Aaron Williams, a devout follower of Pastafarianism, has had his religious rights trampled by the New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission, which refused to allow him to wear his religious headgear (a pasta strainer) for his official driver's license photo.
“Had it been a turban or a headscarf, or something from a mainstream religion, then it would’ve been fine,” Williams, 24, told New Brunswick Patch. “I guess since they hadn’t heard of the religion, that’s why they opposed it. But that’s not really acceptable to me. They’re not in a position to discriminate against religions that are mainstream, or not mainstream, just because they may not have heard about it...
...Williams was told by police that he could try to get the state to recognize the colander as religious headwear, but until they did, he could not wear it for the photo.
“The people there were very polite, but I’d like to have better training for their employees, so I may be looking into some way to educate their employees on their own policies,” Williams told Patch. “I feel like after I expressed my opinions and beliefs they were definitely more accepting. I was met with hostility at first and they were asking me what my problem was.”
I think it's outrageous that New Jersey holds for itself the right to determine which solemn faiths are and are not legitimate. As a Pastafarian myself, I've often thought that tales of burning bushes, miraculous healings, and alien beings strapped to volcanoes were somewhat hard to credit at first blush, but I reserve judgment out of respect for the faith of my neighbors. Surely they owe us followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster the same respect.
New Jersey ‘Pastafarian’ denied right to wear spaghetti strainer on his head for drivers’ license photo [David Knowles/New York Daily News]
(Image: FSM Treats!, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from oskay's photostream)
Sarah Jeong had me standing up and cheering with her comparison of kudurrus — the ancient Mesopotamian boundary stones used to mark out territorial land-grants — and the way that laws like the US DMCA protect digital rights management systems.
Craig Thompson’s second graphic novel, the 582-page mammoth Blankets, swept the field’s awards, taking three Harveys, two Eisners, and two Ignatzes. More than a decade later, and buoyed by his later successes (such as 2011’s seminal Habibi), Drawn and Quarterly has produced a beautiful new edition.
Be sure to read Adrian Chen’s gripping profile of former Westboro Baptist Church twitterer Megan Phelps-Roper, who left the church after coming to realize the futility of its hate gospel. On December 20, 2009, Phelps-Roper was in the basement of her house, for a church function, when she checked Twitter on her phone and saw […]
Celebrate Cyber Monday with some brain food. Save on any eLearning deal in the Boing Boing Store today using coupon code: CYBERMONDAY25. Below are a couple of our favorite eLearning offers: eduCBA Tech Training Bundle: Lifetime Subscription:Welcome to your personal online classroom, where you can finally study at your own pace, on your own time (and […]
This minimalist multi-tool will see to it that instead of rocking a tool belt, you’ll carry just one. It’s shaped slightly like a key and weighs less than an ounce, so it plays nice with your keychain. The strong surgical-grade stainless steel blade will last, and is handy for everyday tasks like opening boxes and […]
The Code Black is our top-selling drone of all time—and for good reason. This powerful, palm-size drone is not only insanely fun to fly, but can capture some serious video footage from up above. With a flight time of about 10 minutes and an ultra-smooth ride, it’s a great introductory drone for anyone looking to […]