CFSM as a Religion
Pastafarianism is sometimes ruled out as a religion and described as a joke, satire or a parody because of the professed Pastafarian beliefs; the CFSM denies the latter however. Bobby Henderson even argues that “satire is an honest, legitimate basis for religion. Satire relies on truth to be effective. If it’s a joke, it’s a joke where to understand the punchline you must be conscious of underlying truth.” By definition of and lack of standards for what can be counted as a religion, yes, Pastafarianism is very much a real and legitimate religion.
Simply put, Pastafarianism is the belief in and worship of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) and His teachings; an alleged supernatural being who was said to have created the world around 4000 years ago. Members of the CFSM and followers of Pastafarianism are called Pastafarians.
CFSM as a Social Movement
The CFSM is often viewed by non-adherents not as a religion, but rather a social movement; a movement against the teaching of the Intelligent Design theory as an alternative to the Evolution theory and other alleged unreasonable activities done in or under the name of a religion. The CFSM is “not anti-religion, we are anti- crazy nonsense done in the name of religion” (Henderson, “Questions and Answers”).