Archive for Religion

The Jewelry Issue

Posted in Media, News, Religion with tags , , on August 13, 2008 by pieman70

As always the hypocrisy of the gutter press is only matched by the curious ways the memories of its readers work. Take the recent case of the Sikh schoolgirl now allowed to wear a religiously significant bangle despite her school’s “No Jewelry” policy. This strangely caused outrage from some of the more gutter presses editorials harping on about how we “Bend the rules” for foreign religions and treading out the usual “Bet if it was a crucifix this wouldn’t have been allowed” all part of the general intention to make the christian parts of the community, particularly the middle englanders, terrified that we are becoming a foreign country.

I am going to step away from the arguments of what constitutes items you have to wear as part of your religion and go straight to the hypocrisy bit.

In 2006 a case made the papers regarding a BA flight attendant Nadia Eweida, supposedly asked to remove her crucifix as it offended other religions. Strangely enough the tabloids were less focused on their “Rules are Rules” high horse then. Of course this flight attendant, plus tabloids and church members strove to make this sound like BA pandering to minority religions while dissing Christians, after all, they do a BA turban you know, I wring my hands in between typing.

Of course, as with many tabloid stories, the truth is far more revealing. The facts are thus. BA has a no visible jewelry policy, a policy that was in place when Eweida joined the company and which she had been happy to conform to for the years up to 2006 when suddenly, it became a problem. BA offered several compromises, initially that if it was that important to her she could wear it under her uniform and also offering a non uniformed, non customer facing position, however this wasn’t good enough for her and even though she has lost her racial discrimination tribunal she is apparently continuing to fight. As it transpires she was a very difficult worker, constantly demanding concessions to her religion.

Several things annoyed me about the resolution to this case. First was that BA pandered far too much. I would have been out straight away with “She has been content with this policy for x years, why is this suddenly an issue, this is our uniform policy etc. Instead they relented and their uniform now allows for a lapel pin or cross on a chain. This was not helped because Pope Tony Blair weighed in seeing some outraged middle englanders who might like him if he was on side and suggested BA relent.

of course now the tabloids are going nuts in the opposite direction, demanding concessions are not made, despite the fact that, unlike a crucifix, the Sikh bangle is a necessity. Also the school hasn’t ruled out crucifixes.

Now while the school issue in my mind is separate, school being something you have to attend, I now think that employers should be allowed to state the working hours and any terms relating in a contract (For example, shifts covering Sundays, Xmas etc) and dress codes in contracts. roughly as BA have done, but I would like to see these actually enforced in the above situation. The court case should go something like this “Did you sign a contract with a No Jewelry, work on Sundays policy” “Yes” “Case finds in favour of employer” no more of this jumping through religious hoops after the event in the name of tolerance, you accept the conditions or you don’t accept the job.

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Hail Xenu

Posted in Religion, SF with tags , on May 15, 2007 by pieman70

Wathced the Panorama thing on Scientology last night, have to say that I give full marks to john Sweeney for not kicking the Scientologist guy in the nuts in order to get him to shut up and listen for 5 seconds. I know less tolerant people who would have more likely beaten seven shades of dianetics out of him the second he turned up at their hotel at midnight. Scientology may not now encourage Disconnections or “Fair Game” but there was no evidence of this in the doccumentary. Reading the editors comments on the programme http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2007/05/investigating_scientology_1.html it seems like the Church have shot themselves in the foot considering that they had on film long interviews of celebrities saying how much good scientology does, and indeed it was noted that they have provided aid at nearly every disaster, so why suddenly withdraw all this footage when a journalist does what he’s supposed to and looks at the other side of the story.Regardless of this Tommy Davis, the top scientologist who was behind much of the intimidation, came off as at best rude, at worst beligerant. His habit of shouting at Sweeney then walking off as opposed to engaging ina ny form of discussion is the sort of behaviour I find both irritating and highly suspicious and I would suggest the church find a new spokesman.Three things make me automatically suspicious about scientology. First is that L Ron Hubbard is on record as saying that a great way to make money is start a religion, second is the “Pay as you go” style of the thing and third is their willingness to fire lawyers at anything regardless of how small.I’m leaning towards sinister and dangerous cult myself. Its up to Scientology to prove me wrong, or hound me and harass me (Go on, I could use the company on the train)My reaction will be the same as when I saw a group of them set up in Buchanan Street, I pointed and laughed. My question there woudl be, why did they not advertise themselves as Scientologists, instead all they had was a sign offering free stress tests and a big heap of Dianetics books. I’m sure one of them followed me when I said Battlefield Earth was rubbish but I got enough leverage to get away from him.