Pilots refuse to fly Independence Day atheist banners

Pilots refuse to fly Independence Day atheist banners
BY JOHN JALSEVAC
Mon Jul 04, 2011 18:01 ESTComments (3)Tags: Atheism, Religion

One of the banners being flown by American Atheists.
July 4, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An atheist organization that sought to celebrate Independence Day by flying banners promoting atheism all across the United States nearly ran into a major snag – most of the pilots working for the advertizing company refused to fly the banners.

USA Today reports that 4 out of 5 pilots working for Fly Signs Aerial Advertising refused to participate in the campaign, which involved banners saying, “God-less America,” and “Atheism is patriotic.”

Only 17 of the company’s 85 pilots agreed to participate.

USA Today quotes one of the pilots, Red Calvert, saying, “I respect our country and I respect our churches and we’ve got enough problems in our country without stirring up some more. If those people want to do something they believe in, fine, just don’t include me.”

The $23,000 campaign is a project of the group American Atheists.

Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, said the pilots’ refusal stems from Americans’ “bigotry.”

lifesitenews.com/news/pilots-refuse-to-fly-independence-day-atheist-banners

July 4, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An atheist organization that sought to celebrate Independence Day by flying banners promoting atheism all across the United States nearly ran into a major snag – most of the pilots working for the advertizing company refused to fly the banners.

USA Today reports that 4 out of 5 pilots working for Fly Signs Aerial Advertising refused to participate in the campaign, which involved banners saying, “God-less America,” and “Atheism is patriotic.”

Only 17 of the company’s 85 pilots agreed to participate.

USA Today quotes one of the pilots, Red Calvert, saying, “I respect our country and I respect our churches and we’ve got enough problems in our country without stirring up some more. If those people want to do something they believe in, fine, just don’t include me.”

The $23,000 campaign is a project of the group American Atheists.

Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, said the pilots’ refusal stems from Americans’ “bigotry.”

lifesitenews.com/news/pilots-refuse-to-fly-independence-day-atheist-banners

Bigotry, intolerance, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. It’s the classic atheist approach; all rhetoric and no logic. This is clear reminder that atheists want to force all religion out of the public square. I’m not about to go fly a banner supporting Planned Parenthood. Why should these pilots be forced to tout a message that they disagree with?

Well, if one believes in certain forms of contract rights than a company accepting money to provide a service and then not providing the service is perhaps a sub-optimal situation.

What about Catholic pilots refusing to tout a message from one of those mega-churches inviting attendance? Or maybe a pro-choicer refusing to fly a banner for a pro-life organization?

If a man is hired to fly an airplane that carries banners, his job is to fly the airplane, not to be able to refuse to do what his company has contracted to display. But, of course, if it is something the pilot “just can’t do,” he should quit the job.

I personally would fire the men who won’t do their jobs.

What is more important: your job or your conscience?

Consider the unemployed Minnesota man who turned down a construction foreman’s job because the company was going to be building a Planned Parenthood. (I don’t have the link; heard about it on CAL).

Okay, back to the topic. Didn’t mean to derail the thread.

Personally, I’m fine with any of the refusal scenarios you listed above. If you were owner, you could, of course, fire them. We allow owners to take actions like that all the time. We have freedom of bigotry, and I wouldn’t think it fair for you to be held accountable for your views against employees holding to their religious convictions.

The man did right. If he couldn’t do the job because of conscience, he was correct to turn the job down and have nothing to do with it.

The same applies here. These pilots should not be forced to do something against their views.

I would not call it bigotry, but I agree with you otherwise. If it was against those men’s consciences to fly with that advertising, they were right to refuse to do the work, but an owner is equally right to fire them for that refusal. Same could be said about one refusing to fly a banner advertising Hooters or refusing to fly a pro-life banner or other advertising that would be against a man’s conscience. :slight_smile:

Sure. They can quit their jobs to make that point.

Absolutely. I’m just surprised you would fire them - not very charitable. I could understand it, if you had an employee who wouldn’t do a high percentage of the jobs because of conscience…he’s just plain in the wrong job, but after a single incident? Sheesh.

I refuse to do things at work due to conscience. My managers have no choice but to let me. They would be fired if they forced me to do something contrary to my conscience. I guess the owners are a little more liberal than you when it comes to tolerating employees’ beliefs.

Did you see the percentage who refused to fly? What’s a business owner to do when so many refuse to work? Tolerate everything an employee refuses to do out of “conscience”? Where do you draw the line? Maybe, some scrupulous fellow won’t pull a banner advertising women’s underwear. What do you do about him?

Where is the line between accepting such behavior by employees and refusing to accommodate their personal beliefs?

Yes, as I already stated. If an employee was refusing a large quantity of work, it would be appropriate to let him know that he is in the wrong field. You, however, are a zero-tolerance, one-strike-you’re-out sort of guy. As I said, you are free to be that rigid and intolerant if you want.

BTW, I’m not a lawyer, but I believe it just has to be “reasonable accommodation.” at least, that is what my HR department says. “Reasonable” is, of course, a subjective term and would need to be argued in court.

I would refuse to fly the damned thing. When I worked in a law firm as a junior salaried associate and they were trying to take on a public decency law challenge, I threw my glasses down and threw a couple of “f” words around in full hearing of everybody regardless of rank. Guess who caved in, by the way. :wink:

Anyway, God’s law ranks higher than any mortal law and any precept of even natural law to abide by contracts made in advance without a conscience clause will be severely outranked by the moral obligation not to promote atheism, not to cooperate in slandering the faith etc.

This is hilarious right here. The organization that essentially goes around saying only stupid people are religious accuses people of bigotry for not joining in. Yeah.

Depends on the circumstances with me. I’m not all that rigid, but it’s the job that counts. If I were the owner of that company and business wasn’t all that good, but I got that contract and told the men that it was good for the company now that business is coming in - then they refused to fly. Am I not up the creek without a paddle?

Interesting. You didn’t have any qualifiers before…you just wrote “I personally would fire the men who won’t do their jobs.” Why the backpedaling?

I am also an attorney, but work for a state agency, and I can assure you that the outcome would be far different for me if I balked at doing my work - especially if I started using such language (Bible Belt, you know). :slight_smile:

If it were something I couldn’t do because of conscience, I would resign.

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