Alaska Airlines Ditches Prayer Cards
What’s that in the sky? It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s — well…it’s certainly not Christ.
A couple of weeks ago Alaska Airlines announced they were doing away with a 30-year old tradition – offering prayer cards with in-flight meals.
Yes. They jettisoned Jesus.
Seems most passengers nowadays prefer their snacks a little more secular. Much like the separation of church and state, it’s the separation of church and plate.
Personally, I’d much rather have seen the removal of the Sky Mall magazine. I find that much more offensive. Give me a Psalm any day over having this shoved down my throat…
Or, even worse, this…
But there you have it. Materialism trumps Catechism.
The Prayer Card Pickle
I feel bad for Alaska Airlines. They can’t win with this one. Keep the prayer cards, and be seen as a conservative dinosaur. Lose the cards, and be seen as anti-Christ (not the Antichrist, just anti-Christ – see the difference a hyphen makes?)
In times of moral crisis like this, I look to bumper-sticker theology to guide me.
That’s a head-scratcher for sure. If Jesus took the wheel (or in this case, the yoke), what would Jesus do? I’m hoping (dare I say praying) J.C. would come up with a solution that would be suitable for everyone. After all, he was winning friends and influencing people long before that other guy. And hasn’t he had some prior success with feeding the masses? That whole fishes and loaves bit?
Maybe he would have conjured up something like Indonesia-based airline Lion Air has done: multi-denominational Invocation Cards. Every seat pocket has one of these prayer pamphlets, wedged somewhere between the safety instructions and the barf bag.
Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and Confucianists are treated to one-of-a-kind prayers (in five languages) imploring their deity to shepherd the craft safely to its final destination.
Muslims get showered with blessings…
…Catholics get good weather…
…and Protestants get a Lord with a “holly” name. Plus the added bonus that they arrive on time and “save”. (I hope I didn’t pay more for the flight than they did.)
Rounding out the Invocation Card are prayers for Buddhists…
Did I get offended when I saw these? Not in the least. (There was the S.E. Asian equivalent of a Sky Mall magazine to draw my ire). Much like how I don’t get offended when I see where Mecca is on my in-flight screen, or if I see a Gideon bible in my hotel room drawer, I just see it as someone else expressing their faith.
Some people find comfort in those things. I find it kind of folksy. If the airline crew were baptizing people in the aisles, or handing out communion wafers, that might be a different story. But I think a Psalm here, a prayer card there are perfectly okay in my books.
My God. I’m starting to sound a lot like Sarah Palin.
Pray for me?
What’s your take? Do you think Alaska Airlines was right to remove the prayer cards from flights? Is there a better solution?