I don’t even know where to start. Do you know about the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?
Well, I linked to their website there, but basically, it started when the Intelligent Design movement began, and certain religious groups started pressuring schools to teach it alongside evolution in Science class, as an alternative theory regarding Life, the Universe, and Everything.
So a bunch of hilarious, smartass atheists showed up and said, well, we just started a church too, and in our church, we believe that the universe was created by a Giant, Flying Spaghetti Monster, and since there’s a pretty similar amount of evidence for both concepts, we want you to teach our theory alongside Intelligent Design.
If you do nothing else at all today, you really need to read this hysterical Open Letter to the Kansas School Board from a concerned member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and if you finish reading it and you still have a problem with the Pastafarians, then you, my friends, have a problem with me.
Does the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster have to pay taxes? I don’t know – good question. I sure hope not, because that would seem to violate the First Amendment. We don’t get to say, hey your religion’s too dumb to qualify, because then well..
Well – let’s just all agree that lots of religions are pretty dumb. Not yours, of course – yours is cool and valid and makes perfect sense and I’m totally a big fan of it. Just settle down and don’t blow anything up or shoot anybody – your God is extra super definitely the One True God and we all know it.
But learning about other religions is always a good thing, even if we know they’re false because they’re not in English or they’re not about Jesus or whatever. Multicultural and mind-expanding and intellectual, and that’s us, blogosphere. So let’s crack our minds open a little and see what we can learn, yes?
I mean, the Christians have Jesus, the Jews have Moses or Abraham or Whoever. And the Muslims have He Who Nobody Is Allowed To Draw So I’m Sure As Hell Not Going To Blog About Him. And even the Scientologists have Tom Cruise.
The fact is, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is too young to have a bunch of temples or statues or even a Main Guy. But there appears to be a Holy Warrior rising among their ranks – meet Niko Alm, an Austrian Atheist, Pastafarian, and possibly the baddest ass to ever blast through the doors of whatever Austria’s BMV is called.
See, Niko Alm wanted to wear a spaghetti colander on his head in his driver license photo, in keeping with the strict religious requirements of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (he’s Orthodox), but in general, you’re not supposed to wear hats in those pictures.
But I’m sure Niko was thinking, Hey, some women are wearing Muslim head wraps and I want to wear my sacred spaghetti strainer, and I’m going to put the SYSTEM on trial.
Actually, if you read the article, you’ll find everyone going out of their way to point out that there really wasn’t a legal battle, that Niko just failed to pick up his license for a couple of years. But oddly, the article does say that the police made him go through a psych evaluation to make sure he was sane enough to drive. I mean, nobody has ever asked me to do that, even though we can probably all agree that someone along the way should have.
No legal battle, nothing to do with his batshit religion – but you made him prove he wasn’t crazy. I gotcha, Austrian Police. Why don’t you make them all wear meatballs on their shirts next, round up Pastafarians into “re-education camps?” I’m watching you pricks.
Anyway, No problem, said Holy Warrior Niko Alm. I’m sane as shit. Proceed with your psychological evaluation.
And they did, and then they said, “Okay, well, Rock on, sane guy.” And then he got his driver license photo with a spaghetti strainer on his head.
We were going to let him do it anyway, insisted the police. Shut up you bunch of lying cops, said local blogger Tom Chalfant. You were not.
Obviously, the guy is about one half being hilarious and one half making serious philosophical points. After all, what defines a religion, and just how far should we as a society bend over backwards to accommodate every single bonkers form of it? And on a weird side note, why does the article call him a “self-proclaimed” Atheist?
Who else would proclaim it? Ever hear someone referred to as a “self-proclaimed Catholic?”
And also obviously, he seems to have deliberately structured his experience to appear that there was more of a controversy than there really was – and gee, that doesn’t sound like a real religion, does it? That would be like insisting every single year that there’s a War on Christmas, even though really, it’s just people acknowledging the existence of holidays other than Christmas during Christmas Month (which is what it’s called, you bunch of socialists.)
I don’t know about you, but it warms the cockles of my heart to know that Niko Alm is out there, his knuckles white on his steering wheel, his spaghetti colander perched firmly on his head, his faith unwavering, his grin intact. Ridicule him all you like – the article seems to feel free to – but understand that you are ridiculing a mirror, and that at least Niko Alm is in on his own joke.
Tom Cruise, for example – he doesn’t seem to know how funny Scientology is. And there’s a Republican presidential candidate out there who’s into American Jesus and Magic Underpants. And they both look normal in their driver license photos – oh, but they’re not. They’re not.
Take the fight to them, grant no quarter, and Godspeed, Niko Alm, Holy Spaghetti Monster Warrior. May the wings of religious liberty never lose a feather.