Straining for Religious Freedom

The other day, I was driving home from having breakfast with Court, when my cell phone rang. It was my sister Bec calling to just say hello – or so I thought. She, in fact, had something astounding to tell me.

As background, recall that Bec lived 30 or so years of her life in northern Virginia in a suburb just outside of Washington D.C. When you live in our nation’s capital, your local news is the national news. She was used to hearing her local newscasters talk about the national deficit or what the president had signed into law that day. So, she is adjusting to Local News:  Arizona Style, where you are liable to hear stories about exorcisms, cats stuck on top of saguaro cacti, or rattlesnake activities.

But the morning news had offered a news story so bizarre that it resulted in her telephoning me to do a reality check. You know, just an opportunity to make sure that I too thought this particular news story was, well, odd. I did.

It seems a man in Arizona was threatening a lawsuit because the Arizona Department of Transportation wouldn’t allow him to wear a spaghetti strainer on his head in his driver’s license photo. The questionable headgear is apparently an essential element of his religion. He is a Pastafarian, a religious sect that calls itself the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. He believes he is being discriminated against based on his religion.

Heck, his religion is probably no stranger than those that encourage the handling of poisonous snakes. The reality is, more than likely, they (the Pastafarians, that is) likely have their tongues firmly placed in their cheeks when they talk about the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Still, it begs the bigger question: No matter your beliefs, who wants to wear a spaghetti strainer on your head? It’s simply not a good look on anybody, perhaps me least of all…..

It would, perhaps, come in handy in some situations. Like if you are cooking a spaghetti and meatball dinner for your family. I always have to scrounge around in my bottom cupboard looking for my spaghetti strainer. If I was a Pastafarian, I wouldn’t have to scrounge. I would just reach up and, voila! And the strainers these days come in all sorts of bright colors, so you could change up with your outfit for the day…..

If the rules aren’t too strict, you might even choose one with a perky-looking handle on the side……


This particular man chose a strainer that has a handle under the chin, thereby lessening the chance that he would lose it in one of Arizona’s famous haboobs.

I’m sure that the Pastafarians are trying to make a point that is important, at least to them. However, whatever that point is might be beside the point for me. Because the story made Bec and I laugh to the point of tears, and that’s always a good thing.

And, by the way, do you suppose there is a religion that would require the wearing of a dead animal skin on one’s head? If so, I have it covered….

One thought on “Straining for Religious Freedom

  1. I hope that man lives far, far away from our house in Mesa.
    I am pleased, Kris, that you are moving the blog into some fashion posts. 🤔

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