Don’t care too much for your driver’s license ID photo?  

Does the TSA official seem to take extra long to study YOUR ID?

Don’t like the “no smiling rule” for passport photos?

Well, Lukas Novy has one better. Czech Republic resident and self proclaimed Pastafarian, recently won his right to don his spaghetti strainer in his official government ID card photo (see photo), citing religious reasons, as a devout member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM). The Patsafarian (satirical?) sect have become a pizza history that began as a satirical open letter written by Bobby Henderson in 2005 to protest the Kansas State Board of Education decision to permit teaching intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in public school science classes.


Lukas Novy of Czech Republic

According to the FSM, they have evolved over thyme from as “a bunch of peaceful pirate explorers with a penchant for beer, ruled by an invisible noodly monster who ‘boiled for your sins.'”

Niko Alm

Niko Alm of Austria

But before you say we must never have sausage a thing, Mr. Novy is not the first.  He joins others, including fellow international Pastafarian, Austrian Niko Alm, who won a case when officials first objected to him wearing a similar sieve on his head for his driving licence photo (see photo).

In both instances, the governments seemed to give in to the men’s play on the legal ambiguity, so long as their face was not obstructed or any obscene gestures or the like were present.

In the United States?
At least two recent instances in 2013 have been documented of stateside FSM members attempting to wear their headgear in government photos:

  • Dayton, New JerseyAaron Williams, 25, attempts to wear his Pastafarianism pasta strainer on his head for his driver’s license photo at the local DMV, insisting it was for religious reasons. Nevertheless, after being denied by the facility officials (and a conversation with local police called by the DMV), he was unsuccessful. More here.
  • Pekin, Illinois – Donald Hoover went to renew his license while donning his colander, personally expecting little resistance under Illinois regulations that expressly state, “Prescription glasses and religious head dressings not covering any areas of the open face may be allowed.”  Again, he was turned down.

However, Mr. Hoover did not stop there.  A detailed review of his correspondence with the State of Illinois following the denial may be found here. (HT: @hemantmehta)

Keep your eyes peeled and your mind open! In my opinion, traveling is not just about seeing amazing places and eating great food, it includes meeting new people… many times people different than you and me. Whether you agree, disagree, or just don’t get it, educate yourself! Keep learning… and keep traveling!

FSM car

Flying Spaghetti Monster Car Logo

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