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Pastafarian Infidels!

Entry 1661, on 2014-06-23 at 20:59:08 (Rating 4, Religion)

A recent interview on the New Zealand TV program "Campbell Live" has caused a lot of amusement and a certain amount of controversy as well. It involved an individual, known simply as Russell, who chose to wear a colander (aka pasta strainer) on his head while a photo was taken for his driver license. Why? Well here's my summary of the interview which might explain...

Campbell described the situation as magnificent and mad. Russell was wearing his colander during the TV interview. He wore one while getting his driving license, and the license with the photo appeared on the internet leading to this brief moment of fame. Russell says the driver license is real and Campbell asks what point was he making?

He says he was being humorous but with a serious intent. He wanted to make people think by making them laugh. He was fully complying with NZ law. The point is that he was claiming same privileges as those who believe in "a magic man in the sky". They can wear religious headwear, and the colander (also known as a pasta strainer) is his.

At this point I should clarify what's going on here, just in case you have never heard of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (Google "Flying Spaghetti Monster"). It is a satirical religion and its followers are known as "Pastafarians". Because their deity is a spaghetti monster, wearing a pasta strainer makes sense.

Russell claims he is just making point about absurdity of the concessions made for religion. He agrees these are minor concessions but they are still ridiculous. Campbell says that In New Zealand we have a fairly good balance for religious privileges which do no harm. Russell says yes and no, and that the problem is that people's beliefs inform their actions, for example look at what is happening in Iraq right now.

He finished the interview by observing that: this is just one little poke at whole thing, and if only everyone made their points in such a harmless way the world would be a better place.

So this is all about making fun of religious beliefs, and why not because most of them are utterly ridiculous. I have commented before that I think moderate believers (usually unwittingly) help support extremists by simply sharing and encouraging the same incoherent and irrational beliefs (and that's exactly what they are despite post hoc rationalisations by people like Richard), so I think making fun of religion is a really positive move.

The comments about the incident on the internet were quite varied. Some were very supportive but others were quite dismissive. Here are some examples...

Comment 1: Russell's a dick if he's trying to get at people wearing headwear for licence photos.

My response: Yeah well I think there might have been a bit more to it than that. Wearing headwear is just the outward manifestation of irrationality. The point is that there are many strict rules in society which can be bypassed if a religion is involved. This doesn't seem to be fair, plus it makes religions seem more important and worthy of respect that they should be.

Comment 2: 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 10:15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

My response: So nasty old God makes a reference to how he killed thousands of innocent people after his little display of temper at Sodom and Gomorrah (not to mention turning Lot's wife into a pillar of salt, and let's not even get started on what happened after that!) and is now threatening people who don't respect his immoral fraud. Now you know why us atheists all love your religion so much!

Comment 3: And it starts... nice one everyone. Buying in to this... really? Just have an argument over this guy who has the right to practice his view... his view is his view and he has every right to have his religion, whether we believe it or not. It was a statement he made, and Campbell live chose to glorify his statement. AWESOME news. Im guessing there wasn't much on the ole newsboard today.

My response: Well yes, you have a point. I watch Campbell Live most days (it's on while I'm cooking dinner otherwise I don't watch TV much because it's crap) and it is usually very clear when there is a "slow news day" because Campbell features some sort of rather inane item instead of real news.

Comment 4: To those Christians out there that's Jesus spreading words of fear and forced obedience, it's not just a 'muslim' thing. The church of the spaghetti monster does not threaten its people, it is the greatest religion on the planet bar none.

My response: Sacrilege! Whoever made this comment will be stomped into oblivion by the hooves of the one true goddess: the Invisible Pink Unicorn. That is the one true religion! (yeah, just Google "Invisible Pink Unicorn")

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