Fri | Jul 20, 2018

Andrews' sex rule discriminatory to women

Published:Tuesday | June 14, 2016 | 12:00 AM


The recent actions by the president and board of the Seventh-day Adventist-owned Andrews Memorial Hospital to discipline and terminate employees who allegedly engage in fornication and adultery, and forcing pregnant single-employee moms to use the back entrance of the hospital, have no biblical basis and are morally reprehensible.

It is reminiscent of blacks in the United States who, less than 50 years ago, had to utilise back entrances to hotels, or eat at the back kitchen doors at major restaurant chains. It is also reminiscent of the scarlet letter and the Salem witch-hunts.

It is also interesting to note that Ellen G. White, the co-founder and prophet of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, would not have survived the Salem witch-hunts, as she was frail, frequently ill, had regular seizures, and was also in trances when she made her predictions - all then moral evidence of possession by 'demons' and thus punishable by burning at the stake.

The decision to actually punish employees for moral sins, rather than giving them a chance for redemption, is actually ill-conceived and has no biblical or church basis for action on several fronts.

First, the employees are not officers of the Church; they work at a hospital, a place for sick people. Second, the hospital should have a policy of non-discrimination that protects both women and men, and punishes sexual harassment and behaviour that undermine the professional nature of the hospital environment. Thirdly, for a religious institution, we should at least use the Bible as a reference to guide or give some credence to the newly implemented policy.

If the leadership is so concerned about the moral failures of the staff, they should have a meeting with all the male employees and have them make a pledge to cease and desist from attempting to get into the nurses' panties, or, at the very least, put a lid on it.

I am hoping and praying for quick court action to declare this type of action discriminatory to women, who are now the major wage earners in Jamaica. I am also hoping that the Church will vote out or fire these self-righteous leaders.