American Airlines don’t approve of Satanists, apparently.
Are you the sort of person who likes to profess your religious beliefs to the world? If that religion is Satanism, then watch out – American Airlines will not approve of you proclaiming it to the world. In fact, even if you are not a Satanist but enjoy sloganeering clothing, you might find yourself being hauled to the front of a plane and made to change out of your ‘offensive’ Hail Satan T-shirt, as Swati Runi Goyal found out at the end of October.
Goyal is a member of The Satanic Temple (which, I guess we have to point out, is a non-theistic organisation that doesn’t believe in a literal Satan) and was wearing the group’s T-shirt, which contains the offending two words, the number 666 and an inverted cross.
As threats on aircraft go, Satanists probably come pretty low down the list of religions – I don’t recall any cases of Satanic fanatics hijacking planes and crashing them into buildings, for instance. But American Airlines, like other airlines, have a weird ‘appropriate dress’ policy that band ‘offensive clothing’, a concept that seems to be at the discretion / personal morality of the crew. Goyal was told that her T-shirt offended the crew, rather than any passengers (and even if passengers were upset, so what? Let them learn to respect other opinions), and was told to change it or she couldn’t fly.
American Airlines have form with this, demanding the covering of cleavage amongst other things, suggesting a certain Christian morality at play (I could suggest other religions, but this is America, so Christianity seems a good guess unless the whole flight crew were members of the Church of Satan and felt affronted at the site of a member of a rival organisation). I’m sure that if someone was wearing a ‘God is Great’ T-shirt, then no one would’ve said a thing. Actually, scratch that – that particular phrase might cause even more consternation, especialy if written in Arabic.
Of course, big companies hate bad publicity, and so after Goyal’s direct complaints were ignored, she took to twitter and immediately had a grovelling reply saying that “discrimination has no place at American Airlines.” Well, obviously it has some place. The airline has now offered to refund both tickets for Goyal and her husband, which I guess is a nice gesture at least. Presumably, someone somewhere has been given quite the telling off as well.
If you too want to be thrown off planes and perhaps get some compensation later, you can buy groovy Satanic temple merch here.