A follower of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has won the legal right to wear a colander on his head in his driver’s license photograph. Michael Schumacher of Wisconsin wanted the kitchen strainer on his head for the official picture to emphasise his belief in Pastafarianism.
After arguing his case in a letter to the Department of Transport, the state agreed to Schumacher’s request with the provision he tips the colander back far enough so that his full face is visible. Speaking to local press, attorney Derek Allen, who penned the letter, called the colander a "First Amendment issue" -- the constitutional prohibition against any law that that impedes the free exercise of religion or speech.
The assent is the latest in a sporadic number of cases in which the atheist protest movement undercuts the privilege given to organised religion in the US by winning rights for its beliefs.
In Jan. 2014, Christopher Schaeffer, a Pastafarian minister, was sworn a town council in New York wearing the utensil.
The Church was first established in 2005, gaining ground as a movement among atheists on the Internet. Although often seen as a parody religion, in the US the Church campaigns in opposition to the teachings of creationism and intelligent design in US public schools -- the rationale being there is just as much scientific evidence for God as there is for a Flying Spaghetti Monster.