The self-proclaimed Pastafarian from Arizona finally got permission to wear the pasta strainer in his license photo.
It’s likely that, at some point in your life, you’ve joked to your friends that “pasta is my religion.” You’re trying to show how devoted – how passionate – you are about this delicious staple food. Trust us, we can relate. But that joke can take on a serious meaning for Pastafarians – the small group of people who worship not the food pasta, but a creature made out of pasta, known as the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Don’t laugh, this is a legitimate religious practice. How seriously do people take it? Seriously enough that a Chandler, Arizona man named Sean Corbett got permission to wear a colander on his head on honor of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in his official driver’s license photo.
Not that it was easy. Corbett told CNN that the process took him two years, and several Department of Motor Vehicles offices, to convince Arizona that he should be able to exercise his freedom of religion rights in such an unconventional way, but he eventually came out victorious.
“It's kind of been a personal mission to keep pushing and not let the naysayers say I can't,” Corbett said.
Although Corbett insists that wearing the colander is all part of his Pastafarianism, a belief system based on the idea that the “world was created 5,000 years ago by a Flying Spaghetti Monster,” he also admits that it’s less religion and more satire.
Still, most states allow people to wear headwear in their license photos for religious reasons, and Corbett’s eventual triumph seems to affirm that Pastafarians fall under that category – almost. Although Corbett was initially allowed to take the photo, a spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Transportation informed CNN affiliate KNXV that while some exceptions are made for religious reasons, Pastafarianism doesn’t fall into that category – meaning Corbett’s license will be voided, and he’ll have to take another photo, sans-strainer.
In 2015, a woman from Massachusetts got permission to wear a colander in her license photo. Last year another woman who originally got permission to announce her love for the Flying Spaghetti Monster on her driver’s license was also asked to retake the photo.
Seems like you can love pasta, even worship it, but unfortunately, the government will – for now at least – refuse to recognize that love as a religion.