Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster Not a Religion, Can't Have Rights Like Christianity: Germany

This iconic image, Touched by His Noodly Appendage, was originally created in August 2005 by the Swedish designer Niklas Jansson as a parody of Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam. The image has become the de facto brand image for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. | (Photo: Wikimedia)

The Constitutional Court of Germany has ruled that despite its insistence otherwise, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is not a real religion and won't be afforded the same rights as Christian denominations.

The atheistic organization has been looking to put up official signs in cities and towns in Germany, like how Christian churches advertise the location and times of their worship services, but it will not be granted such a right, Evangelical Focus reported.

The Church of the FSM claims on its website that it's a "legitimate religion" and that it's mostly opposed by "fundamentalist Christians." Its activities, widely regarding to be mocking the Christian faith, include observances such as "noodle mass" and the "our noodle prayer."

The group in Germany has said that its worldview should have the same rights as Christianity, but as ruled by the Brandenburg Court, and now upheld by the Constitutional Court, they have not presented evidence that their faith is genuine.

The "pastafaris," as followers of the Church of the FSM are called, have said that they will bring their petition up to the European Court of Human Rights.

The organization has lost a number of similar cases in Europe.

In August, the highest court of the Netherlands also ruled that the Church of the FSM is not a religion, and its followers do not have the right to wear religious headgear in passport or driving license photos.

Mienke de Wilde, a law student from Nijmegen, had wanted to wear a pasta strainer in official identity photographs. The Dutch council of state ruled that pastfarianism was essentially a satire, and not a serious faith, however.

"I can imagine that it all looks very odd if you don't believe," De Wilde told the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper at the time, as translated by The Guardian. "But that's the case with many faiths if you don't believe in them — people who walk on water or divide themselves in two, for example. I find other religions unbelievable."

In the U.S., a federal judge ruled in April 2016 that the Church of the FSM is not a real religion, but a riposte of Intelligent Design.

The case concerned an inmate at the Nebraska State Penitentiary, who back in 2014 had filed a lawsuit demanding that his worship of the Flying Spaghetti Monster be given the same treatment as mainstream faiths.

U.S. District Judge John Gerrard said at the time that such a provision cannot be made, however.

"The court finds that FSMism is not a 'religion' within the meaning of the relevant federal statutes and constitutional jurisprudence. It is, rather, a parody, intended to advance an argument about science, the evolution of life, and the place of religion in public education. Those are important issues, and FSMism contains a serious argument — but that does not mean that the trappings of the satire used to make that argument are entitled to protection as a 'religion,'" Gerrard wrote at the time.

Follow Stoyan Zaimov on Facebook: CPSZaimov

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