'Pastafarian' Dons Colander in Utah DL Photo

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A Utah woman recently wore a colander on her head while getting her driver's license photo taken, as a testament to her religious beliefs.

Asia Lemmon, whose legal name appears on her driver's license as Jessica Steinhauser, is a member of the sardonic Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and the straining utensil is symbolic of her 'Pastafarian' belief system.

The "Flying Spaghetti Monster" was first described in 2005, in a sarcastic open letter penned by Bobby Henderson, in objection to the Kansas State Board of Education's decision to allow the teaching of creationism in place of evolution in public school science classes. In his letter, Henderson declared his belief that carbon dating prompts a spaghetti-like supernatural deity to commence "changing the results with His Noodly Appendage."

Lemmon, who went in to get her driver's licence picture taken on September 29 in Hurricane, Utah, was surprised the Division of Motor Vehicles allowed her to wear her unconventional headdress. Lemmon commented, "it was surprisingly really, really easy."

Nannette Rolfe, the director of Utah's Driver License Division, pointed out that hats and colanders are typically not allowed in driver's license photos, unless the accessories have religious significance. Rolfe added that about a dozen Pastafarians have worn colanders in their photos over the years, and commented, "as long as we can get a visual of the face, we're fine if they choose to wear the headgear."

Here is a conceptualization of the Pastafarian god-thing:

Lemmon, a former porn star who went by the handle Asia Carrera, remarked, "I'm a really proud, outspoken atheist. I am proud of Utah for allowing freedom of all religions in what is considered by many to be a one-religion state."

Roughly two-thirds of Utah residents are Mormon.