Sunday, April 24, 2016

I'm not Crazy. Canadians and FSM do go together!

Is worshiping a Flying Spaghetti Monster a religion? That's the $16,000 question

The Quebec government has spent more than $16,000 to determine if wearing a strainer on your head while dressing like a pirate and worshiping a giant Flying Spaghetti Monster is a religion.
On October 22, 2015 the Quebec Transport Ministry commissioned a study to determine if the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Pastafarianism is a justifiable request for religious accommodation.
The contract was given to UQAM professor Louis Rousseau at the request of Quebec Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée.
Nathalie Roy, CAQ MNA for Montarville, was not impressed.
"Paying $16,000 for a study looking at whether wearing a pirate costume is a religion is simply irresponsible, and it is another waste of public funds" Roy said.
The study is part of a story that dates back to the summer of 2014.
Montrealer Isabelle Narayana took the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) to court after she was told she could not wear a pasta strainer or pirate hat in her driver's license photo. She claimed to belong to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and should be afforded the same rights and exceptions that apply to Muslim women.
Not only was Narayana denied in Superior Court, but Judge Stéphane Sansfaçon called the lawsuit a waste of time and court resources.
"The worst part of all this, is that the government commissioned this nonsensical study after the Superior Court had already noted the obvious frivolity of the case" Roy said.
The Minister of Transport defended the study, saying had the court not decided the case was a joke the Ministry had no defence, which would have led to pirate hats in driver's license photos across the province.
Roy still blames the government for not setting proper guidelines on religious accommodation, adding not long after the incident at the SAAQ the same woman was allowed to renew her Medi-Care card at the CLSC in Ville-Émard in her pirate costume.
Roy noted that it was Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée who tabled the government's religious neutrality bill in June of 2015, but it has been left on the back burner and deemed low priority.
Pastafarianism is a recognized religion in Poland, the Netherlands and in New Zealand, where Pastafarian officiants are even allowed to perform weddings. The first legally recognized Pastafarian wedding took place on April 16, in New Zealand complete with a Lady and the Tramp styled first kiss.
On April 12, a US Federal Court ruled that the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is not a real religion.

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