ENID, Oklahoma — An Oklahoma woman has a unique driver’s license photo that showcases her religious freedom.
Shawna Hammond wore a spaghetti strainer on her head – and according to Oklahoma law it was legal for her to do so.
“It doesn’t cover my face. I mean you can still see my face. We have to take off our glasses, so I took off my glasses,” Hammond said.
The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety’s rules allow religious headpieces to be worn in driver’s license photos as long as they don’t cause shadows on the face and there is a clear view of the face.
Hammond says she is a Pastafarian, a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The church’s website describes the religion as having “no strict rules and regulations, there are no rote rituals and prayers and other nonsense.”
“It came about in 2005. A man named Bobby Henderson wrote an open letter to the Kansas State Board of Education. It was actually about teaching creationism in school and he came up with the flying spaghetti monster and it had just as much merit,” Hammond said.
She says it’s hard living as an Atheist in Oklahoma and, “It felt good to be recognized that we can all coexist and have those equal rights.”
Officials say they’ll take another look at the photo to make sure it follows the rules. They may also consider changing the nearly 10-year-old rules on religious headwear.