The thing that struck me about the BA woman was that her reason for wearing the cross seemed to be different from that of Sikhs etc. So Sikhs, as juule said, have to carry the kirpan but they can do so discreetly. (That's my understanding, anyway.) Whereas when BA apparently offered a compromise where she could wear the cross under her clothing, she said no, because she wanted it to be visible. So she was using the cross as a way of proselytising, advertising her faith to others. And from BA's point of view as an employer, they don't actually want their employees going around advertising their religion, any more than they would want them to wear a badge saying "Vote Liberal Democrat".
Come to Australia, where religious organisations will enjoy immunity from discrimination against homosexuals, pregnant women, and non-Christians.
While Australians of every stripe are compelled to pay taxes to support these God-bothering twats.
It's actually quite a complex business, isn't it?
But it does seem a shame that religious symbols are used as a badge of identity and felt to be in conflict with other people's identities, almost in the same way it can happen with nationality.
So it comes to be all about making an impression on other people rather than being about one's relationship with God, or the divine, or whatever it's supposed to be about.
That's one of the difficulties, I suppose. Deciding whether someone is wearing a symbol of their faith because of a deeply held belief or just to identify with a particular group. Would carrying an ornamental knife be accepted as a sign of deeply held belief if the wearer didn't observe the other 4 requirements?
*I'm not singling out Sikhism for any particular reason. It's just the first example that came to mind.
Some Muslims would argue that hijab isn't compulsory. Some Jews don't wear kippot. You could argue that any outward religious symbol is voluntary.
The ornamental knife (Kirpan) is obligatory for Sikhs. It is 1 of the 5 Ks.
Kesh: Long unshorn hair.
Kara: Steel bracelet.
Kirpan: Ceremonial Sword.
Also Dastar: Turban. The turban is mandatory for Sikh men and optional for Sikh women.
Yes there has to be a level playing field and if other items such as the things you mention mayor were allowed then it isn't fair.
OOH people are right saying that it isn't a requirement to wear a cross as a christian but it seemed a very harsh decision to not let the women wear the cross if employees of other religions were wearing things e.g. the ornamental knife that were not compulsory either.
"wearing of a cross is not recognised as a scripturally mandated act of worship. "
but aren't a lot of religious clothing or adornments cultural rather than scriptually mandate.
You'll have to excuse my ignorance due to lack of intimacy with the religions involved but I thought I'd heard that things like the turban, hijab/hibab and the sikh ornamental knives (once again excuse my ignorance) were not mandated by the religion.
For me a uniform is a uniform . At the time of employment she would have been told of the uniform requirements. That was the moment to ask about wearing her cross not via a tribunal costing shed loads of money.
The cross is not treated the same way as the other religious symbols you make reference to because the wearing of a cross is not recognised as a scripturally mandated act of worship.
Yes, I think the thing with the BA case was that they did make exceptions for turbans, Sikh bangles etc. I Whereas in the other case that came up before the court of an NHS employee who wanted to wear a cross, the NHS trust had a blanket ban on all jewellery for H&S reasons, so the woman bringing the case lost.
Dami- sorry, my mistake, i read it wrong then
As long as Jews, Muslim, Sikhs and people of any other faith are allowed to wear kippot, headscarves, turbans etc, Christians should be allowed to wear crosses. I'll bet the airline has a ban on headgear too, but allowances would be made for religious reasons.
I have little regard for any religion, but at least they should all be treated the same way.
Sal - I don't think you understood my post. I didn't say that Christians do behave like that, but that they are supposed to (or try to anyway!), because that was what Christ taught, and he didn't say they should wear silver crosses.
(Actually, I think I read that the cross was not used as a Christian symbol til a few centuries later; the first Christian symbol was the fish!)
I don't claim to be a Christian myself, but I think it says somewhere in the Bible: "By their works ye shall know them".
So, Christian is as Christian does!
I've never understood what the big deal is about wearing a cross prominently on display. Fair enough if in some way it makes you feel better to wear one, but surely you could keep it under your clothes if your employer doesn't allow it. It seems to me that in these cases these people are basically asking to get privileged treatment just because they choose to make a big deal out of their religion, and then decide they are being treated unfairly if the employer insists on them following exactly the same rules as everyone else.
Massive storm in a teacup and big waste of time and money.
Dami- we ALL try to do as you say (all?) Christians do, but we all (even Christians!) have human failings... I've suffered too many sanctimonious hypocrites not to comment, sorry! Sure you're not one of them with any luck! Thankfully I've come across more who are open-minded enough not to make any sweeping generalisations
Not sure how your claim relates to your point entirely
I've just commented on the thread in Chat, but am happy to do so again because it's made me angry.
I don't know very much about the BA ban on jewellery, but I do know that they reversed their rule in 2007 and she returned to work in February of that year (after 5 months off).
In 2009 an Employment Tribunal made the following comments about her :
"Among the tribunals explicit findings were the employees readiness to make a serious accusation without thought of the implications; her insensitivity towards colleagues, her lack of empathy for those without a religious focus in their lives, and her incomprehension of the conflicting demands which professional management seeks to address and resolve on a near-daily basis.
I don't think she sounds very Christian and I think that it is madness that it got this far. As I said on the other thread, it's a good day for the lawyers.
How do you spot a Christian? It's simple: they're the ones who love everybody, forgive their enemies, never judge others, and treat small children with respect.
That's how it's supposed to be anyway; that's what Christ said his followers should do, and if the New Testament can be relied on, he never said "Thou shalt wear a silver cross visible at all times".
What's more, if I remember right, the airline had a blanket ban on staff wearing jewellery, and far from suffering discrimination, Nadia Eweida was asking for an exception to be made for her.
I think the Court of Human Rights has made a fool of itself; what do others think?
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