Great news, Pastafarians! The Netherlands has officially recognized Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster as a religion, according to reports emerging in the Dutch media.
The Dutch wing of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster reported on its website that the Netherlands’ Chamber of Commerce has officially registered Pastafarianism as an official religion, the first country in the world to do so.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or Pastafarianism, is a social movement that emerged in 2005 and quickly went on to become an internet phenomenon. Although not strictly a religion, the torchbearers of the movement encourage a light-hearted view of religion and oppose the teaching of creationism and intelligent design in public schools.
Still considered more a parody religion that anything else, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was first described in a satirical open letter written by Bobby Henderson to protest the Kansas State Board of Education’s decision to permit teaching intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in public school science classes.
The parody religion’s deity, called the Flying Spaghetti Monster, is described as a supernatural creator that closely resembles spaghetti and meatballs, who constantly changes the way the world functions with “His Noodly Appendage.”
Ever since Bobby Henderson published his letter on his website almost a decade ago, the parody religion went on to gain a cult following among people who opposed the teaching of creationism in schools. Pastafarians are also said to believe that heaven is a beer volcano with a stripper factory, while hell is pretty much the same but the beer is stale and the strippers have sexually transmitted diseases.
Now, the Netherlands has become the first nation in the world to give it mainstream acceptability, showing that the humor initially intended by the forming of the religion is not lost on them.
According to Metro, members of the parody religion’s Dutch wing celebrated the news with a bowl of pasta. A spokesman for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster expressed the group’s excitement at having been officially registered with the European country’s Chamber of Commerce.
“The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is since today officially registered as Denomination! Our church stands for equality for all. Therefore, anyone can sign up free of charge and without obligation.
To express our faith we put a colander on our heads. Also on official government documents. We come together in local churches and at events. Our services are especially devoted to socialising. So we eat pasta, we drink beer and discuss faith.”
Although the parody religion’s recognition by the Netherlands is a major reason for Pastafarians to celebrate, this is not the first time that the church has been recognized in some capacity. North America already boasts of a legion of Pastafarians, while only last month New Zealand allowed ordained ministers of the Pastafarian sect to join couples together in holy matrimony, as reported by the Inquisitr
In an age where religions come by the dozen, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is certainly the most bizarre of the bunch, but it is no surprise why the outlandish sect has been able to gain such a mass following within a decade of its inception.
After all, atheists with a sense of humor are likely to endorse the religion, given its capacity for subversion, and now it appears that Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster may well be twisting in His “noodly appendage” with the news that the Netherlands has granted his religion official status.
[Image via Atheism vs Religion/YouTube]