Flying Spaghetti Monster

Spaghetti Monsters and Free Exercise

Why shouldn’t people be allowed to wear something on their head in an official photo? The purpose of the photo is for people to be recognizable. If the Sikhs and Moslima’s are recognizable with tulbands and hijabs on their heads, so are Pastafarians with their Holy Colanders. At any rate, the laws should apply to everyone regardless of their faith or lack thereof.

Notes On Liberty

Should Flying Spaghetti Monster worshipers be allowed to wear colanders on their heads in drivers’ license photos? Maybe so. Today, four conservative justices hinted that someone might want to bring them a good Free Exercise case soon so they can unseat a long-standing and long-criticized case called Employment Division v. Smith. That case, penned by Justice Scalia, had in turn uprooted several decades-worth of precedent that had built up a robust bulwark of religious rights under the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause.

It’s a funny twist. Liberal justices like Justice William Brennan had built up strong protections under the Free Exercise Clause, such as allowing Amish to pull their children from high school early because of their faith, or allowing Saturday Sabbath worshipers to enjoy certain exceptions to work requirements for unemployment benefits. Then the penultimate conservative justice, Antonin Scalia, dealt a severe blow to those precedents in Smith

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