A colander on the head | The weekly country


A good friend, Erika Padrón, just sent me a curious case from the European Court of Human Rights. He came across it by chance and immediately thought of me: he knows me well. And the thing is that in general I really like people: talking to people, knowing how they think, knowing their lives. In fact, for someone not to interest me even a little bit, they have to be a colossal bore. I love exploring how much the same and how different we are (both are true, even if they seem opposite). Yes, I know that there are individuals who sometimes make it very difficult for you to continue appreciating the rock. The wicked exist; There are 2% of psychopaths and at least another 10% of psychopathoids and narcissuses, all of them harmful. But I prefer to rejoice in the contemplation of most human beings; how crazy we are sometimes. In the unpredictable. I have always been fascinated by eccentricity.

The matter of the European Court is from last month and the case is titled as follows: “Wilde v. Netherlands: non-recognition of the pastafarismo, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, as a religion or belief ”. You have probably heard of the pastafarismo, which has much more substance than it seems. It is a parodic religion invented in 2005 by Bobby Henderson, a physicist from the United States, in protest against a decision by the Kansas State Board of Education that allowed the teaching of the theory of “intelligent design” (which is neither no less than creationism in disguise) as an alternative to the theory of evolution. Henderson wrote to the Council saying that he believed in a supernatural divinity who was like a huge ball of spaghetti and meatballs, and that he demanded that the theory of “intelligent design” be taught as well. pastafariano in science classes. The thing was growing, it jumped to the media, it became popular. A year later the State of Kansas withdrew the creationist teaching, I suppose that among other things thanks to the meatloaf offensive. From then on the pastafarianos they have been expanding throughout the world. There is also a branch here, the Pastafari Church of Spain, created in 2010 and with some 400 active members; After trying to register twice unsuccessfully as a religious entity in the Ministry of Justice, they presented an appeal in the National Court that was rejected in 2020 and now they are with a cassation appeal.

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The case of the European Court is this: a woman went to renew her identity and driver’s license in the Netherlands and for this she took some photos in which she appeared with a strainer on her head, which is how she should be portrayed, as a sign of respect and obedience to their faith, a pastafariano of pro. Photos that the authorities did not admit. I must say that, apparently, there are citizens of Austria and the Czech Republic who managed to get the photographed documents in that way, with a pasta strainer soaked up to their eyebrows. But it is seen that in the Netherlands they were not for the work. However, until reaching the European Court of Human Rights (which has also rejected that the pastafarismo be it a religion), this Wilde has had to exhaust all the legal remedies of her own country before. Just thinking about having to file an administrative appeal gives me the seven evils; now imagine our warrior pastafariana submitting your claims over and over again; sneaking his delusional photos into the tedious official procedures; unable to renew your documents; spending time and money (the appeal to the Spanish Court cost a few thousand euros which was met with crowdfunding). Some will say that this stupidity saturates our saturated administrations even more, but I believe that in the world bureaucracy there is already an overabundance of procedures that are just as absurd, only more boring; and this at least forces us to reflect on what it is that we decide to respect and what we believe in. Today, the last Sunday of 2021, I wanted to say goodbye to this tense year celebrating the passionate peculiarity of human beings, ingenuity and bonhomie when it comes to fighting for your ideas. A little more humor would do us very well. I think I’m going to put a sieve on my head to get off on the right foot in 2022.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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