Creationists vs Pastafarians

15 Jan

I was heartened to read this story today about a young man who became an activist when his middle-school teachers tossed out their science books in favor of books that taught creationism and other unproven theories as truth, like the Loch Ness Monster.  I thought this might be a good segway to talk a little bit about Pastafarians for those who are not very familiar with religious politics in the U.S.  Christian fundamentalists have been fighting to dismantle science education in public schools in favor of teaching their own religious views in many states in the U.S.  It’s not the teachers’ belief in Creationism that I object to (nor do I agree with it, but I feel everyone is entitled to their own views); it’s the fact that they want to teach their own religious views and no others in a public school paid for with taxpayers’ money, literally tossing out science textbooks in schools because they feel that the Big Bang and evolution are in direct conflict with Creationism.  I want my taxes to pay for good quality science education; it’s a school, not a church pulpit.

It was a similar situation in Kansas which set the stage for the birth of the Flying Spaghetti Monster movement.  Before Zack Kopplin started fighting fundamentalist Christians’ efforts to throw out science education in his Louisiana, the Flying Spaghetti Monster was first described by another activist in 2005 in a satirical effort to protest the Kansas School Board’s decision to permit teaching intelligent design (i.e. Creationism) as an alternative to evolution in public school science classes.  He arrrrgued that if schools are allowed to teach a religious creation story with equal weight to science-based theories on how the world and humans were created, they should be required to give equal weight to the creation stories of all religions, including Pastafarianism.  Although Pastafarianism is a recently invented religion, it has just as much scientific validity as any other religion’s creation story.

You can read the full text of the letter here.

The letter quickly circulated the internet and the rest, as they say, is history.  While I don’t take my Pastafarian identity too seriously, I choose to identify as a Pastafarian to express my support for science education, freedom of (and from) religion, and for silliness.  All hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

The first known depiction of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

The first known depiction of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, 2005 CE

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