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January 16th, 2013
12:07 AM ET

Flight attendant wins right to wear cross

CNN's Dan Rivers reports on a big legal victory over a small cross.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Christianity • Courts

soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. Sam Yaza

    do you know how many people get fired for warring a pentagram because it offend Christians hell i got fired once for waring a Magatama (of course i won that case got a good settlement out of it)

    the crucifix is a symbol of suffering to my people, it is offensive!

    January 16, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • niknak

      I had to look magatama up, pretty cool, especially the jade ones.
      You got fired for wearing that?
      I would be amazed if anyone here in the states even knew what one of those was, much less that it had any religious significance.
      Maybe they just fired you for being foreign looking. The fundies don't like furraners.

      January 16, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      I was thrown out of Metro bus for shouting Allah O Akbur.

      January 16, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • Man's symbols aren't working anymore

      I think because we are so multicultural as a planet that the symbols we use do not translate between cultures.

      January 16, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      In what court was this filed and who were the parties? The case law must be fascinating to read.

      January 16, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      Chick it was actually settle out of court one threat and the paid

      oh and i'm not foreign looking some evangelicals teach that its part of the 666, their scared of the Tomoes to apparently

      http://www.thespiritofwater.com/images/Tomoe.jpg

      i had an evangelical freak out when he saw the one on my arm

      January 17, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
  2. Brampt

    The Imperial Bible-Dictionary says that the word stauros′ “properly signified a stake, an upright pole, or piece of paling, on which anything might be hung, or which might be used in impaling a piece of ground.” The dictionary continues: “Even amongst the Romans the crux (Latin, from which our cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole.” Thus, it is not surprising that The Catholic Encyclopedia states: “Certain it is, at any rate, that the cross originally consisted of a simple vertical pole, sharpened at its upper end.”

    According to The Catholic Encyclopedia, “the primitive form of the cross seems to have been that of the so-called ‘gamma’ cross (crux gammata), better known to Orientalists and students of prehistoric archæology by its Sanskrit name, swastika.” This sign was widely used among Hindus in India and Buddhists throughout Asia and is still seen in decorations and ornaments in those areas.
    It is not known exactly when the cross was adopted as a “Christian” symbol. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words states: “By the middle of the 3rd cent. A.D. the churches had either departed from, or had travestied, certain doctrines of the Christian faith. In order to increase the prestige of the apostate ecclesiastical system pagans were received into the churches apart from regeneration by faith, and were permitted largely to retain their pagan signs and symbols,” including the cross.
    In line with this, we note that the King James Version reads at Acts 5:30: “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree [xy′lon].” Other versions, though rendering stauros′ as “cross,” also translate xy′lon as “tree.” At Acts 13:29, The Jerusalem Bible says of Jesus: “When they had carried out everything that scripture foretells about him they took him down from the tree [xy′lon] and buried him.”

    January 16, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Gir

      The meanings in the original manuscript are irrelevant to these christian cultists. It's whatever interpretations they WANT to read from the KJV or the new American bible that are important.

      January 16, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
  3. frank

    I really wouldn't be offended if a flight attendant was a cross-dresser, so I don't understand all the hubbub.

    January 16, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      funny i used to date this guy who looked really cute in a flight attendant outfit

      January 16, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
  4. jj

    I flew over the holidays and saw a flight attendant wearing a cross. Didn't think a thing of it until I saw this article. I wonder if it was she.

    January 16, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @jj,

      did you fly on British Airways?

      January 16, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
  5. Sane Person

    So what if I want to wear a swastika to work? Under this logic, I should be allowed.

    January 16, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
  6. Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

    I find the cross very offensive and if I she happens to be on my flight I will let her and the captain know it.

    January 16, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • niknak

      Good luck with that, as most of the pilots are babble thumpers too.

      January 16, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @niknak,

      particularly if at one time they graduated from the Air Force Academy!

      January 16, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • niknak

      Yes, that place has become a xtian fundie finishing school.

      January 16, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      I wouldnt demand she take it off, just let them know how repulsive and offensive it is.

      January 17, 2013 at 10:58 am |
  7. Gir

    Practice the tenets of your cult on your own time.

    January 16, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
  8. Milton

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioLEFRZP-_A

    January 16, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
  9. Mohammad A Dar

    If cross is not part of the Airline dress code, they should not be displaying it in the public.

    January 16, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
  10. Reasonably

    If it's OK to wear a cross then why not a pentagram, goat's head or upside down cross too? Freedom for one means freedom for all, yes?

    January 16, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Zingo

      I think this is what the airline was really trying to stop. If they allow Christians to display a cross, then they have to allow all religions to display as they choose.

      I think I will send free Pentagrams and Darwin Fish necklaces to any flight attendant who will wear then aloft. Let the Christians savor their victory.

      January 16, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Actually yes, freedom for one means freedom for all. You can thank the Christians for forging the way.

      January 16, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Bill,

      in this particular instance, I suspect you can thank Muslims and Sikhs for forging the way. I may be wrong and don't presently have references to back up the assertion, but permission may have previously been granted for BA employees to wear a turban or the hijab where required by their faith.

      I look it up and see what I can find.

      January 16, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      In the findings on this case:

      "There was no evidence that the wearing of other, previously authorised, items of religious clothing, such as turbans and hijabs, by other employees had any negative impact on British Airways' brand or image."

      The Australian – January 15, 2013 (AAP)

      January 16, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • Honestly yeah

      Upsidedown cross, goat's head, pentagram absolutely okay. Middle finger up on a hand..even better. Swastika is about the only thing I'd hate to see.

      January 16, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
  11. John Stefanyszyn

    Turning to protection of the god of freedom of rights, of all religions, so as to wear a cross.
    Society's first belief, first love is the desire for the right to be free to worship any god.

    BUT IT IS ONLY CHRIST THAT WILL RULE.

    January 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Do you feel more pious with your constant self-righteous babbling? Is it doing the job of reinforcing your own beliefs while letting you feel superior to other people?

      January 16, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Reasonably

      Um, freedom for only Christians then?

      January 16, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Sure.

      So you have no problem with the flight attendant in a burqa who refuses to serve any alcoholic beverage? The Muslim Pilots who stop flying a couple times en route so they can pray?

      January 16, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Gir

      Testing filter: Thump war crazies

      January 16, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • Oh Grow Up

      Oh grow up.

      January 20, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
  12. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Didn't we just discuss this yesterday?

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/15/split-ruling-on-discrimination-against-uk-christians/

    For the Belief Blog editors:

    If there's a new video story to run, why not attach it to the existing discussion – rather than as a separate discussion?

    January 16, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
  13. Ann

    You know, my thought was that if they permit other jewelry, the cross shouldn't be a problem. But the swastika comment was a good point. Or, how about a little golden hand with the middle finger up?

    January 16, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
  14. AtheistSteve

    Her battle is meaningless. Let's say for example a company sets a policy regarding dress code. Violation of which might be having nose or eyelid piercings. Would those people with piercings now have legal recourse to overturn the company policy? If the goal of the company policy is to try to not offend its customers then this woman's overt religiosity defeats the purpose. She has every right to her beliefs and she has every right to adorn herself with religious iconography but why does her private belief need to be on public display? Outside of the workplace there isn't any issue. At work she is a representative of that company and its policies should outrank her personal beliefs. If you believe this is a win for your side just wait until someone else wins the right to have a "God Doesn't Exist" forehead tattoo staring at you across the ticket counter. Clearly you would be OK with that too....right?

    January 16, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Actually I'm good with public displays. Crosses, white hoods etc. have always been reliable indications that it's best to just stay away.

      January 16, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • meifumado

      I agree with Tom

      Sorta like in the movie Inglorious Ba.stards when they would carve a symbol on the bad guys foreheads

      January 16, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  15. truth be told

    Amen, a ruling shows common sense and moral dignity. It is past time for all decent peoples everywhere to recognize that the so called atheist is no more than a vicious liar and of no value to this world or the next.

    January 16, 2013 at 7:56 am |
    • Really??

      Getting your early morning trollin' in...You are just sad. You and all of the names you post under

      Warning!!! DO NOT FEED THE TROLL

      January 16, 2013 at 7:58 am |
    • truth be told

      Thank you for proving the Truth of my comment.

      January 16, 2013 at 8:00 am |
    • Really??

      Capitalizing the word truth doesn't make it so troll, and it is improper english as well, and calling all atheists liars is incorrect. You are a lying troll.

      January 16, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • truth be told

      You continue to add proof to my statement, thanks.

      January 16, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • NClaw441

      truth be told–

      I am a Christian. That is my faith. Neither I nor you can impose our faith beliefs on others, as much as we might disagree with them. I also believe that God loves us all, even those who do not believe in Him, so I'd say the atheist does have value to God. If you believe that part of your purpose on earth is to lead others to believe in Christ as you do, do you think that comments such those you just made further that purpose? If so, we disagree– a lot.

      January 16, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • midwest rail

      NClaw – truth be told posts merely to provoke a response. It's probably the most pointless and boring experiment in social media interaction ever undertaken.

      January 16, 2013 at 8:34 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @NClaw441
      Everyone's favourite resident troll of many monikers (Truth Be Told being but one of them) seldom, if ever, makes any positive statements regarding their own beliefs. They have no interest in spreading Christ's message of peace, humility and charity.
      They merely hurl invectives at atheists.

      January 16, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • NClaw441

      Thanks, Doc and Midwest– I still had to respond, even if he doesn't listen.

      January 16, 2013 at 8:42 am |
    • Reasonably

      So you'd be just as happy if she chose to wear a satanic symbol and won?

      January 16, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
  16. wierd

    Its just a piece of jewelry.

    January 16, 2013 at 7:30 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Would it still just be a piece of jewelry if it were a swastika instead of a cross?

      January 16, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • captain america

      A swastika is a cross you interfering, foreign, unneeded moron. There's your sign

      January 16, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • Really??

      Doc
      Since Hitler stole the symbol from Indian culture, yes it is still a piece of jewelery.

      January 16, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Hey CA: Finally bought the rights to CNN, did you? You're an idiot!

      January 16, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      You're arguing semantics.
      The roots of the symbol aren't important.
      As Really?? pointed out, the original meaning has been supplanted. To most people, it now connotes hatred and genocide, regardless of 10,000 years of history/
      If you were to tattoo a swastika on your forehead, far more people would assume that you're a Nazi than would assume that you're a buddhist or hindu.

      January 16, 2013 at 8:24 am |
  17. natrldiver

    No business or corporation has the right to restrict the religious practices of an individual. i am appalled at the amount of religious persecution that is going on around this country. We of varrying faiths have the right to practice our religion without persecution as guaranteed under the Bill of Rights. If I choose to pray during my meal at work it is my right to do so. If students gather in school for a bible study it is their right to do so. Why are people so up in arms against ones religious belief? Are we not supposed to be a people of tolerance and understanding? What gives them the right to restrict or persecute me or anyone else for that matter?

    It would appear that the new modern day KKK is the liberal left and extreme right.

    January 16, 2013 at 1:42 am |
    • Yeah

      Hint: the fastest way to make a monumental fool of yourself is to accuse the left of being like the KKK.

      January 16, 2013 at 1:45 am |
    • utalkintome

      keep your religion to yourself....she can wear it all she wants, but keep it covered....a companies policies are just that...policies...if you don't like them, don't work there....if she was wearing a pentogram every right wing gun/gawd nut would lose their minds!

      January 16, 2013 at 3:33 am |
    • NClaw441

      Using KKK reference may be a little extreme, but no more so than left wingers do all the time with their rhetoric. If her religious faith calls on her to be a witness to that faith, seems to me wearing a small cross, unhidden, is a reasonable accommodation to her free exercise, as the law requires. And while I am a Christian, if she is "preaching" to passengers, that is a step too far.

      January 16, 2013 at 7:47 am |
    • Gir

      She can practice her religion on her own time.

      January 16, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • just wondering

      @gir
      her own time includes every moment on this earth that God has given her.

      January 16, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • Roger that

      her own time includes every moment on this earth that God has given her.

      Then she should quit her job to do it full time and let God provide for her.

      January 16, 2013 at 9:23 am |
  18. Barry Glatter

    I think this is a great thing!

    Morons should be readily identifiable so we know to minimize contact.

    January 16, 2013 at 12:54 am |
    • dwerbil

      Ditto that!

      January 16, 2013 at 1:46 am |
    • NClaw441

      Why insult this woman with name-calling? If you are suggesting that all people of faith (Christian and otherwise) are morons, I'd have to disagree. There have been, and are, a lot of people smarter than you or I who are Christians. That doesn't mean they are right, but it certainly doesn't mean they are morons...

      January 16, 2013 at 7:49 am |
    • Expand your thinking

      Is it logical to pre-judge someone based on them wearing a metal shape?

      January 16, 2013 at 7:51 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Expand your thinking
      It is indeed logical to form assumptions about someone's views based on the symbols with which they voluntary adorn themselves.
      If I see someone wearing a Star of David, I assume they're Jewish.
      If someone sports a turban and beard, I'll think it more likely that they're Sikh as opposed to someone in a baseball hat.
      If I see an Autobot symbol tattooed on a hipster's arm, I'm gonna guess they really like Transformers.

      January 16, 2013 at 8:33 am |
  19. breathe deep

    Of course, she always had the right to wear the cross, but if she wasn't able to show how righteous she was, then she would be failing gods commands to pray in the town square where everybody could see you.

    January 16, 2013 at 12:25 am |
    • Lawrence

      Were's Topher? He usually responds to these saying the Bible doesn't say what it actually says, and instead says what he says it says, and then offers up a quote on bowel function to prove it.

      January 16, 2013 at 12:59 am |
  20. Reality

    The court should have taken a modern approach to religion and declared it flawed belief in supernatural mumbo-jumbo noting that icons like the crucifix are simply fixtures of stupidity but legally wearable because it represents nil in the modern world exerting no influence on rational thinkers.

    January 16, 2013 at 12:24 am |
    • Science

      Sooner or later they will have to admitt it , DNA can't be disputed Show JUST RELEASED Jan. 9 2013
      SCIENCE no gods required. Brand New Show
      DNA can't be disputed. But they are still trying
      PBS Nova Decoding Neanderthals doc-umentary
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nH1fqd0Ryo

      January 16, 2013 at 6:17 am |
    • Science

      Oops forgot to metion PBS doc. is already in the public schools, so parents better be able to explain there g-ods.
      The show even states it has the smoking gun !!!

      January 16, 2013 at 6:22 am |
    • Reality

      National geographic

      January 16, 2013 at 7:00 am |
    • Reality

      Added information:

      https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/

      " DNA studies suggest that all humans today descend from a group of African ancestors who about 60,000 years ago began a remarkable journey. Follow the journey from them to you as written in your genes”.
      "Adam" is the common male ancestor of every living man. He lived in Africa some 60,000 years ago, which means that all humans lived in Africa at least at that time.

      Unlike his Biblical namesake, this Adam was not the only man alive in his era. Rather, he is unique because his descendents are the only ones to survive.

      It is important to note that Adam does not literally represent the first human. He is the coalescence point of all the genetic diversity."

      o More details from National Geographic's Genographic project:

      "Our spe-cies is an African one: Africa is where we first ev-olved, and where we have spent the majority of our time on Earth. The earliest fos-sils of recognizably modern Ho-mo sapiens appear in the fossil record at Omo Kibish in Ethiopia, around 200,000 years ago. Although earlier fossils may be found over the coming years, this is our best understanding of when and approximately where we originated.

      According to the genetic and paleontological record, we only started to leave Africa between 60,000 and 70,000 years ago. What set this in motion is uncertain, but we think it has something to do with major climatic shifts that were happening around that time—a sudden cooling in the Earth’s climate driven by the onset of one of the worst parts of the last Ice Age. This cold snap would have made life difficult for our African ancestors, and the genetic evidence points to a sharp reduction in population size around this time. In fact, the human population likely dropped to fewer than 10,000. We were holding on by a thread.

      Once the climate started to improve, after 70,000 years ago, we came back from this near-extinction event. The population expanded, and some intrepid explorers ventured beyond Africa. The earliest people to colonize the Eurasian landma-ss likely did so across the Bab-al-Mandab Strait separating present-day Yemen from Djibouti. These early beachcombers expanded rapidly along the coast to India, and reached Southeast Asia and Australia by 50,000 years ago. The first great foray of our species beyond Africa had led us all the way across the globe."

      National Geographic also will do the following for you:

      For $199 and a DNA swab:

      "Included in the markers we will test for is a subset that scientists have recently determined to be from our hominin cousins, Neanderthals and the newly discovered Denisovans, who split from our lineage around 500,000 years ago. As modern humans were first migrating out of Africa more than 60,000 years ago, Neanderthals and Denisovans were still alive and well in Eurasia. It seems that our ancestors met, leaving a small genetic trace of these ancient relatives in our DNA. With Geno 2.0, you will learn if you have any Neanderthal or Denisovan DNA in your genome."

      January 16, 2013 at 7:05 am |
    • NClaw441

      I imagine that the court is just interpreting the law as written.

      January 16, 2013 at 7:51 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.