Pastafarian Wins Right to Wear Colander in Driver’s License Photo
A woman in Boston, Massachusetts, was awarded the right to wear a colander on her head in her driver’s license photo due to her religious beliefs.
The woman, Lindsay Miller, is a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. In case you have no idea what that is, it’s a legitimate religion seen by many as satirical, though its website claims that it’s backed by hard science. It came about in 2005 through protests about the Kansas State Board of Education’s decision to begin the teaching of creationism as an alternative to evolution in public schools. The religion’s main tenet states that an invisible and undetectable Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe, and pirates are said to be the original believers of the religion.
Practitioners of the church are called Pastafarians, and identify themselves by wearing pasta strainers or colanders on their heads. Since Miller is an active Pastafarian, she fought hard for her right to express her religious belief on her driver’s license photo. Normally, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) doesn’t permit drivers to wear head coverings or hats on their driver’s license photos, but it makes an exception for religious reasons.
Initially, the RMV told Miller she was not allowed to wear her colander, so she filed an administrative appeal and recruited attorney Patty DeJuneas, member of the Secular Legal Society, to assist her in her case. Before the hearing even happened, however, the Massachusetts RMV backtracked and told Miller she could wear her colander.
“If people are given the right to wear religious garments in government ID photos, then this must extend to people who follow the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster,” said David Niose, legal director of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.
News and Photo Source: American Humanist
- Cat HilesManaging Editor
Catherine Hiles is a native Brit currently based in Dayton, Ohio. Don't ask how that happened. Cat has written about a variety of subjects, from dog training to fashion, and counts running and cooking among her hobbies. Cat lives with her husband, Ben; their daughter, Rose; and their collection of animals, including an energetic mutt, an elderly basset hound, and a jerk cat. See more articles by Cat.