The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, also known as "Pastafarianism," was officially recognized in the Netherlands on Jan. 26.
The philosophy of Pastafarianism is as follows, according to Metro:
"We believe the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the world much as it exists today, but for reasons unknown made it appear that the universe is billions of years old (instead of thousands) and that life evolved into its current state (rather than created in its current form).
"Every time a researcher carries out an experiment that appears to confirm one of these 'scientific theories' supporting an old earth and evolution we can be sure that the FSM is there, modifying the data with his Noodly Appendage.
"We don’t know why He does this but we believe He does, that is our Faith."
The two men who had been trying to get the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster acknowledged as a religion were reportedly told by the Netherlands' Chamber of Commerce the church would be granted official status.
While a seemingly ridiculous concept, the country made the right move in allowing Pastafarianism to be acknowledged as a religion. It is consistent with promoting the crucial ideas of freedom of religion and freedom of thought, which are vital to an open society.
And so far, the Church of FSM has been seen seen in this way in other several other countries. It is already recognized as a religion in North America, after it was established to parody creationism by its "founder" Bobby Henderson in 2005, Metro reports.
Pastafarianism has been called a "secular religion that uses parody to make its point" by lawyer Patty DeJuneas, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Although the premise of Pastafarianism may be seen by critics as a religion which only serves to criticize creationism, it is still protected by the First Amendment in the U.S. While "secular," the religion is not anti-Christian, antisemitic or anti-Islamic; it is simply an argument against creationist philosophy in general, framed in religious terms.
The Netherlands made the right move in recognizing the request.