After a years long pursuit, Niko Alm, a self proclaimed “Pastafarian,” finally earned the freedom to appear in his Austrian driver’s license sporting a pasta strainer on his head. An accessory he argued was ‘religious headgear.’, BBC News reports.
Alm put in an application for the license three years ago claiming that the strainer was a necessity of his religion, Pastafarianism. After the application was submitted, Austrian authorities mandated that Alm attain a certificate from a doctor that he was mentally fit and competent to drive. It would seem as though he passed.
What appears to be a silly statement, is arguably a much more crucial (though comedic) step in exposing various double standards of religious approaches and acceptance.
“Pastafarian,” for anybody who may not know, is a name adopted by individuals who consider themselves members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It’s a faith based in satire whose website promotes a message that “the only dogma allowed in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the rejection of dogma.” The organization was created back in 2005 in reaction to a Kansas State Board of Education decision to allow the instruction of intelligent design in public schools as an alternative to evolution. Church members argue that equivalent evidence exists for the presence of a flying omnipotent Spaghetti Monster and for the principles behind intelligent design.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has indeed grown in popularity and influence. Niko Alm’s victory certainly represents once advancement. His next goal, Alm told Austrian agency APA, is to apply for Pastafarianism to become an officially recognized religion in the Republic of Austria.