Coast Guard Goes Kosher

According to the New York Sun (link), the Coast Guard has finally decided to allow service members to wear yarmulkes. I didn’t know that they weren’t allowed to before, but they’ve caught up with the other Armed Forces in allowing it now.


Mind you, the rules don’t simply say that yarmulkes are allowed. And they don’t say that any religious headgear is allowed. There are restrictions.


For example, allowable religious headgear must fit under a hat. This seems reasonable, since a hat is part of the uniform of a person in the Coast Guard.


But this rule will obviously exclude a turban, or a headscarf. Which is why it’s rarely a good idea to make broad statements about religious rights.


That is, it’s rarely a good idea to say, “No one should ever have to choose between honoring their religion and keeping their job, especially our servicemen and women.” Which is what John Kerry said about the yarmulke case. Will he say it again about turbans?

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