Pastafarians demand equal access to Pennsylvania courthouse holiday display
Pastafarians on Wednesday urged Chester County commissioners in Pennsylvania to include the Flying Spaghetti Monster in the holiday display at the county’s courthouse.
“Good morning commissioners, it is my honor to address you today,” Evangelical Pastafarian Tracy McPherson told the commissioners at a meeting. “Last December as I drove through West Chester, I was pleased to see holiday displays in front of the courthouse. Prominently displayed were the Jewish menorah and the Christian nativity display depicting the birth of Christ. These symbols represent the meaning of the holiday season for two religious communities in our area. I could not help but feel that the display was incomplete, as there was no acknowledgement of my religion present.”
The quasi-religion and its pasta-deity were spawned in 2005, when Bobby Henderson mocked the Kansas Board of Education in an open letter for allowing the teaching of Intelligent Design, a variation of creationism, in public schools. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has since grown into a full-blown movement, boasting millions of members.
“As a Pastafarian, I believe the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the world and all that is in it,” McPherson explained to the commissioners. “He holds us all to the ground with his noodly appendages and that explains why we do not float away.”
The Evangelical Pastafarians would like to see their pasta-decorated pine tree placed alongside the Jewish and Christian displays. Despite its satirical appearance, McPherson insisted her devotion to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was serious.
The Chester County commissioners voted in 2010 to prohibit privately-owned displays at the courthouse. The current holiday display is owned by the county, and includes both secular and religious elements. The commissioners will consider voting to change the policy on Thursday, according to the Daily Local News.
Previously, the Freethought Society, the Pennsylvania Pastors Network, the Chabad of Chester County, and the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce had all set up displays during the Christmas season. But the Freethought Society’s display in particular provoked controversy due to its alleged hostility towards religion.
[Image via Wikimedia Commons user Head, Creative Commons licensed]