What Is the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

(Last Updated On: July 20, 2020)

What Is the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

No, this isn’t some creature we pulled from the back of the office fridge after it was left in there too long. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is something quite a few people follow, sightings or otherwise. In fact, there is an entire church built around it. So, what exactly is the Flying Spaghetti Monster anyway?

Pastafarian Origins

That’s right, Pastafarianism is the shorter name for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It’s what you get when you squish the words “pasta” and “Rastafarian” together to make a single word. While pasta doesn’t need any context–we’re dealing with a Spaghetti Monster–Rastafarianism has some history behind it.

Rastafarianism is one of a handful Abrahamic religions, formed during the 1930s. Some other big names in the Abrahamic religion ring include Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Back to Rastafarianism, it’s based on a somewhat narrow interpretation of the Bible–as quite a few Biblical followings are. There’s still a monothesitic (single) “God” entity, though they are referred to as Jah. Each individual is believed to have some portion of Jah within them, where Jah’s entirely human form is Jesus Christ. 

In context, Rastafarianism was formed as a reaction against British colonialism in the 1930s. Afro-Jamaican communities were continually marginalized by British colonists. So you can probably see why they’d want to push back a bit.

While Pastafarianism is considered a dedicated religion, it too is reactionary in nature. While not borne of strife and human suffering, Pastafarianism is also seen as a movement putting forth a more carefree outlook on religion. It also is opposed to the idea of teaching creationism in public education. 

No really, their version of The Creation of Adam is called Touched by His Noodly Appendage and it’s just as great as it sounds. 

Origins of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

As we mentioned earlier, Pastafarianism is reactionary in nature, as is the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It made its public appearance in 2005 to protest a decision in Kansas that permitted the teaching of intelligent design (another type of creationism) instead of evolution in public schools. This appearance was via an open letter–satirical in nature–written by Bobby Henderson. 

He demanded that if science classrooms were going to teach intelligent design/creationism alongside evolution, then equal time should be dedicated to “Flying Spaghetti Monsterism.”

Afterwards, the Flying Spaghetti Monster would become one of those internet trends, thankfully healthier than some of the other internet trends and challenges. 

Anyway, once it became trending, the Flying Spaghetti Monster would become a strong icon of opposition regarding the teaching of creationism in public schools.

If you’ve never heard of Russel’s teapot before our Pasta-God-Friend may be of assistance. It’s one of those philosophical concepts used to point out logical fallacies. The point is, something isn’t right just because you can’t prove it wrong. 

The Flying Spaghetti Monster is often seen as a more modern version of this teapot. 

Pastafarian Beliefs

Given that Pastafarianism is about unfalsifiable claims, you can bet their beliefs carry “big Spaghetti Monster vibes.” This probably becomes exceptionally more clear when you see that Henderson himself has come out and said the following.

“The only dogma allied in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the rejection of dogma.”

Because the origins of Pastafarianism are mostly a reaction to creationism, many of its core beliefs are reactions to the tenets of creationism.

The universe is believed to have been created when the both invisible and undetectable Flying Spaghetti Monster got super drunk and decided to make the universe as we know it. Because it’s invisible and undetectable through divine machination, it’s impossible to disprove the existence of the Spaghetti Monster. Oh, also, because the universe was created while drunk, we get a flawed world!

Flying Spaghetti and the Law

Pastafarianism is generally speaking not legally recognized as an official religion. Though it’s pretty close in some places, like New Zealand, wherein Pastafarians can be authorized to officiate marriages.

Nebraska ruled that Pastafarianism is a parody religion, so while kind of recognized, Pastafarians are still denied religious accommodation from the US federal government. 

Generally speaking, the law hasn’t been on the side of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Peaceful Pastafarian rallies were attacked by Christian Orthodox activists in Russia in 2013. It ended with the Pastafarians getting arrested, rather than the Orthodox instigators. 

A high school student in North Carolina was suspended for wearing pirate symbols as a show of Pastafarian Pride. Pirates are seen as divine beings, by the way. The lack of pirates is the heralded cause of global warming. Jury’s still out on whether or not internet piracy and downloads will help keep the glaciers intact.

Suffice to say, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is no longer just a symbol for the absurdity of blindly following faith. It’s also a symbol of free speech. 

So enjoy your next plate of spaghetti and crack a beer open for our invisible and undetectable friend, or something? 

We hope instead of “Rest in Peace” the Flying Spaghetti Monster says “Rest in Spaghetti, Never Forgetti.” Anyway, click some pasta here.

About the Author:

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Kyler is a content writer at Sporcle living in Seattle, and is currently studying at the University of Washington School of Law. He's been writing for Sporcle since 2019; sometimes the blog is an excellent platform to answer random personal questions he has about the world. Most of his free time is spent drinking black coffee like water.