The London South Bank University was accused of violating people’s right to free speech after it banned posters of the Flying Spaghetti Monster on February 11. After a group of students from South Bank Atheist Society put up the posters at their stall during Freshers Fair, university authorities ordered for them to be brought down as they could offend Christians. The poster depicted Michelangelo’s fresco “Creation of Adam,” except the image of God was replaced with the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
At first, the members of the South Bank Atheist Society were told that the posters had to be brought down because of “Adam’s genitals,” but when they offered to blur out the offending portions of the image, student union officials admitted to the poster being banned on “religiously offensive” grounds.
“This incident is just one of a catalogue of attempts to censor our society. I never expected to face such blatant censorship and fragile sensibilities at university; I thought this would be an institution where I could challenge beliefs and in turn be challenged,” said Cloe Ansari, president, South Bank Atheist Society.
The Flying Spaghetti Monster is the godly figure worshipped by the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Pastafarians, a group of people who promote a light-hearted view of religion and opposes the teachings of creationism and intelligent design in public schools. Bobby Henderson first conceived the idea while protesting against the Kansas State Board of Education’s decision to allow teaching intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in public schools in 2005.