Florida Capitol approves Pastafarian Flying Spaghetti Monster among holiday displays
The Florida Capitol building just made a move that Sarah Palin is likely to interpret as a hostile affront in the so-called “war on Christmas,” approving a religious statue from the Pastafarian group of their deity the Flying Spaghetti Monster to be included in the Capitol’s holiday displays.
It’s been a good year for visibility for America’s niche religions, and the Florida Capitol building has been ground zero. Earlier this month the Capitol made national headlines when it approved a 6-foot Festivus pole (the “Seinfeld” religion—”Fesivus for the rest of us”) made out of PBR cans. And in Oklahoma Satanists are lobbying for their own statue next to the 10 Commandments installed at the top of the steps.
“If you’re going to have inclusion of one religion in a public space, then it encourages all the others as well,” said Amanda Richard, who dropped off the Flying Spaghetti Monster at the Florida Capitol. Pictured above, you can see the Festivus pole behind the display she’s assembling. Attached to the monument is a Pastafarian saying: “‘A closed mouth catches no noodly appendages.’ – ProvHerbs 3:27.” Richard continued, “The point is to show that we are a part of a pluralistic society.”
The application for inclusion at the Capitol building was made by Peter Wood, a Florida State University graduate student, whose application said Pastafarians value “reason and rationalism in public discourse, a mutual understanding and having discussion on government, religion and viewpoints, without being hostile.” He explained, “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.”
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.
Florida officials will apparently remain open to receiving religious iconography of all kinds next to their nativity scene. “Ben Wolf, Department of Management Services director of communications, said as long as there is real estate in the Capitol and the display meets the guidelines for public exhibition, there is nothing stopping its placement,” reports Tallahassee.