March 25, 2019 | 44° F

Swashbuckling steers Pastafarians to give treasures to charity

Photo by Tian Li |

‘Ahoy there,’ and ‘Yarr’ are a few phrases James Palmer, a School of Engineering junior, shouted yesterday in front of Brower Commons on the College Avenue campus.

What’s worse than pirates taking away your ship, family and home? Global warming, apparently.

And according to the Pastafarian Society at Rutgers, the two might be more connected than you think.

Pastafarians worship a deity known as the Flying Spaghetti Monster, who invented his own version of science, said Ben Davis, the captain of the Pastafarian Society.

“In his version, correlation does indeed equal causation, and we have found that a decrease in pirates has corresponded to an increase in temperature,” said Davis, a School of Engineering senior. “We concluded that the pirate must be the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s chosen people.”

To that end, the members of the Pastafarian Society dress like pirates, have sword fights with foam weapons, and celebrate national “Talk Like a Pirate day,” which was yesterday, by shouting “Arrrrs and “Ayes” from the steps of Brower Commons on the College Avenue campus.

At their first meeting of the semester at Scott Hall Tuesday, Davis said the society was endowed with an important mission to spread piracy around campus.

“Our voyage be one of piracy,” said Davis, a School of Engineering senior. “Why, do you ponder? For wishes and trinkets? Nay. Swashbuckling thrills? Nay. Booze and wenches? Nay … We know that only as the number of salty dogs roaming the blue seas fell that the world temperature began to rise. … Pirates be the holiest ones among us.”

He said he was hopeful to see so many people who have rejected the teachings of the “dark lord” Charles Darwin in favor of the words put down by the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s noodly appendage.

His next step was a pirate-themed song played on a guitar about the many positive attributes of him and his shipmates.

“We sail, pillage, plunder for the FSM, it may too be good fun, but we must prevent the end / for the Flying Spaghetti Monster grows angry with the world / for if the seas lack pirates, then the seas lack cold,” he sang.

The club does more than play pirates, though. At their meeting, the school’s best buccaneers discussed their plans for promoting charities and science education.

In fact, the Pastafarian religion began as a rhetorical exercise in response to Kansas schools teaching intelligent design rather than evolution in public classrooms, said James Palmer, the club’s “purser,” or treasurer.

“Bobby Henderson argued that if they devoted time to Christianity in class, they needed to give his theory time as well,” said Palmer, a School of Engineering junior.  “He said, ‘you have just as much scientific evidence for your theory as we do.’”

Henderson wrote the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which portrayed heaven as a volcano of beer and strippers, and hell as full of stale beer and STDs, Davis said.

Instead of the Ten Commandments, the Gospel has the “Eight I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts,” he said. The society studies the Old Pastament and the New Pastament, calls their holy book “The Loose Canon” and makes “rosarinis” instead of rosaries.

Paul Blessing, the club’s unofficial “first mate” said Pastafarians at Rutgers have contributed stories to the Loose Canon, a holy book of the Pastafarian religion.

He suggested the club make YouTube videos parodying the typical Christian Bible readings on the site.

“We are equal-opportunity insulters,” said Blessing, a School of Arts and Sciences senior.

The club discussed other upcoming events at their meeting and proposed new ones, such as the first “Cannon Ball,” a pirate-themed ball in late February.

Most of the club’s fundraising efforts go to Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a charity that combats childhood cancer, Palmer said.

The club might want to contribute to scientific research, he said, such as stem-cell research, although the club has not made any decisions yet.

Davis said he wanted the club to take a more active stance this year under his leadership.

The group also partners with the Atheist Student Alliance and the Pagan Student Association to promote their mutual agendas, Palmer said. The two groups occasionally have more serious philosophical discussions about religion, science and politics.

Davis said when he first encountered club members in full pirate regalia at his freshman student involvement fair, he found Pastafarianism strange and insulting.

After attending some meetings and talking to some students about the Flying Spaghetti Monster, however, he found it less offensive than it was hilarious.

“I could see that the purpose wasn’t any kind of anti-religious thing, but it was trying to protect the integrity of science classrooms,” he said. “So here I am, three years later, president of a club I once thought offensive.”

By Erin Petenko

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Targum.