big yellow (booze-filled) taxi

in case you\’re unaware of the latest kerfuffle between the metropolitan airport commission and taxi drivers, this is a good summary. in short, muslim cabbies are denying transport of passengers who are carrying alcohol, due to their religious beliefs. the MAC held a hearing yesterday where numerous white people, accustomed to carrying booze anywhere they pleased, showed up to voice their displeasure.

this debate has been going on for a while now. i was actually reflecting on it last friday night when i took a taxi from the airport home to apple valley. ironically, i was carrying a vessel of booze in the cab, but either the driver didn\’t know it, or one\’s stomach doesn\’t count.


as i was riding home, i remembered that a similar debate arose almost three years ago now, when a handful of CVS pharmacists refused to dispense birth control pills to women on religious grounds. (a good recap can be found here.) according to a google search, there have been a few incidents pop up since then (four walgreen\’s pharmacists were fired in 2005) but, for the the most part, the issue has disappeared. i also checked the website for Pharmacists for Life International, and the don\’t appear to have any new news on regulations, etc. and, while i don\’t want to get on the topic of abortion, the PFLI site did have this, which i found really terrifying.

i\’m interested to see how this turns out, personally. despite initial promises (threats?), it appears no state laws were passed to allow pharmacists to refuse and refer prescriptions. will the MAC enact rules that would suspend licenses of cabbies who refuse to transport passengers with alcohol? who do you think will get more favorable treatment– professional, educated white folks who make their objections on (incredibly shaky) christian grounds? or blue-collar muslims who are trying to follow the koran? i have a guess.

however, to me, they\’re all the same. the crux is this: if there is an aspect of your job that you have moral issues with, you need to get a new job. (note that i\’m excluding legal concerns, which contains harassment.) if my boss told me tomorrow that my new assignment was going to antarctica to kick penguins, i would tell him that i can\’t do this job anymore. it\’s this bogus sense of entitlement that people seem to have: \”i have a right to this job.\” no, you don\’t. unless someone is doing something to you that is prohibited by law, or unless you\’re being asked to do something that is prohibited by law, your refusal has no legal grounds to stand on.

so, cabbies, i\’m sorry, but if you decide that following the koran is of ultimate importance, i\’ve got no problem with that. it just means, though, that you need a new line of work. have you considered unitedhealth group? we\’re always looking for business analysts. 🙂







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