Christopher Schaeffer, member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, was officially sworn into the Pomfret New York Town Council while wearing a spaghetti strainer on his head. The strainer is a symbol of his religion, Pastafarian.
Pastafarian was formed by an atheist, Bobby Henderson, in 2005. Since then, it has become an international religion. Forming their own church, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Henderson said in a statement that Christopher Schaeffer "may be the first openly Pastafarian sworn into office." Since the strainer is a symbol of the religion, Schaeffer wore it on his head while being sworn in. "Some people will see it as obnoxious or a sign that he's not taking the oath of office seriously," Henderson said about Schaffer wearing the spaghetti strainer on his head. "But I am completely confident that Schaeffer will distinguish himself a Council member of the highest caliber."
"It's just about religious freedom," Schaeffer told the Observer. "It's a religion without any dogma." Schaeffer does take his position very seriously. He said "Mostly, I'm just looking forward to making sure that the town is run smoothly and we meet the needs of all our citizens. If anybody ever has any concerns or questions, I hope they contact me, because I want to make sure that everyone is represented."
On the church's website, a letter published in May of 2005 said "With millions, if not thousands, of devout worshipers, the Church of the FSM is widely considered a legitimate religion, even by its opponents – mostly the fundamentalist Christians, who have accepted that our God has larger ball than theirs." Pastafarians believe pirates were the original Pastafarians. The pirates were explorers and through Christian misinformation, they were turned into the outcast criminals they are today. Pastafarians like beer, Friday is a Religious Holiday, do not take themselves too seriously, and embrace contradictions.