Is the FSM a "Legal Religion"?

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Is the FSM a "Legal Religion"?

Postby JD Atheist on Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:36 am

Short answer: Where's my beer?

Long answer, yes!

I was so amused by the FSM religion that, once HE touched me with HIS hallowed (and maybe hollow -- it is a mystery) Noodlely Appendage that I decided to write my dissertation for my Juris Doctorate degree to prove to the world that the FSM religion is entitled to Constitutional protection under the First Amendment's Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Association, and Free Speech Clauses.

Since lawyers are HIS chosen professionals, I decided to take HIS case pro bono, and won it in the halls of legal academia. I believe mine is HIS first legal publication. You can find my doctoral dissertation here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007AG2CF8/ref=tsm_1_fb_lk

You can also find it in the Kindle Store under "A Recipe for Religion."
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Re: Is the FSM a "Legal Religion"?

Postby pieces o'nine on Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:32 pm

Welcome, JD.
You're brandishing impressive credentials, but one regrets pointing out a small 'gap' -- you haven't submitted for peer review...
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Re: Is the FSM a "Legal Religion"?

Postby Dr. Sheldon Cooper on Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:04 pm

Hasn't the main site said that pastafarian minister have successfully gotten marriage licenses for people from various city/county clerks? That's a big first step, right?
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Re: Is the FSM a "Legal Religion"?

Postby clh_hilary on Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:45 am

I think everything's legal as long as they aren't illegal?
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Re: Is the FSM a "Legal Religion"?

Postby TheHolyGrate on Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:52 pm

Legal in the US? Are you a non-prophet organization? You should seriously consider applying for 501c3 status if you haven't already. You get tax deductible stuff :fsm_rock:
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Re: Is the FSM a "Legal Religion"?

Postby black bart on Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:00 am

Even Weed is legal in the US now...I am definitely emigrating just in time to claim your Social Security payments which I shall spend on the weed.
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Re: Is the FSM a "Legal Religion"?

Postby Rev. Rowan Redbeard on Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:12 am

You might want to wait a bit. Medical marijuana has been legalized for some time in several states, but users can still get arrested by the federal government, since it's still illegal on the national level. The two states that legalized it for recreational use in the last election are waiting for the federal government to figure out what its policy will be before they start implementing their new recreational marijuana laws.
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Re: Is the FSM a "Legal Religion"?

Postby TDKs on Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:26 am

http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Pub ... /cc21.aspx

Registering as charitable to the tax office (that's the UK advisory up thar) also helps convey legal status.

Seriously though, what can I do to ensure Pastafarianism gains full legal status? I'd love to help out on this one. I'm not sure whom to ask.
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Re: Is the FSM a "Legal Religion"?

Postby Roy Hunter on Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:29 pm

TDKs wrote:http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Publications/cc21.aspx

Registering as charitable to the tax office (that's the UK advisory up thar) also helps convey legal status.

Seriously though, what can I do to ensure Pastafarianism gains full legal status? I'd love to help out on this one. I'm not sure whom to ask.
There is only one 'legal' religion in England: the Church of England. There is only one 'legal' religion in Scotland: the Church of Scotland. The other non-established churches have no legal status as religions, but they do register as you said as charities and seek charitable status from HMRC.

Religions also need buildings insurance, public liability insurance, employers liability insurance, they need to pay business rates on their churches, but they negotiate these at lower rates than standard commercial rates (there was a big fuss a couple of years back about an English council, could have been Bath and North-East Somerset, giving preferential business rates to the Scientologists, despite the fact that they are :furious: ing loaded. It was in Private Eye).

These all tend to be done on the basis that you are doing business with a religious or spiritual organisation - as in the organisation is not for profit, and it provides a community service, so it looks good to the rest of the community if you cut the religious organisation a good deal. Having a 'legal status' as a religion is not such a big deal in the UK as religions are not tax-exempt as they are in the US (ever wondered why Al Green became the Reverend Al Green, why James Brown, MC Hammer and loads of other musicians became ministers? They don't pay income tax in the US).
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Re: Is the FSM a "Legal Religion"?

Postby Qwertyuiopasd on Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:06 pm

De facto, I don't think any religion can be "illegal" in the United States, no matter how silly others may think it.

As far as actually having a church - that is, an institution - I don't know if there is one on a national level in any country. Bobby never set one up, so it's not like all ordinations can trace back to him. My guess is most Pastafarian Ministers are ULC ordained, or are simply self-ordained and the marriage license clerk hasn't decided to make a big deal out of it.

As said, the only real benefit to being legally recognized is the tax-exempt status, which I would imagine is based more on the activities your organization participates in and supports financially rather than any religoius belief. You could easily (and in fact do) have an atheist or secular group that had non-profit/tax-exempt status, as long as it was not-for-profit.
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Re: Is the FSM a "Legal Religion"?

Postby TDKs on Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:33 pm

Fascinating and educational - thank you...
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Re: Is the FSM a "Legal Religion"?

Postby TheDream on Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:05 am

Well just for entertainment some rather "unusual" religions in this article :D
This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
Dalai Lama

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Re: Is the FSM a "Legal Religion"?

Postby DaDA Dodo on Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:11 pm

Mayhaps I have placed the cart before the mule, again, but haply it may be that if the church be registered with the officious tax collector, then it be a recognizable church in the eyes o' people, rodents, and farthings?

If we might buildeth, then, a grand Diner on thar hill, and his noodly grandeur reach far and wide in prognostication of his carb-enriched narrative, which we doth prcolaim from every collander .... erm, which he doth proclaim from every calendar ... oh bugger. It must be coffee time :drinking:

And he doth plug merch that we mighteth emulate his noodly salesmanship and spread his almighty taste in items for kitchen and office, and as goes the pasta so goes the sauce... RAmen.

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