The Colander-Topped Councilman from Upstate New York

In a small town in western New York, a new councilman was sworn into office January 2 wearing a pasta strainer atop his head.

It seems that Christopher Schaeffer, the newly-seated Pomfret Town Council member, is a “Pastafarian” and a minister in the so-called “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.”

“Strainer things have happened,” quipped The Observer, the local newspaper in Dunkirk, New York.  According to The Observer:

Schaeffer wore a colander (a strainer typically used to drain water from spaghetti) while Town Clerk Allison Dispense administered the oath of office to him before the board’s reorganizational meeting. When the OBSERVER asked afterward why he wore a colander on his head, Schaeffer said he was a minister with an even more unique organization – the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

“It’s just a statement about religious freedom,” he said. “It’s a religion without any dogma.”

The “church’s” website explains more about its core beliefs:

Most of us do not believe a religion – Christianity, Islam, Pastafarianiasm – requires literal belief in order to provide spiritual enlightenment. That is, we can be part of a community without becoming indoctrinated. There are many levels of belief.

By design, the only dogma allowed in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the rejection of dogma. That is, there are no strict rules and regulations, there are no rote rituals and prayers and other nonsense. Every member has a say in what this church is and what it becomes.

There is no report as yet explaining why the citizens of Pomfret elected as their governmental representative a man whose first action in public office was to make a mockery of organized religion, rather than to lay out a platform for improving city government.

  • Manny

    What a jackass. And he expects to get re-elected? He probably will.

  • Chris Henrichsen

    I have lived in Upstate New York (and love the region). Not. Surprise. :)

  • Howard

    On the one hand, I can appreciate clowns. They have a proper and even traditional role; in truly Catholic times and places they have mocked, well, everyone, because we are all guilty of taking ourselves too seriously. On the other hand, a clown must have some real understanding of what he is poking fun at. “Pastafarians” display no such understanding of the religion they mock. Apparently the only religion of which they are aware is of the the televangelist variety — very emotional, but with no real intellectual or historical depth. A real clown might mock, for example, the best students in a class, or even the professor; he would not mock the students who are hoping to scrape by with a passing grade. It’s too easy to mock those students, and it’s not very sporting. A really GOOD clown would need to be intimately familiar not just with the professor’s mannerisms, but with his subject matter. Court jesters were often some of the brightest people in the court.

    Remember Yakov Smirnoff? I didn’t think so. Look him up; he was a comedian in the 1980′s who tried to make a career off an act that only had one real joke. He was, briefly, about as well-known as the Pastafarians are now. Pastafarians are to religion what Yakov Smirnoff was to international politics.

  • Suellen Ann Brewster

    “no strict rules or regulations”? How do you take a vow to uphold public office if you do not adhere to any rules or regulations?

  • kelso

    Classic: “Every member has a say in what this church is and what it becomes.” Rather oxymoronic for a “church” that professes to have no beliefs

  • Howard

    By the way, which specific religious group insists on wearing a hat? Hint: They call it a yarmulke. It’s interesting to see precisely whom he is mocking.

  • Timothy Reid

    The man understands that by saying “our only real teaching is that there are no teachings.” makes the organization pointless (or anarchist which I don’t believe they are.) It’s merely a “religion is stupid and I feel like saying it when I take my oath of office” (which he is legally obliged to take in order to hold said office).

  • BobTheTruth39

    This politician will go far in today’s zeitgeist.
    Look for his first proposal to be “Tax the Catholic church.”

    One thing is for certain, he put Pomfret, NY on the map for today…..

  • Billiamo

    Semolina or DumDum?