Monday, October 16, 2006

Walking Freedom's Tightrope, and Falling Off A Lot

IT is smaller than a 10 pence piece and all but invisible to people standing just inches away.

Yet Nadia Eweida's tiny white gold cross is at the centre of a huge legal row that has engulfed Britain's biggest airline and infuriated religious groups.

Check-in worker Nadia, 55, was forced to take unpaid leave by British Airways after refusing to remove the Christian emblem. But she claims it is a clear display of double standards as Muslims can wear head scarves and Sikh males their turbans.

"It seems that only Christians are forbidden to express their faith," she told the Mirror. "I am not ashamed to be Christian and shouldn't be made to feel that way. " (source)

There is a fine line in this debate. At what point is religion acceptable? Why should one faith's symbols be ok, while another's aren't? How far does one allow things before drawing the line?

There are multiple trends going on here. One is secular post-Christian society which wants to eliminate all outward marks of religion, but ESPECIALLY Christian markers. Sometimes it seems that there is favoritism at times towards anything not Judeo-Christian in the West - Islam, neo-paganism, and other spiritual walks. Islam demands standards that create news stories when denied, and is pretty aggressive at being taken seriously, to the point that in some places there are two standards - Post Christian secular multiculturalism and Islam. This situation has to be worked out. The rising tide of both anti-Christian/anti-Semitic attacks and the growth of anti-Islamic attacks are both symptoms of a society not perceived to be providing justice on this issue. One cannot have a state that is both secular and Islamic at the same time. The balance must be established, and trying to do it by denying all expressions of faith will not work either.

Interesting times.


Post a Comment

<< Home