Austrian driver allowed 'pastafarian' headgear photo



  • [quote user="BBC News article"]An Austrian atheist has won the right to be shown on his driving-licence
    photo wearing a pasta strainer as "religious headgear".

    Niko Alm first applied for the licence three years ago after reading
    that headgear was allowed in official pictures only for confessional
    reasons.


    Mr Alm said the sieve was a requirement of his religion, pastafarianism.


    Later a police spokesman explained that the licence was issued because Mr Alm's face was fully visible in the photo.


    "The photo was not approved on religious grounds. The only
    criterion for photos in driving licence applications is that the whole
    face must be visible," said Manfred Reinthaler, a police spokesman in
    Vienna.

    [...]

    According to Mr Reinthaler, "the licence has been ready since October 2009 - it was not collected, that's all there is to it".

    [...]

    The licence took three years to come through and, according to Mr Alm,
    he was asked to submit to a medical interview to check on his mental
    fitness to drive but - straining credulity - his efforts have finally
    paid off.

    [...]

    When asked for his reaction to Mr Reinthaler's comments, Mr Alm told
    the broadcaster ORF: "I didn't know I was guilty of not collecting it.
    That doesn't alter the fact that it still took nearly a year [to be
    issued]".


    The next step, Mr Alm told the Austrian news agency APA, is
    to apply to the Austrian authorities for pastafarianism to become an
    officially recognised faith.[/quote]

     




  • What I always found a WTF (in my country, dunno about others) is that there's supposed to be religious liberty. Yet, Islamic school teachers have been forbidden to wear headscarves in class while it is entirely legal and in some places common to have Christian crosses hanging on classroom walls. I dunno if I'm right of course, but I find that extremely hypocritical. Therefore, I approve of Mr Alm's efforts.



  • @derula said:

    What I always found a WTF (in my country, dunno about others) is that there's supposed to be religious liberty. Yet, Islamic school teachers have been forbidden to wear headscarves in class while it is entirely legal and in some places common to have Christian crosses hanging on classroom walls. I dunno if I'm right of course, but I find that extremely hypocritical.

    In the US, we've gone overboard with "Separation of church and state," which is, in general a good principle. But we've gone from "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," to forbidding volunteers at funerals for military veterans from saying or writing "God Bless."

    @derula said:

    Therefore, I approve of Mr Alm's efforts.

    It's important for a society to know who the loons are.



  • @boomzilla said:

    In the US, we've gone overboard with "Separation of church and state," which is, in general a good principle.
     

    The problem, though, is interpretation. In the funeral example you cited, both sides are using "separation of church and state" to argue their case. That basically affirms the arbitrary and vague meaning of the phrase, and IMHO because it's not actually used, verbatim, in the constitution, it shouldn't be used as an official argument at all. The official first amendment right grant citizens, above all, the right to free speech ("God Bless" being an example). It also grants citizens freedom from a government-established religion. The question, therefore comes down to this: Do private volunteers at a funeral, regardless of whether it's a federal affair or not, establish a government religion by exercising their right to free speech and saying or writing "God Bless"? The answer, to me, is clear: Absolutely not. No more so than the volunteers declaring we should end all wars within two months automatically establishes that the government will end all wars within two months.



  • @RHuckster said:

    @boomzilla said:

    In the US, we've gone overboard with "Separation of church and state," which is, in general a good principle.
     

    The problem, though, is interpretation. In the funeral example you cited, both sides are using "separation of church and state" to argue their case. That basically affirms the arbitrary and vague meaning of the phrase, and IMHO because it's not actually used, verbatim, in the constitution, it shouldn't be used as an official argument at all.

    The good news is that the Constitution is amendable-- if Congress so desired, they could fix this by inserting more specific language. The bad news is, amending the Constitution is politically untenable and has been for decades now, to the point where our politicians don't even consider it an option anymore. (Which is a shame, because it could remove all time-wasting debates, like the one over the Second Amendment.)

    Anyway, anybody who's been to Utah and tried to order a beer knows that it's not actually very effective in reality.

    @RHuckster said:

    The question, therefore comes down to this: Do private volunteers at a funeral, regardless of whether it's a federal affair or not, establish a government religion by exercising their right to free speech and saying or writing "God Bless"? The answer, to me, is clear: Absolutely not.

    I agree with you entirely.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    The good news is that the Constitution is amendable-- if Congress so desired, they could fix this by inserting more specific language.
     

    I don't see anything more specific than granting people freedom of speech and freedom from government-prescribed religion. If private citizens stood on Capitol Hill and said "Jesus is the way to heaven" they have every right to do so. If Obama stood in front of a camera behind a podium bearing the presidential seal and said, "From this point on, all Americans who don't pray the rosary and pray three hail mary's every day will be taken to 'rehabilitation'." then the Supreme Court would justifiably throw the book at him.

    @blakeyrat said:

    Anyway, anybody who's been to Utah and tried to order a beer knows that it's not actually very effective in reality.

    Not sure what you're talking about here. Utah has plenty of bars and other private establishments that serve alcohol. They might have state-owned stores that are the only entities which can offer hard liquor and wine for sale, but that's true for other states, even those who are far more liberal than Utah, such as New Hampshire.



  • @RHuckster said:

    Not sure what you're talking about here. Utah has plenty of bars and other private establishments that serve alcohol.

    Hah.

    Salt Lake City has some bars. That served watered-down beer (max alcohol %, IIRC, is 3.2%?) Go into the next county over, and ... good luck finding booze. (From your link it looks like they have made the laws a little more permissive, but they're still shit compared to any other State, and they're still only put in place because the Mormon Church demands it, which was my original point anyway.)



  • @blakeyrat said:

    ...and they're still only put in place because the Mormon Church demands it, which was my original point anyway.

    Is that really accurate? Since the state began with pretty much all Mormons, wouldn't you expect their law to develop the same way? Is that really the same as saying that the Church is writing the law? I don't think it is.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    ...and they're still only put in place because the Mormon Church demands it, which was my original point anyway.

    Is that really accurate? Since the state began with pretty much all Mormons, wouldn't you expect their law to develop the same way? Is that really the same as saying that the Church is writing the law? I don't think it is.

    It's the textbook example of Tyranny of the Masses, something which our Government is designed to protect against.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    It's the textbook example of Tyranny of the Masses, something which our Government is designed to protect against.

    No it isn't. I think you really have to stretch to put alcohol regulations like that into "Tyranny of the Masses." From your link:

    @Wikipedia said:

    The phrase "tyranny of the majority" (or "tyranny of the masses"), used in discussing systems of democracy and majority rule, is a criticism of the scenario in which decisions made by a majority under that system would place that majority's interests so far above a dissenting individual's interest that the individual would be actively oppressed, just like the oppression by tyrants and despots.

    That's not to say that I think it's good law. I think the Minnesota government shutdown was interesting in how silly regulations and state actions prevented otherwise legal trade in alcohol to be stopped (or threatened to be stopped, at least until the governor gave in). The case of Miller Brewing was TRWTF:
    @State Spokesweenie said:

    MillerCoors, a joint venture of SABMiller and Molson Coors (TAP), actually put in for the label registration renewal back in mid June, but that application wasn't accepted because they "overpaid their fees," according to Neville.


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.