Moore and the spaghetti monster

Mr. Moore’s insulting attack on the Flying Spaghetti Monster is both troubling and disturbing to those students that have been touched by his noodley appendage.

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or Pastafarianism, is just as real as any other religion and very relevant.

In a pluralistic society that prides itself on inclusion and religious tolerance, Mr. Moore’s article has no place in polite circles.

Attacks on the belief structure of any other religion would be met with disapproval by other student organizations.

I can only hope that there is a similar outcry against this senseless attack on the followers of the FSM.

Perhaps Mr. Moore needs to realize that we are a secular society and that a belief in something without any empirical evidence does not qualify him as a spokesman for anything.

The Secular Student Alliance does believe in fostering tolerance between religious faiths, it simply does not believe in the need for divine intercession to determine good behavior.

Christians in particular are quick to call anything that doesn’t give deference to a non-existent sky fairy an attack on their faith.
It is not; it is simply a statement of belief.

I am not a member of the SSA but I imagine that they look at the world and see injustices defended by an iron-age ethic that is out of place in modern society.

American citizens are being denied equal protection under the law simply because they love a member of the same sex.
If you don’t believe in gay marriage, don’t marry a man. How theology that justifies bigotry.

I believe the SSA is trying to build a bridge between the religious and non-religious, but the first step in the process has to be the recognition of the right to disagree with the belief in a deity and to point out the evil done in its name.

In the Treaty of Tripoli, John Adams and the U.S. Senate ratified a treaty that stated, “As the government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion, as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Musselmen, and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

This treaty was not the work of some new secular threat, but rather the president of the United States in 1797.

Mr. Moore is free to believe whatever he wants, but this freedom is protected precisely because we are a secular nation.

If Mr. Moore’s wish were granted and we began to govern based on theology perhaps he would find himself outside the orthodoxy and how quickly he would scream for the separation of church and state.

Or maybe he should just leave the Flying Spaghetti Monster alone.

Blake Pratt

public administration

My two cents about their $8.50

At this point, Broadside wouldn’t be Broadside without some weekly commentary on the status of Sodexo at George Mason University. As a student and former Sodexo employee, I humbly offer my two cents.

There is a lot of speculation about alleged abuses and safety violations here at Mason. I cannot speak to the truth of these rumors; I really have no idea if they are true or not, nor do I think it the most important issue.

What I do know is that while Sodexo pats itself on the back for offering a starting wage of a whole whopping dollar higher than the Virginia minimum wage, $8.50 is still a poverty wage for an adult living in this area.

Sodexo employees should not have to settle for this mediocrity.

It’s ludicrous, and so is any corporation that does not pay its workers a living wage while its CEO earns millions of dollars. Two million a year, in Michel Landel’s case.

I want my fellow students to genuinely reflect on this. Most of us, I hope, are here to learn in and outside of the classroom. Is this really what our value system encourages?

The average cost of living in Fairfax County is estimated above $30,000 a year, and that is a very low estimate.

That means that a living wage in this area is around $17 per hour, twice a meager $8.50. True, there are opportunities to advance to a certain degree in the company, but bills, hunger and the need for adequate food and shelter don’t wait for anyone to kiss enough ass to get a raise or a promotion.

As for the profits of the company, the annual revenue for Sodexo in 2008 was $7.7 billion. As far as Mason is concerned, we all know that the majority of the products in the convenience store are at least twice the suggested retail value.

The greatest irony of all is that the employees watch us spend more with our freedom funds in a day on $2 gum than some of them will spend in a week for food.

I have worked for Sodexo, and I never witnessed any outright abuse. What I have observed is a demeaning paternalistic corporate culture.

The upper management and supervisors maintain this status quo because they are “just doing their job” as dictated by whoever is higher up on the totem pole.

The management are no more than cogs in the Sodexo machine, pardon the cliché. They should not be demonized for their actions; they should be pitied.

Where the average workers are concerned, many have to tolerate being spoken to as if they were children by their superiors. That I have seen. This type of slow, subtle humiliation is sometimes worse than outright abuse.

As for the perpetuators of this system, has society taught them or taught us anything but this oppressive way of life?

They are taught that to delegate tasks they must be oppressive, authoritative and elitist. We, well at least I, was taught by our Anglo-protestant dominated society to equate a lack of education and language skills with ignorance and that ignorant people do not deserve any better than meager wages.

Why? Is it because they are lazy? Is it due to the fact that they are foreign? Or maybe it’s because they didn’t go to college like my parents.

All of these assumptions are wrong. This perceived ignorance is nothing more than a lack of opportunity whose cycle is only exacerbated by poverty wages.

The next time you buy a sandwich or the infamous $4 Red Bull, ask yourself where your money is really going and why. And, most importantly, reflect on what system of values brought this all about.

Molly Maddra

global afffairs

 Moore’s arguments are absurd and incorrect

I would like to point out that “Secularism is the Devil: a poison that destroys America from the inside out” by Alan Moore was improperly labeled. There was no discussion of why or how secularism is making a negative impact on America or, conversely, why religious intrusion into public institutions would be positive for America and so this headline was erroneous.

The article also made the claim that the Secular Student Alliance did not respect or honor people of the Christian faith, but this too went unsupported by any concrete example or evidence. Moore writes: “In an attempt to denounce intelligent design, the founder of this ‘Flying Spaghetti Monster’ internet parody mean-spiritedly mocks Christians for no apparent reason.” This did not properly show his grievance against the FSM. Even assuming the founder of FSM said something along the lines of “people who believe in God are dummies,” people are entitled to their opinions and should be allowed to express them (freedom of speech) and even are allowed to enjoy spaghetti dinners with a whole group of people who happen to share these opinions (freedom of association).

While you may view smart-alecky atheists/agnostics as victimizing Christians, you should remember that Christians have traditionally believed that people who do not agree with them will face an eternity of torment in hell.

Please don’t call me a Marxist, but I am afraid I must ridicule your arguments for their absurdity. Since you offer no pros or cons to secularism or the alternatives, you have already failed to prove your point by default, but your justification for why non secularism is legally viable is upsetting to me. You say: “There is nothing forbidding the teaching of intelligent design, praying in public schools, putting a copy of the Ten Commandments in a federal courtroom, or even celebrating a National Day of Prayer.” I refer you the cases of Edwards v. Aguillard, Engel v. Vitale, Glassroth v. Moore, FFRF v. Obama, and Lemon v. Kurtzman as a bonus. If you read these you will understand the reason why we do not have the things you listed and possibly offer a counter to the actual argument you should be countering.

You are also wrong to say that “Liberals would have you believe the Constitution expressly prohibits any mingling of religion and state affairs.” “Expressly prohibit any mingling” is your own phrase which you chose in order to funnel us into your pointless observation that the Constitution does not literally and specifically account for every possible controversy. I think, in reality, most liberals would have us believe that the Supreme Court has used its power of judicial review to properly rule on religious controversies arising from first amendment violations. You have taken an argument, oversimplified it, put it into the mouths of your opposition, and countered it with your own underdeveloped point of view. You should face the fact that your beef is not with the general liberal population but with the decisions of the federal courts you seem to be totally ignorant of. I think you would have been better served if you had quoted someone like Justice Scalia on this issue rather than an episode of South Park.

You are also incorrect in your view that the separation of church and state and religious freedom are “diametrically opposed.” The establishment clause and free exercise clause of the first amendment are in perfect harmony. One might even argue that without separation of church and state there can be no religious freedom.

“If society overwhelmingly has faith in a divine being who is manifested by peace, love, and respect, then mankind will strive to emulate those attributes.” I point you to the Dark Ages and the generally well documented notion of religious hypocrisy. “If society overwhelmingly only has faith in the undisciplined self that is manifested by strife, greed and sin, then we shall perish from this earth.” I agree with Mr. Moore’s excoriation of capitalism.

Jonathan Allen

government and international politics

Michatalie is infantile and revolting

George Mason University is ranked within the top 5 of the U.S. News & World Report’s “Up and Coming Universities and Colleges.” It is disturbing that Broadside would publish something that is so degrading on the image of the student body.

Moreover, the general lack of decorum that those two girls exhibit is disheartening. I would hope that two young semi-educated women would have a little more self-respect, and want that same respect for other young women who are here to gain an education.

I am deeply perplexed on the overall discernment of Broadside’s editor. I do not understand how something so infantile, in both its language and demeanor, gets approved to go to print. The lack of judgment that the editor has shown is inconceivable.
Furthermore, I am outraged at the lack of oversight offered by Ms. Mangus.

As a faculty member I would assume that she has more maturity, and would strive to pass that maturity onto those whom she advises.

I demand that the weekly article be removed from the paper. The repulsive language that is written every week is inexcusable.
While my correspondence may sound venomous, I feel that I speak for a percentage of the student body, when I say that “Michatalie” is a blight on Broadside’s image.

Catherine Brusseau
technical theater

Michatalie takes standards to an all-time low

I thought a university newspaper had standards.

I completely respect a newspaper’s right to print what they want, even if what they want to print is fairly controversial and explicit.

However, there is a difference between something that is explicit and still valuable (like anything written in The Onion) and something that is just flat-out worthless.

Michatalie falls under the flat-out-worthless category.

The joke just seems to be “fuck” and the addition of the word “pie” and “orgasm” to things in order to make them, I’m not quite sure … funny?

No, it can’t be funny, because the ChipOrgasm article was most definitely not funny, or if it was, it is in the Jersey Shore sort of way, where the reader is meant to laugh at how absurdly unintelligent and insulting the writers are.

Like I said, I respect your right to print whatever you want, but that doesn’t mean people have to read it, and if you keep printing articles like ChipOrgasm, which seems to serve no other purpose then to flaunt the absolute worst George Mason University has to offer, then don’t expect people to keep reading you.

Or if, by some miracle, people do continue to read your paper, it will only be to laugh at how pathetic it has become, just like Jersey Shore.

This bit is directly to Michatalie: how self-absorbed do you have to be to print a picture of you that is almost bigger than the article itself? Congratulations, now we all know what massive egos you have!

Judging by your article, your ego is not at all deserved. You are the kind of girls that Mean Girls criticizes.

I bet you love that movie, too.

John Morgan