The Michigan State Capitol Commission has granted approval for a holiday pasta display on the Capitol lawn in Lansing.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster's request for a display at the Capitol was in response to a Christian Nativity display being approved at the same location.
“We generally don’t proselytize, but if the Capitol Commission allows religious displays on Capitol property, we think it’s important that all world-views are represented,” says Reverend Chris Beckstrom of the Alto Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the local church responsible for the display.
“Not everyone may be a Pastafarian, but we wish to communicate a message of solidarity to all minority religions and world-views. Especially atheists, who for some reason seem to especially appreciate our efforts.”
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, whose website says it “does not require literal belief in order to provide spiritual enlightenment,” is an international religious organization that came into the mainstream a few years ago. According to the website, it has existed in secrecy for hundreds of years.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was approved in 2015 for a holiday display as well. Rev. Beckstrom performed holiday songs on accordion which attracted many bystanders and attention from local news.
“After all, the Capitol property is owned by the citizens, and that includes Muslims, Hindus, Wiccans, atheists, and more. We cannot allow a single religion to speak for all of us.”
The Flying Spaghetti Monster will be at the Capitol, Dec. 15 to 21 alongside a Christian Nativity display from Michigan Senator Rick Jones and a Snaketivity display from the Satanic Temple of Detroit. It will be set up every morning and taken down every night per Capitol regulations.
“We’d prefer the government not provide a platform for religion, but when it does we strive to ensure it remains neutral and respects a diversity of religious views.” says Beckstrom.