The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Readings

The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

by Bobby Henderson

Villard, 165 pp., $13.95 (paper)

You've heard the one about the Kansas City School Board deciding whether to teach intelligent design alongside evolution in their science classes, right? It was no joke: This actually happened, last year. Where the joke came in was when Bobby Henderson, a twentysomething physics major from Oregon, wrote the board an open letter insisting that, if intelligent design were to be taught, the theory should mention the deity of Henderson's personal (and created-just-for-the-occasion) religion: the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

This open letter proliferated its way across the World Wide Web as such cleverly constructed bits of philosophical snarkery tend to – like chain lightning. Which led, as if instantly, to T-shirts, bumper stickers, car ornaments, and a whole range of FSM paraphernalia for promoting one's personal belief in what's come to be called Pastafarianism.

Now Villard's published a trade paperback of The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, in which chief prophet Henderson, with help from several collegiately degreed acolytes, brings us the exegesis of the Noodly One to improve our understanding of His role in the creation of all that exists. Especially the parts that include pirates.

Using altered stock photography, crude drawings, and much tongue-in-cheek bullshittery, the Gospel tells us what's wrong with the whole evolution idea, provides evidence of Pastafarianism throughout human history, explores the connection between the diminishing pirate population and global warming, and reveals what the FSM prefers that we, as his sentient creations, do with our lives. It also describes the heaven – complete with a Beer Volcano and a Stripper Factory – that awaits the true believer after bodily death.

The book is, mostly, a padded, steroidal version of Henderson's original school board letter. It's a necessary bit of comic relief in the overly serious battle between science and superstition, a volume that will appeal to people fed up with the ongoing debates over Intelligent Design and other such idiocies. As the Pastafarians solemnly intone: RAmen.

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