The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster Australia got on national TV the other day. Looks like it went pretty well. You can view the segment here
Pirate Party at Pelican Park, Queensland, Australia
Sunday, April 24 at 12 PM
We need you! For the Pastafarian Pirate Party at Pelican Park with the Project. We’re inviting everyone who can make it to a day of pirate fun so we can show the Project what Pastafarians are all about. Faith, fun and pirates! So dress up as a pirate, or if you do not have pirate attire, wear your colander, bring a picnic and refreshments. If it looks like it will rain we are trying to book the Bramble Bay Bowls Club function room as an alternative venue.
More details here at the Facebook event page here
Congratulations to Toby Ricketts and Marianna Young — their wedding was was the first legally recognized Pastfarian wedding in New Zealand.
The pirate-themed ceremony – on a ship docked in Akaroa before a crowd dressed in full pirate regalia – featured choruses of grunts, colander crowns and pirate-themed puns.
‘Ministeroni’ Karen Martyn, who became the world’s first legal marriage celebrant for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) earlier this year, wedded the couple.
By all appearances it was a huge success. Best of luck to the happy couple and huge thanks to Minister Karen Martyn for the excellent ceremony.
New Zealand is one of the few places in the world that formally recognizes The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster as a religious organization.
One last note: the news has brought out some angry people — I received a number of a nasty emails today, surprising because I don’t understand how a wedding is anyone’s business except the couple’s. This was most definitely not a statement against Christianity, it was a wedding; it was a celebration of love and fun. To the haters, please relax.
Congratulations again to the happy couple.
I hope everyone had a nice Halloween. If you took some photos, please send to me, I would love to see.
Bless these FSM missionaries, spreading the Word. Halloween is the one night of the year when pirates and wenches are free to dress in official regalia without fear of religious persecution.
Spotted at the University of Hull:
So I checked back in on one of my fave sites and amongst other wonderful things, I notice that poor ‘Ian Harris from Wales’ failed to get his drivers license approved due to him respectfully wearing a (similarly aged as himself) colander.
I have been sporting a rather dandy Pirate headpiece for some time now, (originally inspired by Niko Alm) so thought I’d share.
I must admit, the DVLA did send my application back, stating that I was ‘wearing a hat’ and so I returned it asking for them to respect my religious beliefs/headwear. And that was that!
My passport expires in 2019, where I will be pushing for the ‘eye-patch’ combo.
Interesting that some places are cool with Pastafarian headgear on Official documents, and some are not. Probably it comes down to the opinion (and mood) of the person behind the desk, and maybe that’s ok.
I think the more instances of approval by government bureaucrats we get, the stronger our case for recognized legitimacy. It’s getting harder and harder for anyone to say this is all a joke, when we can point to dozens or hundreds of examples where government officials have looked over our documents and said OK. I feel like we’re making progress getting in the back door.
Thanks very much to Colin and all the others who have been fighting for our rights.
Good news in the fight for religious equality in Australia —
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has applied to the Victorian Department of Education and Training for approval to “spread the word” in schools through the Special Religious Instruction program.
Department spokesman Stuart Teather confirmed correspondence had been received and it “will be considered”.
Read the full article at the Herald Sun here
I think this is great. The Victorian Department of Education deserves a lot of credit for taking the request seriously.
Cynics might see this all as a way to make a point that religion has no place in schools, that having Pastafarians Spread the Word while dressed in Pirate Regalia to a bunch of kids will be such a ridiculous sight as to make administrators re-think the policy of allowing religious teaching in schools … but I am confident that the kids are going to get some quality information from us. At the very least we’ll be able to counter some misinformation in the secular curriculum. Such as:
* that pirates were unruly criminals
* that the world is older than 10k years despite the “evidence” to the contrary
What should we cover on our lessons? I feel like maybe we should tone down any teaching about Beer Volcano and Stripper Factory, as these are impressionable youths we’re educating.
Now I’m curious what has been allowed previously in this Special Religious Instruction program.
In FSM news — Nebraska prisoner Stephen Cavanaugh is suing over the right to pursue his faith in the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Specifically he wants:
* to dress in religious garments — that is, full pirate regalia — and,
* to take part in weekly meetings with others who hold similar beliefs
He’s also asking for $5 Million in damages related to “deep emotional, psychological, and spiritual pain resulting from being allowed to practice my religion, and Mr. Bartlet [Religious Coordinator, Nebraska State Pen]’s repeated mocking and insulting of my faith.”
I’m skeptical of anyone asking for money, and my immediate thought was that this is a frivolous lawsuit. But after reading the court documents and talking with people in the know, I feel that here is a troubled guy who is legitimately trying to pursue his faith and, only after being stymied by the in-house prison channels, was forced to take the fight to the courts. Yes the dollar amount he’s asking for is exorbitant (and in my view, hurts his case), but the underlying complaint feels legitimate to me.
One thing I found alarming: in the court docs there’s a claim by prison officials that, when looking into Cavanaugh’s religion, they found “the founder of Pastafarianism stated that it was a parody of religion”, and used this as a reason to deny Cavanaugh his requests for religious garments and group prayer.
They may or may not be referring to me, I don’t know — but I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to any Nebraskan prison officials, and if I did I wouldn’t have used those words.
For the record, I don’t believe Pastafarianism is a parody.
What I say, sometimes, is that some number of Pastafarians do not believe in a literal Flying Spaghetti Monster or our Creation story. And that is perfectly fine — it’s a common thing even in mainstream religion to be skeptical of scripture. The distinction is that in FSM, the culture is more accepting of people who are skeptical-minded, while in many mainstream religions, doubt is seen as an affront to the Dogmatic Truth.
My point is that there are doubters in religion in general, simply because religious scripture can be full of nonsense. You wouldn’t say Christianity is a parody just because some members don’t buy the part about the world being created in 7 days and the talking snake, etc.
Religion is more than a collection of beliefs and rituals, it’s a way to form community and a framework to make sense of our place in the universe. And on this level, I think Prison officials did Cavanaugh a disservice in not allowing him to pursue his faith. I mean, he wasn’t asking for that much. He wanted to buy a pirate costume with his own money and hang out with some other Pastafarians once a week.
One last point I’d like to make: lets consider that maybe the prison officials are simply unenlightened about the FSM. Maybe this is just a misunderstanding, rather than outright religious persecution. I suspect that Mr. Cavanaugh may be willing to call of the fight if the prison officials would relent and allow him to pursue his faith.
Here are the best articles I’ve found, if you’d like to keep reading about Cavanaugh’s case:
 Great article (and spectacular title) by ThinkProgress about the Cavanaugh lawsuit — Inmate Sues Prison Claiming His Religious Liberty Entitles Him To Dress Like A Pirate
 The raw court documents (PDF)
 Here’s an article where some lawyers are discussing whether the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster may have some influence in rethinking the RLUIPA (religion in prison) laws — Can the Flying Spaghetti Monster Reshape RLUIPA?
I hope everyone has a great time.
It is that time of the year again, when Pastafarians can dress in official pirate regalia and Spread the Word without fear of religious persecution. And while some may be wearing these costumes for other reasons, I have to believe that some day they too will be Touched by His Noodly Appendage.
Please send me your Halloween Evangelism photos and I’ll post them here. As always, pirate girls are encouraged to send in their photos. For academic reasons. Or maybe some sort of equal opportunity thing, I don’t know.
Below are some photos from this year and some of my favorites from previous years. Keep them coming.
Pumpkin art is one of my favorite forms of evangelism. Here are some great pieces:
More to come. Send me your photos!