Prayer device scares the crap out of airline passengers
I have to admit I got a bit of laugh over this bit of news. Apparently, flight 3079 out of LaGuardia was diverted to Philadelphia after security personnel mistook a Jewish prayer device, called a Tefillin, for some kind of home made bomb. A Tefillin is a set of small leather boxes painted black which contains passages from the Torah, and the leather strap is supposed to go around various parts of your body. It’s another weird and pointless tradition that is supposed to symbolize something important, but ends up merely looking weird and pointless; it’s just crappy sheep leather and bits of fucking paper.
It probably didn’t help that the 17 year old was also praying fairly loudly; people tend to freak out when they see a weird device being strapped on someone’s body by someone praying nervously. I don’t really blame airport security or the FBI for their lack of familiarity with Jewish traditions: with all the crazy shit religionists consider sacred and divine, it’s hard to keep track of it sometimes. The one thing I love from this story is it just goes to show people really aren’t afraid of atheists like you and me. When push comes to shove, it’s the individuals with strong religious convictions that scare the shit out of us, and for good reasons; they’re usually the ones blowing shit up in the name of their imaginary friends, not us.
(props to Alison for the find)