Archive for the ‘classrooms’ Tag

Flying Spaghetti Monster

Vitals

FSM BigURL: http://www.venganza.org/
Affiliations: n/a
Launched: August 2005
Author(s): Various, run by Bobby Henderson
Google Links: 4,500
Technorati Rating: 1,679 / 996th most popular blog
Run On: WordPress

The Flying Spaghetti Monster is the god in a parody religion created by physics students Bobby Henderson in 2005. Infuriated by the Kansas State Board of Education, which was seriously considering instating the mandatory teaching of “intelligent design” theory in science classrooms, Bobby Henderson sent a letter explaining that if they wanted to have ID taught, they should have Flying Spaghetti Monsterism taught too, as it was just a valid of a theory of how life began. (To learn more about the tenets of FSMism, click here.)

What began as a joke fueled by anger in 2005 snowballed into something bigger online, as more blogs began to link to Verganza.org and pick up the story. Soon, more people began to visit and call themselves Pastafarian. A quick search on Facebook reveals that thousands of people have listed “Pastafarian” as their religious orientation. Today, the FSM blog keeps abreast of the latest science and creationist-related news, written in an irreverent tone. News in the FSM community, particularly the plight of Pastafarians standing up for their religion, is also highlighted.

FSMHowever, there is more than just a blog here. There are discussion forums and live chat, and a range of other pages about the FSM. However, the blog represents the public face of FSM, which has gained a cult-like following among students in particular.

The stakes in this debate between the role of religion in school classrooms in the United States are high to the educators, non-Christians, and others concerned with the erosion of the separation of church and state in the US. Naturally, the creationist/intelligent design groups also feel that their children’s faith is threatened by the lack of consideration of a more fantastical explanation for the beginnings of life. But Verganaza.org tackles this religious versus secular debate in a completely novel manner that manages to appease the science-minded who have a sense of humor and completely knock the traditional creationists off their rockers.

The beauty of this website is how it continually evolved from just a blog to a full-fledged community where the words of others, such as in the hate mail they publish, or the last issue of National Geographic, build a tongue-in-cheek case for worshipping spaghetti.