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.