Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Religious Freedom? Meh.

The Pastafarian Tradition: Just like you, Abq Jew has been watching the news this week. There has been a lot of news, and some of it has been bad. But some of it has been good! 

Abq Jew is eager to tell you about it. But first -

The Flying Spaghetti Monster
The Flying Spaghetti Monster

During his years at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America (see Wanna Be A Rabbi? and Rabbi School Dropout) AND during his subsequent years studying the religious traditions of the world, Abq Jew not once (to his failing memory) encountered the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

You know - the Pastafarians.

Wikipedia succinctly explains:
The Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) is the deity of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Pastafarianism (a portmanteau of pasta and Rastafarian), a social movement that promotes a light-hearted view of religion and opposes the teaching of intelligent design and creationism in public schools. 
Although adherents describe Pastafarianism as a genuine religion, it is generally seen by the media as a parody religion.
And the media - what do they know about religious truth? (Or any truth, for that matter.) Wikipedia continues:
The "Flying Spaghetti Monster" was first described in a satirical open letter written by Bobby Henderson in 2005 to protest the Kansas State Board of Education decision to permit teaching intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in public school science classes.\ 
In that letter, Henderson satirized creationism by professing his belief that whenever a scientist carbon-dates an object, a supernatural creator that closely resembles spaghetti and meatballs is there "changing the results with His Noodly Appendage."
Henderson argued that his beliefs were just as valid as intelligent design, and called for equal time in science classrooms alongside intelligent design and evolution. 
After Henderson published the letter on his website, the Flying Spaghetti Monster rapidly became an Internet phenomenon and a symbol of opposition to the teaching of intelligent design in public schools. 
Lindsay Miller
Lindsay Miller of Lowell, Mass.

Which brings us to Lindsay Miller of Lowell, Mass. - a courageous Pastafiarian who years ago insisted upon and achieved her right to be photographed for her Massachusetts driver's license with a colander (that's a spaghetti strainer, by the way) on her head.

Ms Miller (said the New York Daily News at the time) was previously denied a license renewal under Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles policy that does not permit hats or head coverings except for religious reasons.
"They were kind of laughing at me," Miller told the Boston Globe
"I thought of other religions and women and thought that this was not fair. I thought, 'Just because you haven't heard of this belief system, [the RMV] should not be denying me a license," she said. 
"The fact that many see this is as a satirical religion doesn't change the fact that by any standard one can come up with our religion is as legitimate as any other. And *that* is the point,” according to a posting on the church’s web site.
So you want to join the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster yourself and become a Pastafarian? Well, you can start with the entertaining and informative WikiHow article How to Become a Pastafarian.

Or you can visit the Church's website and view this entertaining and informative video:

And many years ago, Rachel Maddow (no surprise, there) also covered the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in this video:

Which includes the following explanation:
The Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe, much as it is 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). 
Whenever a scientist carbon-dates an object, The Flying Spaghetti Monster is there to change the results with his noodly appendage, so only the TRUE BELIEVERS understand the truth. 
May you too be touched by His noodly appendage and be blessed. 

Now you may ask -  

What has this got to do with The Jews

What has this got to do with The Jews?

And the answer, Abq Jew claims, is - nothing, very little, or, as we used to say in yeshiva, not much. And that's the way it should be. 

The Ten Commandments

But all of a sudden, everyone's talking about The Ten Commandments. No, not the 1956 Cecile B DeMille movie starring Moses (see photo above) as Charlton Heston. But rather HB71, the new law in

Louisiana Grey
The State of Louisiana?

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