Dear Jesus Christ. How many times do we have to wade through these stupid, utterly pointless debates, caused by stupid people enforcing utterly pointless rules? A British Airways employee has lost her fight to wear cross.
We often hear arguments of the type “if it were a [insert religious adherent here], this would never have happened”. These arguments often grate, because they are usually applied incorrectly. In this case however, such an argument would be entirely valid, and I anticipate with dread the crowing of those who will label this ‘Political Correctness Gone Mad’. Even those of us who defend such concepts must admit that this judgement is totally ridiculous and totally counter-productive from every possible perspective. No-one benefits, except possibly those illiberals would would seek to impose a total ban on all religious belief.
Of course, a Sikh can wear his turban, and of course a Muslim can wear her hijab, two entirely reasonable and practical garbs which are nevertheless much more ostentatious than a crucifx. The aggrieved woman, Mrs Eweida, has been ruled against on the technicality that her religious symbol may be concealed, where head-gear cannot. How mean!
A comment on the BBC website captures the issue perfectly:
This is yet another example of how secularism is being misunderstood by those trying to enforce it.
To repeat: An employee who wears a religious symbol does not and cannot convert that whole institution to her religion. It is not a contradiction for religious people to work in a secular institution. In fact, allowing myriad expressions of differing personal faiths will actually reinforce that secularism.
The only real cause for controversy would be if British Airways itself invoked religious imagery on its own corporate identity… Oh, wait: It does! It’s logo is part of a Union flag, an amalgamation of not one but three Christian crosses.