Texas Pastafarian student allowed to wear pasta strainer in photo ID
Posted by Daniel Moran
A Texas college student has been allowed to wear a pasta strainer in the photo for his driver’s license after months of calls to local and state officials.
Eddie Castillo, a student at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, is the first American to be allowed to wear “religious headgear” in a state issued driver’s license as part of his religious beliefs as a Pastafarian, also known as the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
A New Jersey man was recently denied that same right, but a man in Austria back in 2008 was allowed to do this, only after he was required to get a letter from a mental health professional on his mental state to see if he was fit to drive.
“You might think this is some sort of a gag or prank by a college student,” Castillo told KCBD, “but thousands, including myself, see it as a political and religious milestone for all atheists everywhere.”
I appreciate that Castillo is not being abrasive, condescending, or sarcastic about any of this but is instead keeping things lighthearted. I think it does wonders to show the wider public that atheists are good people, even if we do humorous and sometimes ridiculous things to get the spotlight on a certain issue. What’s that old saying? You attract more flies with honey than vinegar.
That’s what the whole Pastafarian “religion” is all about though. Poking fun at religion, Creationism, church/state separation issues, etc. The church itself began with a letter in 2005 to the Kansas State Board of Education mocking their proposal to teach Intelligent Design.
Since the argument was being made that students should hear multiple viewpoints on who or what created the Earth and decide for themselves, the church sent an open letter to the school board saying that students should other viewpoints too. The church offered the theory (and I use that word loosely here) that the Earth was created by the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
They also claimed that the warming of the Earth, as well as the increase in assorted natural disasters around the world, is due to the decrease in the amount of pirates in the world. This was a jab at the constant mantra from some on the religious right that natural disasters are happening because of God’s wrath over sins, such as homosexuality.
I also learned recently that Dr. Darrel Ray, author of The God Virus and Sex and God, is the High Priest of the Pastafarian Church. I had the pleasure of seeing him in his religious garbs at the American Atheists Convention down in Austin for their costume party. Surprisingly, he was not covered in spaghetti.
Nonetheless, I wish Castillo the best (and a quick shout-out to the SSA at Texas Tech). I hope he doesn’t mind getting pulled over by the police and having them think he’s mentally ill for having a driver’s license photo with a pasta strainer on his head.
About Daniel MoranDaniel Moran is an openly atheist candidate for the Texas legislature. Currently earning his degree in Political Science at the University of North Texas, he plans to continue his education in law school. Daniel is also on the UNT Moot Court Team and Vice-President of the UNT Secular Student Alliance.
Posted on August 28, 2013, in Religion/Atheism and tagged atheist, church of the flying spaghetti monster, darrel ray, driver's license, eddie castillo, flying spaghetti monster, global warming, lubbock, pasta strainer, pastafarian, photo, pirates, secular, sex and god, sin, texas, texas tech, the god virus. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.