Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster Wiki
It all started in Kansas in the year 2005, when the Kansas Board of Education issued a statement about teaching Intelligent Design along with the Theory of Evolution to its students or not. Intelligent Design is the idea of one God creating the earth, as opposed to the earth having gone through millions of years of evolution. Upon hearing about this, a certain physics graduate named Bobby Henderson wrote a letter to the school board, apparently asking them to also consider the other possibilities that lie within the context of intelligent design.
In his letter, he introduces himself as a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and a concerned citizen. He argues that if intelligent design was to be added to the curriculum, then so should Pastafarianism, which is the belief that the Flying Spaghetti Monster- an invisible being with the shape and form of pasta noodles with two meat balls- designed the universe and is in fact responsible for everything in the world. It was a cleverly-worded satyr protesting the board’s decision to teach a religious idea alongside science and scientific theories.
The Spaghetti Monster is a parody of the concept of a being that is supernatural. Henderson goes on to say that the Flying Spaghetti Monster has created the world and all evidence pointing otherwise is simply a diversion by the Spaghetti Monster himself. For example, a scientific process may display data that shows the world has undergone thousands of years of evolution, but in truth, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is there, in an invisible and undetectable form, manipulating the results. It was his intent, according to the letter, to convince the board to teach other alternate theories, like Pastafarianism, along with Intelligent Design, in order to accommodate all beliefs, and that the theory of evolution is considered a belief rather than a fact.
The Kansas School Board made no favorable reply to Henderson’s letter, and so he published it online a few months after sending it to them. And there on his website, it gained a lot of internet attention. The Spaghetti Monster soon became an internet sensation, and was a widely-used symbol against teaching creationism and like ideas in the curriculum of public schools.
Since making the letter public, Henderson has received a lot of written reactions from all over the country, and he has been putting them all online for his readers to view, comment on and debate about. Publishing both his ‘hate mail’ and fan mail not only made him and his letter more popular, but it also intensified the fanaticism of the people who have come to adhere to the beliefs and ideals of Pastafarianism.
Because of his growing popularity (having tens of millions of hits to his website in just a year), Henderson received a lot of proposals from book publishers who wanted to print materials about the Spaghetti Monster. He got an advance payment from the Villard publishers, and so, the book entitled ‘The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’ was born.
Some of his more avid fanatics, however, led by a Venganza forum member with the user name Solipsy, have earlier collected and compiled texts from Pastafarians in the Venganza online forum, detailing somewhat analogous scripture to the Christian Bible. The project was entitled ‘Loose Cannon: A holy book of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’. This collection is essentially a satiric interpretation of biblical text, completed after five years.
Henderson explains that the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has only one dogma, and that is it has no dogma. For a group that claims to be anti-religion, it is quite interesting to see that it is now somewhat a religion for some people. Mostly atheists, fanatics and followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster now advocate their beliefs and ideals very actively. For example, a man in Austria who declares himself a member of the Pastafarian movement has won against the government, claiming the right to wear a spaghetti strainer in photographs for official and government documents. This is regarding Austria’s policy of allowing citizens to wear their religious head gear in photos.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, commonly known as FSM for short, has since garnered thousands of loyal followers, mostly European university students. They hold meetings and gatherings dressed as pirates, because part of the Pastafarian belief is that pirates are the original Pastafarians who worshipped the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Although considered a rather subversive religious mockery or parody, the Pastafarians hold their ground, saying they have as much right as everybody else to exercise religious- or in this case, irreligious- freedom.
Henderson’s work is considered humorous and witty by a lot of people from the intellectual community. His website is even endorsed by some in the scientific community. However, the Christian and religious community is greatly offended by his ‘blasphemous’ writings. Not unlike Scientology, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a big parody religion, but still, its members express deep support and belief in their ‘dogma’.
Several years after it was founded, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster still attracts some interest from the global community. Henderson himself expressed some surprise at how successful his letter and his website had become. He even states that he wrote it only out of amusement. It is mostly used as an article of humor for websites and forums that seek to contest the idea of Intelligent Design.
Its most widely-used emblem is a superimposed image of the Spaghetti Monster over the image of God in Michelangelo’s painting ‘The Creation of Adam’, created by a Swedish designer named Niklas Jansson. Another design is the ‘fish’ emblem, similar to the Christian Ichthys symbol for Christ, but theirs is a crab-like shape with six dangling appendages and two upward-standing eyes.
They have counterparts to many religious expressions. For instance, they end their ‘prayers’ with the word ‘Ramen’, which is similar to the word ‘Amen’. They also celebrate ‘holiday’, which is a vague holiday that is celebrated at around the time of Kwanzaa, Christmas and Hanukkah, as well as other holiday parodies such as the ‘Pastover’ (Passover) and Ramendan (Ramadan).
Henderson’s original letter to the Kansas School board contained a lot of important point in the argument between the validity of the Intellectual Design Theory and the Evolution Theory. One, by stating that the number of pirates in the world has an effect on global warming, illustrates the scientific phrase ‘correlation does not necessarily imply causation’. In layman’s terms, just because two things happened to be together in the same circumstance does not mean that one thing caused the other. It could mean that the relationship (if any) existing between those two things is purely coincidental.
The reason it was founded is to simply express their opinions on teaching alternative theories to evolution in science classes. To a point, Henderson is simply saying that teaching intellectual design in a science class is as absurd as a Flying Spaghetti Monster creating and manipulating the universe. His wit might not be fully understood by some people, but he continues to post on his website.
The never-ending debate between evolution and intellectual design is fuel for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and its members. After all, what’s done is done, and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster as well as the Pastafarian movement has now gained global recognition, and will most probably continue to attract people with their humorous in-your-face propaganda methods.