Tuesday, November 21, 2006

And in "people being stupid about religion" news

Six Imams thrown off a flight for praying. A Christian employee of British Airways loses an appeal over wearing a cross over her uniform. Just two examples of recent insane things happening on our airways.

Ok, issue #1.

Have we, since 9/11, lost the ability to tell the difference between a peaceful group of religious leaders expressing their faith, and psychotic mass-murdering terrorists bent on world destruction? If we have, then we're in for a world of hurt. I see lawsuits brewing over this, but more importantly, I see a further exacerbation of justifiable bad feelings welling up from a harassed and scapegoated Islamic community in America. This incident is outrageous and quite frankly frightening, and I can't stress enough how utterly wrong it was of the airline to act in the way that it did here.

Issue #2.

If I worked for British Airways, and I knew that they had a policy against wearing religious symbols over uniforms, I would deliberately and pointedly wear a magen david to work every day until someone confronted me about it. Europe is going into a very scary place right now, banning headscarves in France, and attempting in many other countries to curb the rights of observant Muslims to display their faith openly, and now denying people the right to wear a simple religious medallion over their work uniform? I do not approve.

Happily, there is good news out there.

Israel's high court has demanded that Israel recognize same-sex marriages performed in other countries. Obviously, Israel can't mandate same-sex civil ceremonies in Israel, because of the religious monopoly on marriage. But, a same-sex couple who gets married in Canada, legally, will now be married in Israel, legally. That's good news.