This week, Consultant paediatrician David Drew lost his appeal against dismissal for sending a prayer to his colleagues by email
By Richard Littlejohn
The persecution of practising Christians in Britain has been a recurring theme of this column.
Publicly-funded bodies seem to take a perverse delight in targeting staff with a strong Christian faith.
‘Celebrating diversity’ is our new State religion. We must accommodate all beliefs and, in the case of extremist Islam, tolerate practices which most people in this country find alien and abhorrent.
If you’re Muslim, special prayer rooms will be set aside for you. Hospital canteens will force everyone to eat halal meat. Feel free to wear the veil, madam. If you’re a Pagan, you’ll be granted time off work to celebrate the Summer Solstice.
But if you’re Christian, you praise the Lord at your peril. Take that crucifix off now, or find another job.
This week, a Christian doctor lost his appeal against dismissal for sending a prayer to his colleagues by email. Consultant paediatrician David Drew thought the 16th century prayer, To Give And Not To Count The Cost, by St Ignatius Loyola, would be motivational. It reads:
Teach us, good Lord
To serve as You deserve,
To give and not to count the cost,
To fight and not to heed the wounds,
To toil and not to seek for rest,
To labour and not to ask for any reward,
Save that of knowing that we do Your will.
The prayer might not be to everyone’s taste, but I can’t understand why anyone would be remotely offended by it. What if Dr Drew had sent round a copy of Kipling’s inspirational poem:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you . . .
Would that have been a hanging offence? Of course not.
Dr Drew was hauled before a disciplinary committee and told to keep his religious beliefs to himself. When he refused, he was found guilty of committing ‘gross misconduct and insubordination’ and sent packing with his P45.
You don’t have to be a Bible-bashing Godbotherer to feel disquiet over an industrial tribunal’s decision to uphold his sacking.
Dr Drew claims that his bosses at Walsall Manor Hospital (pictured) were looking for an excuse to get rid of him because he had consistently accused them of putting patient safety at risk
Dr Drew claims that his bosses at Walsall Manor Hospital were looking for an excuse to get rid of him because he had consistently accused them of putting patient safety at risk.
He’s almost certainly right, so why did they choose to sack him over his ‘motivational’ email? Simple: they knew that a devout Christian doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of convincing a tribunal that he’s been the victim of religious discrimination.
The corridors of the industrial tribunals system are littered with the corpses of Christians sacrificed on the altar of ‘diversity’.
Members of tribunals are trained to be concerned only with upholding the rights of perceived ‘persecuted minorities’. Their verdicts are guided by the doctrines of ‘sexism’, ‘racism’ and a litany of fashionable ‘phobias’.
Adherents of ‘minority’ religions will always get the benefit of the doubt. But Christians are on a hiding to nothing, since they represent the ‘oppressors’.
At Mid Staffs Hospital Trust, 1,200 NHS patients died because of a culture of neglect, incompetence and callous indifference. Not a single doctor or manager responsible has been sacked, arrested or jailed
An old trades union friend of mine who until recently sat on an industrial tribunal in London explained to me how it works.
If a woman or a member of an ethnic minority is sacked for whatever reason, their lawyers will always advise them to claim ‘sexism’ or ‘racism’. Employers will be considered guilty as charged unless they can prove their innocence.
Take the case of 21-year-old call centre worker Elizabeth Cowhig, from Liverpool, who was this week awarded £13,000 after alleging that she had suffered unwanted sexual advances from her male boss.
There doesn’t appear to be any evidence to support her claim. It was her word against his. Miss Cowhig’s boss said she’d been sacked because she wasn’t up to the job.
But employment judge Dawn Shotter decided in her favour ‘on the balance of probabilities’. Maybe the judge suspected her boss of being a Christian.
Please don’t delude yourself that industrial tribunals are neutral courts designed to give redress to those who have been unfairly treated by their ruthless employers. Their primary purpose, like that of every other State institution, is to enforce the official cult of ‘diversity’ and to further the cause of aggressive secularism.
Justice doesn’t enter the equation. Dr Drew’s religious beliefs may not be everyone’s cup of meat, but he hasn’t killed anyone.
Up the road from Walsall, at Mid Staffs Hospital Trust, 1,200 NHS patients died because of a culture of neglect, incompetence and callous indifference. Not a single doctor or manager responsible has been sacked, arrested or jailed.
Yet Dr Drew, who has been caring for patients for 37 years, has been stripped of his career for sending a harmless prayer to his colleagues and standing up for his Christian beliefs.
Praise the Lord.