A regional court in Brandenburg ruled on Wednesday that the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) could not post signs about their “noodle masses” in the same way Catholic and Protestant churches do.
The FSM church in Templin had brought the case against Brandenburg, arguing that they had made a verbal agreement with the town mayor in 2014 that they could be considered an “ideological community” and could therefore advertise their masses along roadways just like the well-established churches.
But the regional motorway agency said that the agreement did not hold because it had not been made in writing, and therefore demanded that the FSM members take down their signs along roads leading into town.
The court ruled in favour of the road authorities' argument.
“It does not therefore depend on whether or not the group is an ideological community,” said judge Sabine Selbig.
The spaghetti monster group still insists that as an ideological community which should have the same rights as churches, but did not see the case as a defeat and plans to appeal to a higher court.
“Was it all a waste of effort? Not at all. The media publicity that we had was enormous,” wrote the Flying Spaghetti Monster worshippers in a statement on Thursday.
The group said since the case started, they now have 500 new Facebook followers and have been receiving messages from around Germany who want to know more about the church – or at least want some spaghetti monster stickers.
And the church's “Pastafarian” followers won't completely be hindered from advertising their weekly noodle masses: the town mayor promised that they could still keep signs on poles within Templin.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was established in the United States in 2005 as a satirical way to protest fundamentalist Christians pushing for the intelligent design theory to be taught in schools.
Since then, the church's “Pastafarian” followers have spread throughout the world, gathering at noodle masses to eat spaghetti and drink beer.