A London council that bans staff from saying “God bless” at work has sacked a Christian employee for discussing his faith.
Duke Amachree, a homelessness prevention officer, was initially suspended for suggesting that a terminally ill woman look to God for help.
After investigating the incident his employer, Wandsworth Council in London, has decided to dismiss him from his job.
His solicitor, Michael Phillips, says during an investigation meeting Mr Amachree was told it is inappropriate to ever talk about God in the workplace and that he could be disciplined even if he said “God bless” to clients.
Mr Phillips said: “On 17 March, Mr Amachree’s employers told him that ‘God had to be kept out of the workplace’. He was accused of crossing boundaries. The issue of religion, according to the interviewer, should not be raised in a housing issue.
“I, on behalf of Mr Amachree, queried this statement by asking if ‘God bless’ would be an appropriate comment. He was told that it would not be appropriate and that any complaint would again lead to an investigation.”
But Wandsworth Council has accused Mr Phillips of taking remarks made in the meeting out of context.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, director of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “We are supporting Mr Amachree in this case because it is absurd and unjust to think that any public body could be in a position to enforce a policy which means that you can’t even say ‘God Bless’.
“This would effectively mean that faith would become entirely privatised. A Christian cannot leave faith out of any aspect of his or her life including work.”
Earlier this year, commenting after a spate of cases involving Christians being punished at work, the Archbishop of York said: “There is no more urgent time than now to break down the compartmentalised thinking that separates trust in God from the world of work.”
In an article for the Daily Mail he wrote: “Asking someone to leave their belief in God at the door of their workplace is akin to asking them to remove their skin colour before coming into the office. Faith in God is not an add-on or optional extra.”
He continued: “Those who display intolerance and ignorance, and would relegate the Christian faith to just another disposable lifestyle choice, argue that they operate in pursuit of policies based on the twin aims of ‘diversity and equality’.
“Yet, in the minds of those charged with implementing such policies, ‘diversity’ apparently means every colour and creed except Christianity”.
8 thoughts on “‘Do not say God bless’ council sacks Christian”
I think he meant well but what he did was inappropriate. The woman went to him for housing advice in his capacity as a homelessness prevention officer for the Council.
The director of the Christian Legal Centre is focussing on the ‘God bless’ issue which has nothing to do with why he was dismissed.
It is the culture of this country that we cannot share our religious ideas and concepts that makes you say what he did was inappropriate. The “God bless” issue is just showing clearly how biased against Christianity this council actually is.
It has always been inappropriate to share religious ideas at work because what you think is a religious idea may be offensive to someone else. The ‘God bless’ issue seems like a deflection tactic because it is not the reason Duke was dismissed. Besides, I can’t think of any situation at work where anyone would need to say ‘God bless’.
What he did is gross misconduct in most councils. Some councils give a written warning and some will dismiss. I once worked in a council that dismissed a worker for preaching to another worker.
It is nothing to do with bias but more to do with professionalism.
Why is it unprofessional, when not in work time, to discuss your views on life, the universe and everything with your co-workers?
I work in the private sector and we have had loads of conversations about things such as the grace of God, the death of Jesus, being born again, healing the sick, and so on. They have not been backward in sharing their views, why should Christians be restricted from sharing theirs.
If someone comes into the office on Monday morning and boasts about their fornication and drug use of the weekend, why is it unacceptable for us to talk about church on Sunday and the presence and power of the Lord Jesus Christ?
I was referring to Mr Amachree’s conduct being unprofessional because he did it at work. Where I work, some Christians discuss God among themselves and even try and convert other people. Where the problem occurs is if someone takes offence and makes a complaint. You never know who is going to make that complaint and the complaint is what triggers the investigation which could lead to disciplinary action. My co-workers don’t talk about fornication or drug use in the office because others will find it offensive.
You can call it backward if you want but if people cannot abide by the rules set by their employers then those people need to find employment that caters to their religious needs. Christians have co-workers who don’t believe in God or believe in Goddesses or whatever. For a bit of peace and quiet in the office, it’s best if everyone kept their religious views to themselves. People can talk about religion all they want in their own time.
waaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Far be it for this to happen here in the Philippines or anywhere else in the world. May the govt do something about this. Talking about God and saying God bless will not kill a person. Why not terminate the liars and the deceivers instead.
Mike, not sure if we want to kill people just for lying. But you are totally correct that God bless will not kill a person. Ideas and speech are free.
Angela, no one is saying that we should use our work time for anything other than actually doing work because that is what we are paid for and to not work is actually stealing from your employer. I am glad you work in an office that no-one talks about sin or glorifies sin but I can assure you from a pastoral point of view (and someone in full time employment) that this is an exception, not the norm. Someone’s faith shapes someone’s views and actions on every area of their life. If someone just kept their religion for Sunday, they would actually be a hypocrite. Interesting that you want YOUR view that everyone should keep their views to themselves to be imposed on everyone else – that is not keeping your view to yourself is it? That is taking your view and imposing it on everyone. That doesn’t seem fair!
If I work with people, I talk with them and if they ask what I did over the weekend, I might say “I went to church and a lady at church was healed, or someone was given a prophetic word, or something” and that might lead to a conversation about God. Normally if I think a co-worker wants to talk about the Lord I might take them out for lunch to have time on my time to talk or something, but if someone was in pain in the office, I would offer to pray for them there and then, and there should not be a code of conduct against that. If the individual chooses to refuse, I will respect that.
People should be allowed to be true to their relationship with God and their values,
Angela I fell so sorry for you. Have you ever had personal contact will GOD? Because if you do or did in any way, you would know that what Mr. Amachree did is not wrong. Treeoflondon has said it all.