Court Rules Against Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster Member's Request to Wear Colander in ID Photo

Mienke de Wilde, a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster movement, poses with a colander on her head in Nijmegen, Netherlands, on August 15. Piroschka Van De Wouw/AFP/Getty

A woman in the Netherlands may go to the European Court of Human Rights after the Council of State, the highest court in the country, told her on Wednesday that she is not allowed to wear a colander on her head in her passport and driver license photos and that Pastafarianism is not a religion.

Citizens in the Netherlands are allowed to have their heads partially covered for identity photos for religious reasons, but Meinke de Wilde was told that the Church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster is a satire rather than a legitimate religion.

"It may be the case that the colander is considered a holy object for Pastafarians, worn in honor of the Flying Spaghetti Monster but there is no obligation to do so. In fact, Pastafarianism has no obligations or restrictions," the court said. "De Wilde has said she wears her colander because she sees it as a duty but it is an individual choice."

"I can imagine that it is all very strange if you do not believe in it. But that's the case with many faiths if you don't believe in them," said De Wilde following the ruling. "People who walk on water or split seas in two, for example. I believe other beliefs are unbelievable."

Before going to the Netherlands' highest court, De Wilde was denied a driving license and identity card two years ago when she was wearing a colander in her photos. She took the case to a court in the Municipality of Nijmegen in 2017, arguing that the headwear was being worn for the same reasons that members of other religions wear headscarves or turbans, but the judge ruled against her.

The so-called religion was first created in 2005 and includes a god made up of spaghetti and two meatballs that serve as eyes. A mass that mimics the Catholic Church's traditions takes place in Brandenburg, Germany, every week, where the bread is replaced with noodles and beer takes the place of wine.

Followers obey eight commandments, each of which starts with the words "I'd Really Rather You Didn't."

In 2015, the New Zealand government made it legal for Pastafarians to administer weddings, the first of which took place in 2016 on board a pirate ship.

"What has been a huge pleasure is showing people that love and commitment don't have to be delivered in a prescribed way, in a certain church, with sometimes cumbersome traditions and expectations," said the groom, Toby Ricketts.