POLISH members the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster are apparently facing opposition from the authorities, who are loathe to recognise it as a bona fide religious entity.
This, Pastaparians say, is tantamount to discrimination, and, in a statement posted on its website, the Polish branch of the church, which believes the world was created by a pasta-based entity, pointed out that all faiths faced persecution at their inception, and that the Polish state had underestimated its believers’ faith in “His Noodliness”.
The statement added:
Do not be afraid, as it will only be a matter of time before our community is registered as a religious association.
It added it will first appeal to the Polish supreme court.
If that doesn’t work:
We declare that we will bring a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Although it claims to have existed in quiet anonymity for hundreds of years, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster first emerged into the public eye in 2005 during a dispute over a decision by the Kansas Education Board to allow the teaching of “intelligent design” as a counter-measure to creationism.
It has since then attracted widespread publicity on numerous occasions, mainly through the actions of “Pastafarians,” as the devotees of the church call themselves.
Two years ago an Austrian Pastafarian won the right on to be photographed wearing a pasta strainer on his head for his driving licence photograph. He had argued that a refusal to allow him to wear the kitchen accessory would violate his religious freedom.
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission weren’t that accommodating. In February it refused to allow Pastafarian Aaron Williams to renew his licence wearing a colander on his head.
Had it been a turban or a head scarf, or something from a mainstream religion, then it would’ve been fine. I guess since they hadn’t heard of the religion, that’s why they opposed it. But that’s not really acceptable to me. They’re not in a position to discriminate against religions that are mainstream, or not mainstream, just because they may not have heard about it.
This sort of official disapproval rests on suspicions that far from being a legitimate religion the “church” amounts to little more that an irreverent mockery of established faiths and churches.
But Pastafarians remain undaunted by bureaucratic disdain. In a rallying call to the faithful, the Polish branch said:
Brother and sister, let us join together in the faith. Together we can overcome the difficulties and low carbohydrates, and fill the uncompromising hearts of civil servants with a portion of penne.
In other bizarre news today, we learn that the notorious “God Hates Fags” Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, has acquired an unwelcome new neighbour – a gay rights centre decked out in rainbow colours.
The centre, opposite the despicable Phelps family church, is the brainchild of Aaron Jackson, 31, whose other projects have included opening orphanages in India and Haiti and buying a thousand acres of endangered rain forest in Peru. This year, his charity, Planting Peace, also intends to de-worm every child in Guatemala.
Jackson said he had been looking for a way to support equality, anti-bullying programmes, and some sort of pro-LGBT initiative.
Hat tip: Agent Cormac (Pastafarian report)