'Pastafarians' set up display at Florida Capitol

Dec. 19, 2013 at 3:08 PM
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Dec. 19 (UPI) -- The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has become the latest religion to put an officially-sanctioned holiday display in the Florida Capitol.

Members of the church, a tongue-in-cheek religion opposed to the teaching of creationism or intelligent design in schools, put up a display in the Capitol comprised of shredded cardboard to represent the group's deity, a pile of noodles with two meatballs, the Tallahassee Democrat reported Thursday.

"A closed mouth catches no noodly appendages. -- ProvHerbs 3:27," reads a sign accompanying the display, which is set atop a desk chair.

Peter Wood, a Florida State University graduate student who petitioned the Department of Management Services to include the display, said the church's members, who call themselves Pastafarians, aim for "reason and rationalism in public discourse, a mutual understanding and having discussion on government, religion and viewpoints, without being hostile."

"It's OK for us to have different views in society and I think its important to realize there are more than one way to view things," Wood said.

Amanda Richard, who set up the display Tuesday, said the church has been paired with atheist and secular groups for the past decade.

"The point is to show that we are a part of a pluralistic society," Richard said. "If you're going to have inclusion of one religion in a public space, then it encourages all the others as well."

The Capitol also includes a Christian nativity scene, a "Seinfeld" inspired Festivus pole and two signs from atheist groups.

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