UK Census

Published March 22nd, 2011 by Bobby Henderson


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!

78 Responses to “UK Census”

  1. Duke Airanda Tension says:

    Unfortunately I too must, on this occasion, disagree with our prophet. In the original words of the BHA campaign poster – “If you’re not religious, for god’s sake say so” This wording was banned by the (over-sensitive?) advertising agencies acting for the British railway companies as “having the potential to cause widespread offence”. My country is so sad at times.

    Duke Airanda Tension

    Now it is such a bizarrely improbably coincidence that anything so mindbogglingly useful [the Babel fish] could have evolved by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.
    The argument goes something like this: “I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”
    “But,” says Man, “the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED”
    “Oh dear,” says God, “I hadn’t thought of that,” and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
    — Douglas Adams

    • Brian Fritzen says:

      Win for the use of Douglass Adams.

  2. brian t says:

    I dunno … Pastafarian is too close to Rastafarian: the computer that scans the forms could easily confuse them, and we get skewed results. Better to say “no religion”, which is more fit for the purpose of the Census: deciding public policy.

    • Inda says:

      “But I like Christmas! I can’t be seen to be hypocritical! I must be a Christian!” said Sally as she ticked a box the census form.

      This is what scares me most. I know my wife will tick the box and she has less religion than me (all hail the FSM and his noo…)

      “No religion” is the only option even if it’s not as fun.

  3. Dan Moody says:

    Tick no religion or you’ll be used to justify religious programs that go against your principles.

  4. Lindamp says:

    Nothing new to say, just want to add my agreement for the “No religion” option as recommended by the BHA.

  5. Rev Toni Rigatoni says:

    No doubt about it – atheists, stand up and be counted.

    The Reverend

    • Wench Melody (UK) says:

      Given that these stats will certainly be used as evidence by the Christian and Muslim organisations to push for more state subsidy for faith schools, faith youth clubs, faith community centres and so on, the only logical thing for an atheist/humanist to do is to declare ‘no religion’ on the census.

      Please, fellow British Pastafarians, do not add weight to the pro-religious argument – please declare yourselves as ‘no religion’.

      Our noodly Lord is not that vain – he says so in the eight ‘I’d really rather you didn’ts” – He won’t care if you don’t state your Pastafarianism – indeed, encouraging the use of precious resources to bolster any religion is absolutely against his stated wishes (see the eight ‘I’d really rather you didn’ts”)

      May pesto be upon us all.


  6. Dave says:

    Now that would be totally righteous! My the English formally recognize His Noodlyness!

  7. Ravna says:

    I think nothing would change, even if 50% of the population ticked “No religion”. It’d only encourage churches to send out more missionaries. Better stand up for His Noodlyness. If nothing else, it might at least trigger curiosity.

    • Michael says:

      If 50% of the nation put no religion, religion would be well and truly fu…well, you know what they would be! That would put atheists in the majority as the remaining 50% would be a mixture of religions. As the song says “what a wonderful world this would be…”

  8. Brian Fritzen says:

    Don’t forget to put “Human” if it asks for race. Our recent census in the USA asked for race and I placed human. There were rumors that I could be fined if I didn’t answer correctly. Which is funny because that means anyone who didn’t write in human should be fined.

    • Apprentice Frederic says:

      ….and if it asks for sex, put “YES”

      • Alan says:

        or a bit more that I am currently getting would be funnier.

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