A Motor Vehicle Commission office in New Jersey called the police on a man who refused to remove a pasta strainer from his head while having his driver’s license photo taken.
Aaron Williams, 25, said his pasta strainer was a religious head covering and that he had a right to wear it, according to a South Brunswick Police Department report obtained by The Smoking Gun.
Police informed Williams that a pasta strainer was not approved by the MVC and convinced him to take the photo without it. The incident occurred on February 2.
Williams told Patch on Tuesday that he was a devout Pastafarian and was merely showing his allegiance to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster by wearing the pasta strainer. The parody religion took off in 2005, after Bobby Henderson mocked the Kansas Board of Education in an open letter for allowing the teaching of Intelligent Design in public schools.
“Had it been a turban or a head scarf, or something from a mainstream religion, then it would’ve been fine,” he said. “I guess since they hadn’t heard of the religion, that’s why they opposed it. But that’s not really acceptable to me. They’re not in a position to discriminate against religions that are mainstream, or not mainstream, just because they may not have heard about it.”
Williams is not the first Pastafarian to claim the right to wear a pasta strainer on his head. Austria allowed entrepreneur Niko Alm to wear a pasta strainer in his driver’s license photo last year, after officials requested the Pastafarian show he was “psychologically fit” to drive.
[Image via Giovanni Dall’Orto, Creative Commons licensed]