As someone who has no religious affiliation, I had a prolonged and slightly patronising chuckle to myself when I first heard about the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster – a religious movement centred around a meatball with noodly appendages, which promotes a light-hearted view of religion and opposes the teaching of intelligent design and the madness that is creationism in schools.
But then things got political, and by ‘political’ I mean real. If you don’t get that pop-culture reference, you can’t have seen ‘Bad Boys 2’ starring Will Smith and the guy from Big Momma’s House. A classic, take it from me.
Anyway, pasta worshippers (also known as ‘Pastafarians’) are to gnocchi on the doors of the European Court of Human Rights after the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was rejected as an official religion by officials in Poland.
It’ll take some time – and hopefully the Pastafarians won’t spiralli out of control – but the penne will drop with not just Poland but the entire European Community. It’ll be al dente to the pride of the uber-religious, but the Member States of the European Union must surely follow the precedent set by Austria – which permitted Pastafarian, Niko Alm, the legal right to wear his official religious headgear – a colander – on his EU driving licence.
Without boring you on European Law to the extent that you consider eating your own face, let it suffice to say that what the EU permits in one member state will be permitted in another.
Another plus for the Pastafarians is the fact that most national constitutions include clauses on freedom of religion without defining what ‘religion’ actually means. Genius! As an internet geek far more erudite than me wrote, “theologians and philosophers may have the luxury of imprecision, but lawyers and judges do not.”
No matter the outcome of the EU appeal, the Pastafarians have struck a chord with the growing number of atheists and agnostics in Europe. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster may have been rebutted in Poland, but its presence will linguini on.