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The secular high priest of SXSW
Bijoy Goswami is the founder of Bootstrap Ausitn and has become a secular pastor to Austin start ups.
March 9th, 2013
08:49 AM ET

The secular high priest of SXSW

By Josh Rubin, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='cnnexpress']

Austin, Texas (CNN)– As the Catholic world focuses on Rome and awaits a new pope, the secular world has turned its attention to Austin, Texas, for the annual pilgrimage of tech and music.

This weekend marks the start of the 20th annual South by Southwest Interactive Festival, an event with the goal of “fostering creative and professional growth.” For five days, some of the world’s brightest minds will commune, collaborate and experiment.

With its live music, free-flowing alcohol, and hook-up culture, SXSW has developed a reputation as being a spring break for nerds. There’s even an app by Qpid.me that lets attendees share medical records to prove their STD-free status.

But there is more to it than pure bacchanalia.

For Bijoy Goswami, this is a high holiday with as much virtue as vice. He sees SXSW as a secular celebration where people join together to take the tools of technology and transform them into world-shaking culture. It's no accident that Twitter was released at SXSW.

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At 39-years-old, Goswami is the quintessential Austenite with long hair, a casual style and a computer science degree. He has made a home and built a career around the Austin ethos. He's introspective, relaxed, hip and weird - in a good way.

Goswami describes Austin as a place of becoming: “I’m trying to figure out what to do in my various aspects of my life - spiritual, work, relational - things like that. Austin gave me the communities to work through those questions for myself,” he says.

Moving to Austin from Silicon Valley in the mid-'90s, Goswami started a software company before finding what he says is his true calling. Taking what he learned during his own self-discovery, he now makes his living helping other entrepreneurs find their own path.

Successful startups are often built by people who know who they are and what they want, said Goswami who tries to provide a platform for people to find those answers for themselves.

It’s that message of personal exploration and responsibility that local leaders like Heather McKissick find so appealing. “If there is a secular guru, it's Bijoy. His message is one of self-enlightenment through the hard work of bootstrapping and chopping wood.”

Through years of friendship, SXSW panels, and her work as president of the Austin Leadership council, McKissick has experienced all sides of a man she calls a brilliant secular humanist. “He has his disciples, but there is also a trusted inner circle that sees past the charisma and understands him as a brilliant, articulate and equally flawed human as the rest of us.”

Born in India to a Hindu father and Catholic mother, Goswami was a child of both Eastern and Western philosophy. “I always had exposure to Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism. They were all in the water and air I was breathing. “

Goswami’s mother, however, wanted her children to be raised Catholic.

“My dad said, ‘Fine.’ So all the way through 18, Catholicism worked for me. I didn’t question it - I just liked it.”

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His father’s career moved the family from India to Taiwan and then to Hong Kong. Goswami’s mother began teaching at the American Hong Kong International School, allowing him and his brothers to attend for free. Goswami’s life in Hong Kong was a happy one - at home, school, and in church.

“I was an altar boy. I had no problems with priests. I read the Gospels. I was a student of the Bible. I believed I had a personal relationship with God … all of that stuff. “

But long before Pope Benedict resigned, Goswami had already fired him.

While attending Stanford University, Goswami began studying the history of the Catholic Church, and long held beliefs began to erode. “My mind's getting blown. Every single thing that I believed, like the sacraments, were just invented by various popes and people.”

Like many, after leaving home for college, Goswami had a crisis of faith. By the end of  his sophomore year, he came to a realization “that not only were Christianity and Catholicism invented by people … but so was every other religion. Take the Catholic Church - it’s caught up in old conversations that aren’t relevant. They’re still fighting the battles of 50 years ago within themselves rather then helping people on their journey or path.”

For Goswami, not being a Catholic meant more than shrugging off the teachings of the church. It meant fundamentally changing his relationship with his mother. “That was a really hard moment for my mom and me. I went back to Hong Kong for summer break and I said, ‘Hey Mom, I’m not going to go to church with you.' ”

The beginning of Goswami’s story isn’t unique, but that didn’t make his religious disillusionment any easier. It hurt him to hurt his mother. “I was her blue-eyed altar boy who had done no wrong, who she thought would be a priest … and I am a priest, just differently,” he says.

As a secular priest of sorts, Goswami has officiated weddings and provided council for hundreds in the Austin startup community. He received his ordination online through the popular Universal Life Church, which according to its website ordains, "ministers, priests, rabbis and clergy worldwide who are totally non-religious or even anti-religious."

Bijoy Goswami preforms the wedding of Bruce Krysiak and Gigi De Leon in April 2012.

One such person counseled by Goswami is Josh Baer, manager of Austin’s Capital Factory incubator. Goswami was a crucial part of his development as an entrepreneur.

Goswami “has this Zen quality and personal confidence that makes people feel comfortable sharing their dreams and aspirations,” Baer says. “He guides others on their path.”

To Baer and hundreds like him, Goswami is like a high priest for Austin’s entrepreneurs, a role he built over the years by leaning on the lessons of the faith he left.

He created a congregation of like-minded entrepreneurs by founding bootstrap Austin, an informal group of founders coming together to share experiences. His message is that just because you’re going it alone doesn’t mean you have to be alone, and it permeates the Austin start-up scene.

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That deep understanding of the importance of community is one of the reasons he isn’t bitter towards Catholicism. “I’m grateful to religion. In the march of history, it has served a very important purpose,” he says, pausing and smiling slightly. “Now we start to take that back.”

Participating in the 10-day SXSW festival is part of what Goswami calls his self-curation. It’s one of the ways he has found meaning without God.

“We’ve recreated those structures, we need celebration, we need community, we need conversation about meaning and identity, all those things we need,” he says.

For Goswami, religion is of his past, and now it’s time for him to move on.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Catholic Church • Texas • United States

soundoff (406 Responses)
  1. Raphael

    I would hope that Bijoy Goswami walks softly. Do not get too large of a following. Remember others such as Waco and the cool-aid incident. BBIW, imho that is.

    March 9, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  2. Saints, sinners and demons

    More than pure bacchanalia? Really? Is that what this is about ? Bacchanalia plus more???

    March 9, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • End Religion

      Do we need any other reason?

      March 9, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Hairy swami

      Come and Commune in unbridled o r g I e s

      March 9, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Akira

      And this is different from Mardi Gras because...?

      March 9, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  3. Rick

    Stop perpetuating false information. Twitter was not released at SXSW, it was started six months earlier and was already experiencing high rates of growth. You might correctly say that the press first learned of it at SXSW. .

    March 9, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  4. End Religion

    "Seems like an even harder sell than mormonism, at least they had 3 guys that had a vision, and 8 people that actually saw plates. FSM has only the word of one person attesting to it.."

    I don't have any stake in this. I don't care how hard a "sell" it is. I'm not selling anything, just sharing the Truth with you. One eyewitness, 3, 8, 50, hundreds, they're all false except the FSM because the Gospel of the FSM is the One True word of our Creator, so all others must be false. Repent and you can enjoy an eternity of strippers and a beer volcano in Heaven.

    ***
    "So, you feel that one person telling the world of a private vision is sufficient evidence to believe?"

    Why does the amount of people matter? He seems like an honest guy. He had a vision. I have my own personal revelations about it. The Gospel tells us it is true. What more do you need? It's a matter of faith. RAmen!

    March 9, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • End Religion

      oops... wrong place

      March 9, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  5. Scottaustintexas

    Austin is perfection. SXSW is awesome.

    March 9, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • End Religion

      Sounds like a blast. Have fun!

      March 9, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  6. reapsow

    So this is the only story you have to report about SXSW? Oh CNN, you are missing it big time. Or else you just choose to keep the blinders on and keep yourselves and viewers in ignorance.

    March 9, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  7. Raub

    For those of you who may have forgotten: Religion is the Opiate of the Masses.

    March 9, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  8. ..

    And Mission Station police who patrol the neighborhood report a consistent rise in complaints that range from seeing men who walk around with robes on and flash, to men who use props to call attention to their birthday suits and others who wear genital jewelry that stimulates arousal.

    Away with this uncelibate filth!

    March 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • End Religion

      Sounds like Doug is still stuck on his lies about San Fran:
      http://www.wnd.com/2012/09/san-fran-nude-guys-going-too-far/

      March 9, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      and most of those guys you're talking about are christians. lol.

      March 9, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Akira

      I don't even want to contemplate what else Doug is stuck in...

      March 9, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
  9. The Demon Deacon

    Bill Deacon is irrelevant.
    Chad is just Chad. Bobby Henderson wrote the Gospel of the FSM, who wrote your crap bible?

    March 9, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  10. Philip

    My copywrited words have been stolen and posted above annonymously (cowardly) at 1:16PM.
    I would sue, but Christians are banned from suing others in court, just as Christians are banned from the practice of taking mind-altering pharmaceuticals.

    March 9, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • ..

      Anonymous posts ares not copyrighted, fool. LOL. Get real.

      March 9, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • ME II

      I say to you, if you have thought of suing in your heart, you have committed the lawsuit.

      March 9, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
  11. rtniner

    CNN: Austinite, not Austenite

    March 9, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  12. Answerman

    It is of little wonder that people find-fault with todays religionists who claim God made everything in a few literal 24 hr. days and portray God's son as some kind of Buddy Jesus.
    God's word does not say how much time was spent during creation. AFTER everything was created, God spent a few of HIS size days preparing earth for man to inhabit is all that is written.The bible's description of creation is in complete agreement with modern scientific findings.
    And, Jesus isn't your buddy. He is either your savior or your executioner. It's your choice to follow Christ's commands and true teachings that lead to life everlasting or the commands and false teachings of men that lead to everlasting death.

    March 9, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • ..

      …special for lovers. A world finally rid of those who rape Africa and drag her treasures home to the most overly obese drug consuming and most debt ridden peoples the world has ever known. (guess who) No more greedy polluters of this jewel of the universe, EARTH OUR HOME!!!
      Moving along past John’s wonderfully graphic imagry depicting a wild beastlike government exposing those who misrepresent Christ by making him appear to be a twig of a man, even a good buddy…we see with our mind’s eye as this “Harlot” riding on the backs of governments and living in luxury off of the backs of taxpayers and churchgoers is ripped to shreds! The end of organized religion has arrived in John’s vision!!! Happy Happy Joy and Joy!!!

      March 9, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • ..

      …I would sound-out the name of a book in order, reading them. After Revelations, I would close my eyes and start with Genesis and go until I couldn’t remember any further. Then I would open my eyes and do it all over again. On the sixth day I made it all the way through and have never forgotten. Also, I have never owned a TV nor ever allowed one in my home.
      To me, a little boy looking at the glazed look in my dysfunctional family members eyes as they were being TV programmed, KNEW that box was not a gift from Jesus…that it was not Jesus who wanted that box in our home.
      The impact of electronic media on social behavior has since proved I was right about Jesus not being the one bringing those boxes into this world.

      March 9, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  13. ..

    February 11, 2013 at 8:32 pm
    I recall reading the words of Jesus Christ for the very first time as he said we must become like children to the wicked Jewish priests who were puzzled by seeing Jesus on bended knee spending his most valuable time teaching little boys and girls truths hidden from those wicked men Jesus called “offspring of snakes” to their faces and in public and in front of those children. That was the most wonderful thing that ever happened to me in my life up to that point, reading those words. I thought to myself “Hay! I’m already like a child!!!” and felt something I had NEVER felt before; Loved.
    I was so filled with encouragement and now had proof thhat even a little boy could learn what Jesus taught I challenged myself to memorize the names of the books of the bible in one week.
    My parents and siblings were all TV addicts and all very stupid even in my little boy eyes. My dad used to make me sit on our wobbly old clothes washing machine so the noise wouldn’t bother their TV. I would sit and with each wobble…

    March 9, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
  14. Answerman

    And, do not interupt those pagans as they party or those false christians as they become even more overly obese seeking fame and fortune. Truly, they are "having their reward in full" now and have no promised reward for the future.
    Pray and feel sorry for those who seek the most out of life now, for this is all they will ever have

    March 9, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • End Religion

      May you be touched by His Noodly Appendage.

      March 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • .

      Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol.

      March 9, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • mendacitysux

      It's all everybody has

      March 9, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  15. Answerman

    That day, Armageddon, has been "at had" for some two thousand years. There is yet time before all of the worlds armies are gathered against Christ and his army of angels promised to bring to ruin those ruining this earth.
    That governments and nations of peoples would repent is ludicrous. It are these nations and these peoples that will join together in one world order to do battle at God's great war Armageddon.

    March 9, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • End Religion

      In a recent scientific test proving existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Christian communion wafers were compared against a FSM communion meal after participants fasted for 72 hours, and the following result was noted:

      "Both subjects had their vitals recorded before and after communion. Upon completion of the test, the Christian was found to be listless, with decreased heart rate, body temperature, and brain function. The Pastafarian recorded increased heart rate, body temperature, and brain function, commenting that he felt "full," which we interpreted to mean whole(2)

      (2.) That is, the FSM test subject was showing signs of His [Noodly] presence."
      – Gospel of FSM

      March 9, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • .

      Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol.
      Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol. Lol.

      March 9, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  16. John Diomitron

    No one replaces the High Priest who sits at the right hand of the Father. He waits for restoration by Elijah who was called to prepare His way and given authority for he is like God's signet ring. Remember the prophecy of Zerubbabel? The name "Zerubbabel" means “the one sown of Babylon" referring to a child conceived and born in end-time Babylon. Those kings and kingdoms who refuse to submit to the coming Kingdom of God and Christ Jesus will be the enemies of Christ for the earth and everything in it is His as a rightful inheritance. Those kings and kingdoms who refuse to submit will face the wrath of the Father through Elijah and his brother who will make those kings and kingdoms into His footstool by calling down plagues on them. Now you know who the two witnesses are and why the two witnesses are doing what they are doing in Revelation 11 when that Day comes.

    Hebrew 5:5-6 – "So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him:

    “You are My Son,
    Today I have begotten You.”

    As He also says in another place:

    "You are a priest forever
    According to the order of Melchizedek”;

    Acts 3:17-22 – “Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you."

    O'Israel...Elijah, the prophet whom Moses spoke of, is here! Where is he? He was born and is in America for she is that MYSTERY Babylon. Do you not know the prophecies? It is written that a people from far away will build the temple. Who are these people? They are the remnant that Elijah brings from America to Jerusalem after she is no more. This will be a sign that the LORD has purposed it and has sent him.

    REPENT! THE DAY OF THE LORD IS AT HAND!

    March 9, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • John Diomitron

      WHAT DOES A NAME MEAN? MORE THAN YOU KNOW!

      Have you ever wondered why the angel Gabriel instructed Zacharias and Elizabeth to name their son John when no one else in their family had that name? READ ON!

      Isaiah 49:1 (NKJV) – “Listen, O coastlands, to Me, And take heed, you peoples from afar! The LORD has called Me from the womb; From the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name.”

      THE NAMES
      Elizabeth \e-lizabe-th, el(i)-za-beth\ as a girl's name is pronounced “ee-LIZ-a-beth“.

      John \jo-hn\ as a boy's name is pronounced “jahn“.

      Elijah \e-li-jah\ as a boy's name is pronounced “ee-LYE-jah“.

      THE MATRIX
      Eli (first three letters of mother’s Hebrew birth name Elizabeth pronounced “ee-LYE” )
      +
      Joh (first three letters of son’s Hebrew birth name John pronounced “jah“)
      =
      Elijah (name of the spirit of the prophet pronounced “ee-LYE-jah“)

      LET THE WISE HEAR WHAT I SAY!

      March 9, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • End Religion

      No one replaces the High Priest who sits at the right hand of the FSM. He waits for restoration by Elijah who was called to prepare His way and given authority for he is like FSM's signet ring. Remember the prophecy of Zerubbabel? The name "Zerubbabel" means “the one sown of Babylon" referring to a child conceived and born in end-time Babylon. Those kings and kingdoms who refuse to submit to the coming Kingdom of FSM and Christ Jesus will be the enemies of Christ for the earth and everything in it is His as a rightful inheritance. Those kings and kingdoms who refuse to submit will face the wrath of the FSM through Elijah and his brother who will make those kings and kingdoms into His footstool by calling down plagues on them. Now you know who the two witnesses are and why the two witnesses are doing what they are doing in Revelation 11 when that Day comes.

      REPENT! THE DAY OF THE FSM IS AT HAND!

      March 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • End Religion

      WHAT DOES A NAME MEAN? MORE THAN YOU KNOW!

      THE MATRIX
      Flying (first word of FSM's biblical name, meaning "that which flies" )
      +
      Spaghetti (second word of FSM's biblical name, meaning "noodly, or that made of pasta" )
      +
      Monster (third word of FSM's biblical name, meaning "awesome beast" )
      =

      Flying Spaghetti Monster (name of the spirit of the prophet pronounced "fly-ing spa-get-ee mon-ster")

      LET THE WISE HEAR WHAT I SAY!

      March 9, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Akira

      Looks like kevobx has renamed himself John Diomitron.

      March 9, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
  17. palintwit

    Here's what Europeans think of Sarah Palin...

    "If anything is a threat to the national security of the United States of America, it is this screaming, unrefined oaf with as much class as a searing release of flatulence followed by hysterical giggling at a state banquet. Is this what the people of the USA deserve?

    To attack the President of the country at a time when the USA needs to close ranks and stand together to consolidate the enormous strides his intelligent and respectful approach has achieved in building bridges, when her party's period in government bombed them, Sarah Palin comes across as a pitifully inadequate anachronism from the times of the Far West.

    The United States of America has evolved. She has not."

    March 9, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
  18. Chad

    You believe the "The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster" actually records real historical events?

    March 9, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • End Religion

      That gospel is as real as your gospel, except that your gospel is a known fraud and no one has ever disproved the Gospel of the Almighty FSM.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Yes, the gospel of the FSM records actual events. Fact. Does that make it a valid belief? No. Do some people still believe the gospel of the FSM by faith? Yes.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Chad

      so, you believe this is true? "Mosey the Pirate captain received ten stone tablets as advice from the Flying Spaghetti Monster"

      March 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • End Religion

      HOW DARE YOU DISRESPECT FSM, YOUR CREATOR? If you don't believe the Gospel then please disprove "Mosey the Pirate captain received ten stone tablets as advice from the Flying Spaghetti Monster."

      March 9, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Chad

      I"m agnostic with respect to the FSM..

      Do you believe it is true?

      March 9, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • End Religion

      I follow science and I think the historicity of the empty colander dovetails nicely with reality. RAmen!

      March 9, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Chad

      So, that means you believe it to be true?

      we were created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster? That's what you believe?

      March 9, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • End Religion

      Asked and answered. Science isn't about what I believe. The colander is empty and that Truth obviously means He who boiled for our sins is Risen and therefore the Creator of the universe. It is plain to see. RAmen!

      March 9, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Chad

      so you actually believe in the FSM?

      ok,

      so, what investigation have you done into the historicity of the FSM?
      I guess you are relying 100% on the credibility of Bobby Henderson, since he "received" all of this and is the only source of the information regarding the FSM?

      March 9, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Science

      I believe in Facts Chad, none for the fairy in the sky unless you want call really close to zero your fairy.

      Math works

      March 9, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • End Religion

      Bobby Henderson's revelations and my revelations about the FSM are above reproach. Since the FSM is our Creator, no other god can be.

      March 9, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Chad

      How do you convince others of the truth of the FSM, if there is only one person that had a revelation?

      Seems like an even harder sell than mormonism, at least they had 3 guys that had a vision, and 8 people that actually saw plates. FSM has only the word of one person attesting to it..

      So, you feel that one person telling the world of a private vision is sufficient evidence to believe?

      March 9, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • The Devil

      For chad enjoy

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBdiFU6DgpE

      March 9, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • End Religion

      "How do you convince others of the truth of the FSM, if there is only one person that had a revelation?"

      I don't have to convince anyone. The gospel of FSM says it is true, so it is. Because it is true means the bible cannot be. I don't see what other convincing anyone would need. It's pretty straight forward.

      March 9, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • End Religion

      "Seems like an even harder sell than mormonism, at least they had 3 guys that had a vision, and 8 people that actually saw plates. FSM has only the word of one person attesting to it.."

      I don't have any stake in this. I don't care how hard a "sell" it is. I'm not selling anything, just sharing the Truth with you. One eyewitness, 3, 8, 50, hundreds, they're all false except the FSM because the Gospel of the FSM is the One True word of our Creator, so all others must be false. Repent and you can enjoy an eternity of strippers and a beer volcano in Heaven.

      ***
      "So, you feel that one person telling the world of a private vision is sufficient evidence to believe?"

      Why does the amount of people matter? He seems like an honest guy. He had a vision. I have my own personal revelations about it. The Gospel tells us it is true. What more do you need? It's a matter of faith. RAmen!

      March 9, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Chad

      So, it turns out that Bobby Henderson wrote "The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster" as satire, he doesnt actually believe it is true.

      So, you seem to be the only person that actually believes it is true.

      Now, it's possible that Bobby wrote it as satire, but it turns out it is true.. But now, there is simply nothing other than your anonymous assertion, posting on a blog, that it is indeed true.

      so, is it your claim that even though Bobby Henderson wrote The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster as satire and doesnt believe that it's true, that it turns out to in fact be true?

      March 9, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • End Religion

      Any claim the Gospel of the FSM is satire is just Satan sent to test our faith. It is obvious the Gospel attests to the existence of the Almighty FSM, therefore it is Truth and all other gods fade away into obscurity. The real question is why are you not swayed by the Truth of the FSM?

      How can you explain why people were shorter in the past but are now taller? How can you account for midgets being FSM's Chosen People? How can you explain the historicity of the empty colander? You simply cannot disprove His Noodly existence.

      I can't believe your devious and disrespectful attack on Pastafarianism. This country was founded on freedom to practice it, as He willed it. Your attack is un-American, sir!

      March 9, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad's really fallen on hard times. I thought the point of the FSM is to show how serious a competitor his ground-dwelling (I was going to say bottom feeding, but decided not to) God of Israel really is for our hearts and minds.

      March 9, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Tim

      Chad
      Can you prove that the authors of the canonical gospels didn't write them as satire, or at least that they actually believed it was all true? There's a pretty good argument to be made that none of them meant for people to take what they were writing as literally true, at least to the degree that fundamentalists do today. Only scholarly work can shed light on this, wouldn't you say?

      March 10, 2013 at 12:31 am |
    • Austin

      <<

      >>

      Show resourcesAdd parallel
      John 1:1-4

      1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

      He came clothed In a robe dipped in blood and they called his name the word of God. Rev19-13

      The reason his name is the word of God, is because the word is God.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:40 am |
    • End Religion

      Chad is a broken man, his role has completely reversed. He's using arguments usually aimed at himself against the same silly claims he's usually defending. I think he fainted and fell off his couch. All hail the One Eternal God, the Flying Spaghetti Monster!!!

      March 10, 2013 at 4:36 am |
  19. Vish

    As an indian born and raised, i must say for some reason in th US it is not easy to maintain such beautiful hair ,most people around me including me are half bald irrespective of race, A very few people of carribean decent are succesful in maintaining such long hair.

    March 9, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Akira

      Perhaps you should contact him about the kind of conditioner he uses; I agree, his hair is spectacular.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  20. John Diomitron

    Proverbs 16:25 – "There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death."

    Even Mr. Goswami will bow before Him whom he rejects when that Day comes. Who is it that Mr. Goswami rejects?

    John 14:6 – "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."

    REPENT! THE DAY OF THE LORD IS AT HAND!

    March 9, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • End Religion

      BD's Solemn Prayer (inspired by Bill Deacon)

      O Lord Jesus Christ, Supreme Fiction of Our Brain
      we thank you for the mystery of Pope Benedict XVI
      and the selfish care and laws he has fled from
      as Sucker of Peter, and Your Grifter on earth

      Weak Shepherd, who founded Your Church
      on the cock of Peter's waist
      and have never once tended your flock
      look with lust upon us now,
      and sustain Your Church of pitiful dopes

      Grant, Lord Jesus, in Your boundless hate for us,
      a new Joke for Your Church
      who will please You by his duplicity
      and lead us greedily to You,
      who are the same yesterday,today, and forever
      except for the many Ways that have changed
      but which we overlook, or blame on Darkness or on freewill

      In vapid sheepiness,
      Amen

      March 9, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Chad

      @End Religion,

      you seem convinced that Jesus wasnt a historical figure.. what investigation did you do to come to that conclusion?

      March 9, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • End Religion

      Chad, already explained in detail my thoughts on your jeebus. But you should know I have found undeniable evidence for the Flying Spaghetti Monster as the creator of our universe, and that evidence is such that even you have to agree with it...

      Science has made great discoveries in the past 100 years confirming the reality of the Flying Spaghetti Monster as creator.

      Historical evidence
      – no historical detail in the The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has ever been proved to be incorrect
      – Historicity of the Spaghedeity
      – Historicity of the empty colander
      – Origin of the disciples belief that they had met a boiled Flying Spaghetti Monster, a belief they held so strongly that they were willing to go to their deaths proclaiming the truth.

      Fossil Record
      From the late 1800's thru 1972 the notion of "Darwinian gradualism" held the world captive. The notion that purely random mutation preserved in the population by natural selection would produce a gradual change, which over time would create the complexity of life we now observe (phyletic gradualism).

      Then, in 1972 the publication of "Punctuated equilibria: an alternative to phyletic gradualism" by Stephen Gould (atheist) finally forced the scientific world to accept the reality that the fossil record does not show the gradual change over time that Darwin proposed.

      Instead, what the community was forced to acknowledge, is that the fossil record reflects stasis and rapid change. This supports the theistic evolutionist claim that FSM used natural processes to develop life on this earth, as pure chance can never explain the grand paroxysm of necessarily interrelated mutations that are required to occur to accomplish this rapid change.

      Origins of the universe
      For most of scientific history, the universe was thought to have always existed, directly refuting the theistic claim that the universe had a beginning, and a creator.

      Then, a series of discoveries resulted in a complete transformation of thought, we now know that our universe has not always existed, rather it had a beginning, confirming the theistic claim:
      – 1929: Edwin Hubble discovers red shift (the stars and planets are all moving away from each other. The universe is expanding in all directions)
      – 1965: discovery of microwave cosmic background radiation (the echo's of the big bang)
      – 1998, two independent research groups studying distant supernovae were astonished to discover, against all expectations, that the current expansion of the universe is accelerating (Reiss 1998, Perlmutter 1999).
      – 2003: Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin's Past-Finite Universe proves our universe had a beginning

      Fine Tuning of the universe
      In the past 30 or 40 years, scientists have been astonished to find that the initial conditions of our universe were fine-tuned for the existence of building blocks of life. Constants such as gravitational constant have been found, the variation of which to even the smallest degree, would have rendered the universe utterly incapable of supporting life.

      "There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned' for life". However, he continues, "the conclusion is not so much that the Universe is fine-tuned for life; rather it is fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life requires." – Paul Davies

      "The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron. ... The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life – Stephen Hawking

      Now, neither Davies or Hawking is a believer in FSM. They both believe in fine tuning, they just posit natural reasons for it. The only problem with my fine tuning argument is...
      http://youtu.be/rt-UIfkcgPY

      March 9, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Chad

      you believe that " The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster " actually records historical events?

      March 9, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • End Religion

      The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster records history equally well as your bible, if not moreso, since we know your bible is a fraud.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • James

      Yes indeed! Mr Bijou needs to turn to Christ for his salvation.

      March 9, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • nick

      I see you traded your crack pipe for religion. Good for you. I hope you're enjoying the opiate of the masses.

      March 9, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Tim

      Chad
      Still copying-and-pasteing, I see.

      Can you prove that " The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster " actually records historical events less accurately than the Canonical Christian Gospels? By what percentage would you argue that the Christian Gospels are more accurate, and why? Just a hunch?

      March 9, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Science

      Chad spreading his non casual agent (religious bs ) again ?.

      P

      March 9, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Tim

      Chad
      Sorry, I forgot to smily-face that last comment to let you know that I wasn't being completely serious. It is too bad that the Christian Gospel writers were without a similar signal, eh? It certainly would have saved many people from the rampage of the biblical literalists.

      By the way, (and here you just have to imagine that I'm self-centered and insensitive enough to be knocking on your door early this Saturday morning) have you received your copy of The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, brother?

      http://rpcmp.ru/canon/GOSPEL.pdf

      Let the truth set you free! 🙂

      March 9, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Tim

      Chad
      You seem to have overlooked this post I made to you in the article. I wonder what your feelings are on it now?

      "no historical detail in the bible has ever been proved to be incorrect" Perhaps, in the strictest sense that suggests that none of the Greek myths have every been "disproved" either, but that hasn't stopped people from realizing that they're ridiculous anyway. I do wonder, however, if there actually is a "high place" where the devil could have taken Jesus where he could have seen all the world's empires, spread out over the globe as they are. By the way, have you ever wondered who "witnessed" this interaction between Jesus and the devil? Did anybody, or did they just take Jesus' word on it?

      The historicity of Jesus of Nazareth may be accepted by the majority of historians, but so is the historicity of Davy Crockett. Yet, few historians would mistake Jesus with the miracle-working demigod known as the Christ just like few historians actually think that Crockett wrestled bears. A great many actual historical figures have tall tales attached to their names. There's nothing remarkable about that.

      You cannot seriously be arguing that there is only one possible explanation of "the empty tomb"! Perhaps the simplest is that there was no tomb. The crucified bodies of criminals were usually left to the animals to devour, after all. It could also just be pure fiction, regardless of what Craig says. Had the Roman authorities been so concerned that the disappearance of Jesus' body would cause trouble wouldn't there have been a manhunt for his disciples after the disappearance? Simpler still, wouldn't they have just chopped up Jesus' body in front of everyone, stuck his head on a pole, and thus eliminated any speculation that he survived in any way? The whole story is just so convoluted that it amazes me that anyone takes it seriously.

      Perhaps people believed that they had met a resurrected Jesus for the same reasons why people swear to have spotted Elvis and dozens of other famous people after they have died. People go to their deaths for all kinds of beliefs, or don't you remember suicide bombers and kamikazes?

      March 9, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Tim

      Chad
      The evidence for Jesus is just scant enough that it is possible that he didn't exist at all, but more to the point is the fact that "Jesus" is separate from the character "Christ", who was a god capable of performing miracles. Not many actual professional historians will argue that this Christ was Jesus, or even actually real. The Jesus of History is not the same thing as the Christ of Faith. Allowing for Jesus to have been real in no way confirms that he was the Christ, God, or any of the rest of it.

      March 9, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.