A student has been suspended from school in America for coming to class dressed as a pirate.
But the disciplinary action has provoked controversy â€“ because the student says that the ban violates his rights, as the pirate costume is part of his religion.
Bryan Killian says that he follows the Pastafarian religion, and that as a crucial part of his faith, he must wear ‘full pirate regalia’ as prescribed in the holy texts of Pastafarianism.
The school, however, say that his pirate garb was disruptive.
Pastafarians follow the Flying Spaghetti Monster (pictured), and believe that the world was created by the touch of his noodly appendage. Furthermore, they acknowledge pirates as being ‘absolute divine beings’, and stress that the worldwide decline in the number of pirates has directly led to global warming.
In several years of debating atheism and theism, I have made an observation. Ask any believer what would convince him he was mistaken and persuade him to leave his religion and become an atheist, and if you get a response, it will almost invariably be, “Nothing – I have faith in my god.” Although such people may well exist, I personally have yet to meet a theist who would acknowledge even the possibility that his belief was in error. Many theists, by their own admission, structure their beliefs so that no evidence could possibly disprove them. In short, they are closed-minded, and have been taught to be closed-minded. (For more on this, see “Thoughts in Captivity“.)
In light of this, it is ironic that atheists are often accused of being the closed-minded ones. Fundamentalist proselytizers very frequently claim that we are hard-hearted, that we are dogmatic and irrational, that we reject God based on preconceived bias, and so on. Such claims result from psychological projection. Incapable of coping with the fact that there are some people who genuinely do not believe in their god, these theists simply deny that such people exist, and instead insist that everyone thinks the same way they do. Therefore, people who reach different conclusions than them must have some secret ulterior motive for not believing. This is truly ridiculous, but unfortunately, some people really believe it.
Thus, in the spirit of proving that atheists’ minds are not closed, I’ve assembled below a list of everything I can think of that I would accept as proof that a given religion is true. Also included are things that I would accept as circumstantial evidence of a particular religion’s truth and things that would not be acceptable to me as proof of anything. While I do not claim to speak for all atheists, I would confidently say that any religion that could produce one of the things from the first list would probably gain a great number of converts.
Don’t you love how altruistic priests can be? Giving up their lives to celibacy and poverty so they can better serve god? Take for example these delightful pastors.
Â Between them, the pastors have amassed a real estate fortune worth about $12 million. Each owns a multi-million-dollar country estate north of Toronto (Tim’s is worth as much as $5.5 million), they share a Florida vacation villa, and the pastors and their wives drive luxurious cars â€“ among them a Porsche Cayenne SUV, a Lexus RX 330 SUV and a Mercedes-Benz CLK 320 convertible.
Here we have a few pastors who take in $3,000,000/year from parishioners who donate 10% of their salary to the church.. this money is supposed to be used for non profit charitable work, but clearly, it’s not being used that way; unless you consider that the priests are supposed to be poor, which means they deserve the aid?
I guess in their mind they think god wants them to be taking in that kinda coin since they’re doing gods work, right? Or maybe they’re just llining their pockets with money from gullible saps who hope to buy their way into eternal heaven. Eitherway, both sides seem to be sleeping fine at night since those donating the money have this to say about it:
Â “I never heard of anything like that. But if I release my tithe and they misuse it, they have to face God.”
Sounds like they’ve been nicely brainwashed. Good stuff!