Pastafarian Delivers Invocation Prayer at Rancho Cordova City Council Meeting

Steve Vincent, a self-described agnostic, supports the separation of church and state, and he was rightfully disturbed by the fact that the Rancho Cordova City Council (in California) opened its meetings with an invocation prayer.

Since it’s a non-sectarian prayer, a lawsuit may be out of the question, but Vincent decided to jump into the fray by getting ordained through the Universal Life Church and signing up on Facebook to deliver an invocation:

“Fortunately, I found the city to be very open and courteous to my request, although they did inquire what church I was with, and they joked a bit when I said they can put me down on the agenda as ‘Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster,’” he said.

Vincent spent his time talking about how it didn’t make much sense to have an invocation in the first place. He didn’t represent the faith of other people and they didn’t represent him:

“God? I’m not sure if you’re there. You’re an agenda item on our government meeting. I’m not sure that’s what you had in mind for prayer, God.”

The best part about the prayer may be that there are people in the audience with hands clasped and heads bowed.

It may have been a publicity stunt, but it’s one any one of us could do. It was free, Vincent said, and it took only seconds to sign up. Maybe if more non-Christians followed his lead, many city councils would do away with the useless tradition altogether.

(Thanks to Judy for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Mark W.

    Sweet, now I can go and represent my sect, the Piest Pastafarians. We of the Piest Pastifarian faith have split from the more traditional pastifarians and recognized the delectable truth that the FSM is only one god of many. The great Pie in the Sky is also worthy of our praise.

    Bless us with your fruity goodness and deliver us from the burnt crust. May the noodles be ever al dente.

    Ramen

    • DKeane123

      I belong to the Reformed Church of the Pastafarians. We understand the truth to be that you can not only boil for your sins in a fine ragu, but also an alfredo or pesto. And before you make fun of us, that silly Universalist Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn’t even believe in boiling – their theology makes no sense!

      • Buckley

        I disagree, We are the True Reformed Pastafarians as we are Gluten Free…the pasta was created in His image and it was without gluten.

        Quinoa!

        • DKeane123

          Whole Wheat Gluten Free is Heresy!

    • Ron

      There is no god but FSM, and Bobby (Pasta Be Upon Him) is his messenger.

    • Mitch

      Blessings be upon the Lasagnafarians and their deity Bechamel.

  • the moother

    Now I know what I’ll be getting myself for xmas…. one of those shiny, gold-embossed certificates of ordination…

    • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

      You can get those for only $20 at the CoFSM website, venganza.org. I’ve got mine!

  • Henry Stephen

    Is there a gluten-free sect of Pastafarianism?

    • Bad_homonym

      I believe the Maranaran Monks are who you seek!

    • Spuddie

      The Flying Spaghetti Monster considers gluten avoidance to be a curse and such people should be shunned. It was their choice to live a gluten free life full of sin.

      As The Flying Spaghetti Monster followers we love the gluttn avoider but hate their gluten avoidance. We know their non-gluten ways will only lead to perdition. So we disagree with them. They should not be allowed within the presence of good hearted pious The Flying Spaghetti Monster followers.

      =)

      • Joseph George

        Some people think Glutten Avoidance is an inborn trait caused by an allergy. . . And that is what Science says. . . Where is your god now?

        • Spuddie

          But we have our own studies by the Journal of Gluten Loving Scientists (self-published and unaccredited of course) which state that they are evil in nature and can be changed with the right therapy.

          Should gluten avoidance be recognized by society, it will lead to mass hysteria and the eating of chocolate cream pies and fried pork bellies. Who knows were it will go?

          • allein

            I am amused by the fact that your spelling is one letter off from both the correct spelling of “gluten” and the word “glutton.” :)

            • Spuddie

              D’oh. Corrected.

              • Mark W.

                My friends, we of the Piest Pastafarian faith embrace our Gluten deficient brothers and sisters. We feel that the suffering you already endure here in the earthly realm will be alleviated when he stretches forth his noodly appendage and raises you up to live with the great Pie in the Sky. 72 strippers and an endless keg await you in paradise.

                • Spuddie

                  That’s it, I am converting over to your sect. Endless kegs are good enough for me.

                  There is no ritual mutilation, circumcision or near drowning involved, right?

        • rtanen

          I used to think that I couldn’t eat gluten. Then, one day I heard about Pastafarianism. I realized that if I ever wanted to connect with the FSM, I would need to overcome my sinful avoidance of pasta. Now, I eat gluten. Therefore, if you avoid gluten, you, too, can overcome your sin through the love and guidance of the FSM.

          (Based on a true story… gluten is not actually worse for autistics than it is for anyone else, and my gluten avoidance was actually a mistake.)

      • Ron

        Let him who is without flatulence cast the first noodle.

      • Matt in Memphis

        May the FSM smite all gluten gluttons!

    • JuneAbend

      Yes…and we reformed seventh day Glutenites are the one true faith…all these other sects are heretics, and shall be be roasted by his Merciful Noodliness forever! (In a lightly-oiled pan, with garlic and onions at 425 degrees.)

      • ZenDruid

        Splitter! ;-)>

        • JuneAbend

          We Glutenites must stick together! OK, sorry about that one.

    • Buckley

      We are the True Reformed Pastafarians! Quinoa!

    • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

      Rice noodles are gluten free, but verily they are Pasta too. Come and partake, and we’ll see you at the Beer Volcano in heaven!

      • Henry Stephen

        I’ll be there!

  • Paul (not the apostle)

    Do Pastafarians believe in Angel Hair spaghetti, or is it just and attempt by other theists to co-op the true religion of the flying spagetti monster. It is interesting that their god is a monster like all other gods

    • skwerl

      I’m sorry to say that there is no such thing as angel hair spaghetti. Spaghetti is spaghetti. Angel hair is capellini. There may be splinter groups of Pastafarians that worship capellini, penne, and farfalle, hailing them each as the One True Pasta, but they can’t be lumped all together. :)

      • freemage

        Sure they can, you just have to forget to include butter or salt in the water. They lump quite nicely, then.

  • JET

    Proud of what The Blaze has dubbed “Commie-fornia!”

    • Joseph George

      We liberals can play word games too, during a recent boycott of a homophobic fast food chain, I dubbed it “Hick Fil-a” and it was good.

      • allein

        I got a postcard in the mail last week advertising a Chick-fil-a that is opening in my local mall. Up until now there has only been one in the area (that I know of) and that was half an hour away. And we just got a Hobby Lobby nearby, too. :-/

        • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

          Uh oh. Do you live in Mormon-land like I do? We just got a CFA not long ago, and Hobby Lobby opened up a year or so ago down the highway from me. I wrote ‘em both to tell ‘em why they’d never see another dime of my filthy lucre. My filthy, filthy lucre.

          • allein

            No I live in central New Jersey…
            .
            HL is about 20 minutes away, and I have 2 other craft store chains closer, so even if I did need to shop for such things often, HL would not be my first choice regardless. I did go in a few weeks ago when I was up at another store in the shopping center just out of curiosity, but I wasn’t looking to buy anything, anyway. I noticed lots of Christian themes in the wall art section. And CFA uses peanut oil in their fryers, so I can’t eat much there anyway.

      • Kevin_Of_Bangor

        But their chicken sandwiches are so damn good. If I had one near me I would have a hard time not getting one now and then.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          I haven’t tried it yet, but there are recipes online for making your own, posted in direct response to CFA’s support of murder.

          • Kevin_Of_Bangor

            To much work to make your own, at least for me it is and don’t forget about their waffle fries, those are delicious as well.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              I actually work like 0.2 miles from a Chik-Fil-A, but I never went there even before they were outed as evil. Ten years ago, I worked in the same parking lot at them, and became thoroughly sick of those greasy-ass filets.

              Yeah, they do have to sliced and marinated at home, but this is what KIDS are for, silly!

              What? You make the kids slice and marinate the chicken. What’d you think I meant? ^_>

              • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                It doesn’t take that long to marinate and bread chicken breasts. I’ll give you this: CFA is AWESOME. Amazing. Delicious. But homemade is even better. The pickle juice is the secret.

  • ZenDruid

    I just moved to Sac County, close by Rancho. This is nice.

    Marinara!

    Ramen.

  • Thom

    I have to thank everyone that commented. You brightened my day.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    I now it is early but…

    • baal

      It’s not past Thanksnoodling yet!

    • DKeane123

      Oh, I;m going to find this one again come December

  • Mitch

    Damn, these comments are making me hungry. Curse your culinary quips!

  • A3Kr0n

    I think it took a lot of courage to do what he did. We need a t-shirt!

  • Carmen

    I’m in Sacramento County…very proud of the way this was handled! Ramen!

  • Itarion

    Wait a minute…. I didn’t see the brimstone and hellfire protesters. Where were the brimstone and hellfire protesters? That is my FAVORITE PART of any nonbelief in the spotlight event. You can’t have an event like this without some sort of brimstone and hellfire protest.

  • Ransford Hyman

    Way to go SacFAN!! One for the home team!!! I can’t stop chuckling when the reporter says “Church of the Flying Sphagetti Monster” hahaha. She’s so serious when she says it hahaha

  • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

    I just need to deliver a very sectarian prayer here, since most City Councils think that’s just hunky dory for their meetings:

    Our Pasta
    Who art in the colander
    Swallowed be Thy name
    Thy Noodle come
    Thy Sauce be yum
    On top some grated Parmesan
    Give us this day our garlic bread
    And give us our cutlasses, as we swashbuckle, swear and splice the mainbrace
    And lead us not into vegetarianism
    But deliver us some pizza
    For Thine is the Beer and the Stripper and the Sauce
    For ever and ever
    RAmen.

  • Dave The Sandman

    Oh boy….I can hear the sirens of the outraged fundy Whaaaaaaa-mbulances already

  • Adrian Rainbow

    Can I get a Ramen!

  • Tucker Lawrence FitzGerald

    I totally get that the FSM invites us to be playful and witty, so at the risk of being all serious: I grew up Pentecostal / Evangelical, graduated from seminary, and still attend a Christian church. I also feel the deep loved of the FSM every time I see a FSM decal on the back of a car, and feel the FSM’s divine anger every time I see a fish decal. Maybe I’m just halfway down the path to true FSM devotion, but I feel like a bit of an outsider in both camps :) All of that background info to say that the comment in the article “The best part about the prayer may be that there are people in the audience with hands clasped and heads bowed.” didn’t actually strike me as ironic or funny. I mean, I understand the irony and humor. But that would totally be me. I guess I do find something weighty and solemn and transcendent about approaching religious spaces, even when that space is the mourning of all the nonsense and evil that has taken place in the name of so many gods (the FSM excepted). I felt like Vincent had a bit of that sense too. In the sense that he seemed to act like he was visiting a bit of a sacred space in the council / audience’s interior lives. Not that this led him to censor the truth of the FSM, but just that he seemed to have some reverence. If that makes any sense?

    May the Flying Spaghetti Monster have mercy on us all..

  • freemage

    I’m a trinitarian–I offer my prayers to Russel’s Celestial Teapot, The Flying Spaghetti Monster AND The Invisible Pink Unicorn, who of course are three and one at the same time.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Here was his prayer:

    God, I’m not sure if you’re there, but I volunteered to pray tonight to ask you a question.

    That question is: Should we pray at this meeting? I’m not sure what the point of praying here is, because our constitution’s 1st amendment allows anybody to pray here, whether it be Wiccan, or Flying Spaghetti Monster, or even to Satan. And I know that I don’t want someone else to pray for me, so people probably don’t want me to pray for them. So it just seems unnecessary to be praying here. God, I know some people believe that you don’t want your name taken in vain, and you’re an agenda item on a government meeting, it’s just, I’m not sure that’s what you had in mind for prayer, God.

    And the most important question for you God is, “What is the right thing to do?”
    I know you want us to do what’s right, and to treat our neighbors with respect, so I have to wonder if our non-believing neighbors are being respected if we pray here, because this meeting is a matter of taxes and law that we don’t have a chance or choice to be represented here. So God I think a good measure of right and wrong is the Golden Rule, and I would just ask our believing neighbors to look in their hearts and wonder how would they feel if maybe the shoe were on the other foot and maybe non-believers were in the majority and there was an agenda item to proclaim disbelief. You now it just doesn’t seem necessary. So to do what’s right I think we want to respect each others’ freedom of choice to believe what they want.

    God if you’re there I just ask that you’ll help us all find in our hearts the right thing to do.


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