Congratulations to Massachusetts resident and practicing Pastafarian Lindsay Miller, who is the new owner of a driver’s license on which she is depicted sporting a colander as a hat.
“They were kind of laughing at me,” Miller said of her initial August attempt to get a license in an interview with the Boston Globe. “I thought of other religions and women and thought that this was not fair. I thought, ‘Just because you haven’t heard of this belief system, [the RMV] should not be denying me a license.’”
Miller immediately filed an appeal after initially being denied the license and hired Patty DeJuneas, a member of the Secular Legal Society, to defend her First Amendment rights. (Miller is also not the first do this; a woman in Utah successfully took her license photo with a colander on her head last year, and found it “surprisingly really, really easy.”)
“I’m not a Pastafarian,” DeJuneas said to the Globe, “But my understanding, and my view of it, is that it’s a secular religion that uses parody to make certain points about a belief system.”
The Church’s website states: “We believe religion—say Christianity, Islam, Pastafarianism—does not require literal belief in order to provide spiritual enlightenment. Much of the transcendent experience of religion can be attributed to the community. And while some members of religion are indoctrinated True Believers, many are not. There are many levels of Belief and each is no more or less legitimate than the other.”
According to a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, civilians are not permitted to wear hats in their license photographs unless it is for religious purposes. The colander often worn by Pastafarians (adherents to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster) classifies as religious garb in the state.
“I wish that it was more clear that the Church of FSM is not a mean-spirited group and that we’re not out to mock anyone’s particular religion or their religious hats,” reads a blog post on the Church’s official website.
“We can all look forward to the day when Pastafarians feel it’s socially acceptable to wear religious headwear in our daily lives.”
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