An Oklahoma woman wore a spaghetti strainer on her head in her license photograph because she says it is religious headwear.
Under Oklahoma law Shawna Hammond can wear garments that are related to her Pastafarian religion in her I.D. photo.
“I asked if I could wear my religious headwear and he said, yes, it just couldn’t have any logos, or any type of writing. I told him it didn’t, and I went out to my car and got my colander,” Hammond told KFOR.
“She kind of chuckled, she giggled, gave me a funny look and asked me what religion I was. I told her I was a Pastafarian,” she said.
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Hammond says she is a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
“By design, the only dogma allowed in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the rejection of dogma,” says the church’s website. “That is, there are no strict rules and regulations, there are no rote rituals and prayers and other nonsense. Every member has a say in what this church is and what it becomes.”
“It came about in 2005. A man named Bobby Henderson wrote an open letter to the Kansas State Board of Education. It was actually about teaching creationism in school and he came up with the flying spaghetti monster and it had just as much merit,” Hammond said.
As an atheist in Oklahoma Hammond said it was satisfying to be able to practice her rights at the DMV.
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“It felt good to be recognized that we can all coexist and have those equal rights,” she said.
“For me the colander represents freedom, our freedom of religion, and to whatever religion we prefer or lack of religion. It was important to me to exercise that, even if it’s just a driver’s license photo,” she added.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol officials say they are investigating to make sure the ID photo follows state regulation and they may even consider changing the decade-old religious headwear rule.
Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Gavin St. Ours