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German Pastafarian Seeks Recognition for Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

In case you haven’t heard of it before, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, also known as Pastafarianism (a cross between pasta and Rastafarian) is a movement that promotes a light-hearted view of religion, and is generally viewed by the media as a satirical take on organized religion. But 63-year-old German retiree Rüdiger Weida takes his Pastafarianism quite seriously – he established his own church chapter in the town of Templin, in September of last year, and is now trying his best to get it legally recognized by the state!

Weekly noodle worship at Weida’s church begins at 10 a.m. every Friday. The basic mass format is somewhat similar to mainstream Christian churches – there’s an altar, a time for prayers, scripture readings, hymns and a Holy Communion. But the similarities end there. The wine and bread are replaced by beer and of course, cooked strands of spaghetti, and parishioners hey say “Ramen” instead of “Amen” and chant “Beer-alleluia” at the end of the service. As the leader of this unusual church, Weida, who goes by the alias“Bruder Spaghettus”, acts as the “Noodler”, which means he presides over the service wearing a long yellow robe and a pink stole.

Rudiger-Weida

Photo: Matthew Bell

When asked if he really believes in the divine nature of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Weida replied: “It’s a hard question for a Pastafarian. We are all separated by two persons inside. Of course, I believe. But, of course, I also know it doesn’t exist.”

That does sound quite absurd, which seems to be the essence of the religion. And the more you dig into Pastafarianism, the more ridiculous it tends to get. For instance, Weida said that he believes in a heaven-like existence in the afterlife that includes large amounts of beer and great numbers of strippers.

Rudiger-Weida2

Photo: RBB

Despite the absurdity, Weida believes that Pastafarians deserve official recognition. He believes that serious religious organisations enjoy a privileged status in Germany, and that the same civil rights aren’t extended to atheists or non-believers. “With employment laws, for example, churches can hire and fire people based on their beliefs,” he pointed out. “Mainstream churches also get government funding to run their institutions.”

So he wants to gain legal recognition for his own Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and make a statement about the rights of non-believers. And he might just be successful, given that the mayor of Templin, Detlaf Tabbert, doesn’t frequent any church himself. He’s already given permission for the Weida to put up official signs about Noodle Worship service timings.

Rudiger-Weida3

Photo: Facebook/Rüdiger Weida

“We live in a tolerant place and we shouldn’t discriminate against minorities,” Tabbert said. “People should also be able to deal with criticism and have a sense of humor.”

Not everyone is as supporting of Weida’s cause, though. Thomas Hoehle, a priest at the Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Templin, said that Pastafarians are trying to have it both ways. “It’s obviously not a real church,” he said. “It’s a parody of a church. We need to be respectful of different faiths. And this parody church is hurtful.” A few high-level German officials agree, and they want the signs of Noodle Worship taken down.

 

Source: PRI.org