ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls. It was inspired by this sign, some charming development from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer in her story "Salvaging" Part 2 and by the "hunger / starvation" square in my 11-25-14 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.


"Nudelmesse"


It began as a joke.

Bobbie Hender introduced the idea
of a Flying Spaghetti Monster
as a protest against teaching
creationism in public schools.

It didn't stay a joke.

People pounced on the Pastafarian religion
because it was funny, but they stayed
because it was worthwhile in other ways.

It encouraged a sense of humor
with silly art and regalia alike --
it's hard to take yourself too seriously
when you're wearing a colander on your head.

It supported free thought and skepticism,
teaching people about logical fallacies and
the difference between falsifiable
and nonfalsifiable assertions.

His Noodly Goodness was said
to have an interesting list of druthers:

I’d Really rather you didn’t use my existence
as a means to oppress, subjugate, punish,
eviscerate, and/or, you know, be mean to others.

I’d Really rather you didn’t judge people
for the way they look, or how they dress,
or the way they talk, or, well, just play nice, okay?

I’d Really rather you didn’t challenge
the bigoted, misogynist, hateful ideas of others
on an empty stomach. Eat, then go after the bullshit.


I’d Really rather you didn’t build multi-million-dollar
churches/temples/mosques/shrines to my noodly goodness
when the money could be better spent (take your pick):
a. Ending poverty, b. Curing diseases, c. Living in peace,
loving with passion, and lowering the cost of cable
.

Things got interesting when people
began to combine the druthers
and put them into action.

In Germany, a weak economy
left far too many people going hungry.

According to local custom, churches
promoted the times of their masses
on signs at the town entrances:
Kath. Messe Sonntag 10 Uhr

One day a new sign appeared:
Nudelmesse Freitag 10 Uhr

Curious, people made their way
to the little building, which was
nowhere near as fancy as
the other churches in town, but
did have a lovely stained-glass window
illustrating His Noodly Goodness.

The air smelled richly of spaghetti,
and the lone priest dished out
generous servings from a stock pot.

The only sound was that of people eating.

After a few minutes, one man asked,
"When is the sermon going to start?"

"There is no sermon," the priest explained.
"The preaching is nothing more than the pasta.
Besides, it's rude to talk with your mouth full."

"You're not going to proselytize?"
asked a homeless woman who was
accustomed to hearing sermons
in exchange for getting fed.

"If you want to stay after the Nudelmesse
for a spiritual discussion, you can,"
the priest said with a shrug.
"The Flying Spaghetti Monster just
wants us to feed people, not nag them."

That made the Nudelmesse very popular,
even though Germans were not
particularly fond of spaghetti.

That led to some discussion,
and the priest allowed that
noodles were noodles.

So the Friday Nudelmesse
continued to serve spaghetti,
while another on Monday
added Nudelsalat, which was
received with great enthusiasm.

After that came Spätzle on Tuesday,
Maultaschen on Wednesday,
and Schinkennudeln on Thursday.

Saturday and Sunday were left alone
as the holy days of other religions, who
often held potlucks and pancake breakfasts
to help feed their own congregations.

The Pastafarian Nudelmesse
was open to anyone and everyone,
spreading the good news
not through sermons
but through comfort food.

Nobody cared if the people attending
were male or female or other,
straight or queer or other,
superpowered or ordinary --
although if you watched closely,
you could see the strongmen and speedsters
going back for second and third servings,
which the priest dished out with a smile.

The humble little church was a place
where the hungry could come to eat
and be warm and be welcome.

If some of them stayed afterward
to discuss religion and philosophy and physics,
well, that was just the parmesan on the pasta.

* * *

Notes:

In local-America, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Pastafarianism was started by Bobby Henderson. In Terramagne-America, it was started by Bobbie Hender. This German sign advertises a Nudelmesse. You can read more about Pastafarian beliefs and the Eight "I'd Really Rather You Didn'ts."  As you can see, Pastafarianism has gained more ground in Terramagne than here, although in "Salvaging" Juan was exaggerating how much.

The German economy is not doing well, which leaves a lot of people homeless and/or hungry.

Kath. Messe Sonntag 10 Uhr
Catholic Mass Sunday 10 o'clock

Nudelmesse Freitag 10 Uhr
Noodle Mass Friday 10 o'clock

See a beautiful stained glass window of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Around the world, many charities only dispense food or other survival needs after people have listened to a sermon. I guess they haven't read (or don't care about) the observations that hungry people can't learn.

Nudelsalat is a German pasta salad. Spätzle is homemade egg noodles. Maultaschen is German stuffed pasta. Schinkennudeln is ham with noodles.

Discussing religion can be a challenge, especially in interfaith dialogue. There are tips on how to discuss religion calmly.

Ah, religiosity

Date: 2015-01-22 03:52 am (UTC)
zeeth_kyrah: A glowing white and blue anthropomorphic horse stands before a pink and blue sky. (Default)
From: [personal profile] zeeth_kyrah
I'm a fan of the Real Invisible Pink Unicorn, myself, but if we can balance the pirate/ninja equation (this usually requires dragons) we might just save the world from a terrible death by heat stroke. :)

Re: Ah, religiosity

Date: 2015-01-22 04:48 am (UTC)
technoshaman: BMW Motorrad (beemer)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
I have been known occasionally to ride (a) a yellow bike of the model seen above that has the FSM on the tank... I was going to take it off after I bought it, being as I am not myself a Pastafarian (though I recognise the validity and awesomeness of such a laid-back religion) but I got so many positive comments (and no negative ones) that I left it there... :) and (b) a wee black sportbike known as the Dread Pirate Ninja (being a Kawasaki formerly owned by the Dread Pirate Kermit, may he rest in peace). Being motorcycles, they *must* contribute balance.... :)

Oh. Dragons. My *other* bike... wears Night Dragon tyres. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2015-01-22 04:50 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
I love this. And once again, Germany surges ahead of the US in the realm of civilized behavior.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-01-22 05:58 am (UTC)
chanter_greenie: an older house and surrounding autumn scenery (Wisconsin autumn: smells like fall)
From: [personal profile] chanter_greenie
This actually makes me look twice at the FSM. I'm now pondering the merits of something I initially thought was simply joke fodder. :)

... Now I want spaghetti. I may have to come back to that maultaschen link too, because I'm tempted to try making some. Om nom nom.

OH!

Date: 2015-01-22 06:07 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
>>"The Flying Spaghetti Monster just
wants us to feed people, not nag them."<<

I don't know whether I laughed until I cried, or I cried until I laughed.

BRILLIANTLY done. I think this is now in my top-five favorites.

Re: OH!

Date: 2015-01-22 06:48 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
I've been working on the next story with Heron and Mallory, and she just demanded to know why he keeps feeding her...

Literally, that was the last line I typed before getting to work on the blog post for today.

His answer is now a tiny quirk of his lips and the quiet statement: "I'm a Pastafarian."

(no subject)

Date: 2015-01-22 08:02 pm (UTC)
brushwolf: Icon created by ScaperDeage on DeviantArt (Default)
From: [personal profile] brushwolf
So it wasn't a real incident, at least not yet?

(no subject)

Date: 2015-01-23 01:40 am (UTC)
zeeth_kyrah: A glowing white and blue anthropomorphic horse stands before a pink and blue sky. (Default)
From: [personal profile] zeeth_kyrah
The sign exists! And presumably the meeting-place to go with it. I don't know that the whole poem happens in this world, though.

Re: Well...

Date: 2015-01-24 09:22 pm (UTC)
brushwolf: Icon created by ScaperDeage on DeviantArt (Default)
From: [personal profile] brushwolf
Yes, so I was really really hopeful!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-01-22 05:41 am (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
Fun!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-13 07:30 am (UTC)
fayanora: Cyborg velociraptor by Djinni (Cyborg velociraptor by Djinni)
From: [personal profile] fayanora
Pastafarianism: Discordianism for a new generation.

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