Officials in a region of Alaska heard an unusual opening invocation during their Sept. 17 meeting: It was offered by a "Pastafarian" wearing a spaghetti strainer on his head.
The unconventional prayer before the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in Homer came about thanks to a 2018 ruling from the Alaska Supreme Court. Borough officials approved a policy in 2016 stating that volunteers seeking to deliver invocations before meetings had to belong to houses of worship that had a presence in the Kenai area. The Alaska high court struck down the policy as unconstitutional, and in response, Kenai officials voted to allow anyone to offer an invocation.
Barrett Fletcher, the Pastafarian pastor, noted that some members of the assembly "seem to feel they can't do the work without being overseen by a higher authority." Therefore, he added, "I'm called to invoke the power of the true inebriated creator of the universe, the drunken tolerater of the all lesser and more recent gods, and maintainer of gravity here on earth. May the great Flying Spaghetti Monster rouse himself from his stupor and let his noodly appendages ground each assembly member in their seats."
He concluded by calling on the Flying Spaghetti Monster to give assembly members "satisfaction in the perception of accomplishment and allow them true relaxation and an ample supply of their favorite beverage at the end of this evening's work."
The Associated Press (AP) reported that some people didn't take kindly to the invocation. Most people refused to stand, and men kept their hats on.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was launched in 2005 as a satirical response to...