Oklahoma Woman Wears Colander as Religious Headgear in License Picture


A woman in Oklahoma is citing her religious freedom as the reason for wearing a colander on her head for her driver’s license photograph. Shawna Hammond, who is a Pastafarian and views the spaghetti strainer as a symbol of religious freedom, said the headgear should not cause any problem, as her face is visible in entirety despite her wearing the colander.

“It doesn’t cover my face. I mean you can still see my face. We have to take off our glasses, so I took off my glasses,” Hammond said.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, religious headpieces cannot cause shadows on the face and the photograph should present a person’s face clearly.

“I asked if I could wear my religious headwear and he said, yes, it just couldn’t have any logos, or any type of writing. I told him it didn’t, and I went out to my car and got my colander... She kind of chuckled, she giggled, gave me a funny look and asked me what religion I was. I told her I was a Pastafarian,” said Hammond.

Oklahoma Driver's License

Pastafarianism is a mock religion that has no stringent rules or regulations. The church’s website states Pastafarianism does not require rote prayers, rituals and other such nonsense to be adhered to by followers. The religion came into being in 2005 after founder Bobby Henderson wrote an open letter to Kansas State Board of Education. The letter asked the school board to stop teaching creationism to students, and said that if it wasn’t done, then students should also be taught about the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which has just as much merit as Jesus Christ.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol, which is responsible for issuing driver’s licenses, said it would review the picture thoroughly to make sure it meets all the requirements of the department and Hammond’s face can be seen clearly. If there are no problems with Hammond’s license, then the authorities might also consider changing the rule for religious headwear, since it is more than a decade old.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

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