show him your cross

This whole story about the British Airways (BA) employee not being allowed to display her cross necklace is really driving me up the wall. Now a Member of Parliament (MP) is getting involved and seems to have the facts even more messed up. Here’s my take on the case:

First, the airline said that employees are not allowed to display jewelery (they probably said “jewellery” because they are British). This applies to all employees. This person is allowed to wear the cross necklace, just not to display it.

Secondly, the MP likens this to the wearing of headwear by people of other faiths. This, as Emma pointed out, is a rather bogus argument – some other faiths actually require and mandate the wearing of head coverings. Christianity does not mandate the wearing or displaying jewelery or religious imagery. In fact you could argue from many things Jesus said that displaying your religious imagery is not a holy thing to do – he said it was much better to modestly demonstrate your belief by your actions and piousness (piety?) rather than wearing opulent clothing as the Pharisees and priests of his time did.

Third, BA is a private employer and they can do what they like. I’m sure this rule was clearly indicated in their employee manuals.

Fourth, why is this woman’s argument supposed to get more credence just because it’s a religious belief? Why does that make it more valid than if someone says, for example, “I have a strong belief (with no religious backing) that I like to dye my hair green” but the employer says that employees are not allowed to dye their hair green?

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