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Nov 14

The Flying Spaghetti Monster and a Porn Star walk into the DMV

Atheist wears colander for ID

This is not a set up for a joke. Except it sort of is. Well, maybe.

Jessica Steinhauser AKA Asia Lemmon AKA Asia Carrera recently used her celebrity status, or sorts, to bring attention to her 'faith', Pastafarianism or the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster by wearing the traditional headgear of a colander for her official state issued driver's license. Adherents of the Church swear it is a real faith, although most media outlets see it as simply a parody.

The Church has its origins in the 2005 debates with the Kansas School Board over teaching creationism is public school. A man named Bobby Henderson wrote in a letter that if he chose to believe that every time scientist attempted to carbon-date something a supreme being resembling a pile of spaghetti and meatballs altered the results "with His Noodly Appendage." After the letter was published, the Flying Spaghetti Monster became an internet meme and a symbol of the condemnation of teaching creationism in schools.

Subsequently, the Church has created a set of doctrines. The universe was created by the FSM (we shall call this the 'trigrammaton' and use it so I do not have to keep correcting my misspellings of spaghetti) but He was drunk, thus the flaws in creation. FSM made the universe look old to test our faith and alters the results of scientific tests to make it appear thus. Pirates are the supreme divine beings who of old were cosmic explorers and gave candy to children. Modern pirates are an infernal mockery of true pirateness. Ghost pirates are, however, responsible for the Bermuda Triangle. September 19th is a high holy day known as Talk Like a Pirate Day (Ha! Some of you have celebrated it without knowing it!) Heaven is a beer volcano and stripper factory, Hell is too but there the beer is flat and the strippers have STDs. Colanders and pirate garb are holy vestments. You can be a minster of the FSM for a $20 donation.

While all of that is fun, in the end the movement is a serious rational criticism of intelligent design and organized religion. Like most ALL faiths some of their adherents are mean spirited fundamentalist jerks and some are very well intended nice people who raise money to help others.

In the end I agree with them on certain points. Creationism should not be taught in schools. Prayer should not be taught in schools. Those are religious issues and anything my children learn about them should be from our family and those we entrust with their religious education. Christians seem to forget that is the reason we fought to get those things out of schools in the first place. On the same note, that which is theory should be presented as theory. Many hold up "Science" and follow it just as unquestionably as others do "Religion". Both groups have questionable views of the source material. There are issues with Darwinism and the big bang theory and lots of things taught as facts in school, and real scientists in those fields will admit that because science is about looking for evidence that proves what you already believe to be true is wrong. Text books, however, are not prophetically received texts.

I cannot tell you if Pastafarianism is a "real religion" or a parody. Nor do I want to do so. It does not matter. Believe what you will, and I will do the same. Teach your kids what you will, and I shall do the same.

Later we can all go to Salvator's for some meatballs.

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