6.26.2014

Australian Police Confiscate Pastafarian Man's Guns Because He Posed For His ID Card Wearing A Colander

I have to admit, the whole Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster thing is beautiful to me. The whole concept hits exactly the sweet spot of the irony bat for someone who preaches secularism in the face of a diverse population. If you somehow don't know the history of this "church", go read up on it. It's completely worth it. The point being made by so-called pastafarians is one of keeping religion out of the government and vice versa. It started with combatting a misguided attempt to inject faith into public schools, but it has evolved to mock any attempt to bring religious dogma into the public square.



The latest example comes from Australia, where a self-described pastafarian went about mocking the rules set up for firearm ID pictures by wearing a colander on his head.


Guy Albon convinced the photographer that he was a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster so that he could wear the colander- a symbol of the satirical religious movement whose members refer to themselves as Pastafarians. The 30-year-old said he exploited a law that allows headgear to be worn in photos.



‘The law stipulates you can have something on your head,’ he said. ‘You have to have your entire face uncovered and if the headgear is being worn it has to have some religious significance. I thought ‘I’ve got this one in the bag’ – it was an absolute scream.’


And he's right. After all, when you make an exemption allowing head-dress to be worn in government ID pictures so long as it represents something to do with your faith, the government then doesn't get to question that faith, assuming that government affords people the freedom of religion. Which Australia does. And which this guy used to mock the entire concept of the exemption. But, hell, it's not like the government could actually do anything about it, right? He's following the rules.


Officers came to his home, where they seized two handguns and two rifles and ordered him to see a psychiatrist. According to Mr Albon, the psychiatrist immediately declared him as sane and ‘laughed it off’.

It's the one thing they can't do: set up rules based around faith and then persecute a man for following those rules. Yes he was mocking them, yes he wasn't sincere in his religious conviction, but the reaction of the police opens up an entire can of worms that I don't think they really want opened. The government exempting head-dress for pictures in order to keep themselves out of religion is one thing, and an admirable thing, but then going after someone for mocking that process via seemingly protected speech breaks the whole system. No, probably better for the government to just stay the hell out of the faith business entirely. Otherwise, you get stories like this, where a law-abiding citizen has his legally owned firearms temporarily removed because of a judgment call on his faith.



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