A sculpture of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the goofball deity cooked up to protest a Kansas legal battle over evolution, went on display outside a courthouse in Cumberland County, Tennessee, late last month.
Ariel and David Safdie created the sculpture, which depicts the taste-tempting god worshiped by adherents of the “Pastafarian” parody religion practiced by the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
A statement from the installment ceremony helps explain the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s place in the grand debate about religion, evolution, free speech and noodle dishes:
“We are lucky enough to live in a country that allows us, its citizens, the freedom of speech. I have chosen to put up a statue of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to represent the discourse between people of all different beliefs. The many faiths, ethnicities and backgrounds of Cumberland County’s residents make our community a stronger richer place…. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is a pile of noodles and meatballs, but it is meant to open up discussion and provoke thought. Being able to put up a statue is a celebration of our freedom as Americans; a freedom to be different, to express those differences, and to do it amongst neighbors — even if it is in a noodley way.”
The artists’ interpretation of the Flying Spaghetti Monster sits alongside an Iraq war memorial, chainsaw-carved monkeys and a sculpture of Jesus carrying a cross, according to the Crossville Chronicle.