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"Austrian driver's religious headgear strains credulity" - Thoughts?

An Austrian atheist has won the right to be shown on his driving-licence photo wearing a pasta strainer as "religious headgear".

Niko Alm first applied for the licence three years ago after reading that headgear was allowed in official pictures only for confessional reasons.

Mr Alm said the sieve was a requirement of his religion, pastafarianism.

The Austrian authorities required him to obtain a doctor's certificate that he was "psychologically fit" to drive.

The idea came into Mr Alm's noodle three years ago as a way of making a serious, if ironic, point.

A self-confessed atheist, Mr Alm says he belongs to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a light-hearted faith whose members call themselves pastafarians.

Passport photos of Niko Alm with a colander on his head A medical interview established the self-styled 'pastafarian' was mentally fit to drive

The group's website states that "the only dogma allowed in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the rejection of dogma".

In response to pressure for American schools to teach the Christian theory known as intelligent design, as an alternative to natural selection, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote to the Kansas School Board asking for the pastafarian version of intelligent design to be taught to schoolchildren, as an alternative to the Christian theory.

Straining credulity

In the same spirit, Mr Alm's pastafarian-style application for a driving licence was a response to the Austrian recognition of confessional headgear in official photographs.

The licence took three years to come through and, according to Mr Alm, he was asked to submit to a medical interview to check on his mental fitness to drive but - straining credulity - his efforts have finally paid off.

It is the police who issue driving licences in Austria, and they have duly issued a laminated card showing Mr Alm in his unorthodox item of religious headgear.

The next step, Mr Alm told the Austrian news agency APA, is to apply to the Austrian authorities for pastafarianism to become an officially recognised faith.


Asked by -Eilish- at 11:50 PM on Jul. 13, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 28 (33,578 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (31)
  • RA-men

    Answer by NotPanicking at 6:44 AM on Jul. 14, 2011

  • I'm not clear what is meant by "confessional reasons", but this guy is hilarious!

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 12:01 AM on Jul. 14, 2011

  • well...if he wants to look like that on his DL i guess it was worth it. honestly, i dont see why going thru 3 years worth of red-tape was really worth making such a silly point.

    and i dunno about Austrian DL pictures...but arent DL pictures suppose to look like what you look like on a daily basis? i mean isnt that the point of "confessional headgear...that its something you are always wearing (like a Sikh's Dastar) so that one looking at the ID can ID you?

    Answer by okmanders at 12:22 AM on Jul. 14, 2011

  • I think he should only be allowed to wear it in the photo if he also wears it when not being photographed, like when he's working or shopping, ect.


    Answer by RyansMom001 at 9:02 AM on Jul. 14, 2011

  • I think thats funny. Although, it makes other atheists look ridiculous as well and I know I fight so hard for people to understand and realize I am a normal, healthy person who happens to believe differently than most people.
    I do not take joy in poking fun at others beliefs...I just want others to take ME seriously and this guy can't really be taken seriously.

    Its a step back for atheists, IMO.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 9:52 AM on Jul. 14, 2011

  • Oh good grief

    Answer by popzaroo at 9:57 AM on Jul. 14, 2011

  • "There are huge misconceptions about what Atheism is..."

    and this guy just added to those misconceptions. those who already think poorly of Atheists arent going to get the joke. instead they will add it to their long list of reasons why they dislike Atheists.

    Answer by okmanders at 11:55 AM on Jul. 14, 2011

  • Exactly what I was thinking NP.
    It's amazing how quick people are to spit on others' beliefs, but cry persecution when someone does it to them.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 4:14 PM on Jul. 14, 2011

  • LOL That's hilarious! I can't believe it's taken 3 years of red tape and evaluations though.

    Answer by pam19 at 8:19 AM on Jul. 14, 2011

  • RAmen and Hallelulu!!

    Answer by witchqueen at 9:47 AM on Jul. 14, 2011