The documentary I Pastafari: A Flying Spaghetti Monster Story follows several of the 30 million devotees of a new religion that celebrates an alien monster made of spaghetti. What a crazy idea for a religion, right? Before you jump to thought like that, what is the basis for your religion? Pastafarians would argue their religion is no nuttier than those that have existed and controlled the world for thousands of years.

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, whose followers call themselves Pastafarians, is centered on the belief that an invisible Flying Spaghetti Monster (or FSM, as he is referred to by those who love him) created the universe a few thousand years ago. That being the case, church founder and prophet Bobby Henderson demanded equal time be given to FSM in Kansas science classrooms, as is given to intelligent design and evolution. In 2005, the Kansas State Board of Education allowed the teaching of intelligent design along with evolution, and Pastafarian Henderson did not want his own deity to be left out of the teaching syllabus.

Essentially, Pastafarians are working to enforce the separation of church and state, or alternatively allow all beliefs, no matter how absurd, to be recognized by governments around the world. They are also putting into question what religion-based education, devoid of any science or facts, should be allowed to creep into schools. They also don’t appreciate the hypocrisy and violence so often part of religion. The FSM’s Eight “I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts, their version of the Ten Commandments, include things like “I’d really rather you didn’t build multimillion dollar churches/temples/mosques/shrines to my noodle goodness when money could be better spent ending poverty curing disease, living in peace, loving with passion, and lowering the cost of cable.”

I Pastafari director Michael Arthur fights the good fight, in the Spaghetti Monster’s stead, of considering fact vs belief in the era of fake news, and the cultural and political war of the religious right vs the ‘liberal elite’. He does so by profiling Pastafarians around the world.

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