The Telegraph 17 December 2015
Ever wanted to get married while wearing a colander on your head?
Move to New Zealand – they just gave the right to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to perform marriage ceremonies.
Members of the church call themselves Pastafarians and believe that the world was created by an airborne spaghetti and meatballs-based being, although its own website notes that some followers consider it to be a satirical organisation.
The announcement that the church is now allowed to perform weddings was made on the government gazette.
Registrar-general Jeff Montgomery defended the decision, saying that it was made on the basis that the organisation promotes religious beliefs.
He said that it is not based on how valid the religious claims the organisation are.
The registrar-general told stuff.co.nz that the request was valid because the purposes set out by the church were educating and training people, particularly atheists and superstitious people, about Flying Spaghetti principles and practices.
He said: “In considering the matter I have referred to the Objects of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, reviewed material available online about this organisation and considered other organisations already able to nominate marriage celebrants.
“A review of media and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s international website show a consistent presentation of their philosophies. While some claim this is a ‘parody organisation’, members have rebutted this on a number of occasions.”
But Australia sees it differently. In an August decision, Dini Soulio, the South Australian commissioner for consumer affairs, wrote in his decision that while he accepts adherents believe in Pastafarianism, he doesn’t consider it a religion.
“The eight ‘I’d Rather You Didn’ts’ and ‘The Random Number of Not Commandments, Suggestions’ mostly contain moral admonitions, worldly advice or pragmatic advice, and thus, have no supernatural or spiritual significance,” Soulio wrote. “Other canons are clearly a parody on other established religions and thus have no supernatural significance.”