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Germany, which doesn’t have the kind of church/state separation that we do in the U.S., has signs right as you enter some cities telling you when local churches gather. The local Catholic Church, for example, meets at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.

That’s why, back in 2014, a group of Pastafarians requested signs of their own in the city of Templin — and it worked!

Church sign in Templin (via Rüdiger Weida)

But last year, Brandenburg Culture Minister Sabine Kunst said the Pastafarians had no right to put up the signs because they’re not a real religion:

… Kunst declared that because the spaghetti monster followers were not officially designated as a religious community, they would therefore have to remove the signs.

The Pastafarians responded by suing the state.

“No matter what happens, the opposition has shot themselves in the foot,” Brother Spaghettus, also known as Rüdiger Weida, told Jetzt, because either they will allow the signs to be set up again, “or we will take it to the next level court.”

Brother Spaghettus. These people are so damn amusing.

The point wasn’t that the religion is considered a parody; it’s that the government shouldn’t get to decide what constitutes a real religion.

Unfortunately, a court has now ruled against the Pastafarians.

News agency dpa reported that the Brandenburg state court ruled Wednesday the group can’t claim the rights of a religious or philosophical community. Judges said its criticism of others’ beliefs doesn’t constitute a philosophy.

To say that Pastafarianism is only critical of others’ beliefs misses the fact that adherents have tenets. In fact, the group noted those positive beliefs on its website:

“We represent and propagate a consistent naturalism, which means that in the world everything is natural, there are no fairies, elves, gods, elves, trolls or similar fairy tale figures, the world was not created but developed and scientifically explained,

We are not afraid to never reach full realization. We should doubt everything, anyway, from then to not know everything is not a big difference.

This is how we see ourselves as a world-view companion.”

They plan to appeal the decision.

(Thanks to Scott for the link. Portions of this article were published earlier)

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.