I find myself quite incensed about all this fuss over a woman who wants to wear a cross pendant to work. The constant media comparison of her right to openly display her religious affiliation with the rights of Muslims to wear hijab or Jews to wear yarmulkas is all well and good, but I have an objection.
The difference between the two cases, to me, is that one is a voluntary witness to faith, while the others are compulsory observances according to doctrine. I have never heard or read any theological argument for the wearing of jewellery in the form of a cross: there is no instruction from Jesus, any prophet or apostle or even a Pope or archbishop that says, "Thou shalt wear a piece of jewellery to prove thou art a Christian".
There are, as I understand it, doctrinal reasons in the respective faiths for the wearing of hijab or a Sikh's turban or a yarmulka. In the case of hijab, for example, it is a scriptural command, although the interpretation of the necessary level of coverage may vary. In the case of the yarmulka, the coverage has already been reduced to a symbolic state, but it is worn to obey a Talmudic command.
For these reasons, I have little sympathy for the airport employee who wants to wear her cross pendant at work (and it should be noted that she is not being banned from wearing it, only from having it visible). If she is so concerned about displaying her faith for all to see, she had much better do it by acting as a Christian than flashing a bit of expensive metal around. After all, wasn't it the founder of her faith who derided those who tried to make a visible show of religion: "By their works shall ye know them" (Matthew 7.16). To paraphrase the old saying that was drummed into me at Sunday School: "Wearing a WWJD bracelet does not make you a Christian, just as living in a garage does not make you a car."
I hate to say it, but it was people like this woman, who thinks she is making a public stand for her religion, who caused me to question -- and, although other reasons came into it, ultimately reject -- my former faith. I think she should get off her high horse and live her beliefs in humility, not just walk around wearing its trappings like the Pharisees beating their breasts in the temple (Matthew 6.5-6).
Ah well, as I have said before, plus ca change.... If Jesus could see her now, he'd be turning in his grave.