AOL article inspires contemplation of religious intolerance

BY BRIONA PRICE ’16
Staff Writer

After making the daily rounds on AOL — a reliable news source regardless of what my friends say — I came across a rather strange article. “Orthodox Jew Flies in Plane Covered in Huge Plastic Bag” it said. Well, okay. This was something that I had not expected. For one, AOL’s teaser headline said something like “Guy covered in bag on plane,” and so, not only did the awkward grammatical phrasing entice me, I also believed that perhaps the flight attendant was super angry at the guy and placed a bag on him. Or maybe even this guy liked bags and couldn’t fly without physically touching them.

“How crazy,” I thought, and clicked the headline to go on an adventure of a lifetime. As soon as I clicked on the article and discovered that it was an Orthodox Jew, my feelings changed. I no longer thought that there was an irrational flight attendant or a guy who loved bags. I assumed that it was simply a guy practicing his religion (why else would AOL feel the need to tell us that the man was an Orthodox Jew?).

I didn’t really read the entire article because I’ve procrastinated on AOL too many times to know that the writers inappropriately make fun of other religions. Instead, I read enough to understand that the plastic bag was used to either shield the man from flying over a cemetary or to provide a sort of barrier from females. I’m not sure which one is the correct reason or if any of the two have any truth to them. I only know AOL’s new comment format sucks.

Anyway, I scrolled down to the comments because let’s face it: the comments of any webpage are usually more interesting than the material being presented. Of course, the comments were full of religious intolerance which almost infuriated me (I say almost because I can’t let anonymous and slightly ignorant people upset me.). There were so many people who “didn’t understand why he has to do this and that it seems stupid.” Why do you care? Although it may have struck a few passengers on the plane as a bit odd, no one seemed to be particularly bothered by it. The only thing that bothered me I guess the moral of this story is: why do people make such big deals about the dogma’s of various religions? Why do you care if Muslim women cover their hair or if the Pope isn’t a woman or if someone has to pray multiple times a day to ensure what they believe is their salvation? Get over it.

Questions? Email Briona at bprice@fandm.edu.

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