Are you familiar with Pastafarianism or The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?
Here’s a crash course for the uninitiated. From Wikipedia:
The Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) is the deity of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Pastafarianism, a movement that promotes a light-hearted view of religion and opposes the teaching of intelligent design and creationism in public schools. Although adherents describe Pastafarianism as a genuine religion, it is generally seen by the media as a parody religion.
So where did this religion come from? It’s actually pretty young, as far as religions go.
The “Flying Spaghetti Monster” was first described in a satirical open letter written by Bobby Henderson in 2005 to protest the Kansas State Board of Education decision to permit teaching intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in public school science classes. In that letter, Henderson satirized creationism by professing his belief that whenever a scientist carbon-dates an object, a supernatural creator that closely resembles spaghetti and meatballs is there “changing the results with His Noodly Appendage”. Henderson argued that his beliefs were just as valid as intelligent design, and called for equal time in science classrooms alongside intelligent design and evolution. After Henderson published the letter on his website, the Flying Spaghetti Monster rapidly became an Internet phenomenon and a symbol of opposition to the teaching of intelligent design in public schools.
Touched By His Noodly Appendage [via Wikipedia]
It really is a fascinating religion with some interesting beliefs. If you’re interested and looking for a chuckle, I highly recommend reading the Wikipedia article on it (just click one of the highlighted Wikipedia links above).
The reason we’re talking about Pastafarianism today is because there’s a man in B.C. who is fighting for the right to wear his religious headgear in his driver’s license photo.
[Via CTV News Vancouver]
Obi Canuel is his name. He’s an ordained minister in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and he believes it is his religious right to wear the colander on his head as “religious headgear.” ICBC, the provincial licence regulator, disagrees. From a Huffington Post article:
Canuel’s plight began in the fall of 2013 (he has documented the whole thing in a YouTube video, uploaded earlier this month), when he went to renew his licence, which meant taking a new picture.
He walked in wearing his strainer and was met with bewilderment from ICBC staff. Still, his picture was taken and he was granted a temporary licence. He was told that his permanent one would be mailed, but it never was.
Here’s the video Canuel made:
So why has he been getting the runaround for months? Looking at ICBC’s website, one would be a little bewildered at the fact that he still hasn’t received his license.
ICBC’s website states that it honours individuals’ rights “to religious expression. You will not be asked to remove any headgear that does not interfere with facial recognition technology as long as it is worn in conjunction with religious practice, or is needed as a result of medical treatment.”
But after months of back and forth with ICBC, Canuel was sent a letter saying there was “no religious requirement that prohibits you from removing the colander for the purpose of taking the photo to appear on your driver’s license,” meaning he would not be granted one with his current picture. So he’s taking his fight public.
“The truth is sometimes I have the spiritual inkling to wear the colander and I don’t think ICBC should be making decisions about what kind of religious headgear is appropriate or not,” the Surrey man told CTV News.
It’s a fight worth fighting, when you consider that there are other countries who have already okay’d the practice of wearing a colander as Pastafarian religious headgear. From CTV News Vancouver:
Currently, four countries – the United States, Czech Republic, Austria and New Zealand – allow Pastafarians to wear colanders as headgear for government-issued photo identification. In fact, church member Christopher Schaeffer was sworn into office wearing the cooking item during his inauguration as an elected town official in New York State earlier this year.
What’s weird is that Canuel managed to get himself a BC Services ID card with his colander photo on it…
[Via CTV News Vancouver]
But no driver’s license?
A quick Google search brings up a number of results of the ID cards of other Pastafarians who were granted the right to wear their religious headgear in their photos.
[Via The Daily Mail]
This man apparently had his guns confiscated thanks to the colander on his head in the photo. Story via techdirt.com.
And this really would not be the first “unusual” drivers license British Columbia had ever issued. A couple years back, Reddit user adambard posted an awesome photoset of how he prepared for his drivers license photo. Have a look at the album:
What do you think? Should Obi Canuel be allowed to wear a colander on his head? I think so!