Pastafarians get power to marry

  • 16/12/2015
Pastafarians get power to marry

They may wear colanders on their heads and claim pirates were just given a raw deal, but that doesn't make their religion less real than anyone else's.

Or at least that's what the man who gave the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster the power to marry people in New Zealand says.

The church, whose members are called Pastafarians - but deny it's all satire - has been granted a licence to conduct marriages.

The Department of Internal Affairs' Jeff Montgomery - who issued the licence - said it wasn't up to him to decide whether a religious organisation's beliefs were valid, just if they had some.

"My decision can only be based on whether the organisation upholds or promotes religious beliefs, or philosophical or humanitarian convictions," he said.

He said the church had clearly outlined its values to him, including "raising awareness, educating and training people, particularly atheists and superstitious people".

The church on its website describes some of its key values as an opposition to religious dogma and a fondness for beer and Fridays.

It says its God is some kind of complex carbohydrate - possibly spaghetti and meatballs - and say pirates - who were really gentle and have been misrepresented - were the original Pastafarians.

The organisation was originally founded in the United States in 2005 to protest the teaching of creationism in schools but has since spread to become a global trend.

"While some claim this is a parody organisation, members have rebutted this on a number of occasions," Mr Montgomery said.

He said it was rare to turn down organisations for licences - even if this particular request was a bit unusual.

But before the church can perform any marriages, he will have to now approve some of the church's members as celebrants.

To be cleared, members will have to pass a character test.

As for what a Pastafarian wedding may look like: colanders may be the traditional headwear, but pirate outfits are also acceptable - and pasta is on the menu, the church says.

NZN