Friday, May 21, 2010

FEMA Apologizes About Objection to Religious Logo

You may know that Mississippi suffered losses due to a tornado recently. Many volunteers assisted those in trouble and performed general clean-up work. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was involved as well, and later sent a videographer to film a story on the relief efforts.

Many of the volunteers wore T-shirts supplied by the local TV station, who was sponsoring some of the efforts. The shirts had the TV station logo and the logo of the Salvation Army, among others. For the interviews with two of the volunteers, the videographer asked them to change into other shirts because he did not want the religious logo in the scene.

FEMA says that they did not instruct the photographer to do this. They also issued a sincere-sounding apology to the volunteers involved.

I only know what I can read in news accounts, but something is not quite complete in the story as I read it. FEMA says the photographer was concerned about the production, but the story also says that they fired the photographer. If it was an innocent mistake made for no malicious purpose and with no prejudice, why did they fire him? While I think his actions were offensive and insensitive, or at least ignorant, I never hear of people getting fired for such actions. I hear of people whose jobs are at risk because they wear religious logos or jewelry.

In any case, I think the story is reflective of attitudes which are too-often found in today's society. Somehow, religion has become an offensive matter, but it seems that it's fine for South Park or stand-up comics to lampoon Christians. They don't get fired for that, do they?

We have migrated from a First Amendment that is intended to keep the Federal Government from interfering with religion, all the way to a more-or-less common belief that every citizen must be protected from seeing or hearing anything about religion in public.

Read the story here:

FEMA Apologizes to Volunteers Over T-Shirt Flap

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