A New Jersey man looking to make a statement on religious expression was met with a police presence at a DMV office when he tried to take his driver’s license photo wearing a colander on his head.
Aaron Williams, a self-professed “Pastafarian” who reportedly adheres to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster – a satirical movement that opposes teaching intelligent design and creationism in schools – caused police to respond to the DMV office after he argued he should be allowed to wear the colander as he tried to renew his license Feb. 2, The Smoking Gun reported Wednesday.
A “suspicious incident” report was filed by the South Brunswick Police Department.
“The issue was when Williams went to take his picture for (his) license (he) was wearing a pasta strainer on his head,” the report stated. A DMV official “advised it is against policy for people to wear head coverings unless it is for religious reasons.”
Williams reportedly videotaped the incident on his cell phone.
“Williams advised (that) his pasta strainer was a religious head covering and it was his right to wear it for his license photo,” the investigation report stated.
The officer “advised Williams that the pasta strainer is not approved by the (Motor Vehicle Commission) and he would have to apply to the state for it to be allowed.”
The New Jersey man was told “to apply thru (sic) proper channels” to get the pasta strainer listed as approved religious wear.
Williams was described as being cooperative with authorities and eventually took his driver’s license picture sans colander. He also deleted the recording of the encounter from his cell phone.
“Williams never made any threats or statements other than that it was his religious right to wear the strainer,” the investigation report concluded. “Williams left the agency without any further problems.”