'Pastafarian' refuses to take spaghetti strainer off his head for license photo
By Anthony G. Attrino/NJ.com
on February 20, 2013 at 10:27 AM, updated February 20, 2013 at 12:03 PM
Police say Aaron Williams, 25, wanted to wear a pasta strainer on his head for his license photo. Williams says he practices "Pastafarianism."NJ.com file photo
SOUTH BRUNSWICK – Motor vehicle workers in Dayton called police on a man who insisted on wearing a pasta strainer on his head during the taking of his driver’s license photo, according to a police report.
South Brunswick police officers responded to the MVC facility on Route 130 on a call that a man renewing his driver's license refused to remove the strainer on his head, according to a police report. The incident occurred about noon on Saturday, Feb. 2.
The man, Aaron Williams, 25, who gave an Egg Harbor Township address, told motor vehicle workers the strainer was a religious head covering and he had a right to wear it in his driver’s license photo.
Williams said he practices Pastafarianism.
Pastafarianism, or the Church of the Flying Spaghettic Monster, is a movement opposing teaching in schools of intelligent design and creationism.
Reached by phone on Wednesday, Williams said he is serious about the movement.
“I take it as seriously as anybody else when it comes to religious beliefs,” he said.
According to a police report, an motor vehicle employee told Williams head coverings can’t be worn in license photos unless it’s for religious reasons.
Williams then pulled out his cell phone and began taking video of the worker – another violation of motor vehicle policy, according to the report.
Police advised Williams that the pasta strainer was not approved by the MVC and he would have to apply to the state to wear it in his license photo.
Williams reluctantly agreed to have his picture taken without the strainer, according to police.
He also agreed to delete the video he had taken of the motor vehicle worker, according to the report.
Asked why he’d left his home in Atlantic County to have his photo taken at the South Brunswick motor vehicle office, Williams said: “I like it. It’s a nice, new office.”
In Austria, self-described Pastafarian Niko Alm fought for three years for the right to wear a pasta strainer on his head in his driver's license photo. He won his f!ght after officials performed a mental-health check, according to NPR.