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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Wearing a Cross to Work

I was musing on the great Wearing A Cross to Work controversy, if it could be called that. Overall I'm not convinced there is much persecution of Christians, in any real sense, in this country. But clearly there will - normally in the public or formerly-privatised sector - be a certain number of would-be Stalinist numpties who hate all religion, but are scared of taking on the great non-Christian religions in case they end up at a tribunal. Or neo-paganism because they're a bit worried about the concept of a "witch" and are scared they could end up as toads. And they would pick up on Methodists first, in all likelihood, as all that would happen is strong words at the Ladies' Bright Hour.

Other, more enlightened, employers would recognise that it takes all sorts to make a world, rejoice in diversity and let people wear sensible symbols of their faith, as long as they're not ten-foot wooden crosses, double-edged swords or the most recent sacrifice.

I would suggest a couple of ways round this - you may just disagree with me, in which case no harm done. The first comes from an examination of the modern Christian attitude to the Old Testament. This divides the Old Testament laws and regulations into three sections - the Ten Commandments, the Rest, and Anything to do with Sex. As we know, the Ten Commandments and Anything to do with Sex are immutable laws which will never be repealed (apart from that bit about men having to marry their dead brothers' widows) and the rest no longer applies since Easter.

So in theory I see no reason why a discreet cross or crucifix should not be worn in the form of a tattoo - a henna one, if you don't like the idea of it being permanent and suspect you may one day become a Zoroastrian. In this modern age employers tolerate the odd discrete tattoo, and they can be covered up with long sleeves or, in some cases, a balaclava. Obviously you'd not want to go getting yourself tattooed with the whole of 1 Corinthians 13 - it would cost a fortune and it'll only go all wrinkly in later years and the calligraphy will be wasted.

However I realise that some employers might still get sniffy. And I recognise the argument that some employers make that, for example, wearing a cross is adornment or a personal statement, not a religious obligation. And some extreme Protestants used to see the wearing of a cross itself to be idolatry, of course. And so I am going to issue the Beaker People's most binding commandment - a Very Firm Suggestion.

From now on, all Beaker People must take to work with them a 10 ton sarsen megalith. This is a crucial part of their faith. All the communities of the Beaker Folk have this belief. As of now.

We'll see them in court.

8 comments:

  1. The only valid reason for banning jewellery of any kind is if there is a risk of injury, such as it catching in machinery or being grabbed by patients. The latter was the reason for the nurse being told that she could not wear a cross.

    Personally I think that if Jesus is your friend, reminding him of how he died is not nice, but then that's one of those things about Christianity that I've never understood.

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    1. It's not to show how He died as it is to show why He died. "Greater love has no man or woman than to lay down their life for their brother, sister or neighbor.
      Death on the cross was the cruelest and painful death in those days, yet Jesus, fully knowing He was going to die and how, went to the cross.

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  2. I want to meet a "Stalinist numpty" now, just to find out what they wear. Fake moustache and epaulettes? as long as they're sensible of course :)

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  3. I just prayed to God and he told me that there's no compunction on His believers to wear anything, except a prayer shawl and a yamulke. Oh, and a black suit with legs that are too short, a grubby white shirt (sans tie) and a massive, black, broadbrimmed hat.

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  4. would nine tons cut the mustard?

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  5. In a few days' time I shall celebrate ten years of working as a van driver in the 'real world', and for most of that time I've worn a visible wooden cross about 6cm high on a cord around my neck. I've only had one adverse comment in that time, but several favourable ones, from 'what a nice cross' to deeper conversations about what church I belong to, etc.

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  6. Yewtree, Totally agree re when to ban. On the "reminder" - I think the evidence is that the Choir Invisible are planning to remind him of it all the time, forever. So in comparison I think Jesus can live with the occasional cross symbol. Although our commandment is to carry it, not wear it in miniaturised format.

    Steve - Heretic!
    John of Hayling - Heretic!

    Bill - I think it would suit you. God's got good taste. After all, she designed me.

    Fourwheeler - thanks for dropping by, and I'm very pleased for you. You've done nobody any harm, and by the sound of it some people some good.

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    1. Well you still wouldn't get me wearing a cross - never liked them even when I was a Christian (many many years ago). The early Christians didn't wear them or use them as a symbol because of it reminding them of a particularly painful death.

      It used to be a problem wearing a pentagram to work because there was always some born-again fundagelical Christian who would accuse you of being a satanist (with all that that implied back in the late 80s), and inform you that you were going to hell (etc etc). Nowadays if they tried that malarkey, you could have 'em on grounds of religious persecution.

      Anyway, I wish the Beaker Folk well with their sarsen-carrying.

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