In an era where workplace diversity is increasingly recognized, Pastafarians still find themselves at a crossroads when it comes to expressing their faith. Pirate Regalia and Colanders, symbols of our belief, are often met with misunderstanding or outright prejudice. Beards, piercings, and tattoos, which connect us to our Pastafarian ancestry, face similar challenges.
What Can We Do?
Understanding the need for respectful dialogue and legal awareness in these situations, we’ve developed a specialized letter-generator. This tool is designed to help Pastafarians request exemptions from workplace dress codes in a manner that is respectful, effective, and legally informed.
How Does It Work?
The letter-generator simplifies the process of drafting a request for religious accommodation. It guides users through essential elements including:
An introduction from a representative of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
A list of specific religious practices for which accommodation is sought, such as wearing colander/tricorn headwear, pirate regalia, growing long hair and beards, and displaying tattoos and piercings.
An explanation of the religious significance behind these practices.
A reference to the legal framework that supports religious accommodations in the workplace.
A courteous request for the revision and adaptation of existing dress code policies to include these religious practices.
What’s The Point?
Our goal is to affirm that every individual, including Pastafarians, has the right to religious expression, whether at work or in school. This letter-generator is a step toward ensuring that Pastafarians can practice their faith openly and without discrimination.
Call To Action
We encourage all followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to use this tool to assert their rights to religious freedom and expression. Here is the tool: Religious Attire Request Generator. Your feedback and stories about the results are greatly valued.
As many Pastafarians will remember, the Kenai (Alaska) Borough Assembly has allowed religious groups to offer a prayer/invocation before government meetings. Some less-mainstream groups have taken part, including the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Another group, a group of professed Satanists, has also offered prayers where they encouraged attendees to ‘Hail Satan’. These invocations have not always gone over well (though I think the Pastafarian offerings were accepted by many, as opposed to the Satanist’s) — sometimes even leading to attendees walking out of the meetings.
The Alaska Watchman has published an article with developments. It seems the invocations – well, just those from diverse groups – may be coming to an end. Mayor Peter Micciche has introduced a resolution to restrict who can deliver the opening prayers, limiting it to official borough chaplains from the fire and emergency services. That will certainly lead to prayers by just the mainstream groups.
For years now, the assembly has endured formal appeals to Satan thanks to a 2018 Alaska Supreme Court opinion that claimed the borough could not bar Satanists from prayer without violating their First Amendment religious liberties.
Multiple satanic prayers have since been delivered by a Kenai resident who uses the invocation time to attack religious belief and offer praise to her Dark Lord.
The current policy allows “private” citizens to sign up on a rotating basis, which opens the door for all manner of “prayers,” some of which have been overtly political, agenda driven, farcical, and even satanic.
The inclusion of invocations by various citizens, including unconventional ones, has sparked debates about who should be permitted to deliver such prayers in civic meetings. The Watchman article does not mention it, but the controversy surrounding invocations also suggests a larger point: why are government meetings allowing religious services in the first place? These are official government proceedings after all, these are not places of worship.
A Pastafarian Perspective
As part of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, our participation in the assembly’s invocations extends beyond making a statement on religious diversity or questioning the mix of religion and government affairs. Our aim is to authentically share our beliefs and values, which center on critical inquiry, and a scientific approach to understanding the world. It was our study of observable facts that led us to our conclusions – that these conclusions led us to believe in an almighty Spaghetti Monster and that Pirates were our ancestors is merely the end result. Certainly it would have been easier to join in more mainstream beliefs.
Our invocations are heartfelt expressions of our Pastafarian faith. We feel it is our duty to share our findings with the world, to contribute to the community’s spiritual tapestry and invite reflection on the diverse beliefs that shape our society.
The Challenge Of Inclusivity
The proposed amendment by Kenai’s officials might streamline meeting protocols, yet it could also exclude many voices, including ours, which goes against the inclusivity that is foundational to our nation’s values. We advocate for a policy that either embraces all expressions of faith or opts for a neutral, secular space that truly accommodates everyone.
As the Kenai Borough Assembly considers policy changes, we underscore the importance of upholding the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution — the freedom of and from religion. It’s crucial to preserve the right for all faiths, including those like ours, to share our beliefs in public forums.
The Church of FSM is committed to the open sharing of our faith through any channel available. We are hopeful for a respectful exchange that respects both the historical role of faith in public life and the necessity of adapting to our diverse modern society.
We remain ready to engage in Kenai Borough Assembly meetings, promoting tolerance, inclusivity, and enlightenment, in true Pastafarian spirit.
[Top photo is of resident Barrett Fletcher offering a Pastafarian invocation to the assembly back in 2019. Alaska Daily News covered this in a great article. Photo ADN.]
Filmmaker Alex Alford has traveled to Germany to make a short documentary about Rüdiger Weida aka Bruder Spaghettus, and his Pastafarian church in the town of Templin.
… when I actually met Rüdiger I discovered there was much more to his story than initially met the eye. As a student growing up in oppressive East Germany post-WWII, he fell in love with satire as a means of speaking out against an unjust government. In fact, this led to him being aggressively spied on by the German secret police (and boy, does he have many crazy stories about this). Now, later in life, he has found satire through Pastafarianism as a way to speak out against a new enemy – the German church.
Bruder has been fighting for legal recognition of the Church for years – he is a fascinating man and I found Alex’s documentary very well-made and interesting. Highly recommended.
Great news — Pastafarian minister Micheal Lusefovich has been released from prison after nearly 2 years, and is currently living in Israel.
Micheal was the head of Russia’s Church of the FSM. He was charged unjustly for working with a democratic opposition group, Open Russia, that had been outlawed by the Russian government. The conviction was related to hosting lectures for independent election monitors, held at the premises of the Church of the FSM.
I am very happy to hear that he is free, living in Israel, and doing well.