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Government Idle Politics

Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster Now Can Perform Marriages In New Zealand (stuff.co.nz) 209

New submitter scrote-ma-hote writes: From stuff.co.nz, news comes that the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is now able to solemnize marriages. The registration was listed in the NZ gazette yesterday. The Registrar-General decided that the Church met the criteria in New Zealand for solemnizing marriages, as per the Marriage Act 1955, namely that the "principal object of the organization was to uphold or promote religious beliefs, philosophical or humanitarian convictions."
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Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster Now Can Perform Marriages In New Zealand

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  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @04:15AM (#51119973)

    The idea was to show that religions are ridiculous, not to join the ranks of the bullshit peddlers.

    • This is my feeling on it too. These stories have long since passed the point of usefulness and any humour which was present has long since gone. Time to give it up.
      • by h33t l4x0r ( 4107715 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @04:47AM (#51120095)
        This is how all major religions come to be. Eventually, everybody just forgets that it was a joke.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by davester666 ( 731373 )

          Nope, a whole bunch of them were founded on the guiding principle that a fool and his money are soon parted.

          • Nope, a whole bunch of them were founded on the guiding principle that a fool and his money are soon parted.

            You mean like the guy selling all those FSM car plates?

        • This is how all major religions come to be. Eventually, everybody just forgets that it was a joke.

          Not a joke, a system of control. Christianity as we know it today may well have been deliberately created by the Romans as a way of manipulating the Jews, who were becoming inconvenient at the time, rioting and killing one another in the streets over the nature of Jehovah. Scientology was founded on a bet, and designed primarily to make money. Mormonism was created by a known scam artist who was trying to bilk people out of money; Mormonism was his second attempt. All the religions whose origins we know about were created for the purpose of manipulating people.

          • by Sique ( 173459 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @08:38AM (#51120655) Homepage
            The hypothesis about the Christian faith created by the Romans, while intriguing, has some problems with well researched facts.

            The christian faith was forbidden for most of the time of the Roman Empire, starting in the mid of the first century AD, and continuing until 313 AD, when the Edict of Milan was issued, while the three Jewish-Roman wars were fought between 66 AD and 137 AD, ending with the dissolution of the jewish society and the begin of the Diaspora. So during the whole time the Romans were "manipulating the Jews", the christian faith was forbidden and being punished by death.

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Talking of well-researched facts, The empire lasted just over 500 years, from 27BC to 476AD. Before the anti-Christian policies under Decius beginning in 250, there was no empire-wide edict against the Christians, and as you mention, the Edict of Milan put an end to that in 313 - so that makes 63 years. 63 years is nothing like 'the most of the time of the roman empire' - it's just under 13%.

              What complicates early Christian history in rome is that for quite some time Christians offered themselves up for vol

          • Scientology also is deeply influenced by Aleister Crowley and his Golden Dawn occult system. Many of their ideas are blatantly copied straight out of Crowley's various works, often just with Scientology "terms" substituted for Crowleys, I once used this info to "save" a good friend from the grips of Scientology; once I pulled out Magick: In Theory and Practice and showed him the two's various similarities side-by-side it finally clicked just how bad Scientology actually is. It seems one of Scientology tr
      • by TsuruchiBrian ( 2731979 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @05:37AM (#51120211)
        I still find it quite humorous. Also the ultimate goal was never humor. Humor was merely a tool to highlight the absurdity of the pedestal religion is placed on. I think the goal of raising peoples' consciousness is quite a noble one, even if I no longer found the church of the FSM hillarious.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @04:28AM (#51120025)

      The idea was to show that religions are ridiculous, not to join the ranks of the bullshit peddlers.

      It's bringing to the public attention that it is ridiculous for government to allow alleged representatives of bearded men in the sky to solemnize marriage.

      This use of the FSM meme is spot on, an excellent addition to the list of religious things to be ridiculed, and hopefully eventually eliminated.

      • But it is not making fun of the whole crap, it's acting as if it should be that religions are allowed to perform a service that makes two people enter a binding contract. In this reality, not some afterlife.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Anybody can enter into a legal contract, overseen by standard contact law, to live together and share stuff.

          THAT is not "marriage" in any normal sense, but it probably is the view of marriage that some secular humanists have. If humans are just evolved animals though, then there's really no more reason to have the institution of marriage than there is for any other evolved creatures. Whales do a perfectly good job of rearing offspring and hanging out in groups without any form of marriage.

          Traditionally "mar

          • Nonsense. Marriage pre-dates religion. Google it if you want some arguments for and against that stance if you want.
            • Odds are that religion predates humanity.

              • Odds are that religion predates humanity.

                Worship of Tsathoggua certainly does, so you're right there.

              • Odds are that religion predates humanity.

                In order to have religion you need language, and a part of your brain that makes you have religious experiences (which we've actually located in humans.) Do other animals have the same center in their brains? No non-human has developed complex language*, although some appear to have a simple one. Odds are that no prior creature had religion.

                * The jury is still out on cetaceans...

                • What about the pagans who worshipped natural events because they didn;t understand them. i doubt they needed a language to bow and grovel. i expect one person grovelled in a particular way to an event (thunder) and "it worked" once so a few others copied etc
                  • Animals can exhibit magical thinking. Pigeons can develop elaborate (by pigeon standards) rituals in the "belief" that it will cause food to be dispensed from a box, when it's actually just on a random timer.

                  • Pretty sure those pagans would still count as "humanity", so the statement, "Odds are that religion predates humanity." still doesn't fly. Perhaps he meant "civilization".
          • by TsuruchiBrian ( 2731979 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @05:50AM (#51120259)

            THAT is not "marriage" in any normal sense, but it probably is the view of marriage that some secular humanists have

            Historically marriage has been about forging alliances and transferring wealth and property. Is that normal? Historically marriages have been polygamous. Is that normal?

            And no that is not the view of marriage that secular humanists have. It is the view of secular humanists that marriage be treated as a contract by the government. This is specifically to avoid preferential treatment to some groups (i.e. people of certain religions or sexual preferences) by the government which is supposed to provide equal protection under the law.

            If humans are just evolved animals though,

            Humans are not *just* evolved animals. We are evolved animals. Just like how evolution is not *just* a theory. Evolution by natural selection is a theory.

            then there's really no more reason to have the institution of marriage than there is for any other evolved creatures.

            It is not the fact that humans have evolved (at all) that makes us worthy of institutions. It is the fact that we have evolved to the point (unlike any other organism currently on earth) to actually have abstract concepts like institutions.

            Whales do a perfectly good job of rearing offspring and hanging out in groups without any form of marriage.

            And if whales ever evolved to the point where their culture became advanced enough to create institutions like marriage, then the whales might very well benefit from those institutions.

            Traditionally "marriage" presumes that humans are more than just animals, more than mere flash&blood, and in most cultures that there is a God or Gods involved in human existence (depending on the religion). As such, marriage is a binding agreement to stay together through thick and thin, in situations where normal contract law would happily support dissolution, with a reliance on, and an additional commitment to, some God/Gods. The fact that so many have in recent years succeeded in making modern marriage so cheap and easily undone that it now differs little from a secular legal commercial contract is very sad, and says more about those who have done this than about the institution itself. Now people walk out of marriages more easily than out of any other legal contract. Things like "no-fault divorce" were promoted as wonderful new "reforms" that would make people happier, but when I look around today I see very few people who are happily married after many decades where that was once the norm.

            It's paragraphs like this that philosophy students use as homework problems to find logical fallacies.

            • It is the view of secular humanists that marriage be treated as a contract by the government. This is specifically to avoid preferential treatment to some groups (i.e. people of certain religions or sexual preferences) by the government which is supposed to provide equal protection under the law.

              The best solution is to eliminate the concept of marriage entirely, and to just let people fill in the blank when they determine who is permitted to see them in the hospital. I do not want to see any of my relatives if I am sick, they will just make me feel like shit. And I most absolutely certainly do not want any of my relatives making medical decisions for me, those religious fucks can fuck right off.

            • Historically marriage has been about forging alliances and transferring wealth and property. Is that normal? Historically marriages have been polygamous. Is that normal?

              Good to see that someone brought this up.

              Morality and normality sometimes seeks practicality. In places, where for some reason or other, there is an imbalance in gender, polygamy will often become normal. In a world where population has overridden resources, procreation is not as important, or is even detrimental, and homosexuality becomes more normal.

              While there are always exceptions, a well known pop culture one is the Duggars (as representative of the small group who is in favor of making as many off

          • by Tom ( 822 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @08:43AM (#51120673) Homepage Journal

            Traditionally "marriage" presumes that humans are more than just animals,

            Traditionally, marriage has many purposes but despite a very long interest in all things culture and society, this is the first time I've read that one of its purposes was to highlight how we are different from animals.

            Marriages primary purpose in most cultures is to remove the participants from the dating market, thus reducing competition and increasing the amount of peaceful cooperation within the society. That is why marriage is by necessity a public, i.e. social, and not a private contract. That is why most cultures have some kind of indicator for married vs. unmarried people (in western culture, marriage rings).

            The previously high barriers to getting out of a marriage are due to the secondary purposes in western culture, where marriage is also an economic union. The fact that divorce is still heavily tilted against the husband is due to the ancient assumption that the woman gives up something she can't get back that will reduce her future value to future husbands (i.e. her virginity), so the husband should be prevented from divorcing her unless he can compensate for the difference.

            As the economic imbalance between men and women is more and more reduced, so it becomes more easy to get out of a bad marriage.

            when I look around today I see very few people who are happily married after many decades where that was once the norm.

            Was it, or was it an image projected into a society expecting such? And if it is, are you sure the causality you outline is the correct one? There are many more reasons why it might be more difficult to have a happy long-term relationship today than it used to, the primary reason is probably that you have so much more comparisons than you used to, and some of them are artificially created and appear unnaturally good. Against what you see in movies, your wife can only fail. Not because she is bad, but because that image is a fake.

          • by Sique ( 173459 )

            Anybody can enter into a legal contract, overseen by standard contact law, to live together and share stuff.

            THAT is not "marriage" in any normal sense, but it probably is the view of marriage that some secular humanists have.

            That is marriage in the sense most of Europe understands it. There, marrage is a civil contract and can only be performed by a public agent. No religious group is allowed to perform marriages. All they are allowed is to perform a service after the civil union has been established.

          • If you want religion to be some spiritual-religious ritual, there are a few steps that would have to happen first:

            1) Remove any secular meaning of a "marriage". I.e. tax rebate, heritage laws, visitation laws in hospitals, the whole stuff that deals with reality.
            2) Create a secular (!) way two people can enter such a contract that entails tax rebates, heritage ... you get the idea. Call it whatever you want if you cling to "marriage" being something sacred and holy. I don't give a shit about the name of tha

        • But it is not making fun of the whole crap, it's acting as if it should be that religions are allowed to perform a service that makes two people enter a binding contract. In this reality, not some afterlife.

          Yeah, now with Government Almighty replacing God Almighty to dictate the terms' of the married life. To substitute one fictional authority for another is no great victory. CFSM won't condemn people to Hell for getting a divorce but they'll arrange it such that some of those people might wonder if it wo

          • I offer you the same I offered above. Remove all secular meaning to "marriage" (i.e. the joint tax filing, inheritance laws, fast-passing aliens...) and you can make it spiritual-religious again. All we have to do is create some legally binding contract between two people that hold all the secular meanings currently associated with marriage.

            You cannot have your cake and eat it too. If you want your "marriage" to have meaning in reality, really existing powers get to define it.

      • by mrvan ( 973822 )

        The idea was to show that religions are ridiculous, not to join the ranks of the bullshit peddlers.

        It's bringing to the public attention that it is ridiculous for government to allow alleged representatives of bearded men in the sky to solemnize marriage.

        >

        I agree, but the other way around: I think anybody should be allowed to solemnize marriage, provided that there is a proper interface with the official bureaucracy (e.g. assertions are checked and results are processed -- probably requiring some sort of certification, but preferably one founded on bureaucratic form rather than religious or humanitarian substance). Marriage is partly a bureaucratic affair, but also (to some people) a deeply meaningful and romantic ceremony. If the government can guarantee th

    • by quenda ( 644621 )

      The idea was to show that religions are ridiculous.

      No, the idea was to parody the teaching of intelligent design and creationism in public schools (in the US).
      Something I think (hope) has never happened in New Zealand, outside of catechism classes.

      But somehow His Noodliness has taken on a life beyond the American Bible Belt.

      • And people in Europe are getting their driver's license mugshot taken with "religious headgear" [blog.alm.at].

        That doesn't satirize religion anymore. Yes, it looks ridiculous. But at the same time it acts as if putting on funny hats to make your imaginary buddy happy [youtube.com] is in some way normal.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          The point of the diving licences with religious kitchenware is to mock other religions and the government that allows them to opt out of the rules that the rest of us must follow. No hats for us, and no balaclavas or crash helmets in banks etc. unless it's because we happen to be delusional.

          This proves that anyone can get an exemption for any stupid reason, if they say religion.

        • And people in Europe are getting their driver's license mugshot taken with "religious headgear".
          That doesn't satirize religion anymore.

          What? Seriously? Your imagination only reaches that far?

          But at the same time it acts as if putting on funny hats to make your imaginary buddy happy is in some way normal.

          Yes, you found the satire. Congratulations! Why can't you call it satire?

        • Actually, the mug shot idea does very much do exactly what the CFSM was set up for.

          The original idea was "hey, guys are making laws saying you're going to study one religion's version of creation as if its science, lets point out how ridiculous that is by inventing another version of creation that 'should be taught as science'".

          The idea in the drivers license case is "hey, the law says that you have to weak specific head gear, unless you're a member of specific religions. Either everyone should have the fr

          • The headgear bit applies to PASSPORTS. Not driver's licenses.

            Get a PASSPORT with a colander and we can talk.

      • His description is close enough to the historical narrative. It was Bobby Henderson's idea to show that it was just as ridiculous and believable to say the FSM did what he describes as any other god.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The idea was to show that religions are ridiculous, not to join the ranks of the bullshit peddlers.

      I disagree. Standing shoulder to shoulder in a clown outfit with those who purport to not be clowns helps showcase the ridiculousness of the entire show, especially when you can't kick the clown off the stage because he belongs there.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@worl d 3 . net> on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @04:50AM (#51120103) Homepage

      The point was absolutely to join the ranks of the bullshit pedlars, to obtain the same benefits that they do because they wanted them to be exclusive to their beliefs.

      • So it HAS become an religion, where theists and non-theists can discuss forever the meaning of something someone made a long time ago.

        Religion = a good story that served a purpose at one point + time :D

    • The idea was to show that religions are ridiculous, not to join the ranks of the bullshit peddlers.

      Well, they should have thought about that before they went down this path. Now it is going to be taken deeply serious, and we are going to see the first schisms and religious wars in a few years.

      Now, I'm beginning to look forward to the time when you can get married in online games.

    • Actually the idea was to show that religions are ridiculous *by* joining the ranks of the bullshit peddlers.
    • The idea was to show that religions are ridiculous, not to join the ranks of the bullshit peddlers.

      No, continue the bullshit, set up a regular church, get it legally acknowledged ... by all means press on. That way I can set up a chapter of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and refund the church subsidies that we are forced to pay in my country through our taxes to all pastafarians that sign up.

    • by gsslay ( 807818 )

      Yeah. Seriously, if mocking other people's religion is so important to you that you're basing your own wedding on it, then you've really got your priorities screwed up somewhere.

      You don't want any religion in your life/wedding/marriage? Then don't have it. It's that easy.

      • I agree 100%. NZ MUST have had some way for atheists/non-religious people to get married before. This is just being dickheads.
      • Yeah. Seriously, if mocking other people's religion is so important to you that you're basing your own wedding on it, then you've really got your priorities screwed up somewhere.

        You don't want any religion in your life/wedding/marriage? Then don't have it. It's that easy.

        But since churches do not pay taxes, and many use that to their advantage, I want to get in on that good free ride.

        My marriage kind sir, is not based on some Cosmic bullroarer who has a yen for genocide, or even a flying meatball.

        My marriage is based on love and respect. The legal ceremony is based on the legal rights and responsibilities.

        My mockery is based on my sense of humor.

    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

      They're performing marriages, not building churches and imposing tithes. Being married by a representative of the flying spaghetti monster is a pretty big satirical slap in the face for people who go on about the "sanctity" of marriage and the religious rules regarding it.

      Pretty timely, I'd say, considering there are places in the world where religions think it's their job to determine who can and can't be married. I bet the church of the FSM is only too happy to perform gay marriages.

    • Never look pasta religion's influence. Getting saucy about the legal authority of the Spaghetti Monster is rather cheesy, it's a legitimate religion after all. And uh, ramen to that.
    • The idea was to show that religions are ridiculous, not to join the ranks of the bullshit peddlers.

      May I put forth the idea that this is a good lesson on what religion really means to humanity as a species. I'm certain that there is an example of the ancient Greeks saying something like "there are no gods", yet such ideas never really stick. Religion isn't generally just some random belief system. It's not even a control system put onto people. Mankind seems to really want an ideology and have it tie into self-identity and community. For most of history religion has been greatly tied into if not synonymo

  • I'm always surprised to learn about such progressive countries which doesn't have separation of church and state. The fact that an organization have to prove it is a religion on order to issue marriages seems so medieval.

    I much prefer how things are in my country, where marriage is only a civil matter, a contract signed-off by an officer of the court. So around here, people also have religious rituals performed by some kind of cleric, but those have not force of law, instead they follow the ceremony with a

    • by Etcetera ( 14711 )

      And by the way, I'm not sure how I feel about the USA solution as well, where they claim full separation of church and state but allow clerics to issue official marriages, with the excuse that anyone can issue marriages. It feels like a cop out and it is frequently used to weaken the separation of church and state.

      It varies state-by-state. In California, a third party must "solemnize" the marriage, and there must be two witnesses to it (typically the Maid of Honor and the Best Man in a "traditional" wedding), but it's the County Recorder who actually issues the marriage certificate. This third party can be a judge, but typically is a religious leader. I know it's strange for other folks to understand, but America is still a culturally religious country, even if it's nominal in some cases. Solemnization in this manner

    • I'm not sure how I feel about the USA solution as well, where they claim full separation of church and state but allow clerics to issue official marriages, with the excuse that anyone can issue marriages. It feels like a cop out and it is frequently used to weaken the separation of church and state.

      Don't forget Ship Captains! They can marry people.

      I'm comfortable enough with the present situation. The minister can perform a wedding ceremony, but the rights and obligations of marriage are still a civil matter. One is no more married than the other, and you don't get the rights without that marriage certificate.

      Which by the way, was the source of the downfall of the gay marriage bans. Its important to know the distinction between wedding and marriage. Given freedom of religion, a same gender couple

    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

      It appears that in New Zealand you can get married at a government office by a government official, or anywhere else by a "registered celebrant." There are lots of independent ones, who are certified by the government. There are also ones who are affiliated with religions. It's my understanding that the only advantage to being an official religious organization is that you can certify your own celebrants. Regardless of what kind of celebrant you use, you need to have a marriage license, issued by the go

  • While parody of free speech is just more free speech, parody of religion is not itself a religion. Unless you're a dipshit, which many self-proclaimed FSM adherents seem to be.

    Ironically enough this season, "Jedi" as a religion probably actually has more legitimacy than "Pastafarian" does. If you're the type of person who puts Jedi on a census form or attempts to speak the Klingon language to another person, you're probably the (nerdy enough) type of person who attempts to adopt that as a bona-fide moral ph

    • On the other hand, FSM adherents don't *actually* believe in a Flying Spaghetti Monster. Could they say so under oath? No, you couldn't.

      I wouldn't underestimate people's ability to believe in stuff.

    • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Tuesday December 15, 2015 @11:49AM (#51121997)

      While parody of free speech is just more free speech, parody of religion is not itself a religion. Unless you're a dipshit, which many self-proclaimed FSM adherents seem to be.

      Its amazing how many people just don't get it. If some dipshit wants to believe in FSM, anyone who believes in Freedom of religion cannot oppose it, or else they don't really believe in freedom of religion.

      Except of course, acceptance of other people's religion is definitely not a characteristic of religions. The separation of religion and state, while hated by so many religious people, is actually their greatest protector. Much of the anger toward the FSM is that there is no cogent argument against it.

      If someone wants to believe in that great big meatball in the sky, then they have the right to. Just as they do a bearded guy who decided that he was going to reveal himself to some folks living in the middle east desert a few thousand years ago, and literally to hell with the rest of the planet's inhabitants. All the same to me.

      Although if I had to believe in something, I find Ganesha to be pretty cool.

  • Now the happy couple should go off and spawn some pirates!

  • Everybody knows that the Invisible Pink Unicorn is the only true goddess.

    May her hooves never be shod.

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