The vision of the Australian Pastafarian Lobby is to see Pastafarian principles and ethics accepted and influencing the way we are governed, do business and relate to each other as a community.
APL aims to foster a more compassionate, just and moral society by seeking to have the positive public contributions of the Pastafarian faith reflected in the political life of the nation.
APL, established in 2013, operates in the Federal Parliament, and in all the state and territory parliaments, and is neither party partisan nor denomination-of-pasta-sauce-aligned.
APL does not seek to be the peak political voice for the Church of the FSM, but to facilitate a professional engagement of church with the state which allows for the voice of the church and individual Pastafarians to be effective in the public square.
So you want to be a Pastafarian and support the APL?
Great. Consider yourself a member. You don’t need to pay anything – If you want you can sign up online by clicking on Join.
How to help the church
You can do that by spreading the word. Tell people about Pastafarianism and the APL. Point out that we’re the world’s most peaceful mainstream religion, having started no wars in our God’s name. As far as I know there are no deaths attributed to our religion.
Can I be a member if I don’t literally Believe in the FSM?
Yes you can. For the same reason that many in other religions don’t literally believe their scripture, you can be a Pastafarian without being a True Believer of our scripture. In other words, do you know Christians who don’t take the Bible literally – but who consider themselves True Christians, nonetheless? So do I. In fact, True Belief is not often a requirement of religion. Most religions are comprised of a group of people with similar – but not exact – world views. Pastafarianism is no different in that regard.
Whatever you decide, remember this
Pastafarianism is a real, legitimate religion, as much as any other. The fact that many see this is as a satirical religion doesn’t change the fact that by any standard one can come up with, our religion is as legitimate as any other.
Is this a joke?
It’s not a joke. Elements of our religion are often described as satire and there are many members who do not literally believe our scripture, but this isn’t unusual in religion – it’s only more obvious in the case of our particular religion. A lot of Christians, for example, don’t believe the Bible is literally true – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t True Christians.
If you say Pastafarians must believe in a literal Flying Spaghetti Monster to be True Believers, then you can make a similar argument for Christians. There is a lot of outlandish stuff in the Bible that rational Christians choose to ignore. We do the same with our scripture. This is intentional.
A lot of Pastafarians seem to be anti-religion and/or atheists – why is this?
We’re not anti-religion. This is not an atheists lobby. Anyone and everyone is welcome to join our church including current members of other religions. Note to the religious: You are welcome here.
Let me make this clear: we are not anti-religion, we are anti-crazy nonsense done in the name of religion. There is a big difference. Our ideal is to scrutinize ideas and actions but ignore general labels.
I don’t believe you or any of your so-called followers actually believe any of this.
Some Pastafarians honestly believe in the FSM, and some see it as satire. I would just make the point that satire is an honest, legitimate basis for religion. Satire relies on truth to be effective. If it’s a joke, it’s a joke where to understand the punchline you must be conscious of underlying truth – think about that!
Compare our religion to those that are built on lies. I am not talking necessarily about mainstream religions (which themselves are often full of mysticism and ad-hoc reasoning), but think of cults, or churches where the leaders are scamming their followers out of money. These are groups where the followers fully believe. Are these churches legitimate since they have many True Believers?
Or can we agree that religion is as much about community as any shared faith. By any rational metric, Pastafarians are as legimate a religious group as any. Arguably more so, since we’re honest and rational.
To what extent do Pastafarians need evidence to support their beliefs? What is considered valid evidence, and why are some religious ideas lacking evidence believed more widely than others? Why is Christianity more widely accepted than Pastafarianism?
For many religions, acceptance is due to the time it has been around and due to the number of people who already follow it. For potential followers it’s often less a consideration of evidence, and more a judgment that the collective group of followers is better informed. That millions or billions of people already follow this religion is strong social proof that there is something to it. The larger the group and the longer it has been around, the more pronounced the effect.
But nonbelievers are overreaching when they dismiss the phenomenon of religion as wrong and useless because it so often lacks a basis in evidence. The fact that millions of people get something positive out of a religion – even if it is based in superstition – *does* mean something. But that’s not to say it’s True, only that it has Value. For many people, religion is about being part of a community and being part of something bigger and more important than themselves.
Nonbelievers would be better off criticising only on the negative, damaging parts of religion, and being less judgmental about the idea of religion in general. Nonbelievers get hung up asking for evidence when really we should be looking at why does religion thrive despite evidence? We should be pushing the idea that faith is not equivalent to evidence-based-reasoning without insisting that it’s inferior, only that they are different ways of seeing the world. And that the problems happen when these world views clash.
Pastafarianism is different than most religions in that we explicitly make the point that our scripture need not be believed literally. In other religions this is known but not often said out loud (Many Christians don’t take the Bible literally but won’t volunteer this). Pastafarian scripture has some outlandish and sometimes contradictory components – and unlike the scripture of mainstream religion, these pieces were intentional and obvious, and our congregation is aware of this.
But what I find interesting is that when people object to the idea of Pastafarianism, it’s never with our scripture or ideas they suspect to be tongue-in-cheek. They object to the most intentional, honest, real components of our religion. It’s the times when we break from satire that we’re criticized, the times when I say something tolerant or hopeful about Christians that I’m called names. I am convinced there is a large number of people who need to believe that ours is not a legitimate religion because it can’t exist in their world view.
Well, I can only say this to those people: it’s only because of the insistence that we were *not* legitimate, that there was motivation to *be* a legitimate religion. You see, our religion, like Christianity and other mainstream religions, is based *not* on a foundation of evidence, but of community. The Pastafarian church was built and its legitimacy formed by people tired of being disenfranchised for thinking rationally. We have every right to exist and form a religious community. That many of us don’t literally believe our own superstitions or in the existence of our own God is evidence that we’re thinking.
About our prophet Bobby Henderson (Pasta Be Upon Him)
Education: Negligible (B.S. Physics)
Location: Grew up in Oregon, USA. College: Oregon, New Zealand. After college I lived in Nevada and then Arizona, and then Oregon again, and then I have been wandering-while-working for the last ~3 years, most of that in the Philippines, most of that on Boracay island.
Occupation when not engaged as prophet of FSM: Hobo. Also sometimes nerd work on or around computers. Sometimes writing things for money. You can probably hire me to write something or do computer nerd work for you, probably cheap.