Christopher Schaeffer, who donned the kitchen utensil when he took the oath of office as a Pomfret Town Council member Tuesday afternoon, said he is a minister in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a tongue-in-cheek group opposed to the teaching of intelligent design and creationism in public schools, the (Dunkirk) Observer reported Wednesday.
"It's just a statement about religious freedom," he said. "It's a religion without any dogma."
Schaeffer said several church members, who are called Pastafarians, were arrested at a Russian parade last summer on charges of organizing an unsanctioned rally because they "offended the Orthodox Church."
"Somebody called the cops, and the cops came and arrested them," he said.