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.
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.
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.
Answer by NotPanicking at 6:44 AM on Jul. 14, 2011
Answer by anng.atlanta at 12:01 AM on Jul. 14, 2011
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
Answer by sahmamax2 at 9:52 AM on Jul. 14, 2011
Answer by popzaroo at 9:57 AM on Jul. 14, 2011
Answer by okmanders at 11:55 AM on Jul. 14, 2011
Answer by sahmamax2 at 4:14 PM on Jul. 14, 2011
Answer by pam19 at 8:19 AM on Jul. 14, 2011
Answer by witchqueen at 9:47 AM on Jul. 14, 2011
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