I'm creating this discussion to mention the doings of the Pastafarians in Poland and our struggles with the Polish Government for Pastafarianism to get official recognition as an legit religion.
For almost a year now (we began at the end of July 2012) we are struggling with our Public Administration and the Ministry of Administration and Digitalization to officially recognise Polish Pastafarianism as a legit religious organisation. We fulfilled all the necessary law obligations to be one, more than a 100 Polish citizens declared that they want the creation of the Church of FSM (the declaration must be signed in the presence of a lawyer), and we prepared and sent the necessary documents. In theory we should be registered in a matter of three months but the Government representatives denied us this saying that we really don’t believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. This means that in Poland a state official is able to say if someone’s faith is true or not, which we find grotesque at the least. In a later declaration, in the opinion of specialists we Pastafarians can believe individually in the FSM but we cannot believe in Him officially.
The administrative procedure has ended now with the denial of our plea, so the case on 27 of June 2013 was sent to the Administrative Court and now we are awaiting the date of the trial, which will possibly be in a three month period from now (the date of the trial is set up in reference to the amount of work the Court has, there is no end-date for this procedure but checking how things worked out in other cases, the three month period is the most possible). The trial will be held in Warsaw and many Pastafarians will surely attend to it. If the Court would prove us right, we will be the first country in Europe in which Pastafarianism is officially recognised as a religion. If the Court’s decision will be unfavourable for us, we will push the cases further to the National Court of Administration and if there we will fail, there is always the EU Strasburg Court of Human Rights to which we are willing to go if it will be necessary.
Why we are trying to register Pastafarianism as a religion? Because, by the law and Constitution we have a right to do so. The logical fundaments of our faith in His Noodliness are the same or even more probable as the faith in God, Jahwe or Allah, so why they can be a legit religion and not us? The other thing is that by registering our religion, we want to show, in a typically Pastafarian way, the amount of influence and impact religion has on politics and the state which should be by the Constitution strictly secular. One aspect of this influence, the financial one I’ll present below.
In Poland religious organisations (all 170 of them) can count on an serious amount of tax and legal benefits from the state. The greatest benefactor of those is the dominant Polish Catholic Church which gets from Government funds above 700 mln zlotych (about 230 mln US dollars) yearly, those are funds from the budget, they come from the taxpayers pocket, Catholic or non-Catholic alike. And now, the Government issues a law that will grant every taxpayer a chance to donate 0,5% of his yearly tax to a religious organisation of his choosing, which will give the Catholic Church alone another 200 mln zlotych yearly without cutting any of the previous funds. This alone is outraging but wait there is more. The non-believer taxpayers wont have the chance to donate that 0,5% to any other secular organisation. That means, that the atheist or agnostic citizens of Poland will in fact pay higher taxes because they wont have the chance to decide about their 0,5%.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster will offer them an option as most of its future founding will go to charity and supporting secular and freethinking movements, but it still isn’t the solution to Poland’s religion-government problem. We hope, that when people see, that the Government is funding the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, they will realise that something isn’t wrong with us, but with the system.
The Pastafarian religion in Poland is getting stronger each day. . Poland is no longer a 100% Catholic country. We have more than 17 000 Pastafarian enthusiasts on Facebook and much more apart of it. Our numbers grow every day, there is even a strong group of Christians that support our cause, who are simply outraged by the state of secularism in Poland and the doings of the Catholic Church.
I’m aware that I didn’t said all that goes with this topic. If someone would be interested to find out more I give the address of our website www.kosciol-spaghetti.pl and our Fanpage on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pklps its in Polish though, so I don’t know of how much help it will be :)
If you want to find out more you can also contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org , as you can see I’m not to fluent in English but I’ll happily answer any questions.