Freedom of Religion
by Coral Phillips on November 20, 2015 - 1:56pm
Freedom of religion is considered by most people to be a fundamental human right. No matter how bizarre or strange we might think someone’s religious belief is, like a lot of people will think about this one, it is still their religious belief and they have the right to freely express it.
In a recent article posted by the American Humanist Association, a Pastafarian woman won the right to wear a noodle strainer or also known as a colander on her head for her driver’s license photo because it is part of her religion. She identifies as a Pastafarian, also known as a person who is a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It is a secular religion that sees a Flying Spaghetti Monster just as likely to exist as a Christian God. When she primarily went to get her driver’s license photo taken she was not permitted to with the noodle strainer on her head. A friend of hers contacted the AHA legal center and she was connected with one of their attorneys who then filed an appeal towards the Massachusetts RMV for denying her the right to wear the noodle strainer on her head. The hearing was postponed and the Massachusetts RMV ended up allowing her to take the photo with it on. The humanistic view on this is that the first amendment applies to everyone and every religion, so why should she have been treated with contempt for trying to do something that she is legally and naturally allowed to do like other traditional religions (David Niose).
Obviously I can see why she was primarily denied permission to take the government photo with a noodle strainer on her head, the workers probably thought that the woman was just trying to be funny or maybe she was even crazy and they were just trying to follow guidelines. I would never have thought that there would be a religion based off of believing in a Flying Spaghetti Monster so I don’t blame them for not knowing about it either, and they eventually allowed her to wear it in the end. This makes you think though, did they allow her because they respected her religious beliefs or just because they didn’t want a lawsuit on their hands?
Niose, David. “Massachusetts Pastafarian Wins Right to Wear Colander in Driver’s License Photo, Thanks to Humanist Group.” American Humanist Association, 13 Nov. 2015. Web. 20 Nov 2015.