A few people have asked what’s the latest with wearing religious headgear (a Colander) at school, work, in identification photos, and so forth — is it allowed?
It’s my understanding that, with a few exceptions, the wearing of religious clothing is a protected right that has been repeatedly upheld by the courts.
But that doesn’t mean that the person you’re dealing with – like, say, the person taking your ID photo will respect that right.
If you’re trying to wear official headgear in a public setting, my advice is to take yourself as seriously as you expect others to take you. A photographer may not allow you to wear the colander if you’ve just pulled it out while giggling. But if you walk in wearing it – if it is clear that this headgear is truly a serious part of your traditional Pastafarian beliefs, as you are claiming – then they are less likely to make trouble.
I’ve also written a letter below, that you can show any interested parties if necessary, that explains that Colanders are indeed a traditional part of our belief structure, and a few notes about how this is a legally protected right, and so on.
If you run into troubles, please let me know, and I will try to help.
Download the letter:
Statement regarding Traditional Pastafarian Headgear (PDF)
Content of letter:
Statement regarding Traditional Pastafarian Headgear:
Allow me to confirm that the wearing of a Colander is a tradition in the Pastafarian faith. Not all followers dress so formally, but it is a common practice for us to do so while making official identification documents.
As you know, religion plays a serious part in many people’s lives, including the wearing of specific clothing. Believers over the years have sometimes unfortunately experienced resistance, mockery, or even discrimination for simply following the guidelines of their religion.
Thankfully case law has repeatedly affirmed that believers have a constitutionally-protected right to wear such clothing in nearly all public situations including: work, school, while taking identification photos, even in the courtroom — provided that the clothing does not cause undue harm. That is to say, that religious clothing is with very few exceptions a protected right.
We, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, are not a litigious group but of course we, along with the ACLU and others, have an interest in defending the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and the laws of the United States.
Thank you for your cooperation and May You Be Touched by His Noodly Appendage.
Bobby Henderson, Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster