Another growing cult


You’d never guess who the second largest religious group at Missouri State University might be. And they get hate mail and threats just for existing!

If that link doesn’t work, try this:

Thanks, Greg!

Comments

  1. Rakel says

    Good work :)

    But the news report seemed a bit confused to me. Almost if they didn’t know if they should take it seriously or not. Could be just cultural differencies and I couldn’t locate the irony :P

  2. Kuhlmancanadensis says

    The group I started is already around 50 members at only 2 months old. But, we’ve only gotten one measly hate mail and two crusading christians at our last meeting. I anticipate more hate mail.

  3. MartinC says

    I think, since evidence doesn’t seem to be the way to get through, using ridicule as a weapon is a really effective means of countering unproveable ideas that form the basis of other religions.

  4. Mike says

    I’m on dialup so things take a while to load… I thought the ad at the beginning telling people to join the cosmetology program was the new religion to be wary of. It does have a bit of a cultish sound to it… maybe someday cosmetology will be to cosmology as scientology is to science.

  5. Doug says

    Given that people write about FSM, and the statement G-d created man in his own image, then he must have one wicked sense of humor.

    I enjoy reading about FSM because it causes me to reexamine my own faith and focus on what is really important in that faith – my own behavior with other people. Now, you may say religion is just a crutch to modify my behaviors. Mebbe so. But are’t you glad I am using a crutch?

  6. says

    Everybody seems confused: they mention 2nd largest religious group but caption the folks with “member of the organization.”

  7. says

    Everybody seems confused: they mention 2nd largest religious group but caption the folks with “member of the organization.”

  8. says

    Mike: It may not be just your dialup. For me, it just shows the ad and then tries to load data for a while then gets tired and stops. thus, I have no idea what any of you’all are talking about.

    I’m going to go look on YouTube and see if I can find anything…

  9. bernarda says

    Hate mail seems to be part of the xian creed.

    Does anyone know an atheist who has sent hate mail to a xian group? I know quite of few atheists and none of them, nor I, have ever done it. In fact, no one I know has even thought about doing it. I guess we just can’t be bothered about it.

  10. DrFrank says

    Now, you may say religion is just a crutch to modify my behaviors. Mebbe so. But are’t you glad I am using a crutch?
    Well, if your religion is the only thing stopping you going on a mass-murdering/baby-eating killing spree, as plenty of the religious seem to suggest should be the default behaviour of atheists, then yes ;)

  11. SEF says

    But are’t you glad I am using a crutch?

    Only if you were already mentally, educationally, morally and emotionally retarded and the religious crutch is making you function better. However, what usually happens instead is that the (initial and habitual) use of the crutch is what then retards people in all those areas.

  12. Rakel says

    But are’t you glad I am using a crutch?

    No, of course not. Whenever I see people with crutches, I feel sad, and I hope they will get better soon.

  13. says

    Like Mike (#4), I was confused by the promotional plug at the beginning of the video for the school’s cosmetology program. I can see that being a major campus cult, sort of like football is at most colleges.

  14. Roel says

    Maybe this is how religion really got into the world — satire taken a little too seriously. Be warned!

  15. June says

    Death to the FSM, and death to Invisible Bananas On Telephone Poles. Stay the course with the Pink Unicorn!

  16. Brian says

    Good for them. Glad to see the FSM getting some notoriety. Its not my particular cup of tea, but who doesn’t love negative pirate correlations?

  17. John C. Randolph says

    Is the church of the FSM big enough for a schism yet?

    I propose that the FSM is made of capellini, rather than spaghetti per se. Also, marinara is the one true sauce, and promulgators of the clam sauce heresy must be rooted out wherever they lurk.

    -jcr

  18. says

    But are’t you glad I am using a crutch?

    May I respond with a quote from Anton Chekhov:

    Only the slave or the barbarian needs God, the civilized man only becomes religious in illness or weakness.

  19. says

    Also, who else thinks that Pastafarianism could be the answer to Harris’ problem with the label “atheism”? I think Pastafarianism beats it with a stick: you get to be playful, ridicule True Believers and it doesn’t carry the negative connotations that atheism does.

  20. Bob L says

    Dog @ “But are’t you glad I am using a crutch?”

    If you were a Pastafarian that crutch would be a stripper instead of a cranky old man.

  21. says

    I don’t think the FOX reporters really, um, “got” it. Or else FOX local stations in Missouri utilize an ultra meta brand of ironic humor that is lost on a person living in Massachusetts.

  22. inkadu says

    The advertisement I got before the story was soemthing about fishing — “Send in Your Big Fish Stories.” It was probably for a local tackle company. I wonder if those guys are going to be confused about all the people writing in about cephalapods.

    What’s interesting to me is that the FSM claims the religious among its members. Maybe it’s just a step for the deists away from religious nonsense (and towards, you know, the fundamental truth of all religions — like God is Love or some claptrap)…

    I was thinking of starting/joining a skeptics chapter when I went back to school. But I think the Church of the FSM sounds way more fun. Plus, you get to wear pirate outfits.

    And also, the FSM points out something that atheism does make obvious — the universe of things that can’t be disproven includes some pretty silly stuff.

  23. inkadu says

    Also, any self-respecting Campus FSM organization should have at least TWO chapters to reflect schism and encourage healthy theological debate on important issues of FSM’ism.

  24. RamblinDude says

    To be a truly competing monotheistic religion, the Flying Spaghetti Monster needs a son–born of virgin sauce, of course. Perhaps one of its noodles, which it sacrifices for our sins because it loves us so much. You see, the “new”, “cloned” spaghetti strand would be independent and have a life of its own, but it would be gabbing souls for the parent body…and since the total number of tentacles is still infinite, it’s not really a separate entity…

    Well, it’s all very confusing; you’ll just have to take it on faith.

  25. inkadu says

    but it would be gabbing souls for the parent body…and since the total number of tentacles is still infinite, it’s not really a separate entity…

    Blasphemer! The tentacles are not infinite. The tentacles are what push us down and keep us on the earth. As the number of people on earth has multiplied, that’s fewer tentacles pushing down on each person.

    How else can you explain the increasing height of the population?

    This ignorance is Exhibit A for why Tentacular-Gravitational Theory needs to be taught in public schools immediately.

  26. says

    Also, who else thinks that Pastafarianism could be the answer to Harris’ problem with the label “atheism”?

    What does it mean, that “believing” in a freaking flying monster made of spaghetti is somehow more comprehensible than just not believing in any divine superhero???

    I am reminded of a certain movie scene…

    WALTER:Fucking Germans. Nothing changes. Fucking Nazis.
    DONNY: They were Nazis, Dude?
    WALTER: Come on, Donny, they were threatening castration!
    DONNY: Uh-huh.
    WALTER: Are you gonna split hairs?
    DONNY: No–
    WALTER:Am I wrong?
    DONNY: Well–
    DUDE: They’re nihilists.
    WALTER: Huh?
    DUDE: They kept saying they believe in nothing.
    WALTER: Nihilists! Jesus. [Walter looks haunted.] Say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.

  27. inkadu says

    Well, it’s all very confusing; you’ll just have to take it on faith.

    Your blind ignorance of basic theology made me miss this last line.

    I guess you haven’t studied FSM’ism or read any of the literature on FSM, or you wouldn’t say that you “have to take it on faith.”

    Have you read, The Pasta Driven Life? Mere Cappelini (in which acclaimed author C.S. Linguini posits that the FSM is either, “Noodle, Nut, or supreme Ntity”)? How about 9-12 Minutes: How to Save Your Marriage the FSM Way?

    The FSM is the most logical conclusion from all the evidence available to us. If you haven’t read all the literature, you are in no position to judge.

    Educate yourself!

  28. RamblinDude says

    “How else can you explain the increasing height of the population?”

    Oh? And how do you explain PYGMIES + DWARVES?

    Our pasta Lord and Savior infininoodly, amen.

  29. says

    Having grown up in the area, (MSU is my alma mater) something very important is not presented in this report, the fact that three evangelical christian colleges, CBC, BBC, Evangel, and the Blue Vatican ™ (the international head quarters for the assemblies of god (A.G. John Ashcroft’s old haunt) are within three miles of the campus.

    Praying to FSM that the Bear’s have a good season ;)

  30. says

    What does it mean, that “believing” in a freaking flying monster made of spaghetti is somehow more comprehensible than just not believing in any divine superhero???

    Is this a rhetorical question? It obviously takes less faith than believing that we caem from monies~~~ You can only be intellectually fulfilled and happy if you beleive in something supernatural.

  31. Damon B. says

    MSU is my alma mater (though it was Southwest Missouri State U when I graduated back when), and though that video package may not have demonstrated it, having a big FSM group on campus is a big deal, and I’m not surprised at all that they’re getting threatening letters.

    This is Springfield, Missouri; some residents proudly refer to it as the “buckle of the Bible belt.” YMMV, however besides the state university, here’s a few other well-attended schools in Springfield:

    Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Baptist Bible College, Central Bible College, Drury University, Evangel University… Seeing a theme?

  32. Kseniya says

    I’m pretty sure I didn’t come from monies. If I had, I wouldn’t be working my way through school. o.O

    I enjoy reading about FSM because it causes me to reexamine my own faith and focus on what is really important in that faith – my own behavior with other people.

    But that’s what’s important regardless of faith (or lack thereof). Why do you need a specific supernatural element in your life to make that “important”? The Golden Rule codified, rather than established, what was already commonly and naturally understood to be desirable behavior. The only prerequisite is not piety, but empathy.

  33. FutureMD says

    So MSU is a whoppping .4% Pastafarian and still 99% christian (with some additional tiny fraction of MISC)?

  34. Marc says

    “the Flying Spaghetti Monster needs a son–born of virgin sauce, of course”

    What? Not Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

  35. RamblinDude says

    The “Ozarksfirst.com” article misquotes.

    “We get a lot of support, more than you imaged,” he says. “… we have several Christians that just that are in favor of a more imperially-based world view.”

    That should read “empirically”, (at least that’s what he says on the video). Of course, it still works, but I don’t think you can get more imperial than a god that sends you to agonizing hell-fire for eternity.

  36. RamblinDude says

    “What? Not Extra Virgin Olive Oil?”

    Extra Virgin Olive Oyl? (Oh! Popeye!)

    Now we know who Sweet Pea’s father was!

  37. Michael Kremer says

    FutureMD at #41: At over 200 members that’s something more like 1% of the student body + staff.

    But I think Andree at #6 has a point. It seems to me the whole “second largest religious group” claim is confused. The confusion is between “second largest registered religious student organization” and “second largest religious affiliation in the student body.” I would bet that there are more than 200 members apiece of several different Christian denominations on that campus (with about 21000 students). The dominant Christian group in Missouri is Evangelicals, but 19% of the population is Catholic (http://www.beliefnet.com/politics/religiousaffiliation.html), and for that matter 1% of the Missouri population is Jewish. (http://www.beliefnet.com/politics/religiousaffiliation2.html) (On the other hand, I am not counting the Pastafarians in the population who don’t belong to the organization…)

  38. FutureMD says

    When I’m feeling especially pessimistic stories like this make me wonder if the overwhelming apathy of the public is the only thing keeping the atheist movement alive. If we ever really got people to care about our existence they might just try to kill us all.

  39. YetAnotherKevin says

    It is clear to all but the most depraved that any form of cream sauce is the most deadly heresy. First, it violates the message of inclusion given us by our Lord and Flavor, by offending the lactose-intolerant. Secondly, and again by the inclusion of milk, leads some astray into the heresy of the Female Spaghetti Monster. (For does not the FSM proudly display His meaty balls?) And thirdly, cream sauce is closely associated with fettuc****, the obscenity of which hardly bears mentioning.

    In short, cream sauce is anathema, and its promulgators must not be allowed to corrupt the world with their lies.

  40. Tulse says

    Wow, that New Atheist Noise Machine is really prompting a backlash…if Dawkins hadn’t been so mean, imagine how much more coverage anti-religiosity would be getting on the local news programs in Missouri!

  41. says

    I love it. When Eberhard starts talking, saying “People on both sides–I think one side in particular–have divorced themselves from reason”… the video cuts to pictures of: a church; a crucifix; and a Bible.

    Hee hee hee.

  42. JJR says

    Thanks for sharing this story.

    Missouri is like a 2nd home to me, and what an odd place it is, too.

    I’m not a Missourian, but my family are; and although most of them are sensible, merely moderately religious folk, and most registered Democrats or libertarian-style Republicans…I can’t but fail to notice the tall billboards “Abortion stops a beating heart”, etc, that you find periodically along the highway. All I have are Aunts and Uncles in Missouri now.

    Everyone from my grandparents’ generation, Missourians all, have passed on. My kindly paternal grandmother was a Democrat and a devout Presbyterian (but rabidly anti-Catholic to the point of bigotry); My maternal grandma was more conservative, devout Church-of-Christ, fire & brimstone type, but at least mercifully, she learned to keep it to herself, gave up trying to force it on her kids and grandkids.

    My great aunt (on my dad’s side) was probably an Atheist but she kept it to herself. She was a hoot…a young divorcee, she lived “in sin” with a man not her husband thereafter, not caring what anyone thought, never setting foot inside a church, and frequently had fun poking fun at her sister (my pious grandmother). She was such a colorful character that most people in Washington County just loved her and gave her a pass that might not’ve been afforded someone less socially adept.

    My great aunt lived & worked in the town of Potosi in her last days, which recently had a guest speaker come to present a lecture on creationism in Potosi schools during school hours. Bleeech. That it didn’t raise too many local hackles–double bleeech.

    I once interviewed for a job at Mineral Area College, near that area. I didn’t get hired–and in some ways maybe I should be glad on that–I’d otherwise be high tailing it to Saint Louis every weekend and hitting up the Rationalist Society of Saint Louis (RSSL) quite a lot for meetups & the like.

    Best of luck to the Pastafarians. Ramen!