A Year Long Journey Into Pasta & Leaving Atheism Behind

Over the past year, Atheist Analysis has had the pleasure of getting to know a fine young gentleman named Joey Kirkman.  His book Bedtime Bible Stories was a great inspiration for our organization as we looked for tools to provide those in the atheist movement resources to help combat religion.  Joey, who has in recent years identified as an anti-theist, and even skeptic, has taken on another label in hopes of trying on a new religion.  He has recently converted to and become a Pastafarian.  That is right you heard it here, Joey Lee Kirkman has given up being an anti theist and joined the ranks of Pastafarians everywhere. joey8

Many of you may wonder, what is a Pastafarian and what church do they belong to?  According to Joey, Pastafarians are associated with The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.  Many of you have probably heard the phrase “rAmen” or “praise his noodly appendage” before, but now they are associated with this new religion.  The website claims they have been officially around since 2005, but have existed for many years out of sight.  On first look, we see that they claim to be a legitimate religion and that they feel they deserve the same respect that Christianity does.  They have a sacred text, a “god”, and a belief system structured around what they feel was given to them from the prophet Bobby Henderson.  The one thing that struck me as odd is their only tenant that they require for everyone to follow.

“By design, the only dogma allowed in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the rejection of dogma. That is, there are no strict rules and regulations, there are no rote rituals and prayers and other nonsense. Every member has a say in what this church is and what it becomes.”

They then go on to provide a few general comments about their beliefs.

  1. We believe pirates, the original Pastafarians, were peaceful explorers and it was due to Christian misinformation that they have an image of outcast criminals today
  2. We are fond of beer
  3. Every Friday is a Religious Holiday
  4. We do not take ourselves too seriously
  5. We embrace contradictions (though in that we are hardly unique)
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Atheist Analysis Presents the “Personal Journey Series” – Jonny Brotherton

In my younger days, if I wasn’t at home playing video games like any normal child, I was at church…every time the doors were open. As a pastors kid, church was the ultimate place to play. It had long hallways perfect for bouncy balls, and plenty of pews to hide under. We actually had the popular plastic crawl tubes, slides, globes that look like helicopters, giant tic tac toe, and mini climbable nets— the combination of 6 super McDonalds play places combined in our children’s department to make one massive labyrinth of exploration and excitement, complete with multicolored ball pit. It was the place some kids dream of.

From kindergarten through high school I went to a Christian private school where I participated in and eventually lead weekly chapel services. During the summers I was always in a church Bible school or participating in a Christian sports camp. As I grew older I started volunteering to support these events and participated in global mission trips. Every week I sacrificed ten percent of my income to the church and throughout my childhood created several small not for profit campaigns to fund Christian mission opportunities for others. Monday nights were visitation. We would travel to those who recently visited our church, invite them back, and on occasion discuss the Christian gospel. If there was a Christian gathering I was there; Awanas, VBS, Fall Festival, Christmas Concert, Easter Play, you name it. Every Wednesday night was our youth gathering and when I graduated, that became college group on thursdays, where I picked up supporting the audio/video department for middle school. Soon, I was managing our media services for elementary, middle school, high school, college, and even corporate services in a church of over five thousand members. I participated in a band that led worship music for the elementary and middle school departments. I led Christian small groups for middle school students and participated in college campus Bible studies.
Continue reading “Atheist Analysis Presents the “Personal Journey Series” – Jonny Brotherton”