By B. Michael Bigg
I think it pertinent to publish the following email newsletter from the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), United Kingdom.
Whilst reading it, consider whether or not this is a tactic of the devil, secularists and/or atheists, who seek to illicit a response by Christians for the sole purpose of making a complaint against them. Is this a new approach whereby Christians who “give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Pet 3:15) are then brought to task for answering the very person who asks the question? No doubt further information will emerge as the “complaint” is investigated.
12 April 2009
Archbishop's Homeless Charity Suspends Christian for Answering Questions about His Faith to Colleague at Work
An employee at a Christian 'homeless' charity, whose Patron is the Archbishop of Canterbury, has been suspended for answering questions about his faith to a colleague at work.
David Booker, aged 44, a Christian from Southampton, has worked for the English Churches Housing Group for almost four years. On 26 March (2009), whilst working an evening shift, he had a 35 minute conversation with a female colleague, Fiona Vardy. Ms Vardy asked him about his faith and beliefs. During the conversation he was asked the Church's teaching on homosexuality and same-sex marriages, which Mr Booker explained. The conversation was free-flowing and Mr Booker clearly explained that he had homosexual friends and that he was not homophobic.
The following day he was summoned by his employers and told that he was suspended for “events that happened last night”. On March 30, he was given a formal suspension notice alleging that: “On 26 March 09, whilst on shift with Fiona Vardy, you seriously breached ECHG's (English Churches Housing Group) Code of conduct by promoting your religious views which contained discriminatory comments regarding a person's sexual orientation.”
Threatened with the sack for 'gross misconduct' under the charity's Culture and Diversity Code of Conduct, Mr Booker has sought the advice of the CLC, who in turn have instructed Paul Diamond, the leading human rights lawyer to represent him.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, barrister and director of CLC said:
Mr Booker has been suspended since 27 March for two weeks pending investigation. No date has been set for the investigation and disciplinary hearing. This case shows that in today's politically correct, increasingly secularized society, even consenting reasonable discussion on religion between two employees is being twisted by employers to discriminate and silence the Christian voice and freedom of expression.
To date, the English Churches Housing Group is funded largely by churches throughout Hampshire, who, we are sure will be shocked at the attitude and action taken by a Christian organisation towards a Christian employee. The Archbishop of Canterbury, as Patron, has confirmed the Church's teaching on marriage, same-sex relationships and homosexuality and that [it] is in the public domain. We are interested to know whether his Patronage is now under threat under the charity's Culture and Diversity Code of Conduct?
ECHG (English Churches House Group) has recently been taken over by Society of St James (a charity providing homes for the homeless).
Andrea Minichiello Williams
Unfortunately, this latest action against a Christian who either stands up for his or her faith, answers questions to those who ask, offers to pray for the sick and dying, or says, “God Bless You”, appears to be but another snowball in the avalanche of anti- Christian bias in England. And all such action would – not doubt – be deemed inappropriate if the person concerned were a Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or something else; for then it would fall into the category of being culturally sensitive in a multicultural society.
Is it surprising then that as God rejected Israel for rejecting Him, in the Old Testament, that perhaps God is now rejecting those countries of the West who are rejecting their Christian Heritage, God Himself and the Lord Jesus Christ? And where God's judgement meant that Israel was successfully harassed by her enemies (the Philistines, Assyria, Babylon, etc), now the West is harassed from within by the descendants of those very same people. The thing to remember though is that God's judgement was an attempt to bring Israel back to Him – the question is whether or not it is too late for the West and whether or not the time of grace is nearing its end – leaving only the time of God's wrath.
Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! For what good is the day of the LORD to you? It will be darkness, and not light. It will be as though a man fled from a lion, And a bear met him! Or as though he went into the house, Leaned his hand on the wall, And a serpent bit him! Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light? Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it? - Amos 5:18-20