Say 'God bless' and we will sack you
Statement from the Christian Legal Centre Regarding DUKE AMACHREE
Today, 3rd December 2009, marks the launch of the ‘Justice For Duke’ Campaign, to win justice for Christian employee of Wandsworth Borough Council Duke Amachree, unfairly dismissed in July 2009 for mentioning God in the workplace. The campaign will include placement of London bus advertisements, political intervention, a day of prayer and a candlelight vigil outside Wandsworth Town Hall on the evening of the appeal.
Although the Christian Legal Centre has seen a huge increase in cases of Christians suffering in the workplace the case of Duke Amachree, 53, and a father of 3, is one of the most astonishing for the extreme treatment of a long serving employee when there was no breach of contract and where the supposed ‘misdemeanour’ was the merest mention of God.
Andrea Williams, Director of the Christian Legal Centre, representing Mr Amachree, said today: “Duke’s case is an extraordinary example of the politically-correct but self–contradictory and intellectually and morally bankrupt culture of equality and diversity gone mad.
“Duke is a gentle, intelligent and compassionate man who served Wandsworth Council diligently for18 years – providing a vital service as a homelessness prevention officer.
“One day, in a client meeting, a woman spoke of her illness, which doctors had pronounced incurable. Moved by compassion Duke, a sincere and kind-hearted man of faith, offered comfort by commenting that sometimes the doctors don’t know everything and encouraging her to consider putting her faith in God. Two days later Duke was handed a letter informing him he had been suspended, had his ID pass confiscated and was escorted from the premises.
“Is this really the Britain we live in? Whether we have faith or not, to the mind of every reasonable person I speak to, this treatment is astonishing.
“We at the Christian Legal Centre are in full support of Duke Amachree and invite all reasonable people to call for Duke to be reinstated at his internal appeal hearing taking place at Wandsworth Town Hall on 15th December.
“We are posting a special campaign website www.justiceforduke.com. Details of upcoming events, including the Candlelight Vigil on 15 December will be listed there, as well as a blog and all news as the campaign develops. We hope this will be a rallying point of support for a good man terribly treated in a Britain nobody visiting our time from the 1950s would recognise or want to believe was real.
“Amazingly, Duke’s solicitor was even told in a meeting prior to Duke’s dismissal that it was not advisable to say ‘God bless’ either, giving rise to the very apt headline earlier this year ‘Say “God Bless” and We’ll Sack You’.
“I hope this campaign will not only win Duke back his job in time for Christmas but also send a signal that the majority of people in Britain, whatever their beliefs, can see this for what it is and demand a return to a proportionate, common sense approach to religious faith in our society. Indeed, this I believe would make an excellent Christmas present for us all”.