A small-town council member from New York is making national headlines this week after becoming the first openly Pastafarian politician to be sworn into public office.

Christopher Schaeffer, the newest member of the Pomfret Town Council, isn't just an ordinary member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster — he's a full-fledged minister.

For those who have yet to be touched by His noodly appendage, Pastafarianism, it is a satirical movement with a serious mission: Keeping the teaching of intelligent design and creationism out of public classrooms.

Schaeffer drew many side glances for his unusual decision to wear a colander to his swearing in on Friday. The colander, or pasta strainer, is the traditional headgear of Pastafarians.

"It's just a statement about religious freedom," said Schaeffer when asked by the Observer about his parody faith. "It's a religion without any dogma."

Bobby Henderson, the church's "founder," wrote in a blog post on the official Flying Spaghetti Monster site, that Schaeffer's behavior will most likely be misconstrued.

"Some people will see it as obnoxious or a sign that he's not taking the oath of office seriously," wrote Henderson. " But I am completely confident that Schaeffer will distinguish himself as a Council member of the highest caliber."

Indeed, Schaeffer told the Observer that his intention was to demonstrate just how inclusive he intends to be.

"Mostly, I'm just looking forward to making sure that the town is run smoothly and we meet the needs of all of our citizens," he told the paper. "If anybody ever has any concerns or questions, I hope they contact me, because I want to make sure that everyone is represented."

[image via Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster]