YOUNG VOICES

Student Union Says Sorry For Censoring Atheist Spaghetti Monster Poster

13/02/2014 10:57 GMT | Updated 14/02/2014 11:59 GMT

A student union has apologised for removing posters belonging to an atheist society which depicted a flying spaghetti monster.

The controversial posters were displayed at London South Bank University's freshers' fair stall by the resident atheism society, and was a mock-up of Michelangelo's famous 'Creation of Adam' and replaced God with a bundle of floating pasta.

SEE ALSO: Flying Spaghetti Monster Poster Removed From London South Bank University Atheist Society Stall

By Censoring Its Atheist Society, South Bank Student Union Is Failing to Protect Its Students' Rights

Reading University's Atheist Society 'Thrown Out Of Fair Over Blasphemous Mohammed Pineapple'

Cloe Ansari, president of the Atheist society, alleges she was told initially that the Michelangelo Sistine chapel ceiling was offensive in itself, because it included a "naked man". But she claims she was later told, having offered to blur the image, that the issue was that 'The Creation of Adam' is a religious painting.

"This incident is just one of a catalogue of attempts to censor our society," Ansari said.

In a statement, the student union said: "It is not currently nor has it ever been the union policy to censor student groups or the materials they produce and as such this was not an authorised act and we have now ensured that staff know that they should not do this.

"In recognising the distress caused to the society by our actions we have met with and apologised to The Atheist Society president and vice president.

"The Atheist Society are as welcome at the students' union as any group or society and we completely respect and support their right to freedom of expression and free speech."

flying spaghetti

The flying spaghetti monster, depicted on the society's posters

The flying spaghetti monster is often used by atheists to critique belief in a supreme being, and features in Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion. 'Pastafarianism' is a movement that parodies religion, and opposes the teaching of intelligent design.

The LSB Atheist Society was supported by the British Humanist Association, whose chief executive Andrew Copson said: "This silliness is unfortunately part of an on-going trend. In the last few years we have seen our affiliated societies in campus after campus subjected to petty censorship in the name of “offence” – often even when no offence has been caused or taken.

"Hypersensitive union officials are totally needlessly harassing students whose only desire is to get on and run totally legitimate social and political societies."

In December, the London School of Economics apologised to two atheist students for threatening to kick them of a freshers fair if they did not cover up their t-shirts depicting the controversial 'Jesus and Mo' cartoons.

The incident, which took place in October, attracted nationwide attention, with famous atheist Richard Dawkins weighing in to criticise the institution.

Student Union officials had demanded the students remove the t-shirts, and several other pieces of literature, because there had been complaints from offended passers-by.