Hi Reddit, Mike Arthur here, today I'm here to talk to you about my documentary film I, Pastafari: A Flying Spaghetti Monster Story, so if you have questions about Pastafarianism, the film, or whatever, fire away. R'Amen. For more info about the project go to www.ipastafaridoc.com

Comments: 833 • Responses: 93  • Date: 

RobertThorn2022559 karma

What's your personal opinion about Pastafarians?
Are you an atheist?
What do you think about religion?

iPastafari1258 karma

I’m a humanist, which basically means I “believe” humans can solve human issues without the need of some supernatural deity....but over the course of making the film I also consider myself a Pastafarian, since literally believing in the FSM isn’t a requirement for membership (not unlike many other religions), and I support the purpose of the Pastafarians, which is to bring about more critical thinking into society.

emdeefive90 karma

Wasn't the church of satan doing the same thing 40 years earlier?

CaptnNMorgan74 karma

I would feel a lot more comfortable telling my family I'm a pastafarian than a satanist

iPastafari91 karma

Pasta is more digestible than Satan.....see what I did there!?

LordCactusTheWise312 karma

What personal lesson did you take from doing this documentary ? Did your view about religions and sects change because of it ?

iPastafari847 karma

well at first I like many thought that Pastafarianism was against religion in some fashion. While yes, the Pastafarian community is diverse, and there are some with varying levels of regard towards religion, I found that that they in a way are fighting for religion, the sane version of religion. In the courts they are fighting for religious freedom, because once a state official says "youre religion is real, yours is not, therefore you get less rights" they are violating the human right that is religious freedom. Also, and I think Mienke in the film illustrates this the best when she says "I wear this colander on my head because a colander separates the important stuff (pasta) from the not so important stuff (cooking water)...this helps remind me how to live my live. You got to hold onto the good stuff, and let the bad stuff slip away". In a more meta view, I think the pastafarians are doing just that....they are asking other religions to "hold onto the good stuff", being community, culture, charity etc, and evolve past the bigotry, discrimination, and anti science non-sense.

MacLame151 karma

One issue I have had in the Pastafarian community (I am an ordained minister of Pastafarianism) is some members have such vitriolic hatred towards various traditional religions that it blinds their judgement. The hatred they spew reminds me of the worst aspects of the very religions they denounce. I like your description above very much. There are good messages in all religions which I have studied. And I have studied them all I can. We simply need the intelligence to overcome the negative aspects and the wisdom to tolerate those with whom we disagree. Thank you for your work, I look forward to seeing your film.

iPastafari69 karma

Love beats hate every time....sometimes it takes longer, sometimes its messier, but its the best approach as hate just fosters more hate. Pastafarians are humans, and like all religious groups, there are some that don't represent their beliefs well. I wouldn't consider people who spew hate true pastafarians...they are IMPASTAS!

Bitter_Mongoose24 karma

Those toxic people turned me away from the FSM. I was too an ordained minister, from the very early days of the church.

iPastafari50 karma

watch the film, I think you may come back to his noodly embrace.

JoseaBrainwave3 karma

You can do all that without religion.

iPastafari3 karma

absolutely. and I wish people would. I think pastafarians do too.

catzarrjerkz278 karma

Wasn't this religion started as a joke to essentially make fun of organized religion? So are they blissfully unaware of the joke, or just full send in on it?

iPastafari153 karma

No, it was started to point out that religion is not science and science is not religion. When they’re combined, they both suffer. The “faith” has evolved over the years to also bring attention to issues around church state separation. So it isn’t whether the Pastafarians “believe” literally in a Flying Spaghetti Monster, they believe in the message that the FSM represents. Yes their means to share this message may be unique, but these days to cut through all the noise you have to be unique.

SubcommanderShran153 karma

I understand the point of the religion, what they're trying to do, in what ways is this different or better at getting that point across than say, the Church of Satan or other non-traditional religions?

iPastafari419 karma

There are similarities for sure. They both (satanism) want religious freedom to be equivalent from freedom from religion, I think....so basically your religious beliefs shouldn’t impact the lives of others who don’t share your beliefs. But I would argue the pastafarian approach is more friendly and entertaining, so possibly will reach others that shut down when “Satan” is invoked. In other words: Pasta is more digestible than Satan.

Lokky121 karma

Hello there, I am an ordained minister in the church of His Holy Noodliness.

I love our brothers and sisters in the Church of Satan. They live by a wonderful moral code, and they have times and times again successfully lobbied the government to prevent religion (any of them) from seeping into our secular institutions. They may have a bit of a PR problem with the whole mischaracterization of Lucifer as being the bad guy, but they leverage that wonderfully by threatening to have his likeness added to other public displays of religion.

I see pastafarianism as being a bit more cheeky and on the nose about it, but ultimately pursuing a similar goal. We did have some great successes at stopping intelligent design from being taught in science classes, which as a science teacher myself I think was a wonderful fight to be involved in. We continue our efforts to shed light on just how ridiculous religions are as a whole, and looking at the shift towards agnosticism and atheism in younger generations I would say we are doing a bloody good job of it.

iPastafari83 karma

yeah I think there are many synergies with the Satanists and Pastafarians...but I think its important to point out that neither group on the surface is against religion, they just think religion should be personal and that church and state should remain separate. Really this is a response to fundamentalists thinking "religious freedom" means the freedom to push their religion on others. I dream of a future where religion is cherished as a history of our people, and a set of cultural traditions and rituals meant to bring people together....not a tool to control or coerce.

NemexiaM25 karma

You dont confront theism with no god, you confront it with a better god!

iPastafari33 karma

yeah I mean being an atheist doesnt really mean anything. It doesnt really tell you how to live your life, it just says you dont believe in a God. And since its impossible to prove the existence of any God we all (religious people and nones) are agnostic in a sense. So Pastafarianism I think attempts to provide some sort of moral compass using natural and societal norms for "good", while doing it in a lighthearted way that forces you to critically think.

MacLame106 karma

Have you been touched by his noodly appendage?

iPastafari130 karma

Indeed. I am wrapped in His noodly embrace. It was consensual.

Scoundrelic85 karma


Which laws haven been changed for Pastafarians benefits?

iPastafari270 karma

Well in many countries, like New Zealand for example, you can legally get married by a Pastafarian Minister (Ministrone). In other places you can wear your religious headwear in your ID photos (a battle captured in the film). But the Pastafarians are just getting started. With the recent Supreme Court ruling about tax funds for religious schools, I pray to the FSM for some motivated pastafarian to create a tax payer funded pastafarian school, so we can learn how the pirate population impacts climate change. Or, better yet, just uphold church state separation and dont use public tax payer dollars to teach ones particular religious agenda.

healeys2379 karma

Why did you not call it Aye, Pastafari?

iPastafari81 karma

yeah. I blew it.

LunchboxOctober79 karma

What kind of sauce is the one true sauce?

Like I’ve tried Lutheran, Adventist, Catholic and none of them pair well with wine - despite that being their greatest selling points!

iPastafari122 karma

ProvHerbs 3:1 Faith is to the soul what sauce is to pasta.

deliciousalex53 karma

What are a few legal benefits that non-Christians in the USA would enjoy as a Pastafarian?

iPastafari147 karma

Well if the Pastafarians succeed in getting access to all the privileges in law that Christians enjoy, they would be able to not make wedding cakes for non-pastafarians, opt out of mandatory vaccines meant to protect public health, teach in schools that climate change is due to the reduction of the pirate population over the last 200 years (there's a chart that proves it), and receive buttloads of tax subsidies to convert the masses to follow our Noodly creator. However, all they really want, I think, is for everyone to be treated equally whether you believe in God, Allah, Thor, the FSM or no god at all.

QuickStiQz41 karma

How can I join this religion?

iPastafari47 karma

Welcome. ProvHerbs 3:17 He shall cover thee with his spaghetti, and under his marinara shall thou trust: his truth shall be thy parmesan and meatballs

XomokyH36 karma

Why did you start this project and what’s your connection to Pastafarianism’s founder, Bobby Henderson?

iPastafari99 karma

I made the film because I grew tired of watching these unproductive debates around the impact of religion in todays modern society. They almost always end either with frustration and anger, or with someone saying “you just have to have faith”.

Meanwhile everyday we see headlines of religion being used as a justification to discriminate, for violence, or to spread anti-science nonsense to the masses, all the while getting tax deductions to do so. I think, the pastafarians are saying, “ok, if we’re not going to talk like rational adults about these issues, then let’s try another method.”

I have no connection with The Prophet Bobby Henderson. I tried for YEARS....ever since the concept for the film was bestowed upon me through divine revelation from the FSM himself (or herself). While he has been an ally in helping me spread the sauce about the film, unfortunately I was never able to convince him to be in the film. I'm still bummed about that to this day.

morethanhardbread34 karma

I have Celiacs disease... can I still join the Pastafarian movement?

Maybe the son of the FSM could have a bodily composition of lentil noodles?

iPastafari53 karma

Yes. The FSM does not discriminate on your dietary needs.

TruIsou8 karma

Have you all considered the holy trinity of the FSM, Great Pumpkin, and their offspring The Revered Spaghetti Squash?

iPastafari10 karma

No but they sound delicious

likehermione27 karma

Hello u/iPastafari, I see that you provided proof to us for verification. It would be good to include the picture in your post as well, to let people know it is really you.

iPastafari20 karma

Hi moderator....this is my first time on Reddit:) How do I do that?

WhatOmg5AliveWhat24 karma

What are the primary tenets of Pastafarianism?

iPastafari47 karma

Science, empathy, humor, and not taking your religion too seriously.

gpoobah21 karma

How can you NOT have an apron in the merch section of your website? That seems dead obvious!

iPastafari26 karma

yeah youre totally right. I have failed you. Forgive me. I shall explore Threadless.com thoroughly to see if I can make that happen.

substitution-c21 karma

Bow tie pasta? Is it elitist? Does it have a place in Pastafarianism?

iPastafari26 karma

Will address in the sequel.

frankconstanza1520 karma

Do Pastafarians get involved with politics at all? For example, The Satanic Temple has brought numerous lawsuits against governments making public displays favoring Christianity.

iPastafari30 karma

Yes. I mean there have been no Pastafarian political candidates that I know of (yet), but by challenging laws meant to favor religious groups over non-religious people, they are getting active in their local politics. That's much of what the film is about. Here is a clip from the film that captures one such effort: https://youtu.be/sLPyuiL1J4Y

RepulsiveTea20 karma

What are your thoughts on the recent supreme court ruling? And what sort of restrictions would you impose as an employer based on Pastafarianism?

iPastafari49 karma

it makes me sick to my stomach. Its a violation of the separation of church and state, and I hope it leads to Pastafarians schools where we can teach that climate change is caused by the reduction of the pirate population over the last 200 years (the correlation is undeniable). Seriously though, this ruling is why the Pastafarians do what they do.

In the very country that first included a separation of church and state in its constitution, the idea that a corporation has a "religion" is sickening in itself, but to suggest that any form of religion should be able to enforce their beliefs on other on the basis of an interpretation of some book from 2000 years ago is the anti-thesis of what I though "Law" was supposed to be. The sad reality today is that religion and religious groups have a distinct advantage politically due to exceptions and privileges in law. This gives them additional resources (tax subsidies) and more "freedoms" (exceptions for discrimination for example) that are not available to secular people. This is one of the things that Pastafarianism is going after when they try to get ID photos wearing their "religious headwear". Its a minute, relatively harmless privilege, but an inequality none the less. By going after this privilege its impossible not to talk about the other more harmful privileges (like opting out of otherwise mandatory vaccines based on religious grounds, for example).

feelingproductive18 karma

I'm a big fan of FSM. Did you run into anyone who earnestly believed in it? Like without any sense of irony or satire?

iPastafari51 karma

Every Pastafarian I've met earnestly believes in the message behind the FSM....and when you think about it, thats the most important thing:)

Jared_Tietjens16 karma

It seems your point of the doc was to secretly make fun of people while making them think what you were doing was of real interest to you. How did you make them think that you actually cared about their “religion”?

iPastafari46 karma

that couldn't be further from the truth. I do care about Pastafarianism as it is (among other things) a statement to the unfortunate reality that logical fact-based debate around religions role in society is dead. We are two teams, and we dont listen to each other. Pastafarianism, perhaps, is a new way to break through this stalemate. After making the film I consider myself a Pastafarianism (I'm also a humanist), so I definitely think you should watch the film before jumping to this assumption.

But to answer your question, I approached each pastafarian, explained what I was trying to do, and they agreed to participate. Most of the Pastafarians do what they do with a purpose in mind, and I offered to amplify their purpose as it was mine. Documentary film is Religious propaganda at its finest:) Kidding Kidding. Watch the film, you'll understand.

AshTreex313 karma

Can you describe your perfect salad?

iPastafari30 karma


christocarlin10 karma

Why do people care so much about making fun of religion? I’m atheist but I don’t make fun of other people’s beliefs if they don’t affect me.

iPastafari13 karma

That's not what the Pastafarians are doing...at least not in my opinion. Pastafarians are SPECIFICALLY going after the aspect of religion that inhibit others ability to live their life the way they want to. This is why they go after inequalities in law....why should your faith impact your rights? This is why they go after religion being taught as science. Science is not a system of belief. While their methods are unique and eye catching, that seems to be whats necessary to cut through the noise these days. And really, I mean, this is why I made the film. I think many people dont really know what the Pastafarians are all about....hoping the film will shed some light.

Stabbymctits9 karma

How does one find their way back when they get lost in the sauce?

iPastafari11 karma

grab hold of a noodle.

JanieAktipis9 karma

Hey! Would you like to speak at Oasis, a secular community in Kansas City via Zoom?

iPastafari7 karma

maybe, just send me an email. you can find my contact at ipastafaridoc.com

trojien9 karma

What's the official Pastafari Sauce? Like Napoli? Carbonara or Bolognese?

iPastafari24 karma

there is none. Pastafarians embrace diversity in their people and their condiments.

WrongTurnforLife8 karma

When will we have the first Pastafarian as POTUS and what would change?

iPastafari18 karma

First step I think would be a President that doesn't wh*re themselves out to the religious right, and instead treats religion as a personal and private matter. After all we do have a separation of church and state in the US. I'd love a president who promotes science based policy crafted by experts with the intent of improving society, and I think a Pastafarian president would do just that:)

CrunchyMarshmallows6 karma

What do you think about having The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster as a pantheon in D&D? I have a group of players that “founded” the religion and now spread the good word of his one true Noodle-iness, and its a lot of fun

iPastafari8 karma

I know nothing of D&D, but hey, I support that. Whatever gets the message of the great carbohydrate in the sky into more noodles here on earth.

Joe4346 karma

Any idea what your next project will be?

iPastafari25 karma

No. Right now I just want this one to work. I'm not an experienced filmmaker, I'm a guy that basically said "I want to make a doc" and kinda figured it out along the way. I think that shows in the doc....its definitely not a polished studio-backed big budget film.

My hope first an foremost is to give people a reason to critically think about this idea of "belief", but it would also be great if I could break even on the film so I can justify to my wife to "allow" me to make another film. This film was financed by crowdfunding and my dwindling savings account during a time when I was able to work on it and raise my first child (which is definitely a full time job), but with a second kid on the way, there's no I can do another one without some help.

Making an indie film isn't really a rational investment, but I loved idea so much, and I felt like it was a story worth telling. Today more than ever it seems the world needs to understand Pastafarianism (this will make sense when you watch the film). Or, maybe it was divine intervention by the FSM.

ethanjackson315 karma

How did you get the idea to film the documentary and how did you discover Pastafari?

iPastafari4 karma

I made the film because I grew tired of watching these unproductive debates around the impact of religion in todays modern society. They almost always end either with frustration and anger, or with someone saying “you just have to have faith”.

Meanwhile everyday we see headlines of religion being used as a justification to discriminate, for violence, or to spread anti-science nonsense to the masses, all the while getting tax deductions. I think, the pastafarians are saying, “ok, if we’re not going to talk like rational adults about these issues, then let’s try another method.”

I had known about Pastafarian for years, but it wasn't until I was living in The Netherlands when I saw an article that basically the Chamber of Commerce, a government entity, in The Netherlands granted recognition to the Dutch Pastafarians as a "religious group". That led me to finding out about a Pastafarian trial coming up, which I filmed, and the rest is history.

JustHere2RuinUrDay5 karma

Do u still answer these? U seem like a smart guy, so maybe u have some ideas on this:

Especially in recent years bigots have appropriated atheism to spread their hatred of minorities. I think a similar thing is happening or will happen to a lesser extent with pastafarinism since we're also advocating for science and reason, etc. They like to claim they're all about "facts and logic™" and "facts don't care about ur feelings" and obviously they don't actually have any facts on their side. And I think we need to get across that, while we genuinely care about facts and logic, a) the facts aren't in their favour and b) we also care about empathy and freedom.

How do u suggest we get that point across and effectively keep these people out?

Also I'm broke af so I haven't watched ur documentary....

iPastafari6 karma

I'm hoping the film will help, it paints a more complete picture than a headline. Its far from a complete depiction of the Pastafarian movement, and doesnt come near to capturing every aspect of Pastafarianism, but it is a story that presents an old idea in a new way...I think. Here's a clip from the film thats free: https://youtu.be/sLPyuiL1J4Y

MadMaxNZ5 karma

The worlds first padtafarian wedding (as far as I know) took place on my dads boat. Are you planning on including any footage from that?

iPastafari11 karma

Dude. It’s in there. Toby gave me permission.

9-BBN4 karma

I find this a hilarious demonstration of the absurdity of religions and always viewed it as a deeply satirical movement. Kind of like when Sacha Baron Cohen stirs up a hornets' nest while never leaving character. But sometimes it is almost too convincing, therefore my question: how serious are you (or the other pastafarians in that documentary), really?

iPastafari9 karma

Well the Pastafarians are as diverse as any community....some see it as a useful tool to trick society into critically thinking again....some see it as a bunch of funny pasta puns, some are literally creating the cultural traditions and teachings that are the basis of any religion. But for people unfamiliar with Pastafarianism all they see are brief headlines about people wearing colanders on their heads, laugh, and move on. I made the film because there is so much more to it. And fundamentally, all religions are a sort of satire or version of one that proceeded them, and satire in general is often about interpretation. I personally interpret many of the unbelievable stories in the Bible as metaphors meant to share a message with the reader....Pastafarianism is no different. The main difference is that the morality in the Bible is 1400 years old. Pastafarian morals evolve as society evolves. There are no rules chiseled in stone. There methods to spread these teachings are unique, but as Derk says in the film "Humor can be a very powerful tool to spread an important message". So in that aspect, I think the Pastafarian Faith is very serious....and today, when fact based respectful debate between opponents is almost non-existent, I think their methods may succeed where others have failed.

MakeChinaGreatForOnc4 karma

Are none spaghetti pastas considered as lesser pastas?

iPastafari7 karma

ProvHerbs 3:53 Judge not the shape of thy noodle, but by the form of thy cheese for any one among you.

a_meme_supreme_3 karma

Cheese or tomato sauce?

iPastafari5 karma

all of the above.

tsundereloli953 karma

But how does it taste?

iPastafari5 karma


Jesphar1233 karma

What do you think His viewpoint on flavour packets is?

iPastafari6 karma


ProvHerbs 3:11 Whoever tops with the cheese of the powder is a blasphemer, sayeth the Lord.

Rasputin203 karma

Will it be available for streaming worldwide? (I checked, it can be streamed only in handful of countries)

iPastafari4 karma

it should be available in most countries. Try the international Vimeo link at www.ipastafaridoc.com if you live in an area without iTunes/Amazon/Google etc.

Lord-Tunnel-Cat3 karma

Do people actually believe in this? Or is it just a joke.

iPastafari12 karma

Thats actually more complex than you think. You'll have to watch the film to truly get a reasonable response. But in short....both.

SuperJoey03 karma

What was your reaction when you found out the Church existed?

iPastafari5 karma

I chuckled, like most everyone else. Then I read The Open Letter (https://youtu.be/a9_IYC_ojpM) and I was divinely inspired.

Argentnoodle3 karma

Do you know what they're origins were? I remember one of them did an AMA here and I was pretty confused.

iPastafari3 karma

I made a video about it: https://youtu.be/a9_IYC_ojpM

pepe-the-memer3 karma

I’m considering being ordained under the church of the fsm, if I do it, will legal abilities come along, such as the ability to marry and baptize?

iPastafari3 karma

depends where you live.

Clappingdoesnothing3 karma

How does the usa disentangle the relationship between politics and religion?

iPastafari6 karma

It first begins with taking money out of politics. Then we must dismantle the two party system. Then we must remove any privilege or exception in law that is granted on the base of religion, race, gender, etc. Then we must vote for leaders that use science, empathy, and rationality to guide their policy....not ones that pander to their base of radical fundamentalist to merely keep themselves in power.

I actually wrote an opinion piece for the daily beast that discusses this a bit here: https://www.thedailybeast.com/these-wonderfully-weird-people-worship-a-flying-spaghetti-monster

xXFirefryXx3 karma

How successful was the original letter to the Kansas City school board and are there other pastafarian scriptures that you wouldn’t mind sharing?

iPastafari4 karma

its hard to say. I believe the school board over turned their decision to change the definition of science in their standards into something that permits the supernatural....many of the members who made this decision were voted out the following year. I doubt this was a result of the Open Letter, and more a result of the worldwide attention Kansas got....but it seems like every year this struggle pops up. I mean the current administration is bolstering religious privilege and denigrating science whenever possible...so things aren't going great. Perhaps this film will bring about a movement of critical thinking....in the US things tend to snap back, often they overshoot their target.

DoctorNoname983 karma

Aw, I'm too late, I'll ask it anyway: when you hear the song MacArthur Park, do you quietly to yourself say "Mike Arthur Park"?

edit: woo, not to late!

iPastafari4 karma

I didn’t. Now I will for eternity.

justaprankpleb2 karma

Do you think the beer volcano and stripper factory awaits you in the afterlife?

iPastafari5 karma

I hope so...I don't think...I don't believe....I hope.

james90752 karma

Do you feel that there was any bigotry in the Pastafarian community towards people on the Keto diet? If so, how do you think we should go about remedying this problem?

iPastafari3 karma

ProvHerbs 3:53 Judge not the shape of thy noodle, but by the form of thy cheese for any one among you.

savedbysuicide2 karma

I am trying to start a new religion! Universal Free Will. Look me up...you helped make one religion noticeable, why not make it two!?

iPastafari2 karma

I need a nap after this one:)

Theuniguy2 karma

How does it make you feel when you hear about someone being denighed their right to wear religious head gear in their ID photos?

iPastafari5 karma

I think if the point of an ID is to show your identity that should be the sole requirement of any ID photo. Either everyone can wear something or no one can. One's faith, or lack there of, shouldn't be a determining factor for this rule, or any law. We should all be treated equally and with dignity and respect as human beings.

danasf2 karma

Any other groups or communities out there you are interested in participating with or observing more? Who else has really caught you eye?

iPastafari6 karma

I'm really intrigued by The Clergy Project. It was started by Daniel C. Dennett (amongst others I assume), who is actually in I, Pastafari btw....anyway its a group for people who were raised in extremely religious committees, or were preachers etc, that lost their faith. When they come out as "non-believers" they are sacrificing many of their friends and their community. I thought if this film could be a success, perhaps I'd explore this idea further.

LedZeppelinRiff2 karma

How long until our religion is tax exempt and we can start having paid Friday’s off?

iPastafari4 karma

start the movement. it starts with a single noodle.

M_Nuyens2 karma

Why is Trump such a douche?

iPastafari2 karma

Because he only cares about himself, and isn’t intelligent enough to understand science.

ChurchOfEarth2 karma

How viable do you think modern new religious movements like the FSM will prove to be in the long term growth of our civilization and culture? What would be required for a new religious movement to reach the level of some of the older, more established religions?

iPastafari4 karma

Well, I think, Pastafarianism is a way to talk to those who wont listen. So if by evangelizing their "beliefs" they succeed into tricking people into critically thinking about their own, then I think the world will be better for it. I, and I bet many Pastafarians, wish these methods weren't necessary, that we could just have fact-based rational debates about the woes of the world, but it seems clear those days are gone.

In a stark contrast to some other faiths, at the core of Pastafarianism is the idea that their ethics evolve as society evolves. So if other religions took the lead of Pastafarianism and adopted that same philosophy, instead of trying to fit the morality from 1400 years ago into todays society, then I think society will be better for it. This comment is of course aimed at the more fundamentalist religious groups/sects.

One of the aspects of the Pastafarian faith, I think at least, is to point out that so many conflicts are caused by "belief" being so treasured over "fact". This transcends religion, but religion is used as a vessel to illustrate this point because religion, or better yet this idea of "belief" causes much of this conflict. If only science were worshipped like we worshipped our holy books.

To get there the Pastafarians just need to be recognized equally alongside the other religions, which is the fight I captured on film. Or, better yet, it would be great if their efforts led to religious and non-religious people were treated equally by law so that everyone had the same rights regardless if they believe in the FSM or not.

stephancypantsu2 karma

What are your thoughts on Dudeism?

iPastafari5 karma

The Mike abides.

mrcalebjones2 karma

I’m a Christian and a lawyer, and I have a long question, because it’s quite specific:

I know that the first requirement of exercising a free-exercise right is that a religious belief must be “sincere.” You don’t have to live up to it perfectly, and you don’t even have to have your religious community completely support you for a belief to be “sincere,” but it does need to be something an individual ACTUALLY believes. This issue usually comes up in prison-rights cases, where there is doubt about if a prisoner’s sudden demand for certain accommodations is truly religious or a way to make trouble for the ones running the prison. (I had a religious liberty litigator once tell me that they call it the funny-hat test, because if your client comes to court wearing a funny hat, like a turban, yarmulke, or an Amish hat, nobody will even think of challenging their sincerity.)

I also know that the belief must be “religious” and not political in order to be covered.

Therefore, with this background, here’s my question: in your opinion, do you think that any Pastafarians have sincere religious beliefs? It doesn’t look like it to me. It seems to be a sarcastic political stunt based on (otherwise) reasonable political beliefs.

iPastafari3 karma

No worries. I like long questions, especially when they come from people who likely have different views than I. This is how we progress.

I first would encourage you to watch the film, as it was made to address in part your question. If you don't have the time (or just dont want to) then watch this clip from the film in a trial setting where they discuss a bit what you speak of: https://youtu.be/sLPyuiL1J4Y

I can say without trepidation that the Pastafarians are in fact incredibly sincere with their beliefs. Their methods of evangelizing these beliefs are quite eye catching....but thats kinda the point. In today, rational fact-based debate has failed us as we now play for two teams, and we don't listen to each other. So the Pastafarians are trying something else. Its why I made the film. Are some of their stories hard to believe? Of course...all religions have this in common (virgin birth, magic golden plates, etc). But the message behind the story is what is important. Since we cannot "prove" in a court of law whether someone truly "believes" something...or whether their god is "real", we must use other measures, and along that line of questioning it will eventually lead to a realization that perhaps government shouldn't be involved in matters of faith.

Now I'm not going to get into legal complexities as I am a filmmaker and not a lawyer, and these vary by region. But I will say that one point of pastafarianism is to bring this question more attention: "Why, in a democratic society with a separation of church and state embedded in their constitution, would whether or not an individual believes in God, Allah, Thor, The FSM, or no god at all, impact their rights?" So the example of funny hats....the Pastafarians, in a unique way, are basically asking for equality. So if the issue of headwear is safety and being able to identify someone....then religion has nothing to do with it. Let everyone where funny hats or no one at all. If its important for people dignity to represent their faith in a non-intrusive way...then who cares. But when you have the right discriminate in the name of "religious freedom", refuse others their pursuit of happiness because of your personal beliefs, or opt out of mandatory vaccines, putting other people in harms way because it doesn't align with a book written 1400 years ago...this is something else.

Now is it a political stunt? You could argue that, but then I would argue the religious right is one of the most harmful religious stunts in modern history...yet they still receive more rights and tax subsidies than secular people. Perhaps it is best to keep religious beliefs out of politics, out of government...keep church and state separate...like it says in the constitution. I actually wrote about this a bit more for the Daily Beast: https://www.thedailybeast.com/these-wonderfully-weird-people-worship-a-flying-spaghetti-monster

Reasonable has failed. It is a shame. It is a failure by all of us. The Pastafarians are a reaction to this....I think. And if they succeed, the politics should shift for the better as it will represent more people and more equitably. This should be something all reasonable religious people should get behind. Ironically, the Pastafarians are fighting for religious freedom for all....even for those without faith. Because the moment a judge or a state representative decides "your religion is real, you get more rights, yours is not, you get none"...they have violated the human right that is religious freedom. You can only have religious freedom when church and state are separate, and when one's religious freedom is equal to ones freedom from religion.

My religion says I can't eat that. Cool My religion says YOU can't eat that. Not Cool.

RiverDriver832 karma

Just watched your film last night, and appreciated it. Has the Church of the FSM been involved in any legal battles in the US? I mean real litigation, not an open letter to the Kansas School Board. And how did those turn out?

iPastafari5 karma

Thanks for watching. I'm glad its finally getting an audience after almost 4 years of work. I believe there have been some legal challenges in the US, but I'm not super well versed on them since when I made the film I was living in Europe. The Satanists have been more successful in challenging church state violation issues in the US. I hope the US pastafarians will start to rise up a bit after this film...the world needs them...science....empathy....equality....these days.

coypug19942 karma

I’m a middle aged man, and I live with my dad We like to hang out, we like to be bad He lets me have parties, and I let him hang out with the younger men.

Is your religion ok with this?

iPastafari6 karma

ProvHerbs 3:52 Avast! Give in to temptation daily, for the FSM is not vengeful god and wants you to have a little fun along the way.

McBeardyson1 karma

Do Pastafarians prefer Weeksauce or a hearty ragu?

iPastafari1 karma

They do not discriminate as long as the sauce is properly seasoned.

iPastafari3 karma

Never heard of it....but will check it out.

Jello961 karma

How did you find Pastafarianism and what made you choose it over more mainstream religion?

iPastafari3 karma

I am a humanist, which basically means I believe humans can solve human issues without the need of the supernatural. But I'm also a pastafarian, because literally believing in the existence of the FSM is not a requirement for membership. I empathize with what pastafarianism is all about, and I think their methods to be noticed are brilliant. I "choose" pastafarianism I guess because I align with what I interpret are their core values: science, empathy, humor, and not taking your beliefs too seriously.

EatsRats1 karma

What is your favorite variety of noodle? Did FSM influence your noodle preference?

iPastafari3 karma

ProvHerbs 3:53 Judge not the shape of thy noodle, but by the form of thy cheese for any one among you.

zzr01 karma

Is FSM a tax exempt entity?

iPastafari6 karma

No...but maybe it should be. Or just get rid of religious tax exemptions completely, and instead subsidize organizations that provide community building, community service, subsidize charity. These are not "religious" ideas.

edgeburger861 karma

I think religion is a facsinating social and historical force, and your dedication to moving the conversation in a modern direction is awesome and complex.

sometimes religion can seem like a purely social, political, legal force, especially if you only see it in the news. so the personal development and growth that comes with regular practices of awe, submission, faith, love etc is left out of regular conversations, almost kept secret from the secular folks.

my question is, what practices do you have to keep faith alive, and where do they come from historically? I don't mean belief in supernatural forces or beings, but to faith in yourself as a good thing with the power to do good.

(copied from my original post on your AMA announcement.)

iPastafari1 karma

Yes, I think religion should be taught everywhere...all religions, and what religion IS, and what it is not. It is a reflection of our history, its led to many advancements societally, but also many atrocities. I think religion is a great way to carry on our history, our cultural heritage, to build communities to do good. But religion is also used as a tool to coerce, to hate, and to control. The Pastafarians, I think, are asking religion to evolve. To hold onto the good aspects of faith (community, culture, charity) and let the bad be a part of our history.

Awe, love, faith (or hope) are not religious ideas, they are human ideas. The sooner we can separate what is "human" and what is "religion" the better.

The term "Faith" I interpret as "Hope". I have "Hope" that humans can solve human issues without the need of the supernatural. This comes from a long human history of humans doing just that. A long examination of our history, of what made life better, and what made life worse, is in a way a scientific exploration.

ChihuahuaBeech1 karma

Is there a scene you wished made it into the documentary and it had to be cut? What was that scene?

iPastafari2 karma

Yeah....I mean the court scenes I filmed were all like 3 hours long, so there was tons of great dialogue I couldn't fit. Honestly, the amount of court stuff I left in may be too much....but anyway, one of the lawyers made the argument in response to the judge who basically said Pastafarianism was just a satire, that "if we looked at Christianity in they eyes of a Jew in 1 AD, it would very much look like a Satire". I thought that was pretty profound.

20InMyHead1 karma

I just happen to be wearing this T-shirt today.

To start from such a simple letter about one state’s backwards science policy to grow into a world-wide phenomenon, why do think Pastafarism/FSM took off like it did?

iPastafari3 karma

Because the world continued to teach science like it was another system of belief....and many governments continued to privilege the majority religion over the beliefs of everyone else.

I made the film because I grew tired of watching these unproductive debates around the impact of religion in todays modern society. They almost always end either with frustration and anger, or with someone saying “you just have to have faith”.

Meanwhile everyday we see headlines of religion being used as a justification to discriminate, for violence, or to spread anti-science nonsense to the masses, all the while getting tax deductions. I think, the pastafarians are saying, “ok, if we’re not going to talk like rational adults about these issues, then let’s try another method.”

mariojuggernaut221 karma

Okay, what was the funniest interview you've done for your documentary?

iPastafari3 karma

Bruder Spaghettus was the best. Even though his English was a challenge at times, sense of humor transcends language.

TherapeuticThrowback1 karma

Did you ever take your drivers license picture wearing traditional Patafarian garb?

iPastafari4 karma

Haha, no. No time. Made a movie instead.

HelMort1 karma

Do you think Italians and Chinese are the elected people because they meet the truth of the pasta before the rest of the world? What the rest of the world need to do to professionally play this match like them?

iPastafari3 karma

ProvHerbs 3:63 Ask not what your pasta can do for you, just eat it.

Xgpmcnp1 karma

Ever met a Pastafarian that took the religion super seriously and was unaware of the true meanings of Pastafarianism?

iPastafari7 karma

No. The Pastafarians I've met have all been astute critical thinkers with a great sense of humor.

Megatheorist1 karma

How did you get the funds to make this documentary?

iPastafari4 karma

Crowdfunding and self financed. I didn't pay myself for the 4 years of work because, well, there was no one to pay me. This is not an uncommon plight of an indie filmmaker....especially one like me with not much experience. Making an indie film, like many forms of art, is not a rational investment, but it can be one of life's most rewarding experiences. I do hope I can break even on the film so I can one day make another. My biggest fear is returning to the cubicle life.

MrMumbleMan1 karma

Never seen it... where can I find it?

iPastafari4 karma

iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vimeo...in most regions. Go to the films website and click "Watch" for links.

CherylCanada1 karma

I often get a feeling of panic when I see some people (and some countries) using religion to hurt others. Where do you feel our movement towards humanism is going and how do you quiet those worries within yourself?

iPastafari2 karma

Humanism in itself is about empathy and equality and not relying on a supernatural deity to solve the problems we create...so its not a religion.

I think most reasonable religious people see their faith as a collection of rituals and stories that are metaphors teaching lessons about the human experience. This co-exists just fine within society. It's only those that think "religious freedom" means that they can force their beliefs on others who dont share their beliefs. Only when religious freedom is equivalent to freedom from religion, can religious freedom truly exist...for everyone.

The best example I can give is this: My religion says I can't eat that. Cool. My religion says YOU can't eat that. NOT Cool.

Yes there will be conflict along the way, but as we evolve we continually shed the aspects of our society that are detrimental to cohesion....sometimes it takes longer than we'd like....and some places take longer than others....and often we take two steps back in order to take one step forward (like now), but ultimately, the truth has a funny way of working itself out in the long run.

ozymandias999999999-2 karma

Do you ever feel like a dick for de-legitimizing good spirituality? For example Sikhs are the most kind and inclusive communities in the world. Is it worth it?

winlifeat6 karma

He wont answer this guaranteed. Hes here for “bro das epic pwning of fundies”

iPastafari1 karma

was my answer satisfactory?

edgeburger862 karma

I love this question! while poking holes in the bad parts of religion, are you necessarily gonna poke some holes in the good?

iPastafari1 karma

I agree, its an important question to address.

iPastafari2 karma

You haven't watched the film. Clearly. But this is a good question as many people have this assumption that Pastafarianism is "anti-religion". I don't think it is. It's anti non-sense done in the name of religion. It says that science is not religion, and religion is not science, and when you combine the two, they both suffer. They think the law should be the same regardless of your religion, or if you have no religion at all.

I'll sum it up though...Mienke from the film, a Pastafarian from The Netherlands, says that she wears a colander on her head because a colander separates the important stuff (the pasta) from the not so important stuff (cooking water), it reminds her how to live her life. "You have to hold onto the good stuff, and let the bad stuff slip away". So I think...and this is my interpretation as a filmmaker... Pastafarianism is asking religion to do the same....hold onto the good aspects of faith (community, cultural heritage, charity) and let the bad stuff slip away (bigotry, hate, anti-science non-sense). You see the Pastafarians in a way are honoring the good parts of religion. They have created a community of like minded people working together to bring about positive change in their regions. They have created cultural traditions...the biggest difference is that the pastafarians don't take their own beliefs too seriously. If other religions did the same, the world may be a different place.