by Robert Wilkinson
September 19 is a High Holy Day for Pastafarians, and thus for all good people who like to give treats to children and celebrate in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The official name of this Holy Day is "International Talk Like A Pirate Day," a.k.a. ITLAPD. If you want to "Come on boarrrd, matey," then by all means....
I originally found out about the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster when it was first revealed in 2005 during my years as a political blogger. The "prophet" of the CFSM, Bobby Henderson, is an Oregon State physics graduate who wrote a satirical protest letter against the decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to permit the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in public schools.
In his open letter, he parodied the concept of intelligent design by putting forth the possibility of a supernatural creator closely resembling spaghetti and meatballs. He asserted that he wanted his "Pastafarian" theory of creation given equal time in science classrooms along with evolution and intelligent design, since an "Intelligent Designer" might just be anything, including a Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Said to be in secret existence for hundreds of years, the Church became publicly known by the publication of his letter. Despite claims that it's a thought experiment or satire of Intelligent Design, he asserts that those are mistaken. As he states, "The Church of FSM is real, totally legit, and backed by hard science. Anything that comes across as humor or satire is purely coincidental."
In his open letter, he asserts that pirates were the first Pastafarians, and were actually peaceniks of good will, and not the crude rude dudes that we thought them to be back in the 16th through 18th centuries. That reputation came from "misinformation spread by Christian theologians in the Middle Ages and by Hari Krishnas." It's obvious we still have a few good pirates out there, including Johnny Depp and Keith Richards. In the Wikipedia entry on the Church, here's a piece from "Pirates and Global Warming", an explanation and graph illustrating the relationship between pirates and global temperature:
According to Pastafarian beliefs, pirates are "absolute divine beings" and the original Pastafarians. Furthermore, Pastafarians believe that pirates' image as "thieves and outcasts" is misinformation spread by Christian theologians in the Middle Ages and by Hare Krishnas. Instead, Pastafarians believe that they were "peace-loving explorers and spreaders of good will" who distributed candy to small children, adding that modern pirates are in no way similar to "the fun-loving buccaneers from history". In addition, Pastafarians believe that ghost pirates are responsible for all of the mysterious lost ships and planes of the Bermuda Triangle. Pastafarians celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19.
The inclusion of pirates in Pastafarianism was part of Henderson's original letter to the Kansas State Board of Education, in an effort to illustrate that correlation does not imply causation. Henderson presented the argument that "global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of pirates since the 1800s." A chart accompanying the letter (with numbers humorously disordered on the x-axis) shows that as the number of pirates decreased, global temperatures increased. This parodies the suggestion from some religious groups that the high numbers of disasters, famines and wars in the world is due to the lack of respect and worship towards their deity. In 2008, Henderson interpreted the growing pirate activities at the Gulf of Aden as additional support, pointing out that Somalia has "the highest number of Pirates AND the lowest Carbon emissions of any country."
If you want the straight story as it was written to the Kansas State Board of Education, you can find the original open letter at the link in the second paragraph, or if you would rather, just go here. This is where you can find the correlation between the shrinking number of pirates and the increase in global temperatures.
To note the ubiquity of the Deity, here are various Sightings of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
Anyway, folks, a bit of humor that involves "millions, if not thousands, of devout worshipers," a Heaven with a beer volcano and stripper factory, a hell of stale beer and strippers with STDs, many manifestations of the Deity, prayers that end with "R'amen," and a few interesting holidays, including this one, "International Talk Like A Pirate Day." Aaaarrrrrgh, matey!
© Copyright 2010 Robert Wilkinson