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I can appreciate a good joke

Published February 15th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

I can appreciate a good joke as much as any other guy.  But there’s a difference between making a joke and insulting other people.  When you begin to bring in specific religious practice or condemnations for not doing as the religion "requires," that becomes an insult.  Think of it this way: your website is good, but what’s the point of your occasional advertisement on the bottom with a picture of the religious book of FSM saying "Save Your Heathen Soul"?  It directly says to others that if you don’t believe what we tell you, you’re wrong and going to hell.  Yes, I’m a Christian, no I don’t believe most of the things in the church’s past were okay.  I simply choose to believe that there is a God, and if anybody has any questions about my faith, I’ll be happy to answer and guide them if that’s what they want.  If they believe otherwise, I’ll allow them to stay that way, because there’s nothing I can do to force their belief.  All I’m really saying is, think about what purpose each thing you say serves, and whether it’s taking it a step too far.
~DJN

The point of our church is not to offend, but understand it is bound to happen.  Most of us in the Church of FSM are not anti-religion, and we have many Pastafarians who are active members of mainstream religions.  Part of what we’re doing here is questioning ideas considered rude to question.  Or, knocking down religion a peg – however you want to look at it.  We think it’s a dangerous situation for institutions and ideas to be above scrutiny.  

At the risk of spoiling the “Save Your Heathen Soul” joke, I’ll explain it.  You see, Christians often threaten nonbelievers with THEIR hell-place for various sins or sinful lifestyles – either explicitly, or indirectly, or in a judging veiled-friendliness sort of way.  But nonbelievers DON’T BELIEVE IN YOUR HELL.  Aside from the fact that we find it offensive the idea that we need a rulebook to define our morality, it is a strange proposition to be invited to believe in scripture in order to be saved from a consequence of it.  The “Save Your Heathen Soul” joke is a nod to other nonbelievers who have experienced this phenomenon. 

But, DJN, I honestly like Christians, the majority of those I know – and my experience in running the Church of the FSM has only increased my opinion of Christians (really).  I believe that the majority of Christians are thoughtful and open-minded, and that most are members of churches partly because of a belief in God, and partly because of the social benefits and community that being part of a church allows.  I get a ton of emails from thoughtful Christians who understand what we’re doing here at the Church of FSM – people like you who don’t approve of the abuses perpetrated in the Name of God. 

So, understand that around here there is an effort not to offend people, but at the same take a hard look at the strange business of religion. And in this way we give Glory to The Almighty Flying Spaghetti Monster, the one and only True God, who someday I hope Touches you with His Noodly Appendage so that you may know His Loving Embrace. 

-bobby