Thursday, April 05, 2007

Blog Against Theocracy: Pastafarian Suspended From School


Pastafarian, Bryan Killian, was suspended from school because of his religious attire in North Buncombe, North Carolina. Apparently the school warned him repeatedly to not wear the clothing to school, yet Killian persisted, remaining true to his faith. Read more below the fold.

Okay, for those that don't know (can there be anyone that doesn't?), Pastafarianism is the religion of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Its adherents believe that the world was created by a touch from his Noodly Appendage and that it is the worldwide decline in the pirate population which has directly contributed to global warming.

Pastafarianism and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster are a farce. No doubt about it. But I find the introduction of it to be hilariously problematic for the fundamentalist nutbars that demand pseudoscientific claims and religion be taught in science classes and that the fact of evolution be denigrated to something less than a hypothesis despite the overwhelming amount of evidence that supports it. If you are a fundamentalist, how can you truly deny the FSM? How can you criticize it without criticizing your own beliefs? Indeed, that is probably the very point that Bobby Henderson was making when he wrote to the Kansas School Board during their 'intelligent' design hearings. Henderson's open letter demanded that the FSM version of creation via Noodly Appendage be taught alongside ID and evolution or be sued.

The obvious criticism by the religious is that the FSM is concocted and not meant to be serious, but there's absolutely no more way to demonstrate this than there is the same criticism of Yahweh, Allah, Brahma, Elohim, Jesus, etc. In fact, I'll quote such a criticism that I recently encountered:

If a fool can concoct something and get attract a following in the name of religion it indicates that the understanding of religion has left the public sphere - just like if I could sell gold spray painted granite on the gold market it would indicate that the knowledge of what gold is has left the public sphere (even though people might say the word "gold" quite profusely)
My response was this: each of the religions of humanity may very well be nothing more than "golden spray." And their followers are only willing to scrape away the sprays of cults other than their own, whilst believing that their own cult is gold all the way through. To the believer, there is no reason to scrap at the surface to see if its just spray, since their doctrine tells them it isn't.

This is the beauty of the Pastafarian movement and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It exposes the religious for what they are as they go on about how its an "invented" religion and "obviously" not real.

The North Buncombe school that suspended Killian maintains that it was his pirate outfit which was the reason for the suspension, since it was disruptive. The very outfit that Killian stated was important for his religion and in appropriately representing his religion. I wonder if the school would be willing to extend its disruption policy to yarmulkes and kippas? Probably not. But what about a dishdasha or a hijab or even a burqa? What if a student wore a t-shirt with a graphic scene from the Passion of the Christ plastered on the front? Would school officials have the courage to be seen as insensitive to other cultures? Its easy enough to argue that there are public schools where Muslim girls wear abayas and hijabs every day without disruption. But, I assure you, there are public schools in Texas where such garb would be very disruptive if for the only reason that the students there have never seen the outfits before.

I don't think schools should be in the practice of banning religious garb they feel is disruptive. I do, however, think that there should be some limitations: hijabs are one thing, complete obscured faces and burkas are another. An Errol Flynn shirt and a tri-cornered hat are one thing, a sword and live parrot are another. But whether or not the FSM and Pastafarianism are both purely invented or not, Killians school may have opened a can of worms it might wish it hadn't.

13 Epigraphic Artifacts:

Fundamental said...

> If you are a fundamentalist, how can you truly deny the FSM? How can you criticize it without criticizing your own beliefs?
Simple: Creation by FSM and/or evolution are false. The Lord is the creator. Just read Genesis 1-3

Anonymous said...

If you are a Pastafarian, how can you truly deny God? How can you criticize it without criticizing your own beliefs?
Simple: Creation by God is false. FSM is the creator. Just read the beginning of FSM's gospel.

Anonymous said...

How can you say that we should read your bible and believe that "The Lord" is the creator, where one of the most common faults in the bible is the 7th day, where it states that the sun rose and set, and that was the 7th day, that obiously states contradictions to Evolutionary terms, which FSM covers, in that carbon dating is changed by his noodly appendage. Do not base your facts on a book riddled with contradictions to itself.

Andrew said...

why dose everone care so much?

Anonymous said...

um well people do care because it's a religion and obviously people care i just wish that people wouldn't care wether or not
other people care
Thanks
Zarquirian

robert said...

HOw Dare you deny the sacred trueness of His Noodly Appendage. I damn you to the tapioca of everlastinness

Devotee of reason and seals said...

Objectively, there is more evidence of the FSM than of the Christian God.

Consider: If the world was made, a good creator would have made it as close to creation as possible. If the creator was perfect, this would involve lots of things that look like him.

The image of God is Man. The image of the FSM is squiggles. I put it to you that there are more squiggles on earth than men. QED.

Anonymous said...

I would just like to say that the logic in the post above me is flawless. There ARE more squiggles. I'm converted.

What's sad is that this kind of reasoning is more logical than that of 'fundamental,' and that people believe a flawed, contradictory book like the Bible is perfect, and contains the will of God.

Fun-da-mental said...

I bet if you look at any holy book with an open mind, you will see LOTS of squiggles.

chiron613 said...

Most people don't even know what the Bible (or any other book) actually says. That's just for starters.

Beyond that, no one has ever shown that the Bible (or any other book) contains a true account of creation, or much of anything. It makes as much sense to base beliefs on the Bible, as it does on Rig Veda, Bhagavad Gita, the Koran, or the FSM scripture, such as it is... they are all equally valid... or invalid.

D House said...

Invented!!!! How dare you blaspheme against the flying spaghetti monster!! You will burn.... wait that's a different religion... hmm.... that's right ours is a peaceful religion... if you want to go on believing that the Church of the FSM is all invented then feel free, I just hope that one day you too will feel the touch of his noodly appendage. RAmen!

Onotheo said...

I’m a new convert to the faith and I find this to be the one and true. The spaghedeity rules!!!!!

May god’s gift of reason and noodly appendages guide us. Ramen!

Anonymous said...

Okay, if god is so real and all. Then who the heck made the dinos?
People say they were before civilization, there is PROOF dinos are real. [bones] So in the bible it says god made light and everything then how did the dino's live? i am a person of science. there is no way anyone can possibly belive gos is the real thing. think about what i just said. im not asking you to change religion, im just asking to think if this IS your religionm, or your parwnts and whole famliy got ot church and you just grew up around it and learned to belive it. i have a point.

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