A Texas Tech student became the first American to win one significant battle for religious freedom.

“Once she allowed me to I put the pasta strainer on my head, I took the biggest, cheesiest smile I probably ever took,” said Eddie Castillo, of the moment he took his ID photo at a Department of Public Safety office.

For Castillo, the pasta strainer is “religious” garb. Castillo is a Pastafarian, a religious order founded by an atheist in 2005 to protest the Kansas School Board’s effort to implement the teaching of intelligent design in classrooms.

Pastafarians worship the made-up Flying Spaghetti monster — hence the pasta strainer — and the “only dogma allowed in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the rejection of dogma.”

“It was created as a form of satire, but it shouldn’t be taken in a sense that discriminates or disassociates other religions and it should be looked at as a political symbol for the separation of church and state,” Castillo said…

A New Jersey man put up a fight in February when he refused to remove his strainer, although he eventually agreed to take it off when he was told he could appeal to the state. And in Illinois, a Pastafarian has been petitioning the state since May to wear his headgear.

As for Castillo, he just hopes he has set a better standard for freedom of religion, and even freedom from religion.

“I don’t want to say its poking fun at religious headwear in other people’s faiths,” Castillo said. “I would like to think that it actually opens the doors for new-age religion, and just it kind of symbolizes acceptance and kind of celebrates, in a sense, that we are a melting pot of a country.”

Ah, freedom from religion. What a concept.



  1. Ray says:

    Yahoo! Let’s celebrate with a Eucharist of gluten free pasta, garlic bread and a bottle of Chianti!! “Oh Happy Day!”

  2. Dallas says:

    Congrats to the Pastafarian and as long as they pay taxes and stay out of politics, I’m A.O.K with it !

    • dusanmal says:

      Pay taxes as individuals – yes. Stay out of politics – sorry, un-Constitutional.

      • Dallas says:

        If their org is filef as a religious organization , I say pay up and stay out of politics. As individuals, I agree w you

  3. JimD says:

    Remember, “Religion” is the LONGEST RUNNING FRAUD IN HUMAN HISTORY !!!

  4. pedro says:

    Yawn!

  5. ± says:

    Awesome. People’s superstitions should always be open season for ridicule.

    The down side to this is that it adds a smidgeon of legitimacy to the wearing of burkas.

  6. Egon Ruuda says:

    I refuse to eat my god’s flesh. I prefer his thunder upon my enemies. Hell! Tor, Tyr and Oden!

  7. Glenn E. says:

    In a episode of The Simpsons, Homer advocated wearing a “grave boat” as head gear. Symbolizing what, I forget. Basically exposing some political nonsense, as entertainment. But it seems a simile to the Pasta Strainer. Maybe that’s what the writers had in mind.

  8. Guyver says:

    Atheism isn’t a religion therefore it doesn’t need any religious protections.

    • msbpodcast says:

      The way some atheists go on about it, its their religion.

    • Cap'n Kangaroo says:

      Ipso Facto, it can be taught in US public schools, right?

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

      Atheism is an issue of FREE SPEECH and as rational, non tax based, and non-coercive, it needs all the protection it can.

      ……………against you know who and what: power seekers. Slimy overbloated blood sucking slugs known as politicians.

      • Guyver says:

        Atheism is an issue of FREE SPEECH

        Agreed. Therefore, it isn’t entitled to freedom of religion protections.

  9. Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

    Obama worshipers illustrate the greater irony, folks who once foamed at the mouth over Bush’s alleged spying and war making….are blissfully silent when Obama does Bush 10 fold over…

    Hilarious.

    • msbpodcast says:

      TEAD the NSA is Pointdexter’s TIA (Total Information Awareness) and Pointdexter dates from 2002, just after Clit’n but before O’Mama.

      DARPA lands this hunk of raw dead flesh right in Shrub’s lap…

      You know that, like any rabid animal, Dick Cheney jumped at this chance to snoop in everybody’s underwear drawer until he needed a new ticker, (I doubt he ever had a heart.)

      • Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

        He wears a strainer, to ridicule those who do not harm you, whom you ignore at no peril…

        While your lord and master Obama, has ripped away your privacy…you are naked before him, meat just waiting for someone to devour…when he decides its time.

        So I find your silence now about Obama better than a pasta strainer, the perfect satire of everything you claimed to be…

        It renders your beliefs, your politics, all of your words…worthy of complete ridicule and total rejection

    • Cap'n Kangaroo says:

      “And, yeaa, on the tenth post shall a troll make a comment about the President that completely misses the blog post.”

      So sayeth the Good Book.

      • Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

        I met and exceeded the point…ridiculing God, Republicans…blah blah…while the object of your worship has betrayed you…

        is hilarious.

        The elephant in the room, that must never be discussed, is Obama, blessed is His Name…the object of your affection, has stolen your privacy to a degree never thought possible…and you alleged lovers of civil rights….

        applaud an irrelevant loon, making fun at folks who have done you no wrong, whom you can ignore to no one’s peril….

        while Obama, the object of your worship….has betrayed everything you said you stood for…

        and soon will be making war in Syria…to defeat the anti-Islamists…

        You are those you once ridiculed, to the nth degree.

        And that is more than ironic, its Hilarious.

  10. Steve S says:

    I can’t prove it but I suspect the vast majority of people who consider themselves to be deeply religious would have nothing to do with that (or any) religion if they had not been raised with it since birth. You are, in large part, what you have been taught.

    • zombie kid says:

      i kill turtles.

    • msbpodcast says:

      In the catholic church they have what they call “the age of reason. Its supposed to occur at about seven years old. I’m just amazed that there are any catholic over eight years old.

  11. deowll says:

    Actually the guy has it right. It is freedom of religion. The opposite of a believer is an agnostic. They don’t claim to know and they pretty much don’t care until somebody can prove something one way or the other. The atheist is walking by faith and things unproven just like the theist.

    • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

      Dawkins does a good riff on that issue. He calls himself an agnostic only because of his scientific tradition. “Can’t disprove anything.”

      So–if you mean agnostic as you don’t know if the earth is hollow and filled with unicorns….then rant on, never recognizing that by equating the dogma of religion with the desire to be free from religion, you make religion even more the farce that it is.

      “If the religious could be reasoned with, there wouldn’t be any.” /// Someone on DU.

  12. Benjamin says:

    I’d argue that the pasta strainer was not a required garb of that faith, thus deserves no protection. I can’t wear my cap that says “Jesus is awesome” to take my drivers licence photo.

    A Sikh must wear the turban and the little silver bracelet thing so that should be allowed.

  13. fu#kEucharist says:

    Hooray for the Pastafarians they have just as much proof of their God as any other religious institutions God.

    Mars Attacks!
    President Dale: Why can’t we work out our differences? Why can’t we work things out? Little people, WHY CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG ?