Pastafarian Wears Colander as Hat in DMV Photo

Oklahoma atheist says it symbolizes religious freedom
By Shelley Hazen,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2014 2:40 PM CDT
Pastafarian Wears Colander as Hat in DMV Photo
A woman in Oklahoma took her driver's license picture with a colander on her head.   (InstantInformer)

America is the land of the free, the kind of country where you can wear a colander on your head and call it religious headgear. That's not a joke—there has been a Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster since 2005, and Oklahoma's Shawna Hammond is a practitioner of the religion known as Pastafarianism. She even wore her pasta strainer in her driver's license photo. Hammond tells KFOR: The DMV employee "kind of chuckled, she giggled, gave me a funny look and asked me what religion I was. I told her I was a Pastafarian." The state Highway Patrol says it will review the photo and its rules on religious headwear to make sure all is OK.

Inspired by one man's letter to the Kansas Board of Education equating creationism to the existence of a flying spaghetti monster, as per KTRK, Pastafarianism has no rules, regulations, rituals, prayers, or "other nonsense." There is a note of seriousness behind Hammond's act of freedom—she's an atheist: "It's hard living as a non-religious person in Oklahoma," she says. "It felt good to be recognized that we can all coexist and have those equal rights." (Pastafarians in other countries also have been allowed to don pasta strainers in official photos.)

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