Flying Spaghetti Monster, The Eight I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts.

#3 I’d Really Rather You Didn’t judge people for the way they look…

Pirates dont change diapers
Pastafarians also have holy books

Since we share 99.99% of our DNA with pirates, we believe we descend from pirates, and consider them holy beings. Just like pirates, our holy ancestors, we Pastafarians have a sort of Pirate Code. We are guided in life by the Eight I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts, also known as The Eight Condiments. According to the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Mosey the Pirate captain  received ten stone tablets as advice from the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Of these original ten “I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts”, two were dropped on the way down from Mount Salsa. This event partly accounts for Pastafarians’ flimsy moral standards. As anyone knows, the pirate code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules. That is why these are not commands, but more of recommendations.

I, too, try to live my life according to these simple, yet efficient recommendations. And daily I come across examples of the wisdom entombed in these humble words of Our Lord and Savior, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, who boiled for our since and blessed us with Parmesan to sprinkle upon our daily pasta. Allow me to share with you an example, showing the importance of the 3rd I’d Really Rather You Didn’t – I’d Really Rather You Didn’t judge people for the way they look, or how they dress, or the way they talk, or, well, just play nice, okay?

Once upon a time, not so long ago, I was traveling by train. As befits a priest, I was travelling first class. A young man boarded the train and sat across the isle. As my eye fell upon the young man, I confess my mistake, I forgot the 3rd I’d Really Rather You Didn’t. His appearance was not very neat and I doubted he really belongs in the first class carriage. The young man’s trousers were not clean, his shoes were rather worn, and his general appearance was rather shabby. Luckily, I remembered the 3rd I’d Really Rather You Didn’t. I held my tongue, and was embarrassed at my swift passing of judgement upon this young man, whom I didn’t know. Who was I to disapprove of him just because of his appearance? Just minutes later, the conductor entered the carriage to check our tickets. Then and there I was proven wrong! The young man, whom I though to have a second class ticket had no ticket at all!

So you see how important it is to remember the danger of assumptions we make, based on partial faces and prejudgments. Even priests of His Noodliness are not free of assumptions, and need to be reminded once in a while that they should stay humble, and keep studying and applying the Eight I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts. Ramen!

Flying Spaghetti Monster

What is a religion anyway?

Michael Afanasyev - priest in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
Michael Afanasyev, a.k.a. Doctor Spaghetti

Allow me to introduce myself – my name is Michael Afanasyev. I live in the Netherlands, I am married (with children), and I am an engineer (geohydrologist to be specific). I am also a priest in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. We call ourselves Pastafarians. Pastafarianism is perhaps not the most well-known faith, but it is certainly one of the most fun ones. In case you’ve never heard of us, check out the main website of our Churchwww.venganza.org.

Since Pastafarianism is a relatively unknown religion, we are often met with suspicion and I feel we’re not being treated fairly. A common example are the official pictures everyone has to take for use on driving licenses and ID-cards. Most people have their picture taken bare-headed. However, if you are wearing some religious headgear, like the Sikh tulband or the Muslim hijab, you are usually allowed to wear it on your official picture as well.

The traditional headgear of the Pastafarians is the colander, for obvious reasons – it is used to drain spaghetti. Sadly, Pastafarians are not always allowed to keep their colander on official pictures. The claim is that Pastafarianism is a satire, a ‘joke religion’, and that we are therefore not supposed to enjoy the same rights and benefits as other religions. I find that a weird argument. All of us have multiple identities. I am a man, a husband, a father, an enigneer – and I can be all these things at the same time. Sure, Pastafarianism is a satire, and a joke. But it is a religion, too. We just use humor as a big component of our spiritual philosophy.

But what is a religion anyway? According to the European Court of Human Rights, something is a ‘religion or belief’ if it has ‘attained a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance’. This definition, however vague, has been used to recognise Hinduism, Scientology, pacifism, atheism, Buddhism, Druidism and many other movements as a religion. Recently, several courts in the Netherlands have denied recognition of Pastafarianism as a religion, citing this definition as a justification. According to these judges, Pastafarianism has not yet attained this mysterious ‘certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance’.

I feel it is my duty as a priest in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to contribute to the spiritual growth of our community, so that we can attain that ‘certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance’, and achieve universal recognition as a religion. To promote this goal, I have started this website. Here I will share updates on my personal struggle for the recognition of my religion, and publish my thoughts on the Pastafarian view of the world. I hope my writings will inspire Pastafarians and non-Pastafarians everywhere in their struggle for emancipation, and that together we can achieve what we all deserve – freedom and equality.

P.S. Guest contributions are, of course, welcome, as long as you keep them short and polite.