An Australian authority has rejected the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s bid for legal recognition.
The church boasts ‘Pastafarianism’ and was formed for a ‘religious, educational, charitable or benevolent purpose,’ having earlier ‘fed the hungry’ and helped at a local university event.
However, after a knockback from the Corporate Affairs Commission, the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) held similar views, denying the church’s legal status on the grounds of ‘Pastafarian texts presenting a hoax religion.’
If successful, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster Australia – which refers to books of the Bible as the ‘Old Testicle’ and ‘New Testicle’ in its texts – would have been recognised as a nonprofit organisation.
SACAT Senior Member Kathleen McEvoy rejected the church’s claims and ‘explanation of the use of these expressions (and numerous other similar expressions, many expressed in racist and sexist terms, referencing texts or practices of other religions) as examples of humour, and for the purpose of generating curiosity,’ as reported by ABC News.
‘It is my view that the Pastafarian texts can only be read as parody or satire, namely, an imitation of work made for comic effect. In my view, its purpose is to satirise or mock established religions, and it does so without discrimination,’ she wrote in her ruling.
Tanya Watkins, the Adelaide ‘captain’ of the church, said the decision was ‘quite disappointing… if you’ve got an association, then you should get it incorporated because then you’ve got government oversight, you can run a bank account and all those sorts of things so we could be transparent and above board.’
‘You’ll find that there is a core group of people who really believe in Pastafarianism and that it can change people’s lives for the better. Satire does have a serious purpose, because satire makes people think,’ she added.
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