A Texas Tech student said that he was celebrating religious freedom for atheists when he fought to wear a pasta strainer on his head in his official driver’s license photo.
KCDB reported on Saturday that Eddie Castillo spent four months researching and contacting government officials before he got approval to wear the pasta strainer, which he claims is religious garb worn to “worship” the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Castillo is part of a group of “pastafarians,” a name coined by atheists protesting the Kansas School Board’s decision to teach intelligent design in 2005.
“You might think this is some sort of a gag or prank by a college student, but thousands, including myself, see it as a political and religious milestone for all atheists everywhere,” Castillo told KCDB.
In an earlier interview with KLBK, Castillo recalled his trip to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
“Once she allowed me to I put the pasta strainer on my head, I took the biggest, cheesiest smile I probably ever took,” he explained.
Castillo is reportedly the first person in the United States to successfully be allowed to wear a pasta strainer in his driver’s license photo. A New Jersey man tried earlier this year, but he was denied — and officials even called in the police.
“Especially in Lubbock County where we are kind of looked at as one of the most conservatives cities in the country,” the Texas Tech student pointed out. “I’ve heard of the stories happening of the guy getting arrested for attempting to do the same thing that I was doing so when I walked in there I had to mentally prepare myself to probably gather bond or something to get out of jail.”
“I don’t want to say its poking fun at religious head-wear in other peoples faiths I would like to think that it actually opens the doors for new age religion and just it kind of symbolizes acceptance and it kind of celebrates in a sense that we are a melting pot of a country,” he added.
But Castillo’s win may be short-lived. Texas DPS officials told KLBK that their legal team had reviewed the matter and would be contacting Castillo to “rectify” the situation.
Watch this video from KLBK.