More TSA idiocy

A couple of orthodox Jews engaged in a pretty common prayer ritual, where they wrap leather straps on their forearms and lash a little leather box to their foreheads.

The cockpit was placed on a security lockdown for the rest of the flight _ meaning the door couldn’t be opened even for pilots to leave briefly. Normal protocol calls for the cockpit to be locked, but on longer flights the pilots will leave and return from the flight deck.

FBI and customs agents along with police and a full assignment of fire trucks met the plane at the gate at Los Angeles International Airport, and the men were escorted off. (source)

Seriously? Not a single person in any position of authority on that plane had ever seen an orthojew pray before? Not even on television? Nobody on the plane could educate them?

Meanwhile, the entire security apparatus at Richmond International Airport was mobilized to deal with a 21 year old who committed the grave crime of removing his shirt to reveal the Fourth Amendment written on his chest. (source) He isn’t taking it lying down — he’s sued the TSA, and it does not appear to be a crackpot case.

11 Responses to More TSA idiocy

  1. tim says:

    The issue over the Orthodox Jews has less to do with the TSA and more to do with fellow passengers who freak out over people who look differently and doing something they are not comfortable with. Want to make a bet that the person or persons who reported them were evangelical christians?

    • Meh, I would imagine that evangelicals are pretty up on their orthojew rituals, since they have this nutty affection for Israel, thinking that once the Israelis take over the West Bank and drive out all the Palestinians, the Magic Space Zombie Jew will come back for them.

      • Pine says:

        The average evangelical knows little about their own Bible and church history, let alone the rituals of a particular sect of a small religious minority.

    • JT says:

      Actually I would rather hear about incidents like this all the time than deal with TSA idiocy that does nothing to actually protect us. Passenger awareness and reinforced cockpit doors: the only thing that has increased safety on airplanes since 2001.

  2. Marc says:

    At least they’re being *consistently* stupid, instead of being arbitrarily stupid and racist….

    That said, how long before saying “Bless you” to someone who sneezed is call for locking down the cockpit?

  3. jack kough says:

    uh maybe airplanes just aren’t the place ridiculous rituals…. except for those related to flight safety instructions

    • Rick says:

      “Ridiculous Rituals”? This is someone’s religion and all it includes is wrapping leather around arms and forehead, you know, like wearing a bracelet and headband. Sure, it looks weird to people who haven’t seen it before because there’s a little box on the headband, but seriously, you can equate it to as much trouble as a girl wearing a headband with a bow on it.

      The Airline Stewards, Pilots, and gate personnel should be made aware of different religious practices that are wide-spread and obvious. If a Muslim takes out a prayer mat to pray, should they be detained? If a Christian takes out a Bible, should they? If a Jew puts on taliseem, should they?

      • I don’t think that the crew should have to undergo training to recognize the religious practices of every silly desert cult that might pop up on their plane. But, I do think that if you’ve lived in the western world for any length of time, you would have at some point seen this ritual on TV, in pictures, or in person.

  4. Dan Someone says:

    Somewhat tangentially, the word “orthojew” makes me wonder if there are also isojews out there somewhere….

  5. I have never seen or heard of this ritual. I’m not sure but I think ortho-jews are the ones with earlocks and hats and mostly black clothes. But maybe those are the isojews, I can never keep them straight.

    But leather? Man, that’s kinky.

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