Thursday, July 14, 2011

Religious breakthrough in Austria

Here's a photo of what appears to be an ordinary Austrian driver's license, issued to a young guy named Niko Alm:

When inspected closely, Niko's identity photo reveals a puzzling detail. On his head, he seems to be wearing some kind of curious helmet. In fact, it's a round-bottomed metal strainer of the kind used to extract spaghetti from the water in which it was cooked.

At this stage, you might be asking (I hope): How come that Austrian guy named Niko Alm has decided to give the authorities, for his driver's license, an identity portrait in which he's wearing an upside-down pasta strainer as if it were a hat? Now, that's an excellent question, and I'm glad you asked it. So, let me answer it.

Anybody who's ever tried to get a driver's license in Austria knows that the authorities are generally furious whenever they receive an identity photo in which the candidate is wearing any kind of hat. For example, if Princess Beatrice were to imagine that she could use this lovely portrait for her Austrian driver's license, then she would be in for a nasty surprise.

In Austrian law, there's only one possible loophole that allows you to use a photo in which you're wearing a hat. You have to make it clear that the thing you're wearing on your head is a religious headdress… like a Jewish hat, say, or a Sikh turban. And that is the ingenious method that enabled Niko Alm to use a portrait in which his head is adorned by a pasta strainer.

You might recall that, in a recent blog post, I evoked the existence of a spiritual entity known as the Flying Spaghetti Monster [display], who was responsible for the creation of the Cosmos and all the creatures in it, such as you and me.

The vast congregation of decent God-fearing folk who believe in this explanation of Creation are known as Pastafarians… and you can use Google to find out all about their fascinating theology, dogma, etc. Well, the Austrian driver Niko Alm wrote a letter to the authorities stating that his adherence to the Pastafarian religion made it obligatory for him to wear a pasta strainer on his head at all times. The authorities promptly got him examined by psychiatrists, to see if he was totally crazy. This was not the case. So, the authorities had no other choice but to allow Niko to be photographed while wearing his Pastafarian religious headdress.

1 comment:

  1. May the Pastafarians make an ever bigger splash.

    1) After denying so vehemently that atheism is not a religion the Pastafarian sect of atheism fights for equal rights to freely express their religious beliefs. As Niko Alm states it, his goal is for “Pastafarianism to become an officially recognised faith in Austria.”

    2) The Flying Spaghetti Monster actually proved was that some people are utterly ignorant of natural theology / general revelation. These propose the best that science and philosophy have offer as to the universe’s coming into being. They propose that the universe had a creator and even identify some of the creator’s characteristics.