Pastafarianism "not a religion" rules Dutch court

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By Cristina Abellan Matamoros
Pastafarianism "not a religion" rules Dutch court
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Pastafarianism — whose followers believe in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster — is not a religion, the highest administrative court in the Netherlands has ruled.

The Dutch Council of State made the judgement in the case of a student from the eastern city of Nijmegen.

De Wilde had submitted passport photos while wearing a colander on her head — a holy symbol of Pastafarianism.

Nijmegen’s mayor refused them and argued they did not comply with official requirements, prompting the university student to take the case to court.

Dutch law stipulates that for passport photos head coverings are only allowed for religious, philosophical, or medical reasons.

Exceptions may be made if the head covering is for religious reasons but since the court decided that Pastafarianism was not a religion there was no reason to deviate from the general rule.

"Insufficient seriousness"

According to the court, Pastafarianism is overflowing with satire and so cannot be considered a serious religion according to criteria applied by the European Court of Human Rights to define freedom of religion.

"Pastafarianism lacks the required seriousness and cohesion. For this reason, this movement cannot be considered as a religion," said the court in a statement.

“I can imagine that it all looks very odd if you don’t believe,” De Wilde told the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper. “But that’s the case with many faiths if you don’t believe in them – people who walk on water or divide themselves in two, for example. I find other religions unbelievable.”

De Wilde is now considering taking her case to the European Court of Human Rights, said local media.

What is Pastafarianism?

Pastafarianism, created by the American Bobby Henderson, is the belief that the world was founded by an invisible Flying Spaghetti Monster. 

The religion does not follow the ten commandments but rather a list of eight "I'd Really Rather You Didn'ts".

Henderson created the religion in protest against the teaching of creationism in American schools. 

The founder felt that Pastafarianism should also be taught.