That’s not a spelling mistake. I really do mean Pastafarian. For want of something better to do (my concentration has been off recently), I was wandering about on the internet and stumbled upon the U.S. State Department web site, and out of curiosity, looked up what that esteemed department had to say about Aotearoa New Zealand.
Most was kind of boring but some snippets did stand out. This one into their 2018 report on religious freedom in NZ made me smile:
In March an Auckland secondary school student stated that his school did not allow him to wear a spaghetti colander for his school identity photograph, contrary to his religious beliefs. The student is a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, otherwise known as Pastafarianism, which is a legally recognized religion in the country. The student stated that he contacted the HRC over the incident but had accepted the school’s decision for the time being.
HRC is an abbreviation for Human Rights Commission, an independent authority that reports to Parliament, not the government. So all you Flying Spaghetti Monster worshipers, if you are looking for somewhere where your religion is recognised (one school excepted) then this is possibly an ideal spot.
By the way, did you realise that in 2001, approximately 1.5% of the New Zealand population claimed their religion as Jedi? That’s the highest per capita population of Jedi in the world. It’s been falling steadily ever since. Which is a shame. I much prefer “May the force be with you” than “God bless”. It has a more dramatic ring to it, don’t you think?