Lindsay Miller, of Massachusetts, identifies as a Pastafarian and is a follower of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. She also feels it’s her right to wear a colander on her head because it’s a statement about her church, The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Initially, Miller (and other Pastafarians) were denied the right to wear the colander over her head in official photos, but that decision’s since been overruled.
Miller fought the initial decision, citing the RMV’s rule that drivers can wear hats in photos for “medical and religious reasons.” She defiantly denies wearing a colander as an anti-religion statement. Intervention on her behalf by the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center helped her case greatly.
“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, told the Washington Times.
“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 after her victory. “While I don’t think the government can involve itself in matters of religion, I do hope this decision encourages my fellow Pastafarian Atheists to come out and express themselves as I have.”
Though some see The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster as satire, the website stresses that it is in fact a real religion backed by hard science.
The church claims that it is not making an anti-religion statement with its outlandish beliefs, but rather highlights the distinction between the beliefs other other religions and the value followers get from them.
Miller is not the first Pastafarian to win the battle to honor the Flying Spaghetti Monster. A town councilman in New York wore a strainer on his head during his 2014 swearing-in ceremony.
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