The Gospel Truth

A German Comedy | December 1, 2009

I have been getting some very interesting comments on my blog.  One that really caught my attention was the fellow who signed it, Pastafarian.  I couldn’t find it in my dictionary so I had to go on-line.  A Pastafarian is someone who belongs to a parody religion.

Personally I don’t find religion very funny though religious people can be a hoot.  Some things are just too sacred to be parodied.   A parody religion is like the anti-religion— these people actually exist and they usually are agnostics or even atheists.  I think atheists are usually as good at making jokes, as are the Germans.   Of course a German comedy is one of the world’s great oxymorons.

According to Wikipedia, this funny religion was  “invented” as a whim by Bobby Henderson in 2005.  I don’t know much about Mr. Henderson and he knows even less about religion.  I found the history of his “new” religion to be unworthy of even a skit for Saturday Night Live.  Pastafarianism grew out of his satirical protest to the Kansas School Board decision that required intelligent design as an alternate to biological evolution in their public schools.

For the name of his new “cult” Henderson chose Pastafarian, which is a portmanteau, which means the blending of the sounds from two different words, such as spoon and fork to create an entirely new word, such as spork.

According to Henderson Kansas never defined their Intelligent Designer.   This left its description open to someone with Henderson’s creative juices.  The result was his deity—a grotesque Flying Spaghetti Machine that closely resembles something one might send back to the chef on pasta night at the local Italian restorante. His FSM has bulging eyes, thin pasta curls, wrapped around two very large meatballs—probably a sophomoric attempt at scatological humor.  His “god” looked more like a video game with an identity complex than a religious deity.

Henderson proclaimed the canonical beliefs of Flying Spaghetti Monsterism presumably on two giant menus, in what he called his Open Letter.  On his website Henderson is described as a prophet.  I hope he realizes that prophets are never respected in their own times.

Their central belief is that there is an invisible and undetectable and presumably unlovable Flying Spaghetti Monster, which created the entire universe after drinking heavily.  The Pastafarian belief of heaven stresses that it contains beer, volcanoes and a stripper factory. This sounds like an Ivy League College.  Hell is similar, except that the beer is stale, and the strippers have VD.  Maybe this is their idea of a Catholic college.

The Pastafarian tome is called the Loose Canon. In place of the Ten Commandments, it contains the eight I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts. ABC’s Ted Koplar once commented that some religions have 10 Suggestions instead of commandments. Too bad Henderson could not have found two more to keep the theological symmetry going. They also believe that pirates have gotten a bum rap because of the medieval monks who distorted their religious significance.  Wait until Dan Brown reads this.

But of greater concern to Henderson must be the fact that with so many different kinds of pasta—linguini, ziti, ruoti, lasagna, even rigatoni, his religion is immediately threatened with denominational fracture.  I mean can one not envision someday a sign for the Third Church of the Holy Ravioli?

While some may find his satire amusing and even innocuous, Henderson has not really added anything to the debate.  His is just an alternate form of religious belief that they trust is the correct answer to the mysteries of life.  I just wonder what the FSM would say about the meaning of life with its attendant pleasures and pains. Eat more pasta?

In fact I think Henderson’s religious imagination is puerile and pales in contrast to that of the Greeks, Romans or even the Aztecs, who had much more sophisticated gods and goddesses.  His religious mythology sounds like it came out of the bottom of cheap wine.

I really doubt that FSM’s patriarch and chief prophet has a scintilla of truth behind his jokes and parodies, which in the end merely make his religion serve as a self-parody of a seeker who has nothing better to do on a Saturday night.

There is a delicious irony about Henderson’s parody religion.  Their kind of anti-religious sentiment could not be possible without evolution, which believes that it effectively killed off God.  Darwinian evolution is a theory that cannot be proven.  By nature God cannot be put under a microscope.  Evolution is founded on the notion of randomness with is contradictory to legitimate science and discovery, thus undermining its claim to scientific certainty.

Christianity is founded on reason—that an Intelligent Being created an orderly universe that elevates human beings.  Is not Christ the Logos, the incarnation of divine reason?

So both religion and evolution can be reasoned to but not proven.  Both have to be accepted on a basis, not of demonstrable truth but on faith.  Which is more reasonable, the one founded on luck or chance or the one founded on reason?  So the real joke is on the intellectual elite who live in a Woody Allen cosmos where they can laugh God out of existence.  I hate to pop their bubble but the joke is really on them.

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1 Comment »

  1. BB, Sounds like you are now in an intellectual debate which should whet the appetite of agnostics and atheists. I loved it but refuse to look up the “big” words.
    I’ll leave that to others. M

    Comment by Mary B. Lachney — December 1, 2009 @ 5:11 pm


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About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at bbprof@sbcglobal.net

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