Final Thoughts from Olive Garden Council-members
As we finish compiling the Canon and we put the finishing touches on it, I was struck by a revelation regarding Pastafarianism. Let me elaborate.
Our Second Council of Olive Garden has had serious discussions on how the Loose Canon should be. We’ve considered whether the Apastrypha (Apocrypha) belonged in the text. We’ve talked about whether spelling mistakes should be corrected. We questioned whether we should have Gospels without having a messiah (yet). We’ve debated over how we should handle the First Announcement Regarding Canonical Belief. In each case we presented our views and put serious thought into our arguments and decisions.
As I read over the submitted texts I was legitimately amazed as I read serious and genuine reflections on our teachings. Almighty Doer of Stuff pondered the gap of knowledge regarding the afterlife. Solipsy analyzed what was meant by ‘flimsy moral standards’. They put a lot of thought into those texts, texts that on the surface appear to be just a bit of comedy writing.
I also saw common views of morality and a sense of pride, almost awe, of our religion in all the texts. But that’s the thing; is this really a religion? We have the common morality. We have the wonder. We have holy texts that we revere, customs we cherish, a community we are happy to be a part of.
I might just be caught up in a little sentiment now that the Loose Canon is finally just about finished. But I think we have gone beyond a mere joke. I think we really have something cool here. Sauce be upon all of you and RAmen.
–Platypus Enthusiast aka Captain Jeff Cupo of the Second Council of Olive Garden
I grew up not needing to believe in a God, or anything beyond what the five senses of every human, living and dead, have measured and accounted for. Others I identified and associated with often were of similar mindset. We would occasionally jest that it would be really, really nice to believe in the same way we see our more religious friends believe, to know the answers, to know that there’s something out there keeping and eye on us, and possibly helping us out now and again. Not that we were uncomfortable not knowing all the answers, or feeling alone. Quite the opposite, we could only be comfortable in a state of questioning and uncertainty.
In 2005, I found the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and everything began to change. Now I have a God. Before, were I in a situation of stress and felt like crying out to the cosmos for help, I would feel silly eliciting the help of any deity I had learned of. Now, I can petition to the Great Noodly One In The Sky, and I truly see him. I do not, of course, actually believe a floating mass of carbohydrate dinner shaped the universe I inhabit. I found no more answer to where we came from, or why we are here than before. But now I have a face for the question. I have a conduit to the divine. I have prayed to the FSM, and he hath delivered. Then again, I can’t say it wasn’t just a well timed coincidence.
The FSM was real for me. The FSM was, and is, my Deity of choice, though I do not deny the possibility that He is merely a very helpful delusion. Then, I joined the second Council of Olive Garden. I began compiling scripture and forming what would be the unofficial Word. I was overjoyed with what I slowly began to realize. The FSM is real for others, and the FSM is gaining foothold in reality.
Think of it this way. Though we may not be able to prove the existence of God or Gods one way or another, it is unreasonable to argue against the existence of God as a concept, as an idea, as a word. Clearly, deities exist, though they may be of no “real” substance. At the very least, God is a character in a book. Quite a few books, actually. Take a favorite superhero. Batman is not literally real, of course. But Batman is real in a way. There really is an identifiable character known as Batman, separate from the rest. So it becomes with the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Of course, I knew this would happen, and had happened, as soon as Bobby wrote the Open Letter. That creates the idea right there. But it is the scripture that showed me the full extent of his Starchy Splendor. Though the words in the Loose Canon arrive from many different minds, across different times and locations, there is a constant in the Flying Spaghetti Monster Himself. He may appear more high and holy in one book, and behave more like a bored prankster in the next, but it is impossible to say that each instance of the FSM is a separate entity. Besides, His Globulence is ultimately here to entertain himself, and having different personalities and dialects depending on mood is a good way to mess with us. But I digress.
The point is that though the Word is assembled of many different people with many different ideas and agendas, there is a constant character of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Granted, some authors have taken a stab at it, and hit the mark far enough off that they were not considered for Canonization, so it is not that all who write the word of the FSM are divinely inspired. But for those texts Canonized, we have faith that it is the same Delicious Apparition throughout. I like to think that this means something. Perhaps all it means is that the FSM is incredibly easy to write for. But perhaps it means we’re on to something.
I’m a believer in multiple paths to truth, plurality of religion, no wrong answers, that sort of thing. There is no wrong way to do religion, aside from intolerant and coercive practices. There is a vast diversity of culture and religion already in our world, and it tickles me to think that we’re adding to that melting pot. And not just that we are adding more culture, a new phenomenon, or a new religion. It appears to me that we are, in fact, creating a new way to do religion. It’s worked for me, it’s worked for others, and I believe it will work for many more in the years to come. I only hope we are not too misunderstood for too long, and that we may be able to add to the rich diversity of our world.
May you be eternally marinated,
Qwertyioupasd of the Second Council of Olive Garden.
The Most Inspired DaveL’s Loose Canon Reflection – Final Comments
Back in 2005…
ID and revisionist scientific theory were rampant (thanks George W Bush!) and suddenly the Neocon World was telling us everything we learnt about science was wrong. Why should I bother going to University for 10 years, when all I needed to do was switch off my brain and go to church? My university education was my inner strength and light. After being born and raised Catholic, and being told transubstantiation was real’, it taught me to raise questions about our world like never before.
It took me years to evolve from a church non-attendee, to an agnostic to an atheist. But being an atheist was something I was now completely comfortable with.
Back in 2005…
I was working in a small engineering office (a ‘Christian business’), where one of the Principal’s was writing “a little book”. As he was writing it in work time, I couldn’t help be but be curious. about his “little book” and other matters, which he appeared to be deeply serious about.
It turned out his “little book” was an attempt to reconcile science with the bible, with ID as the antidote. He used examples ranging from a feather to the miracle of child birth as examples of a ‘great divine engineer’ in the sky. An omnipotent dude, intelligently designing away in his own celestial engineers office. Yes he was touting all this stuff at work, not church, umm, isn’t that just a little bit weird? If I seemed less than convinced by his arguments, I tried hard not to show it.
But here was a dude who had studied engineering for years, but had no concept of evolutionary biology. I’d already politely fended off his requests to attend church, but after I finally outed myself as an atheist. I was completely ‘on the outer’ at work.I’d always kept my personal stuff to myself, but as the other guy in charge was also religious, I felt I couldn’t do or say anything. I needed this job, as it was so close to home! But a religious workplace –not what I’d signed up for!
Every night I came home, needing to defrag my mind from the lunacy.
Back in 2005…
I sought refuge in the atheist web, looking to feel comfortable again about my own beliefs (or lack thereof). I hit the forums and ex-Christian sites, looking to vent my spleen at my “esteemed” colleague(s) ID beliefs. But the people on the ex-Christian forums were already grappling with their own de-conversion issues. As I was already fully comfortable with mine, I was flogging a “philosophical dead horse”. Spleen vented, but it didn’t cheer me up. Where did I turn?
Back in 2005…
One night I was reading Bobby Henderson’s letter to the Kansas School Board and his depictions of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Pirates and Pastafarians. When I read Bobby’s letter, then thought about my colleague’s attempts to convince me about ID, I laughed so hard I nearly cried (and still do!). Bobby’s letter was the perfect ‘smack down’ of Intelligent Design creationist theory. It was done in such a clever way, that suddenly the misery I (and many others) were feeling was replaced with humour and joy. Atheism, bah humbug! I’m off to be a Pastafarian!!
Back in 2005…
With the birth of Pastafarianism and the FSM Forums came some of the most original humour in I’d read (and wrote) in years. Online piracy, religious writing and kerbside preaching suddenly had new meaning as light-hearted parody took hold.
The FSM Forum call to write a Pastafarian Bible the ‘Loose Canon’ was a serious attempt at writing “our own little book”. When the First Council of the Olive Garden was born, the initial momentum was like an unstoppable force. Under the watchful tuition of the First Council, we became poets and scripture writers, and it was heaps cool! At first, The Canon became just a parody of the Bible.
But it was becoming abundantly clear that The Canon it had taken on a life of its own, becoming a parody about all aspects of life, but with good humour, like Bobby’s Kansas Board Letter.
While the First Council of the Olive Garden was a mighty attempt his bring Noodly works to life, its attempts ended as quickly as it began. The initial rush of joy was replaced with division and argument by forum members. After much ‘throwing of toys from the pram’ and general discontent, the First Council of the Olive Garden was simply disbanded. The Loose Canon writings laid dormant for years as a series of ‘old threads’ on the FSM Forum for years. It was like the Dead Sea Scrolls all over again!!
The Noodly dream seemed over – but it definitely wasn’t!
Back in 2005…
After a bit of consideration, I eventually left that small office job for a much better one. Thanks FSM!
Now in 2010…
The Works of The Second Council of the Olive Garden have now seen those original dreams realised. His Holy works have been not only resurrected but improved upon (like a certain software company of note!). And a new generation of Pastafarians has completed the realisation of the dream…
The completion of the Loose Canon!! Woot!
To all those inspired by the Noodly One, both back then and now, go forth into this gloomy world and make people smile with his noodly glory.
Not only will it make you feel good, but you’ll put on heaps of weight celebrating his noodly deliciousness.
Praised Be to His Noodly Appendages – and may the Sauce be with You!
The Most Inspired
DaveL – Second Council of The Olive Garden