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'Pastafarian' Wins Legal Right to Pasta Strainer in License Photo

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on July 19, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

An Austrian "Pasatafarian," Niko Alm, has the right to wear a pasta strainer in his driver's license photo according to authorities.

Alm claims that he's a "Pastafarian," and adheres to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is partially founded on the belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. And, that the monster is quite powerful, but forgiving, welcoming all into the loving embrace of "His Noodly Appendage."

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In showing his devotion to Pastafarianism, Alm decided to wear a pasta strainer on his head for his driver's license photograph. Alm is actually an atheist, and staged the pasta-strainer photo in a response to a new law about headwear in official photos.

Apparently, an Austrian regulation makes it so that headgear is only allowed in official photographs for religious reasons, reports BBC News. As a result, Alm declared that he was a Pastafarian.

And then the unexpected happened. Perhaps the Austrian authorities questioned his sanity, because Alm was required to get an all-clear from a doctor saying he was psychologically sound, reports BBC News. And, three years later, Alm got his license.

Austrian authorities dispute that Alm was allowed to wear the pasta strainer on his head for religious reasons. They say that he was able to don the pasta strainer because his face was fully visible, according to BBC News.

Though, in this high-stress society, maybe all of us would benefit from some of the wisdom of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Part of its beliefs include, as taken from the Church's website: fondness for beer, and the desire not to take oneself too seriously.

Wearing a pasta strainer in your driver's license photo is probably as un-serious as you can go. Maybe Niko Alm, self-proclaimed Pastafarian, is onto the next big trend.

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