In Brief

Is Pastafarianism a real religion?

Dutch court rules followers cannot wear colander on her head for official photos

A Dutch follower of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has been denied the right wear a colander on her head in her passport photo, after a court ruled Pastafarianism was not a religion.

The Netherlands’ highest court ruled that Mienke de Wilde could not be exempted on religious grounds from a ban on headwear in official identity photographs, because Pastfarianism was essentially a satire and not a serious faith.

Formed in the US in 2005 in response to the teaching of creationism in schools, Pastafarians worship an invisible and undetectable god called the Flying Spaghetti Monster, wear colanders on their heads in homage, advocate the teaching of Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, vow to be nice to all sentient beings and eat a lot of pasta. They also conclude their prayers with “Ramen” rather than “Amen” and their heaven has a stripper factory and beer volcano.

Officially recognised by the New Zealand government, which approved it to conduct marriages in 2015, “the church’s status is disputed in many other countries”, says The Guardian, “although several have allowed followers to wear colanders or pirate outfits for ID photographs”.

In handing down its ruling, the Dutch court said: “It is important to be able to criticise religious dogma freely through satire but that does not make such criticism a serious religion,” adding that Pastafarianism lacked the “seriousness and coherence” required of a religion.

De Wilde is now considering taking her case to the European court of human rights.

Recommended

Is monkeypox here to stay?
Monkeypox virus
Talking point

Is monkeypox here to stay?

Immunity, Tunisia and Big Brother
Covid vaccine lab
Podcasts

Immunity, Tunisia and Big Brother

Quiz of The Week: 30 July - 5 August
Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey
Quizzes and puzzles

Quiz of The Week: 30 July - 5 August

Alex Jones admits Sandy Hook shootings were real
Alex Jones bellows into a loud hailer
Speed Reads

Alex Jones admits Sandy Hook shootings were real

Popular articles

Will China invade Taiwan?
Chinese troops on mobile rocket launchers during a parade in Beijing
Fact file

Will China invade Taiwan?

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Best new TV crime dramas of 2022
Roger Allam and Nancy Carroll in Murder in Provence
In Depth

Best new TV crime dramas of 2022

The Week Footer Banner