The Flying Spaghetti Monster is the "god" in "Pastafarianism", a parody religion that began as a critique of the Kansas Board of Education's decision to allow the teaching of intelligent design in public schools. Arguing that intelligent design was a thinly-veiled attempt to bring religion into the classroom, Bobby Henderson constructed "Pastafarianism" as a new theological system and argued that, if schools wished to "teach the controversy," they should teach "Pastafarianism" alongside evolution and intelligent design.
Since then, many atheists and secularists have claimed to be "Pastafarians", implicitly using its obvious shortcomings to criticize actual religions, especially Christianity. More prominent atheists have also mentioned it, such as Richard Dawkins in his book The God Delusion.
"Pastafarians" claim to worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a flying pile of spaghetti and meatballs, by eating spaghetti and dressing in pirate regalia. "Pastafarianism" also holds pirates in high esteem, claiming that they were good men whose deeds were perverted by the media. They attribute global warming to the decrease of pirates, presenting graphs showing that global temperatures have risen over the past centuries in rough inverse correlation to the number of pirates.
According to the letter by Bobby Henderson to the Kansas Board of Education, the Flying Spaghetti Monster has the following powers:
- Can travel through solid matter
- Can create and alter anything
- Plants evidence and changes test results to confuse evolutionists.