The Flying Spaghetti Monster is the deity of a parody religion, known as Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, started in June 2005 by Bobby Henderson as a parody of the decision by the Kansas State Board of Education to allow intelligent design to be taught in science classes alongside evolution. The "religion" has since become an Internet phenomenon garnering many followers (sometimes referring to themselves as "Pastafarians") preaching the word of their "noodly master" as the one true religion.
In June 2005, Henderson submitted an open letter to the Kansas Board of Education in response to their decision on giving creationism equal time in the classroom. He demanded that Flying Spaghetti Monsterism be given equal time in classrooms along with other religious creation beliefs. Shortly afterwards, he received responses from two sympathetic members of the board. A third response was also received in mid-August.
Over the next two months, traffic on Henderson's FSM website grew steadily. The popularity of the site exploded in August, when the Flying Spaghetti Monster was featured on several blogs and Internet news sites such as Fark.com. Articles in the mainstream media soon followed. A Google search for "Flying Spaghetti Monster" yielded 56,900 hits in late August 2005.
In the "Latest News" section of his website Henderson notes that U.S. President George W. Bush and U.S. Senator Bill Frist have publicly supported the teaching of non-evolutionary theories, and infers that they therefore support the teaching of Flying Spaghetti Monsterism.