It seems astonishing that someone would be offended by a simple prayer card placed on an airline’s meal tray, but I guess that’s the politically correct world we live in now. A few days ago, Rev. Franklin Graham gave me a heads up that Alaska Airlines may discontinue its nice, decades-long Alaskan tradition of including a little prayer card on flight meal trays. Rev. Graham is a frequent flyer to Alaska on Alaska Airlines because of his missionary work. Of course, as an Alaskan I’m also a frequent flyer on this airlines, which always seems to provide superb service. When I heard from Rev. Graham, I immediately sent the following letter to the CEO and President of Alaska Airlines.
It feels so odd that some may be offended by a little card with an encouraging non-denominational verse from the Psalms, but how often do we hear complaints about tawdry ads or billboard images flashing at us everywhere we turn? People of faith and common decency just shrug and move on from the constant assault on their sensibilities; we don’t call for censorship – at least I don’t. So, why in this day and age must every reference to faith in God be censored from the public square? Why must a private company buckle under pressure from a handful of people who find a little card saying “the Lord is my shepherd” offensive? I’m sure there are many more people who appreciate the cards, or at least are ambivalent about them.
Is it any wonder that people of faith feel their beliefs are constantly marginalized or even under outright attack when we hear reports like this and stories about Catholic institutions being forced to sue the Obama administration over their right to conscience objections? This Alaska Airlines story is just about a simple meal card, but for these Catholic institutions it’s about an issue that cuts to the heart of their deepest religious beliefs.
Here is the letter I sent to Alaska Airlines, and I encourage other customers to let their voices be heard. Granted, it’s hip to wage war on American traditions lately – especially anything faith-based – but for many of us it’s just not in our DNA to merely shrug off the nonsensical attacks on positive, inspiring, and (in my opinion) needed encouragement today.
Dear Mr. Ayer and Mr. Tilden:
Thank you for your tremendous service to Alaskans and so many others over all these years! We love Alaska Airlines. As I tell everyone, it is my favorite.
In my book “Going Rogue” I gave a special shout-out to airline employees because of the extraordinary customer service and good attitudes I witness on flights that my family and I take around this great country. It’s inspiring and impressive to see the sweet spirit of hard working airline employees shine, in spite of sometimes difficult people and circumstances dealt with everyday.
Also inspiring and impressive, and very encouraging, is the special touch Alaska Airlines has blessed fliers with for many years. Your small prayer cards that remind us of the beauty of thankfulness have never ceased to amaze me. In this tumultuous world, finding this little tangible reminder of such an important virtue is always uplifting! Thank you for providing the cards.
It’s come to my attention that the cards may be discontinued due to a few who are offended. I really hope this is just a rumor. Please remain strong and courageous in the face of a cultural trend that wants to wage war on any positive thing that a few may construe as offensive. The Alaska Airlines tradition should be looked upon as an all-American, hopeful, encouraging gesture. Please don’t discontinue the cards.
Thank you again for your service!
Sarah Palin and family