Thu | Sep 20, 2018

Letter of the Day | Andrews' morality clauses contravene spirit of Jesus

Published:Wednesday | June 15, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Dr Patric Rutherford, then CEO of Andrews Memorial Hospital who sought to enforce a staff policy against fornication and adultery.


To quote Mark Cowan in the Gleaner front-page article, 'US Adventist blasts Andrews' sex policy; lawyer stands with hospital', published June 13, 2016,

"The hospital has every right to insert morality clauses into its terms and conditions of employment to protect its image, reputation and moral standing with the public."

I wouldn't for a moment deprive the hospital of its legal right to invoke 'morality' clauses in its contractual arrangements. There are, however, two very important provisos to such an action. First, what would Jesus do? Sacred Scripture is replete with instances wherein Jesus could have sought to consider His 'moral' image. Think of the Scribes and Pharisees often accusing him of being in the company of sinners, sharing a meal with tax collectors; healing those it was felt were blind because of the sins of their parents; Mary Magdalene; the woman at the well; and the list could continue.

Did such criticism or the lowering of Himself in the eyes of his detractors dissuade him? Quite the contrary. I often wonder how 'Christians' can reasonably expect to reach those they perceive as being lost without getting into the mess of their lives. Consider the examples above. Isn't that what Jesus did? He met the sinners where they were. No legal preconditions attached.

As such, if Christians are to be truly Christian, our actions should reflect the humanity that Jesus showed - being Christian in deed and not merely by name, not slaves to the law like the Scribes and Pharisees.

Second, what are the implications, if any, of Section 3(i) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedom, which ought to protect every Jamaican against discrimination, including on grounds of religion. Shouldn't such a policy be scrutinised in view of the charter?