I always knew about the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, since that nutty student wrote his letter mocking the concept of “intelligent design” being taught alongside evolution.
But I have to admit I hadn’t been touched by His Noodliness until I read this week about the Mohammad cartoonist being attacked at a talk about free speech. That really bothered me.
First, a disclaimer – I see no problem with Muslims going apeshit over a depiction of their prophet; depictions of their prophet are, indeed, forbidden in their religion. THEIR religion. So they can feel pissed about that, fair go. But I still have to side with (and echo) Bobby Henderson on this one.
In truth, I have had my share of run-ins with religious nuts myself, though none of those nuts have been Muslims. I find Christian nuts the creepiest of all religious nuts, although a nut is a nut, no matter what shell it’s clad in.
But this cartoonist has become a symbol for the RIGHT to criticise religion. I don’t believe it’s about religion or values, I think it’s about dogma.
There is nothing inherently wrong with what nutty Muslims (and Christians) believe – what’s wrong is that it’s no longer a set of beliefs, it’s a set of Truths that cannot be questioned, and that is dangerous.
I proudly claim not just my right to religious freedom (that is freedom to practise whatever religion I choose), but my freedom FROM religion, that is my right to reject, criticise or otherwise take the piss out of any religion I find silly.
The ability to listen, debate and reject (or accept) divergent opinions is what separates us from the beasts, and if your religion can’t stand up to a little satirical lampooning without your resorting to violence, I think it means your beliefs are indefensible and won’t stand up to intelligent scrutiny.
Also, the Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn’t care if you draw it as something unclean … like a stripper.
So now I’m a Pastafarian. All hail the FSM.