A self-proclaimed “Pastafarian” will give an invocation next month at his local city council meeting.
Steve Vincent told The Sacramento Bee that he decided to become a legally ordained minister following a recent online debate with some of his neighbors over public spending on a “prayer day.”
Vincent, who described himself as agnostic, told the newspaper that he disagreed with his California town sponsoring and funding faith-based activities.
He said he became particularly irritated while discussing with some neighbors on NextDoor.com a “Celebration of Faith” held earlier this year by the Rancho Cordova community council.
“That led to discussing City Council prayer, and several neighbors had the attitude of, ‘You should just deal with it; it doesn’t hurt you,’” Vincent told the newspaper. “That was the day I got a little peeved at the arrogance and decided to volunteer for a prayer to see what would happen.”
Vincent became an ordained minister through the Universal Life Church website and signed up as a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, whose followers refer to themselves as “Pastafarians.”
The city’s community council granted his request to deliver the invocation before Rancho Cordova’s Oct. 7 city council meeting.
Vincent said officials were open and courteous to his request, although he admitted they laughed when he told them the religious affiliation he wished to be listed under on the council agenda.
A spokeswoman for the city said Rancho Cordova had written guidelines for the invocations, which cannot be sectarian or disparaging of any faith or denomination.
“I suppose I’ll wonder aloud if God is there, and if he is, whether we should be praying in a government meeting,” Vincent told the newspaper. “That’s how I think about it, (and) I hope people in the room will reflect a bit on it.”
[Image via Wikimedia Commons user Head, Creative Commons licensed]