A woman who identifies herself as a Pastafarian, a follower of a religion that teaches that a flying “spaghetti monster” could have created the universe, has succeeded in her bid to wear a colander on her head in her driver’s license photo.
Lindsay Miller claims the spaghetti strainer is a sign of her devotion to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Miller was originally denied by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles the right to wear the colander, her lawyer said.
According to the RMV’s website, drivers are not allowed to wear hats or head covers in their photos, unless they are worn “for medical or religious reasons.”
Miller fought the RMV’s decision and enlisted the help of Patty DeJuneas, a member of the Secular Legal Society, which is the network of lawyers that assist the American Humanist Association.
“The First Amendment applies to every person and every religion, so I was dismayed to hear that Lindsay had been ridiculed for simply seeking the same freedoms and protections afforded to people who belong to more traditional or theistic religions,” DeJuneas said in a prepared statement.
The RMV ultimately agreed to allow Miller to wear the strainer on her head in the photo, according to the American Humanist Association. The RMV did not immediately have a comment on Friday.
“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 Friday in a prepared statement. “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.”
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, according to its website, first “came into the mainstream” in 2005. It says it is not making an antireligious statement by advancing a set of outlandish beliefs.
Instead, it says it is highlighting the need to make a distinction between the beliefs espoused by various religions and the value that people get from them.
“The fact that millions of people get something positive out of a religion – even if it is based in superstition – does mean something. But that’s not to say it’s True, only that it has Value,” said the website, which veers from the silly to the serious.
The group believes that “much of the transcendent experience of religion can be attributed to the community,” and that’s something that should be emulated, according to the church’s teachings.
Pastafarians in other states have also won legal battles for the right to honor the noodle deity.
In 2014, a Pomfret, N.Y., town councilor wore a colander on his head when he took his oath for office. A driver in Utah was also allowed to wear a colander in her license photo in that state.