PHOENIX, Ariz. — The Arizona Department of Transportation, which oversees the state Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), states that it will void a driver’s license that was mistakenly issued to a man who posed for his photo wearing a colander on his head.
Sean Corbett has been attempting for two years to be permitted to wear the pasta strainer for his ID, asserting that he identifies as a member of the “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster,” a movement that was created to mock Christianity.
“Pastafarianism” was first invented in 2005 when founder Bobby Henderson sent an open letter to the Kansas Board of Education to express his opposition to its decision to allow the teaching of Intelligent Design as an alternative to evolution. His letter included text chiding Christianity, and used the concept of a “spaghetti monster.”
The group now also has a website, which contains blasphemous content, including a poster that reads “He boiled for your sins,” and another that shows a man carrying a cross that reads “Pastafarianism.” It also asserts that “FSM Heaven has a beer volcano and stripper factory,” and urges members to combat Christian evangelists with signs bearing the message.
“The Pastafarians believe the Earth was created by an unseen flying ball of spaghetti, and the world was created in four days,” Corbett told Fox 10 Phoenix. “The whole premise behind Pastafarianism is you’re just supposed to enjoy life and do whatever you really need to do while being slightly intoxicated.”
The 36-year-old states that he has visited numerous DMV offices in his attempt to be permitted to wear the colander, which he asserts is his religious headwear.
“Initially it may have started off as, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if I could get a spaghetti strainer in my picture? That would be boss.’ But if you look at what’s going on in the world today, people being persecuted for religious beliefs, maybe it’s time to take a step back and say, ‘You know what? You shouldn’t be persecuted for your religion,'” Corbett told The Arizona Republic.
“I tried a couple different locations and was met with a lot of pushback and resistance,” he said. “I was scorned at every location I went to, and they put out a memo about me, so by the time I got to [the] fourth and fifth MVD, they stopped me at the door.”
But somehow, Corbett was able to take the photograph recently at the Chandler office and was even mailed his new license complete with his colander photo.
The Arizona Department of Transportation, however, says that it will void the license as it should not have been allowed.
“MVD license and ID photos are meant to show a person’s typical daily appearance and allow for religious expression or medical needs. Photos are filtered through facial recognition technology and if an error occurs, the photo can be recalled,” it said in a statement.
Corbett says that he is going to fight the decision and asserts that he is being discriminated against because the government won’t recognize his “religion.”
“The whole process is intimidating, especially when people are yelling at you and scorning you for making a mockery out of their system,” he stated.
“I believe I do have legal ground to stand on for a discrimination case if it does need to go that far,” Corbett told Inside Edition. “I don’t want people to go through the same experience I went through.”
Several in various states, and even other countries, have attempted to wear colanders on their heads for their driver’s license photos, with some succeeding in their effort and others being told that their endeavor is an abuse of the system.