In a world where religious freedom defines the people we are, it was no surprise to me when I found a new up and coming church ready to bust at the seems with support. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) is real and the creators have evidence to prove it.
The FSM movement began somewhere around January of 2005. In opposition of a Kansas State school board decision to include Intelligent Design in school curriculum, the creators of FSM to reacted. Intelligent Design (ID) is a modern day version of a theological argument for the existence of God. Those who support ID believe it to be a scientific method. But, the scientific community shuns the theory based on the idea that a “scientific” method must be provable through experimentation; thus the opposition.
Bobby Henderson, the founder of The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, began the movement with a simple letter written to the Kansas State Board of Education. A physics graduate from Oregon State University, Henderson believed the vote to include ID in annual school curriculums as an alternative to Biological Evolution was just as believable as the Flying Spaghetti Monster. After waiting several months for a response and receiving nothing, Henderson decided to post his letter online and the phenomenon was unleashed.
From approximately March 2005 to August 2006, The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster website has received 15 million unique hits. The original letter has been reported on in the New York Times and the Washington Post among many others and Henderson is now the leader of a real sect with real followers.
Henderson is not the only person fighting to keep the law separating church and state in tact. In September 2005, a lawsuit brought against the Dover Area School District in Pennsylvania by parents of students in the district charged the school with mandating the teaching of ID in the school curriculum. The Dover School System never had a chance to win the trial with the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the National Center for Science Education all supporting the plaintiffs. In December of 2005, Judge John E. Jones III ruled the mandate unconstitutional and the Dover school district was forced to remove any teachings related to ID from school science classes.
Whether Henderson’s theory of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Intelligent Design is where you lay your faith, the separation of church and state will not allow either to be taught in a public school system.
The fanatical success of the Flying Spaghetti Monster religion can be studied further at www.venganza.org.