X was hard. I found some great websites which were basically religious glossaries but they included words like ‘xenophobia’ (hatred or fear of persons of a different nationality or ethnicity than one’s own) and xylolaters (“wood worshipers,” a disrespectful term used to refer to Eastern Orthodox believers who revere images and icons). I also came across Xenophon who was a student of Socrates but his work, what still remains of it, contains little that is relevant to my topic. Then there is Xibalba, ‘the place of fear’ in K’iche Maya mythology, which is ruled by the Maya gods of death and their helpers. The entrance to this ‘hell’ is traditionally at Coban and the dark rift in the Milky Way is viewed as the road to Xibalba.
I suppose I could write in more depth about Xibalba but when I think of ‘X’ I think of ‘X’ marks the spot – my son has a bit of a pirate obsession at the moment. So, why not google ‘pirates concepts of heaven’?! This gave mixed results – half focussed on ‘pirate havens’ and the other half brought up ‘Flying Spaghetti Monster’ – to which I couldn’t help think about the Monster Raving Loony Party.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, also known as Pastafarianism, was founded by Bobby Henderson in January 2005 arguing that intelligent design should be taught in schools as an alternative to evolution because it is equally valid that the universe was created by a flying spaghetti monster. He said “I don’t have a problem with religion. What I have a problem with is religion posing as science. If there is a god and he’s intelligent, then I would guess he has a sense of humor.”
The Flying Spaghetti Monster created the world after drinking heavily – this is what contributes to a flawed earth. Pastafarians also belief in the afterlife – heaven includes a beer factory and a stripper factory, whereas hell is very similar except the beer is stale and the strippers have STDs! But what does this have to do with pirates? Well they were the original Pastafarians and are viewed as divine beings, ‘peace-loving explorers and spreaders of good will’. Natural disasters are attributed to the declining number of pirates. Pastafarians also celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19th each year (I knew I’d heard about the Flying Spaghetti Monster somewhere before!).
I think I’ll go and research Xibalba a bit more now… Although, seriously, we cannot say either way that something like this is the reality or not so what is there to stop people founding a religion and gaining followers? Whatever the truth, like Henderson said, I bet God is having a right laugh about it. Saying that he’s probably having a right laugh about a lot of the things we come up with!