The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or Pastafarianism, may soon be recognized as an official religion in Poland after a court overturned a 2013 ruling against it.
"Judge Wlodzimierz Kowalczyk said that Tuesday's ruling was taken on formal grounds, as the ministry [of administration]had not given the applicants a two-month extension to submit outstanding documents," Polskie Radio reported.
Kowalczyk said the ministry "had not even indicated that there were such shortcomings" in the original application. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has essentially been cleared to apply to be registered as an official religion.
Pastafarian supporters are said to have gathered outside the court on Tuesday in celebration, chanting "pasta."
Pastafarianism is described in The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster book by author Bobby Henderson in 2006. Henderson, a physics student, initially brought up the "Flying Spaghetti Monster" while criticizing the Kansas State Board of Education's decision to teach intelligent design in biology classes in 2005.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster insists that it is a real religion on its website:
"Most of us do not believe a religion – Christianity, Islam, Pastafarianism – requires literal belief in order to provide spiritual enlightenment. That is, we can be part of a community without becoming indoctrinated. There are many levels of belief," it states.
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"By design, the only dogma allowed in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the rejection of dogma. That is, there are no strict rules and regulations, there are no rote rituals and prayers and other nonsense. Every member has a say in what this church is and what it becomes."
In January, Pastafarian Christopher Schaeffer was elected to a New York town board, wearing a strainer while being sworn in.
Schaeffer, who ran for the Pomfret Town Board with the endorsement of both the Democratic Party and the Working Families Party, said his goal is to serve the community and keep taxes down. He noted that he chose to wear the strainer in the name of "religious freedom."
"This may be the first openly Pastafarian sworn into office. For sure, the first to be sworn in wearing a colander," Henderson wrote about the event.
"Some people will see it as obnoxious or a sign that he's not taking the oath of office seriously. But I am completely confident that Schaeffer will distinguish himself as a council member of the highest caliber."