Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Tolerance of British Airways

A few years ago in England there was an object lesson on the perversion with which some people have come to view Christianity and Christ in the enlightened world of the 21st Century. The case surrounded the issue of global airline British Airways (BA) who had recently suspended one of their check-in workers Nadia Eweida, from wearing her cross around her neck because it is too visible to the traveling public and is therefore offensive to others. All this while at the same time, British Airways as a matter of policy allows other “religious” adornment such as turbans and veils to be worn by employees because in doing so they demonstrate the “tolerance” that should be the hallmark of a sophisticated society. In the words of BA CEO Willie Walsh “…I am proud to lead an airline that has a track record on diversity and inclusion which is second to none.”

There is that diversity word again. In the interest of diversity, various religious symbols and creeds ought to be encouraged in our multi-cultural society, however for the most part symbols of Christianity should be hidden, because according to BA, and many other mainline institutions such as the ACLU in the United States, Christian symbolism is offensive. So this begs the question: why is Christianity offensive to our society while other religions are viewed as examples of inclusion and tolerance? And who finds it offensive? Besides the intellectual and corporate elites such as Mr. Walsh at British Airways, can these institutions point to a segment of society who shares their opinion? And if they can, given that such a group will represent only a portion of society, why then should these opinions be given a mandate such that it is imposed on everyone else? In doing so, by definition, you are not being inclusive. You are in fact being exclusive. The clear message is that those who worship Jesus Christ are excluded from the inclusive society. Ironically, British Airways would find agreement in this distinction with Christ himself. For the Bible says this about us dreaded Christians: And so from this one man (Abraham), and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. (Hebrews 11:12-14 parenthesis mine)

Unfortunately however for Mr. Walsh and his global airline, the followers of Jesus Christ did not go quietly into the night. The ridiculous attack on Ms. Eweida did nothing except to create a firestorm of reprisals from the British public, and a few courageous souls still remaining in the British government. Jack Straw, the House of Commons leader in England publicly derided BA’s decision as “inexplicable”. Dr Rowan Williams the Archbishop of Canterbury, (one of the leading Christian figures in England) said on the issue: “If BA is really saying or implying that the wearing of a cross in public is a source of offense, then I regard that as deeply offensive.” Many travelers have decided that they will not travel with British Airways until this offense is corrected. So much then for the merits of inclusion (or is it exclusion?) In light of the realities of the true commercial god whom they worship, British Airways is now deciding to “review its policy over uniforms”.

On the issue of Christian symbols being offensive, here is the prophetic word written in scripture thousands of years before Willie Walsh was given his first breath by the God his airline finds so offensive: This is what the LORD Almighty says…To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the LORD is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it…Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them," says the LORD. (Jeremiah 6:9,10,15 NIV truncated)

For more on this news item please visit Christian Today's website.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

This is a wonderful article! Well written and very on point. There is nothing further I could add. May GOD be glorified! P.S. It is nice to see that you have added the prayer of Salvation on your site as well. Blessings upon you as you continue to press on in the service of the LORD.

A God who sends people to Hell?