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Austrian atheist, Niko Alm, applied for the driving license three years ago after reading that headgear was allowed in official pictures only for confessional reasons, Herr Alm said the pasta strainer was a requirement of his religion, pastafarianism.
Herr Alm says he belongs to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, 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.
The license took three years to come through and, according to Herr Alm, he was asked to submit to a medical interview to check on his mental fitness to drive but his efforts paid off.
It is the police who issue driving licenses in Austria, and they have duly issued a laminated card showing Herr Alm in his unorthodox item of religious headgear.
The next step, Herr Alm told the Austrian news agency APA, is to apply to the Austrian authorities for pastafarianism to become an officially recognized faith.
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