I’ve heard from several UK Pastafarians that it’s Census time in Britain. In 2001 there was a movement to make “Jedi” a recognized religion by the government. It would be fantastic if Pastafarianism could gain similar recognition.
So, UK Pastafarians, on your 2011 Census, if you are a Believer, write Pastafarian as your religion.
I’ve gotten a lot of emails about this and I see a lot of comments saying the same thing – there is a feeling by many that it is important to put “No Religion” on this year’s census form, and the British Humanist Association makes a pretty strong argument for this.
If you say you’re religious on the census and don’t really mean it, then you are treated by some sections of the media, churches, and even government policymakers as if you are a fully-fledged believer.
While there are many True Believer Pastafarians, a large number of us could be described as not literally believing our own scripture. That’s not all that unusual in religion (many Christians don’t take the Bible literally) but that we are honest about our own reservations *is* unusual (and an important part of our religion). I often hear this brought up in arguments why Pastafarianism is not a “real” religion. My feeling is that defining religion is always done with some agenda and we’re best off not fitting into anyone’s small-minded definitions. But this problem remains – there are a huge number of people who get something positive out of Pastafarianism without literally believing the scripture. This census question, when asking people to define themselves in such simple terms, can’t fully capture a person’s view of a very complex subject.
If I was a UK citizen I would find this a difficult choice. Good luck!