I spent a while thinking (hate-mail)

Published June 14th, 2011 by Bobby Henderson

I spent a while thinking of a good reply to this, without sounding like some sort of inbred hick or perhaps maybe to get your attention. However, I realize that there pretty much is no way for that to happen, if you put this in your hate-mail section, I’ll probably be mocked just as much as the next guy, who put the stupid comment about how you could never buy a pirate ship. I’m OK with that, I just wish people will actually think about what I have to say rather then ignorantly mocking what I believe personally. Whatever may happen, I don’t really mind, except that I cannot bring myself to be silent on this issue.

I am a Christian, whatever you may think about me, or absurd assumptions you may have about what I look like, think like, or speak like, realize this, I think all beliefs should be treated with equality. Atheism, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Agonist, Voodoo, whatever, I don’t care, if you believe that you are correct, then you have every right in the world to believe that with all your heart, and nobody should force you to believe what they believe. Now I also believe in open criticism of any of these religions, meaning your Pastafarian view that openly mocks religion. However, it is also my right to criticize the criticism, meaning though while I believe it is your right to mock, harass, and generally make religious persons miserable, I don’t believe it is morally right.

Atheism is a belief just as much as Christianity. Say whatever you want about facts and how religion is stupid and all those who practice it are all idiots, but it still comes down to the fundamental truth that you must believe this to be more true over the other option. I am again, completely fine with that, and that is why I love America so much, because we CAN believe differently then one another, and still live peacefully (to a degree) together. However, mocking is not the right way to go about arguing your belief.
By the way, here is the definition of mocking:

1. Tease or laugh at in a scornful or contemptuous manner.

2. Make (something) seem laughably unreal or impossible.

To laugh at someone else’s belief that they dedicate their lives to is not funny or humorous, but I believe is rather childish and immature. This is the main reason why I would much rather sit down calmly with an atheist and have a rational discussion about each other’s beliefs, instead of smacking them in the face with a bible, and shouting how they are going to hell for not believing the undeniable truth that is the bible, or worse, calling their belief idiotic and getting my group of friends together and laughing and pointing in his face.

Of course there are people that do this, hence, you, and there will always be people like you. My job is try to convince you to be rational and discuss each others view points.

I could never put myself in your mindset and read this the same way through your eyes. To you, I just look like another idiot who took this seriously and decided to write a concerned letter and waste his time trying to teach you to be respectful, but the truth is, writing this helps me put my thoughts in order anyways.

If you do have one ounce of thought for my beliefs, at least view this letter with respect, and try to think about what I am thinking when I read this:


What I am thinking is that the joke has gone to far. Of course this letter asks for intelligent discussion, and that seems to have never existed in your website, so before I go, let my put it in your language.

Fuck you, and lay off religion asshole.


2,163 Responses to “I spent a while thinking (hate-mail)”

  1. Luis says:

    Dear B.
    I beg to differ, he has indeed one mistake “because we CAN believe differently then one another” shouldn’t it be “[…]than one another”.
    My advise to Austin is: go pray! while we, Pastafarians, go drink a round, RAmen

    • B. says:

      Let me rephrase: Grammatically reasonable, as a difference to much else that turns up under the “Hate mail” category.

      I would never demand perfection, since I’m not that good at the English language myself ;) Then/than is one of the things I never could understand.

      • Chris A says:

        I agree that he did write a very well thought out email, and that a mistake here and there does not make it entirely flawed.

        For than/then:
        Then is used as a sort of ‘sequencer’. We went outside, then we played games. It’s also a conditional. If we do this, then that happens.

        Than is a comparative. Things are greater than, less than, or different than other things.

  2. StaticMotion says:

    Hi Austin,

    it’s nice to see someone who puts enough effort into his email to write coherent sentences and actually trying to say something.

    I think all beliefs should be treated with equality. Atheism, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Agonist, Voodoo, whatever, I don’t care

    Errm, Atheism isn’t a belief. It’s a lack of belief in deities. Only a tiny minority of atheists actually asserts that there are no gods with absolute certainty.
    What the heck is an Agonist? I only know that in reference to chemicals and muscles.
    Furthermore, not all beliefs are equal. Some are just plain wrong, while others may even be harmful. Take faith healing for example. Utterly useless at best (maybe a little psychological comfort), resulting in death at worst – due to neglect of proper medical treatment.
    Also, this kinda reeks of post-modernist “everyone has their own truth” or something, doesn’t it? Nah, reality doesn’t work this way.

    How does Pastafarianism mock other beliefs? It’s just another religion. Otherwise, we would have to say that Hinduism mocks Judaism or belief in Norse Gods is mocking Christianity due to their contradicting claims. No, it’s just as valid a religion like Islam or Mormonism. And I’d like to think it’s even more benevolent than some other religion because it’s got no threats against apostates or non-believers. As an atheist, I’d feel a lot more comfortable around Pastafarians than adherents of the Abrahamic religions.

    Pastafarians and non-believers usually don’t mock people, but it’s perfectly fine to say certain beliefs are ridiculous. If you’d like to insist that Santa Clause or Transubstantiation is real, be prepared to be told why these beliefs are untenable and yeah, ridiculous to hold. People might get mocked though, if they’re unable to present even basic spelling or grammar and are therefore not getting a coherent thoughts across. (Heck, I only had 4 years of English in school; If I make a mistake I’d like to be made aware of it so I can learn and improve my skills.)

    I’m not aware that Pastafarians (why would they, they’re having a religion themselves) or non-believers are saying that adherents to religion are all idiots. There may be outliers, who actually do that, but they’d only be showing a lack of thinking. It would be a generalisation which cannot be upheld. We’re just pointing out idiotic beliefs. If one proposes YEC, one deserves to be told that this has absolutely no basis in reality. Heck, I even tell atheists when they’re holding a spectacularly stupid position and ask them to point out my own erroneous thinking in return.
    As a European I’ll simply overlook your mistake of equivocating the USA with the continent America.

    It’s nice of you that you prefer rational discussions but don’t you ever laugh at ideas held by others? Religion isn’t special and rather similar to other ideologies or beliefs which are regularly made fun of.

    My job is try to convince you to be rational and discuss each others view points.

    You don’t have to convince anyone, so far it’s easy to politely answer your email as you’re presenting your thoughts in a coherent, meaningful way. And no one would (or at least should) automatically assume you to be an idiot.

    What I am thinking is that the joke has gone to far. Of course this letter asks for intelligent discussion, and that seems to have never existed in your website,

    Sadly, you don’t seem to be giving the Pastafarian religion the same respect you ask for your own. Why are you calling it a joke? But you see, respect isn’t simply handed out, it has to be earned. So far, you’re letter was quite ok.

    so before I go, let my put it in your language.

    Fuck you, and lay off religion asshole.

    And then you sadly are showing your true colours. You lost it in the end. Oh, cupcake, aren’t you cute?
    You see, you don’t really want rational discussion. You just want to get unearned respect for your beliefs while showing none yourself.
    You could have saved yourself the trouble and just have sent that last sentence. All your babbling about how equal beliefs are (which they aren’t) and indignation about ridicule of untenable positions was just rendered useless and meaningless. You only wanted to vent and insult other people. This pattern of behaviour seems so prevalent and predictable amongst believers that one might even think it’s almost universal.
    See, your Zombie-Ghost-ImmaterialUberDaddy concept of a deity just doesn’t make any sense. It’s ridiculous. But if it gives you comfort I won’t stop you from believing and going through your religious rituals. Have fun with it. Just don’t annoy others with them and don’t infringe on other people’s rights because of what your beliefs are.

    Since you didn’t adhere to your proposal of rational discussion I don’t expect you to return and answer any comments, but I don’t think that my time was wasted because other readers might hopefully get something out of my comment.

    See, I could have used expletives – there’s nothing wrong with them when warranted and not used as ad hominems – but that wasn’t necessary to show how shallow your letter was.

    To show my appreciation of not being condemned or harassed by Pastafarians for being an atheist, I’ll end with:

    • Rev Toni Rigatoni says:

      StaticMotion, I heartily agree with all you say, especially your response to his sign-off sentence, it really did let him down. As you say, he could just as easily saved his typing fingers and just told us to fuck off as his preceeding concilliatory words were negated completely by that one sentence.

      Incidentally, I love the name and your English is faultless.

      Sauce be with you.

      The Reverend

    • God_Of_The_Smurfs says:

      Atheism is a belief, it’s just not a religion. We BELIEVE there is no god, but we don’t have a RELIGION to organize ourselves with.

      • EdiblePlastique says:

        I would disagree with your assertion that atheism is a belief. Believing that there is no god is different than not believing that there is a god – do sheep and dogs believe there is no god? Or do they simply not hold a belief at all? The same goes for babies and children who are simply too young to believe in anything at all. It is my opinion that atheism (or at least the atheism that most people indulge in) is a lack of belief.

      • B. says:

        See above for kingoflondon’s excellent analogy regarding this misconception. Atheism is lack of belief, not a belief.

    • Bolognese says:

      To paraphrase Austin:
      “I think all beliefs should be treated with equality. Atheism, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Agonist, Voodoo, whatever, I don’t care; except your own.”

      They (for Austin is a male or female name and therefore I refrain from using gender specific pronouns) were doing so well until at the very end completely contradicted themselves. My level of respect started high and then crashed and burned at the end… it’s a shame really.

      (I realize I am only agreeing with StaticMotion’s argument and not doing much to add to it but hey I’m allowed to :P)

    • Alishaa says:

      I really did like your response!

  3. Adrian D. says:

    I do have to congratulate the author of this letter of effort, though some of his reasoning clearly shows that he has not read a page of our Gospel or website.

    • Silly Walker says:

      Do they ever? It always manages to surprise me that the people who write Hate Mail (and Concerned Criticism) have obviously never read a single sentence of our wonderfully crafted site (the About tab is there for a reason).
      Good effort, Austin. And, for the most part, good letter. Although you did unfortunately gain that “Holier than Thou” attitude by the end. That made me very sad, as most of the rest of the letter was good. You defended your position using arguments and information as you saw it, and it didn’t come across as obnoxiously preachy or condescending.

  4. Jayde says:

    Hi Austin,

    Thanks for not coming here flaming and insulting and bible-bashing ect. I disagree with a lot of what you say, but you make one good point; all religions should be treated with respect and equality.

    Which is why Bryan Killian should NOT have been punished for wearing a pirate uniform to school. The good thing about the Western World (not just the USA) is that people can have very different beliefs and still get along well. The trick is to respect each other. Pasterfarianism may seem offensive to you, but there are elements of Christianity that others find equally offensive.

    Finally, the CoFS first became mainstream as a response to Intelligent Design being taught as Science in public schools; not as a means to insult the many Christians who are open-minded, respectful, and find great meaning in their faith.

    • Jayde says:

      Oops, I made a little typo there. I meant CoFSM of course.

      My his noodly appendage touch you all.

      • Brian Fritzen says:

        The imagery of the Church of Flying Spaghetti is actually quite funny.

    • Doug Morgan says:

      @Jayde: Thank you for bringing up a very import point about Pastafarianism that seems to fall through the cracks of our own posts sometimes. We should remember that, first and foremost, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is about keeping religious beliefs out of our secular public schools. We are not saying those beliefs should not be held by anyone. We are just saying that Intelligent Design is a religious concept that is the purview of Sunday school–not public school. This is the point that needs to be made relative to Austin’s well written letter (the offensive sign off not withstanding). It is this interference in secular government by religion which raises our ire. It is not religion per se. If religion were to stay out of secular government, there would be very few of those offensive atheist comments to which Austin was referring. Of course, when there are so many Christians and Muslims telling us we are evil and deserve to be tortured for eternity, that is more than a little ire-inducing as well.

      • Jayde says:

        Exactly. When reading Austin’s letter and thinking; “well he seems polite and reasonable” I was also wondering; “does anyone who visits this site actually READ the About Tab?”

        • Brennana says:

          Probably… no. They’re to busy getting angry at us.

      • Bolognese says:

        To Doug,

        Great point.
        Without prejudice, I do feel (by reading through a good portion of the board and of comments) that perhaps a number of posters (not to name names but I’d like to exclude frequent and veteran posters) also aren’t quite aware of the initial spark or event that caused the creation of Pastafarianism and what it’s focal point is.

        It seems a number of people just see the board as an anti-religion board and not really “Au currant” of the goal of pastafarianism.
        Correct me if I am wrong.
        A man goes to school dressed as a pirate and gets kicked out, this is the issue at hand, not because he wants to be a pirate, but to show that he should have the same religious freedoms in school as any other religion, hoping that by being ridiculous (but the same) he is showing that either let all follow their own religious beliefs regardless of how ridiculous or have no religious affiliations in secular schools, but to stop picking and choosing.

        Pastafarians don’t want a new religion to follow, but in actuality want others to accept that their religious beliefs can be viewed as ridiculous by others, are no more fact or absolute than(@Chris A) any other religion, accept it, and move on.

        Also, my favorite, ABSOLUTE favorite argument made by pastafrianism (which by the way is why pirates are now symbols of pastafarianism “Pirate, vs Global warming”) is correlation is not causation. Shoe size and knowledge do have a correlation. Baby has small feet, not very knowledgeable. Grown man has larger feet, are more knowledgeable. Does NOT necessarily mean people with bigger feet are more knowledgeable than those with smaller feet. Correlation does not equal Causation.

        I do love that most pastafarians do take their arguements seriously, their critical discussions but not their religion.

        • Bolognese says:

          – If I am wrong please teach me otherwise.
          Always in pursuit of knowledge.
          Size 10 shoe.

        • Olio says:

          It’s been confirmed that those with larger than average feet…

          wear larger than average shoes.

        • Olio says:

          I think dressing like a pirate has something to do with it actually. Nudist day would make as much of an impression if not more. But still comes down to personal preference. Coming in nude would probably result in expulsion under guidelines such as dress codes. Coming in dressed as a pirate has no meaning outside of the affiliation with this group. And preferences.

      • Bolognese says:

        As always correct me if I am wrong,
        Always in pursuit of knowledge
        – Size 10 shoe

        • The Reverend Toni Rigatoni says:

          You’re absolutely right!

          The Reverend

          (Size 12)

        • TheFewTheProudTheMarinara says:

          You’re pretty damn smart, Rev. Toni!
          – size 13

        • Olio says:

          My point was I don’t see what shoe size has to do with anything other than wearing shoes. If there is another point it has been lost on me.

        • TiltedHorizon says:

          Only a size 9 1/2. Which is why I own clown shoes. Now I am a size 26EEEE.

  5. Lioss says:

    Yes I mock,sometimes.But when someone comes to you insulting you,saying stupidities,threat you of death what are you suppose to do?Start a new religion war?
    If you are respectful,then I’ll be.
    YOU think the joke fas gone to far so we must stop…but who are you to decide?How arrogant!And what about christian love peace and tolerance?I guess it is only when it’s easy for you,hypocrite.

    I think the christian joke has gone to far after the inquisition,crusades,colonisations…
    You say everybody should be free to believe anything and no one should impose his belief,eh wake up that’s exactly the goal of pastafarianisme.

    • Brennana says:

      It’s won’t be a religion war. It will be more race roit related. Christians attacked “imagenary” religions. What did we do? Nothing they just got offened because we believe in something they don’t like. And Lioss you were right, it WILL go to far. There are no deaths Pastarian related, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be. Really anything could happen. We should just be worried that people challenge us for our beliefs because they think we appose their beliefs. I’m not saying it will be tomarrow, or the day after tomarrow, but it could be.

      With the sad truth,

  6. John M. says:

    When I hear people say that atheism is a religion, I always think of this quote (no idea who said it):

    “If atheism is a religion, then health is a disease”

    • Lindamp says:

      On a similar line, and I don’t know who said it:
      “Saying atheism is a religion is like saying bald is a hair colour”

      • Doug Morgan says:

        …or not collecting stamps is a hobby.

        • Ubi Dubium says:

          …or “off” is a TV channel.

  7. TiltedHorizon says:

    Damn, I really was cheering for you Austin. It is a rarity for someone to take the time to explain the nature of their belief. Then you had to drop the ball at the end, just like that all the respect you worked so diligently to build vanished…. poof….

    Just another Christian showing off their true colors.

  8. beardlywoodchop says:

    Seriously, this bothers you that much? Has anyone showed up at your doorstep yet and told you you’re going to hell for not believing in “said” religion yet? Telling someone that they’re an idiot for believing that there is some invisible sky monster scrutinizing their every move and tallying that into his reward system to see if you get into a magical place called heaven, is perfectly justified, and deserves much harsher criticism than seen on these pages.
    Respect is variably applicable and is given where it is earned. The fact that all the (hate) mail that gets published on this website always reduces to (every single time) an incoherent emotional response from the sender instead of a logical, thoughtful, or even just a well formulated rebuttal is the perfect example of the negative impact religion has on the human psyche.

    There are plenty of tax exempt $30 million dollar churches within miles of trailer parks or troubled neighborhoods, put that under your religious microscope for analysis.

    Just because your word count is higher than the typical response doesn’t make it any less erroneous and only adds to the statistic that those receiving levels of higher education are coincidentally less religious. If you’re worried about sounding like a redneck, hick, or whatever other derogatory label you can attach to yourself then take a fucking English class.

    These (hate) mails are simply the realization of how absurd the senders own belief system is. And yes, realizing that you’ve been an idiot most of your life typically pisses people off.

    • Big Guy says:

      “Respect is variably applicable and is given where it is earned. ”

      RAmen. I mete out respect based on merit, not based on people’s sense of entitlement. No one “deserves” respect, just because they think the world of themselves.

      • Big Guy says:

        Doh! I forgot to switch back, after impersonating Big Guy. Oh, well.

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