Monday, February 23, 2015

Losing my religion: Atheism or ? (audio)

Crystal Quintero, Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly; Matthew Bell (PRI's The World)
Want spectacle and ceremony? Ask a German leader like this popular figure in Nuremberg.
The Catholic Church could learn something from Pope Benedict (the German Ratzinger) as he's still lurking behind the scenes to "advise" friendly Argentinian Pope Francis (
The Creation of Adam [by the Flying Spaghetti Monster God] (Arne Niklas Jansson)
German atheists seek recognition for "Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster"
Flying Spaghetti Monster God and Bruder
TEMPLIN, Germany - German Chancellor Angela Merkel was in Rome [actually in the nearby country called the Holy See, Vatican Corporation's headquarters, the last remnant of the Holy Roman Empire] over the weekend.

"Atheist" (Eli Christman/Gammaman)
And she said she had a “very cordial” meeting with [CEO] Pope Francis. That’s not so surprising for the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, who recently expressed how her Christian faith had an “important” place in her life.

But these are the kinds of news tidbits that rub RĂ¼diger Weida the wrong way. He is convinced that religion holds a privileged place in German society and that non-believers lack the same civil rights.

I don't approve! (Nazi pope)
Weida is a 63-year-old retiree who lives in the town of Templin. It’s about an hour’s drive outside of Berlin and happens to be Angela Merkel’s hometown. Templin is also where Weida founded the “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster,” in September last year. As one of the leading “Pastafarians” at the church, or non-church more accurately, Weida goes by the alias of “Bruder Speghettus.”
Weekly “Noodle Worship” begins at 10:00 am Fridays in a small building on Weida’s farmstead on the outskirts of town. It looks and feels somewhat like weekly worship services at mainstream Christian churches. There is an altar, time for prayers, scripture readings, hymns, and even a version of Holy Communion. But the similarities end pretty quickly.

It's the end of religion as we know it! And what about that forgotten plague? (PBS SoCaL)
(ManservantPablo) Jesus confronts the hate-filled Christian Westboro Baptist Church.
I blame you Nazis! (Stalin)
In Weida’s church, wine and bread are replaced by [a popular urine-flavored yeast and carbohydrate byproduct] and, you guessed it, cooked strands of spaghetti. “Amen” is replaced by “Ramen," and at the end of the service there are exhortations of “Beer-alleluia!”
Weida presided over the service as the “Noodler,” wearing a long yellow robe and a pink stole. The congregants, and there were only two of them on the chilly morning I [Matt Bell] paid a visit, dressed up like pirates.

Hitler Youth, 1930s (
Behind the altar was a painting of the church’s giant pasta deity. And in the next room, there were chairs for less formal gatherings of the faithful and a big banner that said, “Down with the unbelievers.”
After the service finished, I asked Weida if he actually believed in the divine nature of the “Flying Spaghetti Monster.”
“It’s a hard question for a Pastafarian,” he said. “We are all separated into two persons inside.” “Of course, I believe. But, of course, I also know it doesn’t exist,” Weida explained.
Just what we need, another hypocrite
Weida said he doesn’t see himself strictly as an atheist, but rather a humanist. “We are also not a religious group,” Weida explained. “But we adhere to a Weltanshauung,” or a complete worldview.
The more I asked for details about that worldview, the more ridiculous the answers got. For example, on the question of heaven, Weida said Pastafarians believe in a heaven-like existence in the afterlife that includes large amounts of beer and great numbers of strippers. More

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