The Difference Between the Clerk and the Flight Attendant

Elected county clerk Kim Davis is currently sitting in jail for disobeying a court order to issue marriage licenses.18676679-mmmain

Meanwhile, a Muslim flight attendant has been suspended for refusing to serve alcohol.

Let’s first note that not one of Davis’ supporters has rallied around the Muslim woman’s cause. That’s because Kim Davis’ fight really isn’t for “religious freedom” — it’s all about taking away freedom. It’s the bigot’s last breath in their always-losing battle to take away the rights of people different from them. Kim Davis is not Rosa Parks as she claims — she’s the bus driver who told Rosa Parks to get out of her seat.

So is the Muslim flight attendant in the same situation or not?  Should we be telling her that she should lose her job if she refuses to do it?

Well, there are some big differences between the two.

The flight attendant is arguing that the employer needs to make reasonable accommodations for her religious beliefs, and that is what the current law holds.  She points out that serving alcohol is just a small part of her job and that there are other flight attendants there who could easily do that for her whenever a need arises.

And that’s a good point. It’s not like she applied to be a bartender and then claimed she couldn’t do the work.

There’s nothing wrong with firing someone if they cannot do the work at all because of their religion. For instance, a Catholic school could refuse to hire an atheist to teach a Bible Study class which includes prayer, because being a Catholic is a job requirement. (They can’t refuse to hire an atheist to teach a math class, however.)

Kim Davis has the right to say “I refuse to sign any marriage documents for gay couples” while allowing others in her office to do it. But she isn’t doing that. She is ordering the other clerks in her office to refuse as well, and since she’s the boss, they are obeying her. (Now that she’s in jail and no longer the boss, they are issuing the licenses, by the way.)

And that’s the main difference. We can accommodate Kim Davis’ religious beliefs, but that’s not what she wants. She wants to force everyone else to live by her beliefs.

The flight attendant is not demanding that no one on the plane can drink because of her personal religious beliefs.

10 thoughts on “The Difference Between the Clerk and the Flight Attendant

  1. Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
    4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
    4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
    4:4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
    4:5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
    1Peter 4:1-5


  2. It’s not a reasonable request. I assume she also doesn’t want to serve pork.

    You can’t pick and choose what tasks you do at work (unless you’re a supervisor who can delegate work).

    Unless she got the job before they started serving alcohol (she didn’t) then she doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know if I agree with your blog post or not. I feel that both situations are examples of religious people trying to impose their religion on others — the flight attendant, less so — and both cases show the problems with citing religious reasons for not doing one’s secular job. I don’t care what my court clerk’s or flight attendant’s religious views are, they are none of my business, and should remain so. Their beliefs should not prevent them from performing their job duties. If they have religious beliefs that interfere with their jobs, it is up to them to find new jobs that do not violate their views. Reasonable accommodation of religion can only go so far. There are simply too many different religious viewpoints to expect an employer to be able to bend the rules for every single case of religious objection.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Answering Your Legal Questions about that Kentucky Clerk |

  5. Like Janice, I dont know if I agree with you or not. I’ve flown. flight attendants have multiple jobs. she could do other things while her coworkers serve alcohol. However it might very well be making her coworkers do more. So its not entirely unreasonable. Its certainly possible that her coworkers dont like her, or might even be racist/discriminating. That being said, im not convinced that a company should have to do something to respect a religion. Its putting more of the duties of the flight on her coworkers.

    I do agree that the Kim Davis supporters are being hypocritical in this.


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