The Correspondence of Captain Jeff the Mishunairee and the Leaders of Hillel
1 Dear [Censored Person #1],
2 Hi, my name is Jeff Cupo. 3 Now before I get into the message, I want to let you know that my organization is legit. 4 You can check us out at the Rutgers Student Life website and this isn’t a joke or spam or anything. 5 I am the President of the Rutgers Pastafarians, which is the Rutgers Chapter of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. 6 Now I don’t know how you feel about the issue, but basically we’re opposed to the teaching of intelligent design in public school science classrooms. 7 We’re not out to prove it wrong, just that it’s not science. 8 One of our goals is to improve the relations between the science and religious communities, since they both have smart things to say, and they’d be more likely to listen to each other if they like each other. 9 What we had planned on doing was to have a liaison, a member who shares both of our viewpoints and is in both of our organizations, who will serve as a link between the two and to fairly represent each organization to the other. 10 He/she would also serve as a nice, visible symbol of our positive relationship. 11 We’re also eager to collaborate on projects together. 12 We already have developed friendly relationships with Campus Crusade for Christ and the Rutger University Pagan Student Association. 13 In fact, our staff adviser is also the staff adviser to Trinity House. 14 So let me know what you think, and if it’s cool with you, we can discuss this further in more detail.
15 Kind regards,
1 Hi Jeff,
2 Thanks for contacting me– I apologize that I wasn’t able to respond to your message sooner– I was out of the country for two weeks.
3 Your organization certainly has an interesting name– who created the “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?” 4 It is certainly comical but also seems to mock religious organizations (let me know what your perception is).
5 Hillel loves to connect to other groups on campus and work on joint events. 6 Hillel does not take a stand on intelligent design in relation to education, though for the most part Jews are happy to separate church and state and do not advocate for intelligent design to be taught in schools. 7 Hillel is not a membership organization– all of our events are open– so I don’t know that we could have a set liaison, but we would certainly be willing to work with you on events that you’re interested in planning. 8 (We would need to decide on a per-event basis whether to co-sponsor.)
9 I hope this all makes sense– let me know how you’d like to continue the conversation.
10 -[Censored Person #1]
11 P.S. My term as Hillel president will be expiring at the end of January, and [Censored Person #2] will be taking over, so I have “cc”ed her here to be part of the conversation.
1 Dear [Censored Person #1] and [Censored Person #2],
2 Lol, yeah, you made perfect sense. 3 To answer your first question, Bobby Henderson, a physics student from Oregon State University, founded the Church back in 2005 as a response to the Kansas board of ed’s attempt to put ID in the public school science curriculum. 4 You can check out the letter that started it all here: http://www.venganza.org/about/open-letter/.
5 It seems to mock religion mainly due to the fact that our main focus is Intelligent Design, which stems from the Genesis. 6 While we have no problem with religion, we do have a problem with pseudoscience, and in this case, the pseudoscience is religiously motivated. 7 So religion kinda gets caught in the crossfire, but we mean no offense. 8 It’s meant to be ridiculous just to show a scientific point, the idea being that there’s just as much scientific evidence for the FSM creating the life that there is for a Designer doing it, just to characterize the issue as not being a scientific one.
9 So since we feel that ID is not falsifiable (part of why it’s not science), we’re not saying it’s wrong, only that it’s not science. 10 Also, though the Church has no set dogma or rules, a great deal of Pastafarians, myself included, support the idea of religious tolerance. 11 My chapter has also established a code of conduct which bans any attacks or insults directed towards any religion. 12 It is a zero tolerance policy and any violators are expelled from the group.
13 I had heard Judaism was for the most part pro-separation of church and state, but I didn’t want to make any assumptions on the opinions of any of the religious groups on campus, so I decided to treat all equally and approach everyone. 14 It’s cool if you can’t do the liaison thing like I described, but I still think it would be good if we had some kind of contact system worked out. 15 Thanks for your willingness to collaborate. 16 Right now we’re mostly working on a few small scale projects and recruitment, so we don’t have a lot planned. 17 The only joint event we’ve got going is an Evolution-ID debate/lecture that Campus Crusade for Christ has an interest in cosponsoring with us, but that’s really in the early stages of planning and we might end up not going through with it. 18 So this was mainly to introduce us and establish a friendly relationship with your organization. 19 We’ll keep you posted on the event situation, cause we do want to do something this semester. 20 Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.
21 Kind regards,
1 Thanks for the explanation, Jeff.
2 Keep us posted.
3 -[Censored Person #1]
1 Will do. 2 Thanks for being so cool.