Myths and Legends

Myths and Legends
In His Name We Pray, Ramen

Russ Pitts | 25 Mar 2008 08:55
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"Touched By His Noodly Appendage"


"I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster," Henderson says in an open letter to the Kansas Board of Education. "It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him."

Henderson's letter goes on to explain that although a scientist can use carbon dating analysis to determine the age of, for example, a fossil in the ground, the results he gathers are altered as he gathers them by the "noodly appendage" of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, an omnipotent, invisible deity Henderson and the "many others" of his faith profess to believe in. Not because He has been scientifically proven to exist, mind you. But because they believe he does. They have faith.

The letter goes on: "It is for this reason that I'm writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories. In fact, I will go so far as to say, if you do not agree to do this, we will be forced to proceed with legal action. I'm sure you see where we are coming from. If the Intelligent Design theory is not based on faith, but instead another scientific theory, as is claimed, then you must also allow our theory to be taught, as it is also based on science, not on faith."

Henderson provides an example of the brand of science adhered to by the practitioners of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, recently dubbed Pastafarians, by showing how the yearly rise in average global temperatures since the 1800s until the present is in inverse proportion to the number of pirates worldwide. He even provided a graph.

Henderson's letter drew national attention, highlighting the irony of teaching faith as science. Visits to his website skyrocketed. Those in a similar state of disbelief over the ordeal in Kansas took up Henderson's proclamation of belief in a Flying Spaghetti Monster as a call to arms, rejecting the notion of faith-based science by professing belief in a deity whose existence could neither be proved, nor disproved; one made of pasta with a side of meatballs. T-shirts were made. The Church, at first proposed only in jest, became real.

Part cult, part satire, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster now exists in its own world, where science is only as real as we believe it to be; where, according to The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a book by Henderson published in 2006, heaven is a place with a beer volcano and a stripper factory; where the Pastafarians dress up in "full pirate regalia" at the directive of Him, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, because "He becomes angry if we don't"; and the devout end their prayers with the exclamation "ramen."

Henderson rejects the notion that Pastafarianism is satire, but coming from a man who takes fine art photographs of tacos, the proclamation sounds a bit muffled, as if his tongue were firmly planted in his cheek. Nevertheless, people believe.

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