A university in Britain has been accused of violating the free speech rights of a group of atheists after the school banned satirical posters of the fictional “Flying Spaghetti Monster” because it could offend Christians.
The Independent reported on Tuesday that non-religious students in the South Bank Atheist Society had put up the posters in their stall at London South Bank University’s freshers’ fair last week. The poster depicted Michelangelo’s famous “Creation of Adam” fresco, except the image of God was replaced with the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
The Flying Spaghetti Monster is the fake God of a group who call themselves “pastafarians,” a name coined by atheists protesting the Kansas School Board’s decision to teach intelligent design in 2005.
When members of the South Bank Atheist Society returned to their stall, they were told that the posters had been removed because of “Adam’s genitals.” After the students offered to blur out the offending parts of the image, student union officials admitted that the poster had been banned for being “religiously offensive.”
“This incident is just one of a catalogue of attempts to censor our society,” South Bank Atheist Society President Cloe Ansari told The Independent. “I never expected to face such blatant censorship and fragile sensibilities at university, I thought this would be an institution where I could challenge beliefs and in turn be challenged.”
A university spokesperson insisted to the paper that the school worked “achieve an inclusive and supportive environment for all of our students.”
[Image via Wikimedia Commons user Head, Creative Commons licensed]