COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Cincinnati man went to several Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles locations near his home last year in an effort to get just one to let him take his driver’s license photo wearing a pasta strainer on his head.
They didn’t, despite Richard Steve Moser III’s insistence that the colander is a religious head covering. He now has the support of the American Humanist Association, which says the BMV’s denial is discriminatory and unconstitutional.
“Every other religion, they’re allowed, so why shouldn’t I be?” said Moser, who is a follower of the faith known as a Pastafarian, and practices the satirical religion of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The belief was born in 2005 after a man wrote a letter to the Kansas school board saying that if intelligent design would be taught, so should the idea that a flying spaghetti monster created the Earth.
“The BMV is not at liberty to decide which religions may be afforded this privilege and which religions may not,” the American Humanist Association contends. “To deny any person the right to afford themselves of this accommodation merely because their religion is not sufficiently well-known or understood by the BMV would be a plain violation of the First Amendment.”