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Pilot's actions raise questions: how far is too far
wfaa.com ^ | 2/9/2004 | Brad Hawkins

Posted on 02/09/2004 8:45:23 PM PST by sinkspur

Fort Worth-based American Airlines is investigating an unorthodox speech to passengers by an on-duty pilot over the weekend.

Many passengers felt the pilot crossed a line when asking Christians on board the flight to identify themselves before the plane took off.

Passengers on the cross-country flight from Los Angeles to New York certainly got more than a movie and meal. The pilot, who had just returned from a mission trip to Central America, asked Christians to raise their hands.

"I thought (it) was very bizarre," passenger Jen Dorsey said. "And then he said, 'look around and everyone who doesn't have their hand raised is crazy.'"

"Just given the history of what has happened on planes in this country, anything could happen at this point," said passenger Karla Austin. "We weren't sure if something was going to happen, if he was going to wait until JFK (Airport) to do something. There was definitely the implication that something was going to happen."

The nervous chatter among cabin crew and passengers finally made its way up to the cockpit.

"He came on and said, 'I want to apologize for my comments earlier - I think they really threw the flight crew off a little bit and they're getting a lot of flak, so I want to apologize to my flight crew,'" Dorsey said.

Reverend La Fayette Holland said Christians, who have a Biblical mandate to evangelize, must balance sharing their faith against rules of the workplace.

American officials apologized Monday, and said the carrier would 'handle the matter in accordance with (the airline's) established policies and procedures.'

"For the Christian, the issue is always you want to know up front what the cost is going to be.

"There are a number of other ways the pilot could have shared his faith without violating any policy," Holland said.

Just last week, three Denton pharmacists' joint-decision to withhold a morning-after pill from a sexual assault victim drew protestors.

"You want to always say, 'I want to make sure what I'm doing is going to be the best representation of my Father in Heaven,'" Holland said. "I want to make sure that I'm representing Jesus Christ well in all locations, at all times."


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: americanairlines; pilot; spiritualjourney

1 posted on 02/09/2004 8:45:23 PM PST by sinkspur
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To: ClintonBeGone; F16Fighter
"And then he said, 'look around and everyone who doesn't have their hand raised is crazy.'"

Bizarro.

2 posted on 02/09/2004 8:46:23 PM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a shelter dog or cat! You'll save one life, and maybe two!)
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To: sinkspur
You're obessessed with this story. Say a prayer (TO GOD) and go to bed.
3 posted on 02/09/2004 8:48:49 PM PST by ClintonBeGone (<a href="http://www.freerepublic.com/~clintonbegone/">Hero</font></a>)
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To: sinkspur
Just last week, three Denton pharmacists' joint-decision to withhold a morning-after pill from a sexual assault victim drew protestors.

Bizarro.

4 posted on 02/09/2004 8:50:27 PM PST by ClintonBeGone (<a href="http://www.freerepublic.com/~clintonbegone/">Hero</font></a>)
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To: sinkspur
Give the guy a break. Maybe he was just drunk.
5 posted on 02/09/2004 8:53:03 PM PST by Texas Eagle
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To: sinkspur
This is a repeat. And, yes, this is too far by any test.
6 posted on 02/09/2004 8:53:44 PM PST by blau993 (Labs for love; .357 for Security.)
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To: sinkspur
you gotta admire a christian with big ones!
7 posted on 02/09/2004 8:54:58 PM PST by gdc61
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To: sinkspur
Weird story. Tad overblown though. Sounds like the pilot is a Christian who supposedly made non-Christians afraid he was gonna ram their plane into a building while hollaring "Allau Ackbar"
8 posted on 02/09/2004 8:58:53 PM PST by cake_crumb (UN Resolutions = Very Expensive, Very SCRATCHY Toilet Paper)
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To: sinkspur
Captive audience, definitely. I think it might be safe to say religion and aviation are uneasy partners these days.
9 posted on 02/09/2004 8:59:14 PM PST by JennysCool
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To: JennysCool
A truly gung-ho Christian would have reserved a center seat in order to have two chances to share his/her faith! (just kidding ... in a way)
10 posted on 02/09/2004 9:00:24 PM PST by bcoffey
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To: JennysCool
Must be that co-pilot thing.


Seriously, did the passengers feel obligated? Did the pilot indicate he was going to fly the plain in christian fashion as opposed to a secular fasion? Were those who refused to listen and refused to share asked to get off the airplane? Was anyone denied their honey roased penut snack pack due to their religious beliefs?

Perhaps this was a dumb move but it is no different than the absolutly bizare comments from the former valuejet. (the I am your pilot, BATMAN speech was the sign to get off.)
11 posted on 02/09/2004 9:06:31 PM PST by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: bcoffey
"God is my Co-pilot" springs to mind! :-)
12 posted on 02/09/2004 9:07:05 PM PST by JennysCool
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To: sinkspur

Is that really what he said? Can that be documented? Sounds not quite right....

13 posted on 02/09/2004 9:07:22 PM PST by Theo
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To: blau993
Actually, this is not "too far". Any society that tolerates Christianity really must be prepared for this sort of thing because they're going to be this way from time to time.

Now, if you'd like to suppress Christianity, ........?!

14 posted on 02/09/2004 9:13:59 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: sinkspur
Were I on such a plane, I'd be very worried. Not because I'm a non-Christian (I'm not) but rather because I'd be wondering if some terrorist were forcing the pilot to ask that so that his accomplice could target and kill any Christians on the plane. Unlikely scenario to be sure, but how much less likely than the possibility of a pilot exercising such poor judgement?
15 posted on 02/09/2004 9:25:37 PM PST by supercat (Why is it that the more "gun safety" laws are passed, the less safe my guns seem?)
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To: sinkspur
Captain Evangelical is uh...hmm..as we say in the south " tetched"

I don't begrudge a man his faith. I do begrudge his using a common carrier to ram it down people throats.
16 posted on 02/09/2004 9:26:02 PM PST by tcuoohjohn (Follow The Money)
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To: ClintonBeGone
I know this...I don't want to be on a plane flown by " Captain Nutball, the Christian Fanatic". Flying is a task that requires concentration, responsibility, and attention to detail. If he is musing about Christians and Non- Christians among the passengers and reflecting on the mental stability of those who don't share his beliefs then clearly he isn't doing his job.
17 posted on 02/09/2004 9:31:37 PM PST by tcuoohjohn (Follow The Money)
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To: tcuoohjohn; Central Scrutiniser
I know this...I don't want to be on a plane flown by " Captain Nutball, the Christian Fanatic". Flying is a task that requires concentration, responsibility, and attention to detail.

First, if you actually read the article, you'll see that all this happened BEFORE take off. Second, and Central Scrutiniser has shown this time and time again, you don't need to be the sharpest knife in the drawer to work in the airline industry.

18 posted on 02/10/2004 4:30:08 AM PST by ClintonBeGone (<a href="http://www.freerepublic.com/~clintonbegone/">Hero</font></a>)
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To: ClintonBeGone
I dont give a damn when it occurred. His job is to concentrate on the aircraft and the people in it. He is responsible for the lives of all those on board. Not their souls. If he wishes to be a preacher then let him doff his uniform , drop his flight manual and don the robes of a preacher and pick up the Good Book.
19 posted on 02/10/2004 7:36:28 AM PST by tcuoohjohn (Follow The Money)
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To: tcuoohjohn
I dont give a damn when it occurred.

Well Tcuoohjohn, why don't you tell us at what point in his day does he have to stop thinking about his Lord?

20 posted on 02/10/2004 7:57:15 AM PST by ClintonBeGone (<a href="http://www.freerepublic.com/~clintonbegone/">Hero</font></a>)
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To: muawiyah
I have no interest in suppressing Christianity or any other religion. However, passengers on an airliner are in a state of confinement. To subject them to a discussion of religion or any other topic when they do not have the ability to get up and leave is extremely rude and should not be tolerated. And it would be even more offensive, in my view, to have to listen to a discussion of the subject by someone who didn't think there was anything out of the ordinary in the fact that the discussion was occuring under those circumstances.
21 posted on 02/10/2004 8:04:44 AM PST by blau993 (Labs for love; .357 for Security.)
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To: blau993
And it would be even more offensive, in my view, to have to listen to a discussion of the subject by someone who didn't think there was anything out of the ordinary in the fact that the discussion was occuring under those circumstances.

Would you be equally offended if you were in seat B, in the middle, and on sides A and C were two people discussing the bible?

22 posted on 02/10/2004 8:20:00 AM PST by ClintonBeGone (<a href="http://www.freerepublic.com/~clintonbegone/">Hero</font></a>)
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To: ClintonBeGone
He can think about the Lord all he likes. Evangelizing as the Captain of an airliner is another matter.

Can you imagine what was going through the minds of the the passengers? " My God, Myrtle..we're gonna die..Muslims have hijacked the aircraft."
23 posted on 02/10/2004 9:32:48 AM PST by tcuoohjohn (Follow The Money)
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To: ClintonBeGone
I would be annoyed if I was in the middle seat and the people on either side of me were having a discussion about anything. That is incredibly rude. If this happened, I would offer to change seats with the passenger on the aisle. Assuming he or she agreed, I wouldn't care whether they then chose to discuss bibles or bimbos so long as they did it quietly.

Bottom line -- when others are not free to walk out of earshot, your right to free speech must be exercised within the limits of common sense and ordinary politeness.

24 posted on 02/10/2004 9:39:55 AM PST by blau993 (Labs for love; .357 for Security.)
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To: Theo
"Crazy" was a word the pilot light-heartedly used to describe the *Christians* on board ... not the non-Christians:

"... passengers remember the word 'crazy' having been playfully applied to the Christians on board" (from http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1075414/posts )

Sounds like someone preferred "getting offended" to "getting the humor."

25 posted on 02/10/2004 2:30:12 PM PST by Theo
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