The American Humanist Foundation considers it a win that they were able to legally force a government institution to officially recognize the fictional practices of a fictional religion. Because it proves an important point somehow:
Lindsay Miller identifies as a Pastafarian, also known as members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a secular religion that views the existence of a Flying Spaghetti Monster to be just as probable as the existence of the Christian God. As a Pastafarian, Ms. Miller wished to wear a colander on her head in her driver’s license photo, as an expression of her Pastafarian identity. However, she was denied this request by the Massachusetts RMV. . . .
A friend of Ms. Miller’s contacted the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center on her behalf. The American Humanist Association connected her to Patty DeJuneas, a member of the Secular Legal Society, the American Humanist Association’s network of cooperating attorneys. Ms. Miller filed an administrative appeal and expected to attend a hearing in October about her driver’s license photo. The hearing was postponed, and the Massachusetts RMV is now allowing Ms. Miller to have her photo taken with a colander.
DeJuneas said, “The First Amendment applies to every person and every religion, so I was dismayed to hear that Lindsay had been ridiculed for simply seeking the same freedoms and protections afforded to people who belong to more traditional or theistic religions. We appreciate that the RMV recognized the error, apologized, and issued a license respecting her First Amendment rights, and hope that RMV staff will be trained to respect diversity.”
Yeah, toot your horn, guys. It is just so noble that you have managed to lampoon real religious freedoms in this country by forcing the legal system to protect fake ones as well. What exactly does this prove? What’s the point? Ms. Miller was not “ridiculed.” She just didn’t actually have any religious reason to wear a colander. Pastafarianism is not an actual religion. It’s a joke.
So Ms. Miller shouldn’t have been allowed to wear a colander simply because it actually isn’t a deeply held religious belief. At all. Ms. Miller doesn’t actually care about any Flying Spaghetti Monster. She just believes that its existence is “just as probable as the existence of the Christian God.” Fine. But that’s not a religion, and what protections could it possibly need?
While atheists have every right to freedom of expression (thanks to the Christian forefathers of the Christians they constantly snark), they don’t have the right to make jokes of their official state documents just to poke fun at real religions.
So congratulations, American Humanist Foundation and Ms. Miller. You have proven yourselves less reasonable and more self-righteous than the most diehard religious Christians I have ever met. And there was much rejoicing …
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