Governments' Lighter Side

Pastafarian elected to Pomfret, N.Y., City Council

Our friends the Pastafarians are back in municipal news.

You may remember our story on Eddie Castillo, the young Pastafarian devotee who tangled with the Texas Department of Public Safety last summer over his right to wear a colander – what he said is a symbol of his faith – in his drivers license photo.

Well, it appears the Pastafarian movement is growing in popularity – and maybe power. According to local paper, The Observer, Christopher Schaeffer, a Pastafarian minister, was recently sworn in to his position as a Town Councilman in Pomfret, N.Y., wearing the de facto symbol of the faith – a colander on the head.

MSNBC reports he is the first member of the “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster” to hold public office.

“It’s just a statement about religious freedom,” Schaeffer told The Observer, “It’s a religion without any dogma.”

Pastafarianism is a satirical faith that sprung up in 2005, according to MSNBC, to protest the Kansas State Board of Education’s decision to permit the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in public schools. The “religion” has been growing since then, spreading its good news on online forums such as Reddit.

The "church," which believes a flying creator-god made of spaghetti crafted the universe, takes itself pretty seriously these days… but not really… but maybe? Anyway, their website states: "Some claim that the church is purely a thought experiment, satire, illustrating that Intelligent Design is not science, but rather a pseudoscience manufactured by Christians to push Creationism (the doctrine that God created the universe) into public schools. These people are mistaken. The Church of FSM is real, totally legit, and backed by hard science. Anything that comes across as humor or satire is purely coincidental."

Regardless of the church’s sincerity, Schaeffer hopes that residents can look past his religious affiliation. “Mostly, I'm just looking forward to making sure that the town is run smoothly and we meet the needs of all of our citizens," he told The Observer. "If anybody ever has any concerns or questions, I hope they contact me, because I want to make sure that everyone is represented.”

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Derek Prall

Derek Prall is a professional journalist who has held numerous positions with a variety of print and online publications including the New Jersey Herald. He is a 2008 graduate of Furman University...
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