Should ICBC let this Pastafarian wear a colander on his driver’s licence?

In this video, Surrey resident Obi Canuel documents his fight with ICBC for the right to wear a pasta strainer on his head in his driver's licence photo.

You see, Canuel is an ordained minister of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster—a Pastafarian—and he told CTV Vancouver he should be allowed to do so on religious grounds.

Funnily enough, a photo of him wearing the colander was okayed for his B.C. services card.

"The truth is sometimes I have the spiritual inkling to wear the colander and I don’t think ICBC should be making decisions about what kind of religious headgear is appropriate or not," Canuel told CTV.

Formed as a satirical protest against the teaching of creationism and "intelligent design" in U.S. schools, the church says that a drunk Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe.

Regarding driver licensing, the ICBC website states:

ICBC affirms your rights to religious expression. You will not be asked to remove any headgear that does not interfere with facial recognition technology as long as it is worn in conjunction with religious practice, or is needed as a result of medical treatment.

So what do you think? Should ICBC treat Canuel's colander the same way it treats turbans and hijabs?

Comments (20) Add New Comment
As much as I sympathize with the practical joke, he should be fined for waiting tax payer money.
Rating: -54
Herr Schwarz
Our personal religious freedoms are at stake in our so-called democratic and free land. He boiled for our sins, Sauce be Upon Him. Forgive them , FSM, for they know not what they do!
Rating: +50
UB, his religion is no more a practical joke that any other religion that worships an imaginary deity.
Rating: +38
Wanda Halpert
This persons claims are as rational as any other religious organization and he has rights, as do Sikhs, Jews and Muslims, to any head covering he chooses. Equality is the law of the land. If we allow people to wrap cloth around their heads and wear an RCMP uniform, we must also allow him the same rights or the law is biased and being applied unequally.
Rating: +31
I'm assuming then that he wears the colander at all times, such as at work, while shopping etc. If he only wants to wear it for the photo, then it would appear that Mr Canuel is only doing this strictly for the publicity, and not for any supposed 'religious claim'.
Rating: -14
I think ICBC is in the right here; you do not have an unlimited right to wear whatever headgear you want when you get your photo taken. The default amount ALL religions is that you remove your headwear unless you have a serious religious devotion or obligation to do otherwise.

A colander is not, by any agreed upon standard of Pastafarians considered a religious obligation or even an object of devotion. It's basically one fellow deciding this type of hat would be amusing for him as a religious statement.

In other words, this is basically as valid as a Catholic or Muslim deciding they would like to wear a cassock or robe on their head as a religious devotion. It's not a reasonable accommodation and ICBC is right for not accepting his argument.
Rating: -15
FSM will bless Mr. Canuel with a touch of his noodly appendage.
Rating: +14
James Blatchford
Rating: +4
Then there shouldn't be any special exemptions for anyone that claims a religious belief. It's an all or none kind of game and while I agree it's costing us tax payers, I don't agree that it's a waste. It's a point that has to be continually made until we (as a society) either remove special exemptions entirely (one law to rule us all) or we "allow" anyone to claim the exemption for any "religion" (or for no religion).
Basically, I think there shouldn't be separate rules (or special exemptions) for anyone. We should all be treated exactly the same before the law/government regardless of what beliefs we have or we lack.
That includes being allowed to wear "headgear" if other people are allowed to do so, whether I have a religious reason or not.
Rating: +25
Why? Why would they ridicule his deep religious devotion for the sake of a silly photo? His face is clearly visible. This is unconscionable. First they came for the Pastafarians, and we did nothing...
Rating: +14
Somebody missed the entire point of The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster…
Rating: +3
Finally a religion I can sink my teeth in to. I want to read the Holy Recipes and take time to digest their contents. Bon appetite
Rating: +4
He presents valid, and hilarious reasoning for his right to wear religious headgear and should not be discriminated against just because his belief isn't as popular as some mainstream religions. If ICBC can invalidate his claim, who will be next?
Rating: +2
Revered Leader
I declare JIHAD on these strainer-heads!

My new church (sorta non-profit - we will charge non-Canadians $50 to join) is called The Supreme Church of Clutter Free Cabinets. We are totally against unnecessary kitchen gadgets. These gadgets are invented and promoted by the unholy kitchen cabinet makers and craftsmen that renovate kitchens. Seriously folks - remember the kitchen when you were growing up... how (dear goddess) did families ever live without a 900 square foot kitchen (cabinets and counterspace that make restaurant kitchens look cramped).

On a serious note - the church pokes fun at religion unfortunately it also seems to provide a platform for people to gripe about religious accommodation.

Join my JIHAD now and you may get the join early discount on membership dues...
Rating: +2
Lee L
Aw let him have his picture taken.
Just make sure his licence is granted under a signed condition that he call me up the day before he decides to go on vacation, say, in Hawaii, or Bellingham.

I'd just LOVE to be right behind him in line as he attempts to crsss into the USA.

Oh another way of looking at this headgear thing is that the licence is no longer valid if, while operating a motor vehicle, you are not recognizable by the picture on the card. ie.. you gotta wear your headgear whle driving, else the original claim of strict religious requirment is falsified.
I mean, that WOULD require serious religious devotion, but Pastafarians are known for this and I stand behind them if they will agree to this requirement which is harmless and indeed consistent with their deeply held belief in covering their noodles.

Rating: -2
The Sauce
ICBC has wronged this Holy Man! Sauce be upon them!
Rating: +4
The quality of mercy is not drained.
Rating: +1
It is permitted in 4 other countries, including the USA.
May his noodly appendage keep you from floating away Obi.
Rating: +2
Ron Mellett
As a well thought out concept relating to the theories of intelligent design, Pastafarianism avoids conflicts with all but the "stick in the muds". My drivers license is due for renewal next year and plan to invite the press to my photo taking.
When ICBC can come up with a valid objection to the wearing of our religious headgear, then maybe I would change my mind.
Ron Mellett, an ordained minister of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
Rating: +1
Oh great fsm forgive them for they have not felt the love of your noodley appendage. Thank you for boiling for our sins (sauce be upon you). I hope they correct this grave injustice and allow brother ubi his religious right to wear his headgear. Ramen
Rating: +2
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