Monday, April 28, 2008

Faith in the FSM

(posted to the CFSM site)
I’m very against this site
Published by henderob February 3rd, 2007 in Hate Mail (and concerned criticism).
I’m very against this site. I know you’ve stated that it’s not a spoofof Christianity, though I don’t know why you bothered saying that bit.It’s as though you’ve reverted to high school- If athiests andintellectuals don’t have anything better to do than make fun of peoplewith genuine beliefs, maybe they ought to go back to their evolutionbooks and take comfort in the big bang or primordial soup. It breaksmy heart that this is what the world has come to. As if there weren’tenough religious controversy and war in the world… why can’t youwork toward promoting understanding between people, rather thanexploiting idiots and making fun? It’s this kind of mockery thatcaused the crisis with the Danish cartoons.
The basic premise of religion, especially Christianity, is a God whocannot be seen or fathomed in our normal way of seeing. If we could sodefine Him, He wouldn’t be God, but an idol we had made. If Jesuscould be defined intellectually, He would just be another man.Clearly, religion doesn’t always pan out as God intended it to. When Iclaim to have a real relationship with Jesus, do you think I’m makingit up? That My Jesus is just a figment of my imagination, and thethings He has done for me are pure coincidence? I guess it comes backto, unless you believe, you will not understand.
You are clearly a smart man with a lot of creativity. I want toencourage you to put that brilliance and work ethic into doingsomething positive for the world as it is now… perhaps helping inthe fields of medicine or diplomacy, or combatting poverty anddisease. Until people’s basic needs are met, it doesn’t signify muchto ask them to believe anything.

(my reply)
Dear Kate,

You are obviously a thinking individual with a caring attitude. When you opened this site, you may have felt personally attacked for your religious beliefs, but I believe you have made an error in assumption.

You assumed that Pastafarians do not take their religion seriously. We do. We are very serious about Him as the creator of a mountain, trees and a midget. We are also seriously concerned that our creation beliefs be given equal time in schools where religious doctrines are allowed to be taught alongside science. As devout Pastafarians it is our hope to spread the message of Him and his works to all people and there is no better way to do that than to start with young children while they are still susceptible to indoctrination. You can understand why we would not like our children led astray by ideas of evolution and intelligent design (ID). We wish at least for them to have a chance to learn about our doctrines side by side with other religions and science.

We are serious enough to keep up to date with events all over the United States which might endanger our liberty to believe as we do. In doing so, we help preserve the religious plurality of this country, an effort for which all faiths should be grateful, although we never ask for thanks. It is enough for us to work for Him.

You assume, also, that our Pastafarian activism is an intellectual aggression toward Christians, Moslems, Buddhists or any other faith. On the contrary, a Pastafarian is most happy in a gathering of his own fellow pirates, beer in hand, worhipping as He intended. To my knowledge, Pastafarians have never intruded, interrupted or imposed their beliefs on any other sect or religion. Our religious activism is primarily manifest in the public sector of schools and government and only when other religions have first pioneered a breach in separation of church and state.

For example, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (CFSM) had no involvement with the Pinellas School Board until the issue was raised there by other religious adherents, proponents of ID in this case. After discovering that a mission opportunity was opened in that school district by Christians, Pastafarians mobilized a respectful letter writing campaign to encourage school board members to consider our position.
CFSM is a follower. We do not lead the religious efforts against school boards to include FSM-ID. However, once an opportunity arises in a particular arena, we are responsible (by divine fiat) to present our case for the inclusion of our beliefs alongside other religions.

You ask in your post, “why can’t you work toward promoting understanding between people, rather than exploiting idiots and making fun?” It is my dearest held belief that as a Pastafarian I am indeed ‘promoting understanding between people.’ I would go so far as to argue that the CFSM is based upon this ethic, and it is one of the principles that brought me to the church in the first place. As for ‘exploiting idiots,’ you have misread our religious intentions. CFSM does sometimes go outside its doors to involve itself in public sector matters, but not at the expense of idiots, unless, Kate, you consider proponents of ID to be idiots. We are not ‘making fun’ but, instead, asking for equal consideration of our beliefs alongside your so-called ‘idiots.’

You ask, Kate, “When I claim to have a real relationship with Jesus, do you think I’m making it up? That My Jesus is just a figment of my imagination, and the things He has done for me are pure coincidence?” No, Kate. I do not think you are making it up. As a Pastafarian, I only ask that you do not ridicule my belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. This is how I choose to live my life, and who is to say that I have not been touched by the Noodly Appendage?

Peace be with you and rAmen.
Jacqueline Sparrow


Anonymous said...

Ahoy Pastafarian! Great explanation of the CFSM's role in public life.


Morning Angel said...

Ahoy! Thanks for your comment. Always great to hear from a fellow pirate!