in general is just cursed to end up this way. but still i am very proud of who i am, what i believe. FSM bless you all. ramen

    • Phyve says:

      But see, it’s not CFSM’s fault that there are people who say things that people will say. Also, this is an open forum. From all I can tell Bobby posts everything, taking equal regard for the safety of hatemailers (recalling a not so recent event). CFSM is satire, as I’m certain you (a fellow noodle) are aware. It’s a valuable tool, as is it’s “pseudogma”. Unfortunately, none of us can control, nor should we want to, the mind-controlled fingers of our fellows. To blame any of their keystrokes on the existence of the forum, would be like blaming a stabbing on the invention of the knife. When we all know damn good and well, had the knife never been invented, the killer would have used a bludgeon or something else. Likewise, the trolls and fettucini would find another site.

      • zebobbybird says:

        I guess i never learned to use a knife properly.

      • tekhedd says:

        That’s right, those impolite people who are part of our group aren’t really *part* of our group. “Not true Scotsmen”, you know. Every group defends their actions in this way.

        Accept it: we are the power base that enables rude people on this forum, and they are our responsibility. If Muslims took the same view of suicide bombers, if Christians took the same attitude towards Fred Phelps, the world would be a better place.

        • Danimal says:

          I cannot like this hard enough tekheed. The difference here is our religion is a satire while their religion comes from a perfect being so they have no excuse.

        • tekhedd says:

          Well, I suppose there’s a point there. FSM Extremists, at worst, might go as far as being slightly more rude than necessary in the comments. At worst!

          (I’m torn. It’s better satire if I pretend there’s no problem, but I think that some commentors do cross the line sometimes, just a little. I supposed satire would be best served if some Pastafarian were to commit an atrocity that exactly mimics something we discussed in the comments, which we could then pretend wasn’t our fault…but no. That would be bad.)

        • Phyve says:

          I know what we should do. We should make a list of eight things we’d really rather people not do, in the name of his noodley goodness, then put “like” and “dislike” buttons on every comment, to let the forum know if we agree or disagree, and hold people accountable for their own words.

    • Pastafarian igo says:

      I have to say I could not agree more I am a proud pastafarian but some people on this forum I think don’t fully understand what it is to be a follower of thine holy noodle. I have seen too many people on this site thinking pastafarianism is a made up parody religion made for bashing and hateing other religions and it is not it is a religeon of peace love beer strippers noodels and pirates! Why do people not understand that? So many people in this religion that don’t even know anything about it’s history and just join in to make it look like a big angry joke! Personaly I am tired of it! My appologies for any spelling/grammar errors.

      • Phyve says:

        I agree with you Igo. There are a lot of “pastafarians” who do not understand what it’s about or it’s history. I have met a couple in real life as well. It’s sad that they don’t understand, we have a goal. There are a lot of trollin pastafarians also… But this is understandably the internet. As much as we would like to modulate trolling, I’m not certain that is an available filter. Wouldn’t it be handy though?

  3. Phyve says:

    Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
    Which came first, hatemail or the hatemail tab?

    • Bobby says:

      Hatemail came first.

      • Phyve says:

        I thought so :)

    • Theo says:

      The chicken of course! Duh.

      • tekhedd says:

        Disagree! Mutation occurs at/before conception, therefore the egg *must* have come first, from a non-chicken parent. Solved!

        But there’s more! A pre-born chicken requires a certain environment for to develop, otherwise it would not develop into a chicken. Therefore, the egg it was in must have been a chicken egg.

        Therefore, they both happened at the same time. Hah.

        • Skitz says:

          You’re all wrong, the answer is KFC.

        • tekhedd says:

          What does KFC have to do with chicken?

        • Drained and Washed Clean says:

          It stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken here in the states.

        • Phyve says:

          They have a lot to do with ruining it’s flavor, and charging way to much for it afterward.

        • Drained and Washed Clean says:

          Why is my KFC answer getting thumbs down? Was I inaccurate in my response? lol

        • Atsap Revol says:

          IDK what else KFC stands for? Your answer was correct. Maybe the thumbs-downers can explain their reaction. Probably just the dumb-shit factor at work.

        • Ronster says:

          tekhedd, you had it right in your first sentence, but you should have stopped there. The first chicken developed in and was born from an egg that was almost, but not quite, a chicken egg. The environment inside a egg is due to the genetic makeup of the embryo and would be similar enough to allow it to develop to maturity. If it wasn’t close enough, the first chicken would never have been born.

        • Pastafarian igo says:

          You are all all wrong! Clearly the noodel came first! Duhh…

        • pastafazoo'lah-a-hool'ah says:

          i thot the phylighing thpuggeddee monthsder (sorry, I had macaroni stuck in my teeth) took a rib out of Adam Rooster, because he was lonely, and made Eve Hen, who was already impregnated with fertlized Cain and Abel chicken eggs- and then a talking earthworm convinced Eve Hen to get Adam Rooster to eat a Froot Loop from The Cereal Bowl of Good and Evil (vitamin fortified!) and then they were cast from The Chicken Coop of Eatin’, suddenly realized they were naked, until a few thousand years went by and chickens now wear little suits and dresses and go to tiny churches where water is turned into kool-aid that represents the sacrificed blood of the messiah rooster Jeezuss, who died so that other chickens would have the option of redemption.
          And that’s what came first.

          Only chickens get to go to heaven- if you read the BIBLE carefully enough, there’s a statement where Jeezus clearly says, And, yea”- which is what He said before reminding the hairless simians that they would just rot in the dirt, like chicken poop.

          Wait a MINUTE- THAT MEANS ME!!!!!

        • The Big R says:

          I thought chickens came from dinosaurs .

  4. Bigslicka says:

    Respect ,for yourself and others. Integrity ,doing the right thing when no one is watching. Pesonal Responsibility, accepting the consequences for your actions. These are not just words to me, but a life philosophy. If more people lived with these guidelines religion would not be needed, and hence be pointless.

  5. Christopher says:

    I agree. You must treat any other idea with respect, regardless of its merit. If I profess that flowers grow under my toenails, you HAVE TO treat this idea respectfully so as not to be rude.

    Wait, that concept only applies to religion? Well, then, never mind.

    • Ubi Dubium says:

      All you have to do is profess that flowers growing under your toenails IS your religion. Then they HAVE TO respect it!

  6. Dave says:


    I think that you’ve missed an important point here. The original message of the open letter was this: If you teach your absurd religion in my schools then you must also teach my absurd religion in my schools. Saying that religion is absurd IS part of the original argument. That is why the FSM has become a rallying cry for anybody who does not like organized religion, whether they be atheist or not.

    • Joseph says:

      Actually you’ve missed the point Dave. The original message of the open letter is not about the absurdity of religion, but rather the absurdity of necessitating the teaching of religious beliefs such as intelligent design in schools strictly because of the fact that they are not disprovable. Alfred is making the point that the original idea of the letter was respectfully pointing at the flawed logic of the intelligent design in schools debate. This website, however, and much (though not all) of the subsequent pastafarian movement has turned to become disrespectful and oppressive in its sharing of views – often paralleling the oppression displayed by the religious movements they sought to argue against.

      I agree with Alfred in that it is sad to see how often these debates polarize people, especially when the original intent of the message here was so elegant and unassuming to begin with. It’s important to remember that the ones lobbying for creationism in schools are often the more extreme and fundamentalist Christians, not the average ones. Most people involved in organized religion are also turned off by the oppression displayed by the Kansas education board case, including many of the God-believing scientists who study evolution in the first place. By antagonizing individuals with a religious viewpoint, the whole argument loses its foundation in mutual respect for persons and logic that gave it life in the first place.

      • The Second to Last Angry Man says:

        The point was to prevent the teaching of intelligent design, but through that it pointed out the blatant absurdity of religion. It’s really pretty much up to interpretation what it seems to stand for NOW. I repeat again, the original was a pointed way to fight teaching ID in schools, but it has become something, different. Be it for better or for worse it has changed from it’s original purpose and become what it is now.

      • Dave says:


        I respectably disagree. If the only point to the original message was to point out the “absurdity of necessitating the teaching of religious beliefs” in school, then the point would have been better made by picking doctrine from existing religions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and so on. Rather than do that, Bobby made up the most ridiculous religion he could think of, and sent that in his original letter. As a result, the absurdity of religion is definitely part of the message.

        • Ham Nox says:

          His point isn’t necessarily to point out the absurdity of religion. His point was that if an argument that can be used to justify absolutely anything, no matter how obviously contrived or incompatible with reality, it ceases to be a meaningful argument. To illustrate this, he makes the most absurd stance he can think of and then uses his opponent’s most invalid methods of argument to validate it.

          It only follows to ask, “How do we so so readily reject one equally supported (or completely unsupported) theory over another?” That contrast between the absurdity of Pastafarianism and the commonly accepted rationalizations of ID proponents, is a very powerful piece of the satire, as it leaves it completely open to the reader to wonder whether FSMism seems absurd because “real” religions and their more rational, non-fundie followers actually do contain some relative amount of sense, or if we’ve just grown desensitized to particular brands of absurdity. I personally feel it’s a little bit of both. The message itself does not give an official indication either way…

          We can argue about the implications cast by making that contrast till our faces are explosively red and our fingers cramp up and fall off, but ultimately the question itself is worth so much more than its answer.

        • Jane says:

          I might also add that by creating a new religion and politely submitting it, he’s not viewed as an angry extremist or a would-be know-it-all. It also helps that he used the ‘accepted’ arguments to follow up his own. Though this can be viewed as a witty parody or simply justification. It is a well written letter that makes those who catch the connections think about said connections while appealing to people who disagree with ID being taught. It also stops those who would discredit him from a religious standpoint. The letter is a commendable action in a volatile environment. Like any religion there are different degrees of support shown by different people and, like anything in the world today, is going to be diversely interpreted as well.

        • Pastafarian igo says:

          I do somewhat agree but this religion is not absurd to me it actualy makes perfect sence but that’s because I must be crazy but I’m not so I guess I must be stupid but anyways I agree it is wired and it may not be real to some people but to me and some others it is a real legit religion and that is what it was made to be.

      • Insightful Ape says:

        Hey Joe, have you ever heard of this thing called the Southern Baptist Convention? It happens to be the biggest Protestant donomination nationwide, the biggest after roman Catholics.
        Now, this SBC has a flagship college called the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The president of this seminary, Albert Mohler, has been described by the Time magazine as one of the most infulential people in the evangelical movement.
        I think so far we have established that Mr Mohler cannot be dismissed as “lunatic fringe”. He is as close as the pope of of millions of southern baptists and evangelicals as you can get.
        So when Mr Mohler says that the world is only 6000 years old and it only “looks old” because of the original sin, THAT IS MAINSTREAM RELIGION.
        Your claim that “the ones lobbying for creationism in schools are often the more extreme and fundamentalist Christians, not the average ones” is simply false. You have no basis for claim that you are more “average” than an Albert Mohler. In fact as far as I can tell he is a lot closer to the “average” faithful than you are. (Which is the denomination that chose YOU as the dean of their flagship school again?).

        • Joseph says:

          I see your point regarding the debate of “average”, Insightful Ape, but I don’t believe that saying that there are millions of southern baptists and evangelicals makes them all that average. The millions of them are still shadowed by many more millions of other Protestants and other denominations of Christians who are not extreme and fundamentalist. The real average theistic communities don’t stand out because they’re not out there trying to change things, so we don’t hear about them. It’s a fallacy of what’s salient in the news.

          And by the way, I’m not faithful. I’m a non-believer myself who thoughtfully left the Catholic Church because I didn’t believe in much of the workings of the organized religion as well. The reason I feel that the FSM movement is getting out of hand is because I think that it’s beginning to resemble that which it was trying to argue against. Satire of religion’s logic and thought process is one thing, but using it as a conduit for targeted religion-bashing is another.

        • Insightful Ape says:

          So, Joe, are you the one who gets to tell what is average and what is not? Who gave you that authority?
          If you care to see what is average and what is not, look at the numbers.


          Only 1% of people who attend church every week accept evolution as a natural phenomenon not directed by God. In other words, 99% of those who go to church on weekly basis are behind year 1859 in their understanding of biology and geology. Is that “average” enough for you?
          Why is it, Joe, that every time you and I are arguing (on this thread or elsewhere) you are the one giving your personal opinion, and I am the one presenting numbers and statistics? Is it a coincidence?
          Now, “FSM “movement” (whatever that means-bunch of people enjoying a joke?) is beginning to resemble that which it was trying to argue against”? Seriously? Have we threatened dissent with eternal damnation, fire and brimstone? Have we been seeking to control school boards to teach students about pirates being the chosen people?
          The reason I think you are a troll is that you are among a whole group of people we have had on this forum recently, claiming to be non-religious, and yet complaining about “disrespect”. Cry me a river. If you had any power, you would be no better than the ayatollah who issued a death sentence against Salman Rushdie for disrespecting Muslims.

        • FSM Believer says:

          Reply To “Insightful Ape” below:

          Joe is given the authority, by the same authority given to you to discredit him. Which is none. Your first post was well said. but your second post is insulting and proves his, and the original author’s point well. You don’t know who he is, but know enough to call him an otherwise would be murderer? Next time think WWFSMD, before you post something like that.

          Also, just because 1% of church goers, (which I doubt is accurate, former church goer myself), accept evolution as a natural phenomenon not directed by God, doesn’t mean the rest don’t believe evolution happens. The other 99% can still believe evolution happens because of God, but that means they still believe in evolution as well. Obviosly a good portion of those 99% will believe in creationism and not all will believe is some fashion evolution.

          And now that FSM is organized, it, like the other organized religions, the few stupid, are given the opportunity to make the whole look bad.

        • Insightful Ape says:

          My point was to show Joe that, demanding “respect” and trying to silence anything else- as he happens to be doing-is a slippery slope. And yes, it does in extreme cases lead to death fatwas.
          And no, “evolution happens because of god” is not science. Take a look at the documents from Dover trial. That was exactly was the defendants were promoting and it was indeed a religious ideology. I don’t see how saying that 99% of people attending church weekly deny scientific evolution, based on the poll I showed you, is stretching the point.
          Joe keeps trying to tell us the “average” believers are on the side of science. The reality is, believers are widely different in their views, but literalism which leads to denial of science is quite prevalent. There is no evidence this elusive “average” even exists.

        • Insightful Ape says:

          I saw this just today, FSM believer.
          If you are wondering why it is important to protect freedom of expression from the likes of Joe who get so upset if someone offends or ridicules religion, this is why.

      • Drained and Washed Clean says:

        How are we disrespectful and oppressive? Since you are making these claims, and we are big on evidence here, I would appreciate you pointing out specific examples of how we are these things. Now, please note, being honest and stating fact are not disrespectful (even though everyone seems to think so). There are those who come here and are disrespectful. What do you have to say about them? As I already stated, we are allowed to defend ourselves.

        Now the definition of oppressive is: the act of subjugating by cruelty. Now. I can recall the Inquisition. That was subjugating by cruelty. I recall the Crusades. That was subjugating by cruelty. I am also recalling wars that are still going on (in the Middle East, in Ireland, in Africa) where people are killing each other because someone doesn’t agree with their religion. If they don’t agree then they are killed. So, again I ask. Where are our acts of oppressiveness?

        People get what they ask for. If someone comes here respectfully and states their opinion, we are respectful back (you apparently missed all of those messages). However, when someone comes in here (to OUR house, OUR community) and is disrespectful – forget it.

        • Phyve says:

          @Insightful Ape They “are attempting to do everything in our power to assist the individuals on that list to effectively protect themselves and change their behavior to make themselves less of a target”. -David Gomez, the FBI’s assistant special agent in charge of counterterrorism

          This seems like something they would say in Orwell’s “1984”.

        • Insightful Ape says:

          “1984” is exactly where we will all end up if “respect” for religion becomes the rule one day.
          Which is precisely why I resent people like Joe who are trying to make it a rule, albeit nonviolently.

        • Phyve says:

          Here are a couple modern “newspeak” words (pertinent to the point), and their definitions.

          Left and Right Wings : Terms that limit the range of expression when discussing issues. The idea that there are only 2 sides to every argument, the Republican and Democratic sides. These terms give the public the idea that there are only two possible sources of ideas, and that these two “opposing” sides represent the entire gambit of thought.

          Militants – People that hold beliefs that are different from yours, and refuse to change their mind.

          There are several other words:

        • Dave says:

          @Phyve: Concerning left wing and right wing, there are some that actually use four directions, like the points on a compass. Not only do you have left and right, but you also have north and south. North is authoritarian, and south is libertarian. Now, I guess that that could still be considered limiting in some circles. However, it is not as limiting as simply left and right.

  7. gordon_uk says:


    You must have missed the posts from religious people who post here and are accepted, why because they respect us and don’t try to tell us we are wrong or worse still try to ‘save us’. In the same way I am respectful when I enter their places of worship, it would be so easy to point out flaws in their belief but that would be uncalled for.

    Take your letter for example, it comes across as polite in it’s wording but it undertones are rude and condescending which is why I have no respect for you.

    PS you earn respect it’s never a given.


    • Pastafarian igo says:

      Very good point Gordon

  8. tekhedd says:

    I wonder, would his opinion be substantially changed if, instead of “Hate Mail” the tab said “Feedback”?

    • zebobbybird says:

      I bet five bucks his response would be even more negative if it said “live footage from heaven strippers”

      boy would he be disappointed…

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