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

from the half-baked-noodle dept

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.


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    A nonny mouse, 26 Jun 2014 @ 4:52am

    Looking the part

    Like a man dressed only in Saran Wrap, if you look like you are one sandwich sort of a picnic basket don't be surprised if people want to check your sanity...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DOlz (profile), 26 Jun 2014 @ 5:36am

      Re: Looking the part

      You missed the part about this being satire didnít you. If you donít understand satire please what ever you do, donít read Jonathan Swiftís ďA Modest ProposalĒ.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2014 @ 5:40am

      Re: Looking the part

      Yes, as history shows, we as a society routinely check and validate the sanity of those most deserving of a sanity check.

      note: this is referred to as sarcasm - just in case you do not understand.

      btw, is there a saran wrap story? I must have missed that one.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Greevar (profile), 26 Jun 2014 @ 6:00am

      Re: Looking the part

      Sure, wearing a colander on your head is crazy, but wearing headgear symbolizing an imaginary man in the sky is perfectly sane. Whether or not you look crazy is purely subjective to the observer.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2014 @ 10:18am

      Re: Looking the part

      The whole thing about a man dressed only in Saran Wrap is that you can clearly see he's nuts.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Zonker, 26 Jun 2014 @ 11:20am

        Re: Re: Looking the part

        We wear Saran Wrap clothing to appease the Saran Goddess. You do *not* want to invoke the wrath of the Saran Goddess or she will ruthlessly ignore your safe word (our form of prayer).

        And being able to see nuts is rather the point of the Saran Wrap. ;)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      george, 27 Nov 2014 @ 5:37am

      Re: Looking the part

      So you're saying every person who wears religious head wear looks insane? And should be sent to a psychiatrist?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    scotts13 (profile), 26 Jun 2014 @ 5:28am

    has his illegally-seized property been returned?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), 26 Jun 2014 @ 5:37am

      Re:

      Yes, it has, thankfully.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2014 @ 6:52am

        Re: Re:

        Would it have been returned if this happened in the USA?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2014 @ 7:32am

          Re: Re: Re:

          no, he and his dog would have been shot in the back in "self defense" by the officers confiscating said guns after they threw a flash bang into the crib of his newborn child and beat up his wife.

          The wife then would be declared insane for questioning if the force used was appropriate or not.

          The officers involved get a paid vacation while the "investigation" is run and after it is done, they get a medal for extraordinary heroism and a promotion with pay raise.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        The Groove Tiger (profile), 26 Jun 2014 @ 12:07pm

        Re: Re:

        However he has been told he must get an ID without the religious symbol, or they'll confiscate them again.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AnonPastafarian, 26 Jun 2014 @ 5:48am

    I have been touched by His noodly appendage!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 26 Jun 2014 @ 5:53am

    As a holder of a ThD...

    ... I find Pastafarianism to be as legitimate of a religion as the rest of them.

    And they have a MUCH better idea of Heaven than most...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      fogbugzd (profile), 26 Jun 2014 @ 6:32am

      Re: As a holder of a ThD...

      No Pastafarian has ever used his religion as a reason to bomb an abortion clinic or fly an airplane into a building.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2014 @ 7:30am

        Re: Re: As a holder of a ThD...

        If you give it enough time, some idiot will be zealous enough to do it.

        Religion is not the problem... it has always been the humans, failure to see this has been one of humanities greatest ignorance's. What faith or religion does the Weather Underground subscribe to? They bombed things!

        The only thing a Pastafarian truly symbolizes is the puerile stupidity and childishness of mankind, even in their mocking of the very idea!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Baron von Robber, 26 Jun 2014 @ 9:38am

          Re: Re: Re: As a holder of a ThD...

          "The only thing a Pastafarian truly symbolizes is the puerile stupidity and childishness of religion, even in their mocking of the very idea!"

          That's better and better yet, true.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Geno0wl (profile), 26 Jun 2014 @ 6:00am

    Maybe the ID people saw this as an "out" to get this rule overturned?
    I mean what if this "religious exemption" was added by some ass politician and the actual regulators of the photo ID really resisted. This could be a way for them to hopefully get sued and then get said law overturned.
    At least I would hope that it is something like that...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2014 @ 6:25am

    I can't tell if acquiring firearms without a license was perfectly feasible and the problem only arose once he submitted his picture or if no-one gave a shit about the picture until enough time had passed for the application to be submitted and verified and the individual bought several guns. Or maybe people with silly hats only arouse suspicion once they have purchased more than three guns? I think real life has out-satired the satirists here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Eugene, 26 Jun 2014 @ 6:30am

    Monster

    How is he going to protect himself from monsters now?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anon, 26 Jun 2014 @ 7:10am

    Not Serious?

    If his sincere belief is that the right to wear headgear is a stupid law, and his sincere belief is that it is his right to wear this gear in followance of what he believes - then he has the right to wear this headgear. Seriousness, mockery, etc. have nothing to do with it. Indeed, mockery is at the core of his beliefs, thus should be protected.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2014 @ 7:17am

    We need more Pastafarians in the US to make fun of the court's recent 'religious liberty of employers' bent.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2014 @ 7:46am

    Could I wear my stupid? That seems to be a religion here in the USA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 26 Jun 2014 @ 9:31am

      Re:

      You might be interested in the Church of the Subgenius. They have awesome pamphlets.

      (Hail "Bob", All Hail Eris.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Baron von Robber, 26 Jun 2014 @ 9:41am

        Re: Re:

        Behold the Head of JR"Bob"Dobbs!

        Pull the wool over your own eyes!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2014 @ 7:11pm

        Re: Re:

        I was thinking of the 'First Chuch of the Last Laugh', near as I can discern based in San Francisco whom hold an annual St Stupids day parade on...wait for it...April 1st.

        http://www.saintstupid.com/

        They tend to worship at financial institutions, The Federal Reserve where they exchange non winning lottery tickets, and the Pacific Stock Exchange where they exchanged socks (OK, it was a number of years ago that I had an opportunity to observe their antics, but I seriously doubt they have changed much).

        Showing, and sort of explaining them to out-of-towners was a real treat. Oh, you mean Only in San Francisco?, I guess.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2014 @ 10:13am

    In what sane world should religious beliefs not be used to determine political choices?

    If a politician doesn't have to listen to his constituents, don't pretend religion is the reason. Stop being an anti-religious asshat and report on something other than the fact that religious people are stupid and you can't believe all it takes is wearing a metal pot on your head to make people think you're of unsound mind. The horrors of a society that requires you to abide by some kind of norm to be accepted are not limited to religion the way this article blindly implies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      G Thompson (profile), 26 Jun 2014 @ 10:20am

      Re:

      Well lets see.. oh yeah AUSTRALIA for one does not allow politicians to be selected or chosen based on religious ideals in fact Religion is a verbotim subject in ANY election within Australia and only the fringe parties that are mostly of the charismatic bent proclaim "belief" as a guiding thing.

      27% of Australians proclaim via our last census that they were absolutely NON religious (athiest/agnostic) and they are the ones who cared to answer the religious question which is NOT compulsory (unlike the rest) so yeah Australians don't really give a flying fuck about religion, most don't ask nor care if you are but if you try to shove it down our throats politically or otherwise we bite back HARD!

      The Government just found this out by our High Court only recently (last week) declaring the funding of Chaplains in public schools as not only unconstitutional but also illegal.

      Religion itself might not be the problem, but the idiocy of its worshippers certainly are IN ALL RELIGIONS!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2014 @ 8:58pm

        Re: Re:

        If people treated those with colored skin or women the way people treat religious practitioners, liberals like you would flip a tit.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          G Thompson (profile), 27 Jun 2014 @ 12:45am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm not a liberal believe it or not.. I'm Australian..

          this is what we actually think, and for you to conflate religion with discrimination between women and race means you really ahve no idea.

          Discrimination based on Religious is an offense in Australia, it's just that goes BOTH ways not just with the one sided inequity that is currently shown in America whereas if you don't believe in the one true baptist/protestant/catholic/judaic/charismatic deity then you are branded as a muslim -ie:terrorist (which is strange in its own right since Islam is just another offshoot of the Abrahamic religions), a communist (not even a religion), a satanist, or atheist, or 'liberal' (what that means no one freakin knows). And don't get me started on how America treats people of differing sexuality based on the stupid notion of religion.

          Can you see the hypocrisy? Probably not, and therein lies the problem. As for your comment on how I might treat people.. I try to treat everyone equally unless they are inherently stupid and have no capacity to understand their idiocy.

          So how should I treat you?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 27 Jun 2014 @ 9:58pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            'liberal' (what that means no one freakin knows)

            'Liberal', like 'Conservative' when used as an insult in that fashion, simply translates to 'Person who holds views contrary to mine', nothing more, nothing less.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Jun 2014 @ 5:18am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "If people treated those with colored skin or women the way people treat religious practitioners, liberals like you would flip a tit."

          You mean the "religious practitioners" who claim to be persecuted because they are not allowed to proselytize at work, in public schools or in government?

          ... and flip a what?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Jun 2014 @ 12:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Try walking a mile in a Christian's shoes. Seriously go do it. Spend a day casually bringing up your faith in the online communities you're part of.

            You won't last three times before someone has went on a tirade about how idiotic creationists are for believing in a make believe man in the sky, or how the religious people are the reason gay kids shoot up schools, or how if it weren't for this damned conservatives we'd finally all be able to smoke pot.

            And better- the deragatory attitude won't be towards gays, blacks, or women, it'll be towards you. Then you can at least walk away from it realizing comments like "religious persecution doesn't exist and you comparing it to gay/minority/women suffering proves you're an idiot" are totally ignorant.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Jun 2014 @ 5:17pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              If you do not want to be the subject of responses to your casual discussions, then stop proselytizing. It really is that simple. Many people of religious belief happily keep it to themselves. Maybe you shouldn't bother others.

              But I imagine you are the type that claims a right to foist your beliefs upon others whilst complaining about their responses.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That Anonymous Coward (profile), 27 Jun 2014 @ 12:21am

        Re: Re:

        You left off the Jedis...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          G Thompson (profile), 27 Jun 2014 @ 12:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Nah they took that out of the equation at last census.. Though it was absolutely hilarious and an absolute comparison to what this guy in the article is trying to accomplish ;)

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Jun 2014 @ 2:52am

      Re:

      I have no problem with people who believe there is no god. I have no problem with people that simply don't believe there is a god. What I have a problem with is Atlas Shrugged reading asshats that pretend like any blip of religious practice makes you a moron unfit to participate in modern society. It's tiring, it's childish, and it's no where near the level of percieved persecution or annoyance anti-theists think they have to put up with.

      Then again, that's the Internet for you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        G Thompson (profile), 27 Jun 2014 @ 3:19am

        Re: Re:

        Never read nor had the inclination to read or know anything other than it exists as a book "Atlas Shrugged", maybe its an American thing *shrug*

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2014 @ 11:06am

    I prefer Hentaifarianism myself.

    The Flying Tentacle Rape Monster is so much cooler.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Floored (profile), 26 Jun 2014 @ 1:42pm

    An excellent precendent

    Surely tyhis is an excellent precedent for removing dangerous weapons from anyone wearing religious symbols

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    aidian holder, 26 Jun 2014 @ 4:20pm

    The worst part of this story....

    ...is the idea that Australians have to get a license just to own a gun. The pastafarian angle is cool, and I love the way pastafarians point up the absurdity of religion in the public sphere, but the biggest violation here isn't that they took his guns for wearing a colander on his head. The biggest issue here is that he has to go get a license from the state just to own a firearm.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2014 @ 6:12pm

      Re: The worst part of this story....

      You get a drivers licence that shows you're competent to operate a motor vehicle, why is it such a stretch to apply that to firearms?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      G Thompson (profile), 27 Jun 2014 @ 12:55am

      Re: The worst part of this story....

      Because as the other commentator stated you need to know the rules and regulations, be aware of responsibilities, have capacity to understand, and a few more things to actually own something that is NOT A RIGHT in Australia, nor is it a right in any other country other than the strangeness that is the USA!

      Compare our gun violence and murder rate and violent crime rate per capita to the USA and you might see a MAJOR difference, though sadly only people either outside of the USA, or those who have studied or intelligently understand the idiocy that is your prevalence of a gun culture can understand how strange and wrong that actually is.

      Oh and if your reasoning to have a 'right to bear arms' is to either protect yourself or to 'fight the power of govt corruption'... hows that working out for you? lol

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 27 Jun 2014 @ 8:51am

      Re: The worst part of this story....

      I disagree. I wish the US had a licensing requirement.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 27 Jun 2014 @ 12:24am

    Beer Volcano & Strippers...
    Why are people not FLOCKING to the one true pasta?

    If you disbelieve in him, explain why all the planets are shaped like meatballs!!!

    May you all be touched by his noodlely appendage.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 27 Jun 2014 @ 9:50pm

      Re:

      Add to that the '30 day, your-god-will-probably-take-you-back' trial offered so people can try it out, and really, people should be all over the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, it's just got so much to offer.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    daHob, 27 Jun 2014 @ 11:08am

    Why are we overlooking the /real/ issue here? According to the original Pastaferian scriptures adherents are required to dress in pirate regalia. The wearing of a colander on the head is heresy and a clear schism in the church!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.