Wednesday, 16 January 2013

A hollow victory - with a wry smile!

The news this week is full of the 'victory' in the European Court of Human Rights of an employee of British Airways, who wanted to wear a cross over her uniform.

What a hollow victory!  She was awarded the magnificent sum of 2000 euros in compensation for her distress.  The size of that award demonstrates that the whole case was risible, and that the judges in the court have a sense of humour after all.  When you consider that every lawyer involved in the long series of court appearances leading to this small 'victory' probably earned an order of magnitude more money than their client was awarded, you have to ask who really won the case.  As usual - it was the lawyers.

Do I care that she won?  Of course not.  That is the basis of secularism.  If she wants to wear a cross over her uniform so that its chain get caught and breaks from time to time I don't mind.  It won't affect my views about her religion (even if I personally feel different about her as a rational being).  

If someone wears a cross so obviously and ostentatiously then I feel that it is open season for people to ask them questions.  They could be practical:

"What does the T stand for?"

or doctrinal

"Do you really believe that the wine turns into the blood?"

or theological, sectarian, denominational . . . or simply logical

"How do you actually know that the bible is true?"

None of those questions would be appropriate with a normal person who did not advertise their point of view using an iron age symbol of torture.

What the news has almost failed to mention is that the other three cases heard at the same time were dismissed.  One cannot discriminate against gay couples on religious grounds or put patients at risk. (I think it was slightly perverse and contra-evidential to assume that hospital managers know anything useful about running hospitals, but we will let that one slip as it is probably true that lawyers know even less about it!)

The strangest thing is that the British Airways case was only won because the airline had tried so hard to reach a compromise.  They had changed their uniform policy in order to appease - and as a result they lost the court case.

Never mind.  Almost everyone is laughing at a militant Christian and it was worth it.


Plasma Engineer said...

Incidentally, if you are able to watch the video on the link that I gave, you will see that the poor woman seems to have no notion of the reality of the situation.

b. j. edwards said...

Well said.