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Disciples of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in New Zealand Can Now Perform Legal Marriages

Of all the religions, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has got to be one of the strangest, so the news that its New Zealand branch is now able to perform weddings might come as a surprise to some of its critics. According to the Pastafarian gospel, which can be read here, Church members worship a giant ball of spaghetti and meatballs, and claim the religion began with peaceful pirate explorers—”the original Pastafarians.” Unlike other religions, Pastafarianism has a pretty relaxed approach to commitment, with the attitude that “religion—say, Christianity, Islam, Pastafarianism—does not require literal belief in order to provide spiritual enlightenment.” You can’t help but think that if this attitude was rolled out across the board, we could have avoided a fair amount of conflict, and perhaps a few wars.
An artist’s depiction of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Image via

The Church is often criticized, mostly by Christians (“who have accepted that our God has larger balls than theirs”) for being satirical and a bit of a joke. Its principles, such as the idea that after death comes heaven, complete with a beer volcano and a stripper factory, are inflammatory to some but mostly hilarious, and easily defended by the Church’s philosophy, which is basically the same as Christianity except with more pasta. The Church claim to have evidence that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe, saying “none of us, of course, were around to see it, but we have written accounts.” They claim to have several “lengthy volumes” explaining all details of “His power,” and assure all skeptics that they are mistaken. Sounds familiar, somehow. The founder of the Church, Bobby Henderson, assures those in doubt that the Church of FSM is “legit, and backed by hard science.”

The pasta deity attending a solstice parade

Satirical or not, people seem to love the Pastafarians. When a photo emerged of a man named Russell wearing a colander on his head for his driving license photo (the colander is the Church’s religious headwear, because it’s what you use to drain spaghetti, obviously), he defended himself, stating in an interview with 3News “I am complying in every respect to the New Zealand law…I am simply claiming the same privileges awarded to those who claim to believe in a magic man in the sky. They can wear religious headwear.” You can’t argue with that.

Clearly, the next step for the Church of FSM was to obtain the ability to perform marriages. Most faith-based religious organizations have marriage license capabilities, as do spiritual ones such as Wicca, Druidism, and Scientology. It seems strange, mostly because the God they worship is pasta, but there really isn’t much difference between mainstream religions and the Church of FSM, so it follows that they should technically be granted the same authorities.

Yesterday, disciples of the Church received official approval to perform marriage ceremonies in New Zealand. What a day. According to Jeff Montgomery, the registrar-general of births, deaths, and marriages, the Church applied in November, and the application was finalized yesterday. Montgomery said that as registrar general he had to apply relevant legislation when making his decision,and he was satisfied that the principal object of the organization was to “uphold or promote religious beliefs, philosophical, or humanitarian convictions.” New Zealand’s Pastafarians rejoiced at the news on Facebook, posting screenshots of the marriage approval certificate, captioned “R’Amen!” and attracting congratulations from other branches of the Church across the world.

As of today, there have been no applications for Flying Spaghetti Monster weddings, although Pastafarians are notoriously secretive according to their online gospel. I reached out to the founder, Bobby, to ask him if there are any Pastafarian weddings on the horizon. Unfortunately he wasn’t available for comment, saying simply: “We’re out being gentle loving and compassionate Pirates, spreading the Good Word to All Sentient Beans! R’Amen!”

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