A member of the atheist spoof religion Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has won the right to wear a spaghetti colander on her head in her driver’s license photo, according to the American Humanist Association.
Lindsay Miller is a “pastafarian,” which is how members of the group identify themselves. But the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles wouldn’t allow her to wear the colander on her head in her official state picture. Pastafarians wear colanders on their heads as a sign of their membership in the organization.
“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 in a 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 Pastafarians are a loose organization that hold the existence of a Flying Spaghetti Monster is as likely as the existence of a Christian deity. They also say their religious text instructs them to believe that humans evolved from pirates and that heaven is comprised of a beer volcano and stripper factory.
Miller reached out to the American Humanist Association, which provided her legal assistance to file an appeal with the Massachusetts RMV, which relented and allowed her to have the cooking accessory on her head before the matter ever reached the courtroom.
“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,” Secular Legal Society attorney Patty DeJuneas said in a statement. “We appreciate that the RMV recognized the error, apologized, and issued a license respecting her First Amendment rights, and hope that RMV staff will be trained to respect diversity.”