I have been spending a lot of time focusing on the effects that various religious thought has had on my life. Originally, I had given into the belief systems of those around me. This had lasted for so long that I nearly lost myself. Eventually, I resurfaced and realized that I needed the skills to keep me from drowning. This was the effect of those early years which turned into a cause. Yet, as I picked my way through the matters of the doctrines and dogma, I soon felt the stones being tied to my legs. This was beginning to pull me down into the depths.
I soon discovered that it was my choice to continue on this path or alter my direction. It was my choice based on free will, so I took that step. This became a turning point. I took some time to reflect on that moment. I came to remember it as the epiphany of my religious understanding. The moment did not stop my search for the answers or fulfill my need to know more. I did not want to sink further into the mire. Instead, I was given freedom from the oppression and continued on my own path.
As I did this, I grew interested in finding others who could understand what it was that I had discovered. I knew that my spouse was with me after having a similar experience in relation to religious beliefs. Yet, I wanted to know if anyone else had come to some of the same conclusions. The search for this person or group of people was for the purpose to discuss and refine the thoughts and theories. I found something that surprised me.
The first moment that I found a group was one day when I was revising some points on my Facebook page. The religious views drop-down menu had many options, but I never expected to find Free-thinker or Hard core non-theist, but non-atheist. I never did care for such labels because no one should be put in a box unless they choose it. As I reviewed the options, I discovered what I thought was a typo. I had read much about Rastafarians, but I had no clue to what a Pastafarian was. I was soon to learn more about it because of that little drop-down menu.
In 2005, I found the answers to this new question. Pastafarians are the followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster who is the creator of the universe and pirates. The movement essentially was created in a simple response from an Oregon undergrad in 2003 to an incident in Kansas. His letter was to the State’s Board of Education. It was their intention to teach Creationism as part of the science classes. Creationism would be taught as a theory along with Evolution. This letter was a request for them to also teach his theory on the creation of the universe by a pile of noodles with a pair of meatballs. It was a voice that expressed satire for this decision while designing a curious point for people to gather and discuss their ideas about the world and the universe.
Around this point, the ideas grew until the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was founded and formal religious texts were set down. The ceremonies and holidays were established including September 19. This day came from a curious legend in modern society. It was International Talk Like a Pirate Day. The tone for this group of Pastafarians was set and the battle was on. Satire was soon questioned by those of other faiths and the words started to fly.
Of course, I was not interested in the battles as much as I was eager to find others who had seen some of the ridiculous contradictions of the religions. This was not a desire to gang up and make fun of them, but it became a deeper exploration of others’ experiences. I was completely fascinated and quickly identified with them. Perhaps I was more excited to have other minds to bounce ideas off. Either way, I had found something to share and acknowledged this following in my religious views.
So, I would like to invite anyone interested in a different point of view that is not out to strike aggressively at other beliefs to check out the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. This discovery is not the end of the search for answers, but a way station for general fellowship. I belief that we all should take a moment to question what is told to us. We should all strive to experience and to understand our own beliefs.