San Francisco Airport Uses Tax-payer Funds To Construct Prayer Space For Muslims

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by mocgator, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. WESGATORS
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    WESGATORS Moderator

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    The chapel is not specifically for Christians.
    The spigot is specifically for Muslims. That other people could use it if they wanted to doesn't change the fact that the washing area is specifically put in to accommodate Muslims.

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  2. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    Non-denominational (or even interfaith) doesn't mean "non-religious". If you want to argue that a spigot is there as a religious accommodation, a chapel most certainly is as well.
  3. WESGATORS
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    WESGATORS Moderator

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    So Ben, is it fair to say that if a "religious representation" exists, then it is acceptable to add an accommodation for a specific religion as long as the people of that religion can reasonably benefit from it?

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  4. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    Reasonable "accommodation," provided that it also serves a civil purpose or governmental interest, should get slightly less demanding scrutiny because it doesn't rise to the same level as governmental speech (or speech that may be fairly attributed to the government) or compelled participation, or some of the other more troublesome establishment clause issues.
  5. WESGATORS
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    WESGATORS Moderator

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    It serves less of a civil purpose than the chapel does. But like I said before, these things don't bother me, I just can't stand the inconsistency with those that pick and choose when they want to be accommodating to other religions and when they don't. Prayer or reference to God = offensive (unless it's in requiring someone to sing the Mexican national anthem), Random washing location to cater to Muslim prayer practice = practical. It doesn't get any more obvious than this. I'll get my popcorn out to see how the Atheist Congregation and the ACLU respond to this. Someone is bound to get genuinely offended by this, and it shouldn't be a surprise.

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  6. CHFG8R
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    CHFG8R Premium Member

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    How about a Virgin Mary shrine?

    That might be an interesting debate. The separation of church and state juxtaposed with the need to be more understanding of Hispanic culture.


    Note: Yes, I know it's a Catholic tradition, but it is especially prevalent in the Hispanic community.
  7. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    Part of the difference is that the prayer challenges are typically in reference to schools, and for better of for worse the Supreme Court has explicitly said that the establishment clause test is more stringent in the context of public primary and secondary education.

    I think you also run into the fact that providing a space (one which is more or less out of public view) for people to pray personally is inherently different from allowing for someone to use a government soapbox to publicly broadcast a religious message (i.e., if the airport allowed for a Muslim call to prayer over their loudspeaker, I would take offense at that and consider it improper). So essentially the difference is, in my mind that one is more intrusive than the other and that one seems a lot closer to speech which could be attributed to the government than the other.

    Allowing a prayer to be said over the government intercom to a captive audience just seems inherently different to me from putting running water in a parking garage away from the general public's eyes, no matter what the motivations for either are.
  8. WESGATORS
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    WESGATORS Moderator

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    How is providing an accommodation for Muslim prayer preparation less intrusive than a prayer that is displayed? I would imagine it would be no harder to avoid viewing a displayed prayer than it would be to avoid viewing the prayer preparation area.

    Maybe they could make the qibla arrow out of a cross and have it pointing to a Jewish star to show there is no intention of catering to a specific religion.

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  9. OaktownGator
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    OaktownGator Well-Known Member

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    FWIW... religious options at SFO below (the "trough" is not yet listed)

    http://www.ifly.com/san-francisco-international/church-temple-religious


    Interfaith Chapel / Religious Options at San Francisco SFO Airport
    The Berman Reflection Room provides a center for quiet self-reflection and meditation. Located at the International Terminal, Main Hall, Arrivals lobby.

    The Christian Science Reading Room is a quiet place to read, meditate or relax in a peaceful environment. Located at Terminal 1, near entrance to Gates 40-48, pre-security. tel: 650.877.0105
  10. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    Because their accomodation is in the form of providing something that is not inherently religious. They installed a spigot and what appears to be a metal bus-stop bench in a parking garage to keep the drivers from having to come inside to get water or carried bottled water. To remove Islam from it entirely, if the cab drivers were Catholic Italian immigrants who wanted to pray in the air conditioning but didn't want to have to go into the terminal to do it, air-conditioning a room in a driver's lounge would also be "accomodating their religion," but it would be inherently different from erecting an altar for them.

    They've accomodated them in a way where there is nothing inherently religious about the accomodation the government provided (running water). I'm not sure how that would be even remotely comparable to erecting a religious display, or allowing you to pray over a government owned loud speaker, or anything else.
  11. WESGATORS
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    Then what makes a chapel "religious" just a place for people to gather and sit if they choose to. You are being inconsistent in your declaration of "religious"

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  12. OaktownGator
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    OaktownGator Well-Known Member

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    A few other airports listed below. It looks like many have "Interfaith Chapels". Taxpayer funds should not go to support any specific religions, but these Interfaith Chapels should be fine, I would think.

    Chicago O'Hare: http://www.ifly.com/chicago-ohare-international-airport/church-temple-religious

    Interfaith Chapel / Religious Options at Chicago O'Hare ORD Airport
    An interfaith chapel is available for travelers who wish to pray and/or meditate while at the airport. Located on the mezzanine level of Terminal Two, the chapel is open 24 hours a day with a chaplain available for personal emergencies. Call 773-686-2636 for more information. ​

    DFW: http://www.ifly.com/dallas-fort-worth-international-airport/church-temple-religious

    Interfaith Chapel / Religious Options at Dallas Fort Worth DFW Airport
    Chapel Locations at DFW Airport: Terminal A area 24 (outside security), Terminal B 28 (inside security), Terminal C 15 (outside security), Terminal D 21 (inside security), Terminal E 4 (inside security)
    To reach a Chaplain while visiting DFW Airport, please visit our Chaplaincy Office (at D21) or call 972-973-2665.​

    Hotlanta: http://www.ifly.com/hartsfield-jackson-atlanta-international/church-temple-religious

    Interfaith Chapel / Religious Options at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta ATL Airport
    The Interfaith Airport Chapels at ATL are located at:
    (a) level 3, Atrium - pre-security;
    (b) International 's Concourse E ('E Chapel'), at top escalator at right, behind MLK exhibit, post-security;
    (c) Interntional Concourse F( 'Chapel Concourse F') at level 2, Atrium, pre-security.

    Chapels are open 24/7 (tel: (404) 762-1051).

    LAX: no religious facilities listed
  13. GatorBen
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    I don't have a problem with the airport chapel. My only point was that I can't imagine any test which a spigot would fail but a chapel could pass.
  14. lacuna
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    lacuna Well-Known Member

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    Catholics aren't required to abstain from meat on Friday's anymore but for many years school cafeterias accommodated Catholic students by serving fish on Friday. Remember that?

    In school districts with a high percentage of Jewish students the schools are closed on the Jewish High Holidays.

    Ever heard of an eruv? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eruv

    The local government doesn't pay for the installation of an eruv, it's permitted as a courtesy and funded by the community requesting it. The local government that maintains the utility poles where the eruv is attached must, however, grant permission for it or facilitate its installation.
  15. Gatorrick22
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    I don't want our country to slide into this 'Muslim-ification' of our country. First this, next Shariah Laws... BS on this crap and screw the SF Airport.
  16. lacuna
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    lacuna Well-Known Member

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    The installation of the spigot in the garage doesn't promote the religion of the people who will use it. Its presence in the area the Muslim cabbies have used to congregate is a courtesy to a segment of the population/citizenry that happens to be Muslim.

    Just as the eruv and the school calendar is a courtesy to neighborhoods where a high percentage is Jewish, or serving fish on Fridays was a courtesy to Catholics. What's the problem here?
  17. tim85
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    tim85 Well-Known Member

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    How many posts in this thread did you actually read before commenting? If you had read only the first page, multiple problems were found.
  18. lacuna
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    lacuna Well-Known Member

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    I read the entire thread, Tim. Do you want to comment on my post with regard to how local governmental agencies accommodate various religions?

    Here's another example of a government agency accommodating a religion by providing a space in a New York Thruway rest stop:

    http://www.thelakewoodscoop.com/news/2012/06/thruway-summer-davening-area-opens-this-week.html

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  19. 108
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    damn, you just moved the goal-posts quick :grin:

    and, this country being founded on Christianity is not a fact

    sure there were majority Christian, but our country was not founded on Christianity
  20. WESGATORS
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    My problem isn't with this wash area, it's with people seeming to be more intolerant against certain forms of expression that are more favorable to Christians. It's with people's fear of religious expression in general.

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    ,WESGATORS

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