The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
If you were asked to explain the creation of the universe in any way you wish, what explanation would you think of? One guy apparently came up with the idea that a noodle-like deity created life partly hung over from drinking from beer volcanoes the day before.
It was the heat of debates about the teaching of Intellectual Design alongside the Evolution Theory in Biology classes in American high schools. In 2005, Bobby Henderson was just in his mid-20s, and a Physics graduate from Oregon State University, when he challenged curriculum. In his letter to the Kansas State Board of Education, he claimed that the world was created by the Flying Spaghetti Monster- a heap of spaghetti with two large meatballs and a pair of eyes in stalks. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is the Supreme Being, invisible, and omnipotent. He was also undetectable; therefore, it is impossible to prove that He does not exist.
Mr. Henderson called his beliefs Pastafarianism, and later presented it in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster website. After the Pastafarianism concept went viral, several publishers offered Bobby Henderson deals for writing a book about the Flying Spaghetti Monster. On March 2006, the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was published by Villard. The book became the Holy Book of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Pastafarianism does not believe in the Natural Selection and Evolution theories proposed and supported by Charles Darwin and a number of other scientists. To the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the evolution theory cannot be true because it claims that it takes millions of years for species to change. This cannot happen because the Spaghetti Monster created the Earth only thousands of years ago. Pastafarianism refuses to accept scientific evidences from fossil radiocarbon dating methods. According to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the great noodly deity specifically deliberately planted false carbon atoms and elements that would make scientists think that the world is really older than it is. Upon saying this, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is probably chuckling in Heaven every time the scientists find evidences that contradict one another.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster likewise shuns existing scientific proofs that humans evolved from primates. Evolution links 95% of human DNA to primates, but Pastafarianism says that the modern human shares 99.9% of their DNA with pirates. Therefore, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster strongly believes that the modern man really evolved from pirates. The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster presented the “truth” about certain evolution propaganda and justifications.
Apart from being modern man’s ancestors, pirates also play an important role in the proliferation of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Pirates were the first followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the first believers of Pastafarianism. As a matter of fact, the stone tabs containing the Eight Condiments, likewise known as the “I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts,” were presented to none other than Mosey the Pirate. According to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the original pirates were really good men, but Hare Krishnas and the Christian missionaries of the Middle Ages shattered their reputations. Pastafarianism, emphasizing that correlation and causation are this and that, asserts that the dwindling number of pirates causes global warming and natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and volcanic eruptions that the world suffer from today.
Members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster believe that their deeds on Earth can affect the afterlife. They use the Pastafarian core values to guide them. These are: Meatitude (power to spread His Noodly Goodness), Sauceredness (blood oxidation and sharp mind), Noodliness (flexibility and energy), and Piracy and Smuggling. Pastafarianism encompasses the concept of reward and punishment for the good and bad. When a person dies, he can ascend to the Great Pasta Bowl with the Flying Spaghetti Monster or descend to the depths of the Underground Freezer of Doom. Both the Great Pasta Bowl and the Underground Freezer of Doom have beer factories and stripper factories, though as a form of punishment, the Underground Freezer of Doom only had stale beers and strippers with STD. Followers of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster also believe in the apocalypse. They believe that His Noodly Goodness the Flying Spaghetti Monster will destroy sinners and punish the non-believers. The only way to escape the wrath of the Spaghetti Monster is to repent, dress like a pirate, and follow the ways of Pastafarianism.
According to the Pastafarianism Creation Myth, the Spaghetti Monster used created the whole universe in four days- before resting on the 5th, 6th, and the 7th days (hence, Friday is declared the Holy Day of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster). The Unified Spaghetti Cheory in the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster explains and provides a clear instruction on how to create life by boiling a very minute strand of spaghetti and elementary particles in salted water. The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster also gave accounts about how the Flying Spaghetti Monster accidentally flooded the earth due to a cooking accident, how he created cavemen and dinosaurs- as well as how they caused problems and needed to be destroyed. The Gospel was full of pasta puns, Christian parodies, and satires. For instance, the Flying Spaghetti Monster “I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts” parodied the Ten Commandments; RAmen was supposed to be Amen; man evolved from pirates instead of primates; and in Pastafarianism, the origin of the universe was the Big Boil, a parody to the Big Bang Theory.
The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was received differently by members of the Christian and scientific communities. Some praised Pastafarianism for its witty parodies, while members of the ID community defended Intellectual Design. The Flying Spaghetti Monster has also become synonymous to Russell’s teapot, a tiny teapot in space whose existence cannot be disproved.
Pastafarianism and the Flying Spaghetti Monster were created to satirize Creationism and oppose the inclusion of Intellectual Design in public high school curriculums. Henderson argues that if religion-based theories are to be taught as science at schools, the Flying Spaghetti Monster- whose existence cannot be disproved- is valid and worthy of being taught as well. He asks that Pastafarianism and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster be given equal time in class as the Evolutionists, Creationists and Intelligent Design theorists were provided with. In his letter, he points out that students must be presented with multiple versions of creation theories and allowed to choose whichever account they think makes sense to them.
The parody by the Flying Spaghetti Monster may be peculiar for others, but it only shows the crucial battle between science and religion in the United States. Most beliefs in Pastafarianism are direct reactions to Intelligent Design, or parodies to Creationism. It claims equal validity with ID while exposing the unscientific claims of the movement.
What started merely as a parody religion conceived in an open letter that satirizes Intellectual design and Creationism in public schools proved to be one of the cleverest and most influential cultural phenomena during the second half of the 2000s. Pastafarianism’s Flying Spaghetti Monster rapidly caught the attention of the public. The image of the Spaghetti Monster was soon plastered all over the newspapers, the internet, works of art, and even shirts and merchandise. Bobby Henderson has created a real Spaghetti Monster, and a following that pushes for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to be recognised as an official religion.