Saturday, August 26, 2006

This Week in Blasphemy

From the Telegraph UK ... Air ban on woman in blasphemy row. My first thought was that this lady was over-reacting a bit. But is that more of a condemnation of my own lack of sensitivity regarding blasphemy in others? As Aretha Franklin said in the Blues Brothers: "Don't you blaspheme in here!" Interesting. In full ...
A devout Christian was banned from flying with the budget airline Easyjet after she asked staff to "stop blaspheming".

Fiz Thomson, 55, was returning from a trip to Israel where she had been helping war victims, when she heard boarding staff at Stansted airport repeatedly exclaiming "Oh, my God" after a child fell and hurt herself.

She said she politely asked them to stop taking God's name in vain. She was then approached by a security official and she claims she was called a "racist" for remarking that her complaint would have been taken more seriously had she been Islamic.

As a result of the altercation on Tuesday, her boarding card was withheld, her luggage was taken off the Edinburgh-bound flight and she was barred from flying with the airline for 24 hours.

The grandmother, from Burntisland, Fife, who worships at the independent Vine Church in Dunfermline, said: "There was absolutely nothing at all that I said to the airport staff which could have been interpreted as racist. "I was very polite and non aggressive, but one of the ladies angrily asked me if I expected everyone to follow my religion and do as I did.

"A member of the security staff then appeared and started arguing with me."

Mrs Thomson, a registered foster carer with Fife Council, added: "All the other flights to Edinburgh that evening were with Easyjet. I ended up having to hire a car and drive to my daughter's home in Bolton. "I stayed the night there before driving home the following day. It cost me more than £200, including petrol."

According to Easyjet, Mrs Thomson was "ranting at female gate staff of Indian origin" who had had no intention to be blasphemous.

A spokesman said her remarks appeared to be racist and a view was taken that she needed to calm down and would not be allowed to fly.