Thursday, July 14, 2011

German Pastafarian Seeks Recognition

Back in 2005 the Kansas State Board of Education issued a decision allowing schools to teach intelligent design as an alternative to evolution. In response, an Oregon man named Bobby Henderson published an open letter on his website describing his belief in a creator deity called the Flying Spaghetti Monster and demanding that this alternate and hilarious creation myth be taught in Kansas schools. Henderson called this new religion "Pastafarianism" and just like that an Internet phenomenon was born.

According to Henderson, since the intelligent design movement uses ambiguous references to a designer, any conceivable entity may fulfill that role, including a Flying Spaghetti Monster. Henderson explained, "I don't have a problem with religion. What I have a problem with is religion posing as science. If there is a god and he's intelligent, then I would guess he has a sense of humor."

The purported beliefs of Pastafarianism generally parody concepts advanced by creationists, such as the insistance that while the Flying Spaghetti Monster is undetectable using any sort of scientific measurements he nonetheless manipulates the world and everthing in it by means of his "noodly appendages." While most people who describe themselves as Pastafarians also consider themselves atheists, it should be noted that this is true of many members of the Church of Satan as well.

When it came time for German Pastafarian Niko Alm to take his driving license photo he decided to make a statement. He discovered that headgear was legally permitted in official photos for religious reasons and proceeded to send in pictures of himself wearing a pasta strainer on his head.

After discovering headgear was allowed in official pictures for ‘confessional’ reasons, Alm decided a pasta strainer would be a suitable representation of his faith.

He promptly sent off his driving licence application form along with some photos of himself sporting a colander headpiece.

Initially authorities were unconvinced by the application, asking the eccentric entrepreneur to be assessed by a doctor to see if he was mentally fit to drive.

But, three years later, they have come round to his way of thinking, with Alm being sent his brand new driving licence in the post.

But after this victory, Niko has a new campaign in his sights - he now wants to get Pastafarianism to become an officially recognised faith in Austria.

One wonders if hundreds of years from now Pastafarians will still exist. Much like the Church of the SubGenius it may turn out to be a religion that survives merely by being funny enough to propagate itself. What's interesting about the Flying Spaghetti Monster is that this was never Henderson's intention, he just wanted to write a funny letter pointing out how dumb the Kansas School Board's decision was. But now his creation has taken on a life of its own.

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M.C. said...

I'm looking at the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster website now, Scott you may very well have found the funniest damn thing I've seen in years!

Ananael Qaa said...

It's one of those memes that promulgates itself quite effectively due to its sheer hilarity. One of the functions of a religion is to inspire - and laughter is certainly a form of inspiration.

An interesting point regarding Pastafarian beliefs surrounding global warming and pirates is that the global temperature has somewhat leveled off over the last decade and during the same period the number of pirates has dramatically increased, especially off the coast of Somalia.

You just never know...

Imperator John D. Griffin, HOGD/AO said...

Bravo. You get the humorous post of the week award for this one.