Freedom of religion is a precious commodity, and it even extends to non-traditional religions such at the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, who's followers are called Pastafarians.

The Netherlands has now joined the United States in recognizing the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) with official status as a religion. Members of the church apparently celebrated with bowls of pasta.

If it seems far-fetched and outrageous, it is. If it sounds too weird to be true, it isn't.

According to their website, FSM has existed in secrecy for hundreds of  years, but only came into the mainstream in North America in 2005.

'Pastafarians' do believe in heaven and hell, but not in the same way as mainstream religions. They believe heaven is a beer volcano with a stripper factory, while hell is the same, except that the beer is stale and the strippers have sexually transmitted diseases.

It sounds like a joke, but these people are serious about having their own religion. Unlike most religions, you don't have to adopt their beliefs in order to join. There is an active group of Pastafarians in Colorado, and you can read more about what they believe on this website.

We may think they are nuts -- and maybe they are-  but the point is, in this great country of ours, they have the right to be nuts -- and to believe whatever they want, no matter how far-fetched or ridiculous it may seem.

While today's church is under attack by those who want freedom FROM religion rather than freedom OF religion, The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster reminds us that we truly enjoy freedom of religion in the United States of America.