If you can’t lick ‘em, join ‘em—or rather, slurp them. Tallahassee.com reports for the first of today’s Good News for Secularism posts (there will be several):
The most recently approved display in the Florida Capitol is one from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
A desk chair with a shredded cardboard representation of its deity – an eyed blob of noodles grasping two meatballs – with a sign reading: “A closed mouth catches no noodly appendages.” – ProvHerbs 3:27,” arrived Tuesday and now joins four other holiday displays in the marble rotunda.
Here it is, in all its glory!
Members, described as Pastafarians, believe, according to the church’s website that “The only dogma allowed in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the rejection of dogma,” and “Most of us do not believe a religion – Christianity, Islam, Pastafarianism – requires literal belief in order to provide spiritual enlightenment.”
Peter Wood, a Florida State University graduate student who applied to include the display, said the church’s members look toward “reason and rationalism in public discourse, a mutual understanding and having discussion on government, religion and viewpoints, without being hostile,” Wood said. “It’s OK for us to have different views in society and I think its important to realize there are more than one way to view things.”
Wood said the idea was not to mock other religions, instead to show “we can learn a lot from each other. Some ideas are deemed better than others and a lot of the time they’re equally humorous and equally valid,” he said.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has been associated with atheist and secular groups for the past decade or so, said Amanda Richard, who dropped of the display Tuesday afternoon.
“The point is to show that we are a part of a pluralistic society,” Richard said. “If you’re going to have inclusion of one religion in a public space, then it encourages all the others as well.”
2013 was a banner year for Pastafarian acknowledgement, with a Texas man becoming the first to win the right to wear the traditional Pastafarian garb in his driver’s license photo—a pasta strainer on the head. The victory followed Pastafarians’ landmark victory in 2011 to wear pasta strainers on their heads in ID photos.
Other atheist displays in the capitol by a manger. I bet Christians are fuming, but it’s an object lesson in the First Amendment: