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Church of Flying Spaghetti Monster Gives Gift to Anti-Gay Crusader

The St. Petersburg diocese of the Pastafarian church offering a gift to devout Orthodox believer Milonov.

ST. PETERSBURG — A friendly gift from a disciple of Pastafarianism, a tongue-in-cheek "religion" of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, to a Russian lawmaker known as the author of controversial anti-gay legislation, ended up in a river Wednesday.

The Pastafarian, who was wearing a colander on his head, tried to hand a plate of spaghetti to Vitaly Milonov, a conservative lawmaker in the St. Petersburg parliament, but a supporter of the lawmaker threw the plate in the Moika River. A group of other Pastafarians stood nearby.

The Pastafarian also tried to hand Milonov a written message, but the lawmaker tore it into pieces and handed it back. He accused the Pastafarians of representing opposition leader and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny.

"You are just idiots," the bespectacled and bearded lawmaker told the Pastafarians. "You represent Navalny's sect, and you should be ashamed of yourselves."

He also commented on the incident on Twitter. "I really don't like overcooked, foul-smelling pasta," Milonov said in a tweet.

The Pastafarians' attempt to get their sacred food to Milonov follows comments he reportedly made in mid-August after two unidentified, masked attackers threw a Molotov cocktail at a Russian Orthodox church in St. Petersburg where Milonov helps out as an altar server.

The enraged lawmaker blamed the attack on moral decadence in Russia and cited a Pastafarian rally as an example of the decadence. "It's a sickly spirit permeating our society," Milonov said, Komsomolskaya Pravda reported. "First they wear colanders on their heads, and then they torch churches."

But he stopped short of accusing the flock of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, whose church was officially registered in Russia in July, of torching the temple of a rival god.

A "pasta procession" by Russian Pastafarians was dispersed in Moscow in August by riot police and Orthodox activists, the prankster movement said.

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was created in 2005 by Bobby Henderson, a self-described "hobo" from Oregon, the movement's website states. Pastafarians wear colanders on their heads, worship The Flying Spaghetti Monster and believe that their religion was founded by pirates, their website says. They consider every Friday a religious holiday and do not take themselves seriously, it says.

Milonov was the main driving force behind the ban on "gay propaganda" among minors introduced in St. Petersburg in 2011 and later adopted at a federal level despite international outcry. The self-confessed hippie-turned-ultraconservative Christian has also unsuccessfully sought to have pop stars Madonna and Lady Gaga punished for supporting gay rights at their Russian shows, which, he said, amounted to "gay propaganda."

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