Worshipping the Flying Spaghetti Monster is not a real religion, court rules

Worshipping the Flying Spaghetti Monster is not a real religion, court rules
Stephen Cavanaugh (Image: Police photo)

A Nebraska inmate who has professed his allegiance to the divine Flying Spaghetti Monster lost his bid demanding that prison officials accommodate his Pastafarianism faith.

A federal judge dismissed the suit (PDF) Tuesday brought by Stephen Cavanaugh, who is serving a 4- to 8-year term on assault and weapons charges at the Nebraska State Penitentiary. US District Judge John Gerrard ruled that “FSMism” isn’t a religion like the ones protected under the Constitution.

“The Court finds that FSMism is not a ‘religion’ within the meaning of the relevant federal statutes and constitutional jurisprudence. It is, rather, a parody, intended to advance an argument about science, the evolution of life, and the place of religion in public education. Those are important issues, and FSMism contains a serious argument—but that does not mean that the trappings of the satire used to make that argument are entitled to protection as a ‘religion,'” the judge ruled. (PDF)

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