A Democratic politician in a small town in New York was sworn into office on Jan 2. in one of the most interesting ways possible: While wearing a colander -- a strainer used to drain water from rice or pasta -- on top of his head.
According to The Observer, a local newspaper in western New York, newly-seated Pomfret Town Council member Christopher Schaeffer took the uncommon step to make a "statement about religious freedom."
See, Schaeffer is a "Pastafarian" and a minister with the so-called "Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster," a faux faith system that was created by an atheist and is widely considered a mechanism for poking fun at faith and religion.
Pomfret Town Council member Christopher Schaeffer (left) takes the oath, given to him by Town Clerk Allison Dispense. (Credit: Greg Fox/The Observer)
Pasta strainers are often associated with the group, which is likely why Schaeffer chose to make a statement by wearing one during the oath.
He told The Observer that the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is "a religion without any dogma." The "church's" website has more about its core beliefs:
Most of us do not believe a religion – Christianity, Islam, Pastafarianiasm – requires literal belief in order to provide spiritual enlightenment. That is, we can be part of a community without becoming indoctrinated. There are many levels of belief.
By design, the only dogma allowed in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the rejection of dogma. That is, there are no strict rules and regulations, there are no rote rituals and prayers and other nonsense. Every member has a say in what this church is and what it becomes.
Considering that many politicians take oaths of office using the Bible, it's possible Schaeffer was poking fun or simply making a deeper point about how he'll serve the public. In his interview with The Observer, Schaeffer said that he plans to represent everyone.
"Mostly, I'm just looking forward to making sure that the town is run smoothly and we meet the needs of all of our citizens," he told the outlet. "If anybody ever has any concerns or questions, I hope they contact me, because I want to make sure that everyone is represented."
He's not the first Pastafarian to gain widespread attention for wearing a strainer, as TheBlaze's Meredith Jessup reported back in 2011.
(H/T: The Observer)
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