Pastafarian Denied Religious Headwear in New Jersey

A couple of years ago, we told you about a Pastafarian from Austria who convinced his government to let him wear a collander hat on religious grounds for his driver's license.

Well, no such luck with New Jersey:

Having never heard of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, workers at a New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission office refused to allow Aaron Williams’ to wear a pasta strainer on his head while having his drivers’ license photo taken on Feb. 2.

The colander, according to Williams, is a religious symbol for his satirical church.

South Brunswick police arrived at the MVC facility on Route 130 in Dayton and told Williams that the pasta strainer was not on a list of approved religious headwear.

“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.”

David Knowles of the NY Daily News reports: Link


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It seems that you feel annoyed, just because you think there are people laughing at your’s expense... keep Mt 5,39 and Joh 18,22 in mind...
You say that "Religion is different than "what you say you believe." I am confident that you can find yourself differences between (what your) religion (tells you to believe), what you actually believe....
I think that the pastafarians just founded their church because they where annoyed by all the religions people that took anything related to religion so dead serious...
I expect "Being annoyed by other people's believes/religion" could be one aspect you may have in common with the pastafarians...
Presumably i am totally wrong, but these where my thougts when reading your comment... (I.e. dont feel annoyed by my comment)
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I see some problems with definitions:

How "distinct" the legal existence has to be?

How long is the required "religious history" (would be one day ok? or one week one year? or a decade? a century? is there an exact number of days? )

Which and how many people hav to be able to recognize the the creed and form of worship?,

"established places of worship" seems also not very well definded. Would be "once a year at bob's home?" satifying this criterion?

would ""once a year at bob's home?" fulfill the a regular congregation and where are the exact limits?

fulfill the "regular religious services" "once a year spaghetti and meatballs at bob's home?" would be sufficient for a small conregation...

"an organization of ordained ministers" ok we have bob and he is the oldest of us and there is no need for any more organization as our conregation is still at the beginning...

You see drawing a clear line between religion and non-religion is not so easy...

Finally, there is a last problem... when does an "organized religion" end... would it be sufficient to knock down the last church building of a small organized religion to end it's existing? (and if they just knocked it down to re-errect a bigger church building? did they end and reincarnate with the finisching of the new building?)

For me these rules seems to be protect the old religions from the rise of new ones...
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