Moral Low Ground

Civil Liberties

Citing Religious Freedom, Austrian ‘Pastafarian’ Niko Alm Wins Right to Wear Spaghetti Strainer on his Head in Driver’s License Photo

Hilariously and effectively exposing the absurdity of religion, an Austrian atheist has won the right to wear a pasta strainer on his head in his driver’s license photo– all in the name of religious freedom.

(Photo: AFP)

According to Agence France-PresseNiko Alm is an atheist who belongs to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, whose adherents are known as ‘Pastafarians.’ According to their website, “the only dogma allowed in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the rejection of dogma. 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.”

When Alm mailed in his application for a new driver’s license three years ago, he included a photo of himself with a colander on his head. This got him sent to a shrink to determine whether or not he was mentally competent to operate a motor vehicle. We would argue that since Alm’s “religious” beliefs are tongue-in-cheek, he’s more qualified to drive– or run a country– than those who believe a virgin gave birth to a child who would grown up  to walk on water and rise from the dead like a zombie, but that’s opening a whole ‘nother can of worms.

In any case, Austrian transport authorities approved his application and his driver’s license now shows Alm with a spaghetti strainer atop his brilliant head.

What’s next for the intrepid Austrian? Alm now wants Pastafarianism to become an officially recognized faith in Austria. And why not? The tenets of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which include “belief” in a supernatural creator that closely resembles spaghetti and meatballs, replete with “noodly appendages,” are no more absurd that those professed by Jews, Christians and Muslims. I mean, a talking snake? Dinosaurs and humans living side by side in harmony? Seventy-two virgins in paradise?

Devotees of “traditional” religions: take a long, hard look in the mirror and answer me this: does a Flying Spaghetti Monster sound any more logical than the Virgin Birth?

“Touched by His Noodly Appendage”

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