Struggle for Religious Expression in Illinois

Published July 25th, 2016 by Bobby Henderson

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The struggle for Pastafarian acceptance continues, in Illinois. From the Chicago Tribue:

College student Rachel Hoover, of Arlington Heights, went to get her license renewed at the Illinois Secretary of State facility in Schaumburg. She told employees that she wanted to wear a metal colander on her head for the photo in honor of her religious beliefs. Employees balked, but Hoover insisted.

But when the central office discovered that employees had relented and allowed Hoover to be photographed with the strainer on her head, administrators drew the line, even though her face was clearly visible.

They told Hoover her license will be revoked July 29 unless she gets a new, strainer-free photo taken.

State officials are “just trying to use a little common sense,” secretary of state spokesman Dave Druker told Tribune freelance reporter Lee V. Gaines. “It almost looks like Pastafarians are a mockery of religion.”

During a time when people are doing reprehensible things in the Name of Religion, I wonder why officials are hassling us, out of all religious groups. Do these officials prevent people from wearing Yamulkes or Hijabs or Turbans — and if not, is it because they appear to have such earnest beliefs, and Pastafarians do not take themselves so seriously?

If Pastafarians had more scary dogmatic True-Believers, would we encounter less resistance to the privileges other religious groups are granted?

While I don’t agree with the Chicago Tribune’s stance that FSM is a “broad spoof”, I found the article well written and clever — it’s worth the read and can be found here.

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FSM on Australia TV

Published May 20th, 2016 by Bobby Henderson

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster Australia got on national TV the other day. Looks like it went pretty well. You can view the segment here

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Our Kiva Team just hit $3 Million

Published April 23rd, 2016 by Bobby Henderson

Thanks everyone — our Kiva Team just hit $3 Million in loans.

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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 consider joining us here.

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Pastafarian Pirate Party in Queensland Australia

Published April 22nd, 2016 by Bobby Henderson

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Pirate Party at Pelican Park, Queensland, Australia

Sunday, April 24 at 12 PM

We need you! For the Pastafarian Pirate Party at Pelican Park with the Project. We’re inviting everyone who can make it to a day of pirate fun so we can show the Project what Pastafarians are all about. Faith, fun and pirates! So dress up as a pirate, or if you do not have pirate attire, wear your colander, bring a picnic and refreshments. If it looks like it will rain we are trying to book the Bramble Bay Bowls Club function room as an alternative venue.

More details here at the Facebook event page here

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First Recognized Pastafarian Wedding In New Zealand

Published April 17th, 2016 by Bobby Henderson

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Congratulations to Toby Ricketts and Marianna Young — their wedding was was the first legally recognized Pastfarian wedding in New Zealand.

The pirate-themed ceremony – on a ship docked in Akaroa before a crowd dressed in full pirate regalia – featured choruses of grunts, colander crowns and pirate-themed puns.

‘Ministeroni’ Karen Martyn, who became the world’s first legal marriage celebrant for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) earlier this year, wedded the couple.

By all appearances it was a huge success. Best of luck to the happy couple and huge thanks to Minister Karen Martyn for the excellent ceremony.

New Zealand is one of the few places in the world that formally recognizes The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster as a religious organization.

The wedding was well covered in the media. My favorite articles are the one on Stuff.co.nz and the one on the BBC.

One last note: the news has brought out some angry people — I received a number of a nasty emails today, surprising because I don’t understand how a wedding is anyone’s business except the couple’s. This was most definitely not a statement against Christianity, it was a wedding; it was a celebration of love and fun. To the haters, please relax.

Congratulations again to the happy couple.

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Nebraska’s Federal Court Says We’re Not a Legit Religion

Published April 15th, 2016 by Bobby Henderson

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Nebraska’s US District Court says Pastafarianism is not a legitimate religion.

More specifically, the court denied a prisoner’s request to practice his religion (FSM), because it is a “satirical argument”, not a legitimate religion.

Surprising to me, the prison system does recognize a wide variety of religions (20, I read), including Mormonism and Scientology — so I’m suspicious of any standard they’ve come up with to decide that our religion is not legit.

The satire argument is flimsy. Lots of people do view FSM as satire, but I’m not sure how that disqualifies it as a real religion. True Believers make up a small proportion of mainstream religions as well — the difference is that Pastafarians are more honest when they don’t hold a literal view of their religion.

And the prisoner is, I think, a True Believer of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I get the impression he’s a troubled guy, so I am nervous about his interest in our Church, but I don’t for a second doubt his sincerity. I don’t believe he’s fighting the prison system out of boredom or as some sort of stunt.

The story has been all over the news, but this article in The Oregonian is my favorite, because they include this excerpt:

“What drives the FSM’s devout followers, aka Pastafarians? Some say it’s the assuring touch from the FSM’s Noodly Appendage. There are those who love the worship service, which is conducted in Pirate-Speak and attended by congregants in dashing buccaneer garb. Still others are drawn to the Church’s flimsy moral standards, religious holidays every Friday, and the fact that Pastafarian Heaven is way cooler. Does your Heavenhave a Stripper Factory and a Beer Volcano?”

The full court decision can be read here.

How should we respond?

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The Templin Pastafarians are Fighting the State of Brandenburg

Published April 8th, 2016 by Bobby Henderson

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Our friend Brother Spaghettus is fighting for the right to keep Pastafarian signs up.

In Brandenburg, Germany, churches are allowed to post signs advertising their gatherings. But after the Templin Church of FSM put up signs advertising Noodle Mass, the local government said the signs must come down, because Pastafarians clubs are not a legitimate religious community.

Now Brother Spaghettus and his crew are taking the fight to court.

I think it’s great, and expect a successful outcome. If nothing else, it will be interesting to see the arguments for allowing Protestant and Catholic churches to advertise their meetings but not the Church of FSM. It will be hard for the bureaucrats to devise a test of religious legitimacy that keeps us out. We’ll see!

Huge thanks again to our friend Brother Spaghettus for all of his excellent work. Such a great ambassador for all of us Pastafarians — and he really looks the part, too.

You can read more about the case here: www.thelocal.de

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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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