Pastafarian allowed to wear colander for license photo
Religion uses parody to make point, says lawyer
WCVB – A Massachusetts woman has won a legal battle to wear a colander on her head in her state driver's license photo, according to a WCVB report.
Lindsay Miller is a Pastafarian, who are known as members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Pastafarians believe the Flying Spaghetti Monster to be a powerful force.
The secular religion views the existence of a FSM to be just as probable as the existence of the Christian God, according to an online post by the American Humanist Association, which assisted in Miller's dispute with the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
The religion denies it is either satirical or intended to be humorous, but rather based in science.
It describes heaven as a place with a "beer volcano" and "stripper factory." It attributes the invention of the lawn sprinkler to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Anyone may become ordained for a $25 fee.
Lawyer Patty DeJuneas calls Pastafarianism a "secular religion that uses parody to make its point."
Pastafarians are encouraged to wear colanders on official identification photos and to assert their constitutional rights if denied.
The registry had denied Miller's request to wear a spaghetti strainer, citing its regulation that "A hat or other head cover is not acceptable, but if worn for medical or religious reasons, it may be allowed if it does not hide any facial features."
The association helped in filing an administrative appeal with the registry citing Miller's First Amendment rights. The registry allowed the photo before the appeal was heard.
Miller was then allowed to have her license photo taken with the colander on her head.
"The RMV processed the customer's request consistent with its established facial image policy," a spokesman said.
"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.
"Wearing a colander is a gesture to express their beliefs publicly," said Niose.
"As a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I feel delighted that my Pastafarianism has been respected by the Massachusetts RMV," Miller said in a statement.