The Flying Spaghetti Monster
A painting of the Flying Spaghetti Monster made by Karla
Most religious deities’ appearances, if they have any typical guise they are said to appear in, are based on humans, animals, plants, surroundings or some combination of the aforementioned. The religious deity of Pastafarians is quite unique in that the appearance of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM), as the name implies, is food based. The FSM is depicted as a floating clump of Spaghetti with two meatballs and eyes upon stalks. The FSM is often reffered to as a male, but according to the CFSM Australia the FSM is actually genderless as “the idea of a Monotheistic deity needing a gender or genitals is pretty silly when you really think about it” so they refer to the FSM as “Quob”. The FSM is the primary and sole deity of the CFSM.
The first ever depiction of the Flying Spaghetti Monster by Bobby Henderson
According to the Bobby Henderson, “the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the world much as it exists today, but for reasons unknown made it appear that the universe is billions of years old (instead of thousands) and that life evolved into its current state (rather than created in its current form).” An explanation for scientific discoveries was further provided in that whenever a scientist makes a measurement or discovery, the FSM alters the results as this causes him great pleasure. These beliefs are seen as a Pastafarian version of Young Earth Creationism. Accounts of the time duration of the creation vary, but it is often implied that the FSM was drunk during the creation; this is said to be the cause of imperfections in our world.
Pastafarian Religious Ethics
Pastafarian ethics is based on the “The Eight I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts” – a series of eight tenets outlining a morality based on “harmonious co-existence, non-judgemental conduct and generally not being a dick” (CFSMA). In some ways, the “The Eight I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts” is similar to the Christian “Ten Commandments,” but the “The Eight I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts” is not a parody of the “Ten Commandments.”
|The Eight I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts
|1. I’d really rather you didn’t act like a sanctimonious, holier-than-thou ass when describing my Noodly Goodness. If some people don’t believe in me, that’s okay. Really, I’m not that vain. Besides, this isn’t about them so don’t change the subject.
|2. I’d really rather you didn’t use my existence as a means to oppress, subjugate, punish, eviscerate, and/or, you know, be mean to others. I don’t require sacrifices and purity is for drinking water, not people.
|3. I’d really rather you didn’t judge people for the way they look, or how they dress, or the way they talk, or, well, just play nice, okay? Oh, and get this in your thick heads: woman = person. Man = person. Samey-samey. One is not better than the other, unless we’re talking about fashion and I’m sorry, but I gave that to women and some guys who know the difference between teal and fuchsia.
|4. I’d really rather you didn’t indulge in conduct that offends yourself, or your willing, consenting partner of legal age and mental maturity. As for anyone who might object, I think the expression is go f*** yourself, unless they find that offensive in which case they can turn off the TV for once and go for a walk for a change.
|5. I’d really rather you didn’t challenge the bigoted, misogynist, hateful ideas of others on an empty stomach. Eat, then go after the b******.
|6. I’d really rather you didn’t build multimillion-dollar churches / temples / mosques / shrines to my Noodly Goodness when the money could be better spent (take your pick):
a. Ending poverty
b. Curing diseases
c. Living in peace, loving with passion, and lowering the cost of cable
I might be a complex-carbohydrate omniscient being, but I enjoy the simple things in life. I ought to know. I am the creator.
|7. I’d really rather you didn’t go around telling people I talk to you. You’re not that interesting. Get over yourself. And I told you to love your fellow man, can’t you take a hint?
|8. I’d really rather you didn’t do unto others as you would have them do unto you if you are into, um, stuff that uses a lot of leather / lubricant / lass Vegas. If the other person is into it, however (pursuant to #4), then have at it, take pictures, and for the love of mike, wear a condom! Honestly, it’s a piece of rubber. If I didn’t want it to feel good when you did it I would have added spikes, or something.
The third “I’d Really Rather You Didn’t” is seen as an explanation for the lack of physical Pastafarian churches. Take note that worship of the FSM is neither commanded nor expected. According to the CFSMA, “in many ways, Pastafarians believe that this ethical system is superior to all other mainstream religions.”
Pirates and Pastafarianism
Pirates are of religious significance and importance to Pastafarianism as Pastafarian beliefs hold that pirates were the original Pastafarians and are thus considered sacred. According to CFSM Australia (CFSMA), “Pirates’ image as “thieves and outcasts” is misinformation spread by Christian theologians in the Middle Ages and by Hare Krishnas. Pirates were peace-loving explorers and spreaders of good will who distributed candy to small children.” Modern pirates however, are said to not be related to the original Pastafarian pirates.
A graph made by Bobby Henderson detailing the relationship between pirates and the rise of global temperatures
The decline of the pirate population is believed to be the direct cause of global warming and natural disasters. To reverse and prevent the effects of the declining pirate population, members and non-members are encouraged to dress up, join in and become pirates.
A call to stop global warming by becoming a pirate
Pastafarians often refer to themselves as pirates because of these beliefs. Female pirates are sometimes reffered to as wenches.
Pastafarians parade a float in honor of the Flying Spaghetti Monster while dressed as pirates at the Fremont Solstice Parade
September 19th is “Talk Like a Pirate Day,” a very special day for Pastafarians as they celebrate their Pastafarian heritage on this day by honouring the Pirates. As the name implies, on this day Pastafarians encourage the usage of Piratespeak to honour the Pirates.
Pastafarians in the forums celebrate “Talk Like a Pirate Day” by conversing using Piratespeak
Pastafarian Prayers are ended with “R’Amen” – a portmanteau of “ramen” and “amen.” Below are two examples of Pastafarian prayers:
who “Arghh” in heaven,
Swallowed be thy shame.
Thy Midgit come.
Thy Sauce be yum,
On top some grated Parmesan.
Give us this day our garlic bread.
And give us our cutlasses,
As we swashbuckle,
splice the main-brace and cuss.
And lead us into temptation,
But deliver us some Pizza.
For thine are Meatballs,
and the beer,
and the strippers,
for ever and ever.
Full of Spice,
The Flying Spaghetti Monster is filled with thee.
Tasty art thou amongst sauces,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy jar,
(although fools believe they are vegetables).
Chief Amongst Toppings,
Save a plate for us now,
and at about 6 o’clock when dinner is served,
if you would be so kind.
The previous examples appear to be a parody of the two famous Christian prayers, “Our Father” and “Hail Mary.”
Pastafarian Holy Books
Pastafarian scripture, according to the CFSM, “has some outlandish and sometimes contradictory components – and unlike the scripture of mainstream religion, these pieces were intentional and obvious, and our congregation is aware of this.” Below are two holy books of Pastafarianism.
The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a book written by the founder and prophet of the CFSM himself, Bobby Henderson. This book contains the core Pastafarian beliefs and causes.
The Loose Canon
This book is produced as a result of a CFSM community project. The Loose Canon is an important collection of sacred Pastafarian scriptures. This book is available for anyone to read or download online at: https://www.venganza.org/2010/07/the-loose-canon/
Fundamentalism is the strict belief in literal interpretation of scripture. The CFSM is neither against nor does it promote fundamentalism.
The founder of the CFSM, Bobby Henderson, resting on a hammock
The CFSM promotes a lighthearted take on religion as they explicitly state that it is their belief that “religion – say Christianity, Islam, Pastafarianiasm – does not require literal belief in order to provide spiritual enlightenment.” Much like how a lot of Christians do not believe that all that is said in the Bible to be true, a lot of Pastafarians also do not literally believe in and worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster and Pastafarian teachings. Differing levels of belief and faith are all equal in the CFSM and that “each is no more or less legitimate than the other” (Henderson, “More, please”).
Who can join?
Certificate of Ordination given to ministers of the CFSM
Mr. Schaeffer wearing a colander (a religious headwear for Pastafarians) while getting sworn in at his new position as a council member
According to the CFSM, “Anyone and everyone is welcome to join our church including current members of other religions. In addition to the Atheists, Agnostics, and Freethinkers who have joined us, we have a number of Christian (and Muslim, and Hindu and Buddhist …) members and I would love to have more. Note to the religious: You are welcome here.” And that “If you’re interested in what we’re about, please feel free to consider yourself a member.” The CFSM does not have any formal membership process and does not collect money from members.
Observations and Findings
Attire is often of significant importance in religious groups. Religious attire is worn because of beliefs, customs or traditions. One of the primary religious attires of Pastafarians is full pirate regalia.
Toby Ricketts and Marianna Young getting wed in the first legally recognized Pastafarian wedding in New Zealand
Outside of full pirate regalia, Pastafarians also wear colanders and is considered as religious headwear. Other Pastafarians are said to wear colanders just because they like to.
Pastafarians wearing colanders
Online, Pastafarians have been observed using an interesting form of communication which is unique to that of any other religious group. The primary languages used online by Pastafarians are English and a variety of English called Piratespeak. When using Piratespeak, “g”’s, “v”’s and “d”’s are usually dropped, adjectives are doubled and words like “am” and “are” are replaced with “be” (i.e I be, You be, They be).
Common Pirate Terms and Their Meanings
|Arrgh, Harrgh and Yarrgh
||In order: used to show excitement or pause,
an expression of amusement or laughter,
used as affirmation or to show agreement
||A bad person
||Someone not used to life onboard a ship
||A shipmate or a friend
||A mark of death or impending doom
|Davy Jone’s Locker
||The bottom of the sea
Two of the group’s interviewees humorously respond to one of our statement with Piratespeak
On July 13, 2017, the group created a post in the CFSM forums (http://forum.venganza.org/) introducing the group and its purpose. In the post, the group asked members to introduce themselves (optional) and answer three questions.
The forum post made by the group
Why did you decide to follow Pastafarianism?
Responses to this question varied, with some interviewees stating that they joined because they support the original cause put forth by Bobby Henderson.
Others joined because they think Pastafarianism is such a creative take and attack on religious thinking.
Two of our interviewees decided to follow Pastafarianism after having negative encounters with fundamentalists.
What Pastafarian beliefs do you uphold if any?
Literal belief is not a requirement in the CFSM, but the group decided to still ask this question to see if members do or do not follow any of the Pastafarian beliefs. Some interviewees held on to Pastafarian beliefs like the “The Eight I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts” and drinking on Friday (Friday is a holy day for Pastafarians and is often times spent drinking).
One interviewee decided to opt out of Pastafarian beliefs.
Are you a member of another religious group?
To learn whether the members of the CFSM were actually multireligious or not, the group asked members if they were members of other religious groups. Most interviewees were not members of another religious group outside the CFSM, but there were two interviewees who claimed to be members of other religious groups with similar agenda to the CFSM. The first one claimed to be a Dudeist, while the other claimed to revere the Invisible Pink Unicorn.
The group also tried to contact Bobby Henderson, the founder and prophet of the CFSM, via email; no replies have been received yet as of July 16, 2017.