PDA

View Full Version : nurse 'ordered to remove crucifix... at hospital where Muslims allowed head scarves



PoliCon
03-31-2010, 03:14 AM
A Christian nurse was ‘forced to choose between her job and her faith’ after being ordered to remove her crucifix at a hospital where Muslim staff wore headscarves unchallenged, a tribunal heard yesterday.

Shirley Chaplin, 54, said she had been wearing the religious symbol around her neck without complaint for 31 years before she was ordered to hide it away.

But the grandmother claims that after refusing to comply and then pointing out that two women doctors were allowed to wear headscarves, she was moved to a desk job.

Her case has caused uproar among Christian support groups, who feel their beliefs are not being given the same respect as other faiths. At the weekend her case against the NHS was backed by seven senior Anglican bishops who issued a national letter of support.

Yesterday, on the first day of an employment tribunal, Mrs Chaplin, from Kenn, near Exeter, Devon, told of her fight to be allowed to carry on wearing the crucifix.

She is claiming religious discrimination in a case backed by the Christian Legal Centre, which says her treatment is a symptom of increasing discrimination against Christians.

Mrs Chaplin is due to retire later this year but hopes the case will force the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital to change its policy so staff can openly wear crucifixes.

The hospital says she was asked to remove the necklace after a risk assessment showed it could be pulled by one of the patients in her care. They insist it is a health and safety issue and that the problem is not with the crucifix but the necklace it is attached to.

Mrs Chaplin told the tribunal in Exeter she was given the crucifix as a confirmation present and had worn it without complaint throughout her 31-year career.

CONTINUED (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1261953/Christian-nurse-Shirley-Chaplin-crucifix-row-Royal-Devon-Exeter-Hospital.html)

noonwitch
03-31-2010, 10:02 AM
The nurses backers should suggest she wear the crucifix on either a short chain, or some other way to make it not be a choking hazard. Or, she could wear a little cross lapel pin.

FlaGator
03-31-2010, 10:08 AM
I am not sure, is wearing the head scarf a religious or cultural requirement?

There is no religious requirement in Christianity that requires the wearing of Christian symbols so it does not violate her faith to be asked to remove the cross. It may violate some other personal freedom but not her Christian faith.

Gingersnap
03-31-2010, 10:33 AM
From a health and safety point of view, a crazy person could do a lot more damage with a head scarf.

Of course, this isn't really about 'health and safety'. If it was, everybody coming into contact with patients would be required to have short hair, no glasses, and no jewelry of any kind (including wedding rings).

Novaheart
03-31-2010, 02:54 PM
The nurses backers should suggest she wear the crucifix on either a short chain, or some other way to make it not be a choking hazard. Or, she could wear a little cross lapel pin.

Her superiors refused a suggestion she wear the cross pinned to her uniform, to remove the ‘risk’ of the chain. She said this confirmed to her that ‘they simply wanted to remove the visibility of the crucifix’.

Novaheart
03-31-2010, 02:55 PM
I am not sure, is wearing the head scarf a religious or cultural requirement?

There is no religious requirement in Christianity that requires the wearing of Christian symbols so it does not violate her faith to be asked to remove the cross. It may violate some other personal freedom but not her Christian faith.

It is done to keep the lice off the camel.

Gingersnap
03-31-2010, 03:21 PM
I am not sure, is wearing the head scarf a religious or cultural requirement?

There is no religious requirement in Christianity that requires the wearing of Christian symbols so it does not violate her faith to be asked to remove the cross. It may violate some other personal freedom but not her Christian faith.

Technically, this is true. Christians as a group don't have a distinctive garb. However, if wearing it is an important part of her identity as a Christian, then she gets the same pass as any other identity group.

Probably this "rule" was designed to appease Muslims who might object to an overt Christian or Jewish symbol. It would be better if the hospital explained what Western tolerance is and why that value is critically important.

FlaGator
03-31-2010, 03:29 PM
Technically, this is true. Christians as a group don't have a distinctive garb. However, if wearing it is an important part of her identity as a Christian, then she gets the same pass as any other identity group.

Probably this "rule" was designed to appease Muslims who might object to an overt Christian or Jewish symbol. It would be better if the hospital explained what Western tolerance is and why that value is critically important.

I am sure that you are right about the real purpose of this order, but one's Christian identity shouldn't be defined by a symbol, it should be defined by faith in Jesus Christ. I like wearing my cross and I rarely remove it, however if by job required me to take it off or not to display it I wouldn't have an issue with it. To have that much of ones identity invested in a symbol borders on idolatry. I believe the same things about Muslims and their veneration of the Koran.

PoliCon
03-31-2010, 03:36 PM
asking someone to put away the visible signs of their faith is what I see at the heart of this. I don't see the nurse being attached to the crucifix per-say - I see it more as bucking against having been told that you have to hide what is an outward expression of her faith.

Novaheart
03-31-2010, 03:44 PM
I am sure that you are right about the real purpose of this order, but one's Christian identity shouldn't be defined by a symbol, it should be defined by faith in Jesus Christ. I like wearing my cross and I rarely remove it, however if by job required me to take it off or not to display it I wouldn't have an issue with it. To have that much of ones identity invested in a symbol borders on idolatry. I believe the same things about Muslims and their veneration of the Koran.

Every Abrahamic religion swears off idolatry and then practices it while denying it. This is not the point, though as an atheist I enjoy watching this. At the same time, all Jews, Christians, and Moslems are forbidden to have pierced ears or tattoos... but they do. A religion has an undeniable role in a culture, but the expression of that religion in the culture is often itself ill defined. A secular Jew wears a Star Of David because he is an ethnic Jew, not because he is religious Jew.

By the same token, other than Buddhism I am not aware of a religion that requires you to take a bullet. Most have little tricks their clerics have invented over the centuries such that a person doesn't have to stop in the middle of a battle to pray or kneel. Even Buddhists have been known to say, "Meh, it's not really so much a "must" as an "oughta"."

Whether we're talking about not cutting beards or wearing a cross, we're really talking about customs. Would it be OK for an employer to arbitrarily order women to wear a dress only? No. We've decided that employers (other than select exceptions like fashion houses) cannot tell women they have to wear dresses. At the moment, they are still permitted to tell men that they may NOT wear dresses, but even if you aren't particularly adventuresome or open minded you can see that it's discrimination to allow women to wear pants but forbid men to wear dresses.

Face it- they told this woman to remove the cross because somebody complained about it and they thought they were taking the path of least resistance. I am an atheist, but if I worked with this woman, I'd be having crosses embroidered on my scrubs.

Sonnabend
03-31-2010, 07:04 PM
Some years ago, my wife related the story of how she and her fellow nurses needed to "lay out" a Muslim woman who had died. The husband, showing recent bruises on his knuckles from walking in, bluntly ordered my wife and the other nurse to put on headscarves...or else.

Two minutes later he was profusely apologising to the armed night guard on duty, and to my wife as well. I am reliably informed the man is and was a creep of the first order. It's cultural, not religious.


The nurses backers should suggest she wear the crucifix on either a short chain, or some other way to make it not be a choking hazard. Or, she could wear a little cross lapel pin.

Or she can keep wearing it as she has for 31 years, and they can leave her the hell alone.

FlaGator
03-31-2010, 09:33 PM
Every Abrahamic religion swears off idolatry and then practices it while denying it. This is not the point, though as an atheist I enjoy watching this. At the same time, all Jews, Christians, and Moslems are forbidden to have pierced ears or tattoos... but they do. A religion has an undeniable role in a culture, but the expression of that religion in the culture is often itself ill defined. A secular Jew wears a Star Of David because he is an ethnic Jew, not because he is religious Jew.

By the same token, other than Buddhism I am not aware of a religion that requires you to take a bullet. Most have little tricks their clerics have invented over the centuries such that a person doesn't have to stop in the middle of a battle to pray or kneel. Even Buddhists have been known to say, "Meh, it's not really so much a "must" as an "oughta"."

Whether we're talking about not cutting beards or wearing a cross, we're really talking about customs. Would it be OK for an employer to arbitrarily order women to wear a dress only? No. We've decided that employers (other than select exceptions like fashion houses) cannot tell women they have to wear dresses. At the moment, they are still permitted to tell men that they may NOT wear dresses, but even if you aren't particularly adventuresome or open minded you can see that it's discrimination to allow women to wear pants but forbid men to wear dresses.

Face it- they told this woman to remove the cross because somebody complained about it and they thought they were taking the path of least resistance. I am an atheist, but if I worked with this woman, I'd be having crosses embroidered on my scrubs.

First off, Christians aren't barred from having tattoo's and piercings. That is a hold over from the Hebrew societal laws that where put in place to separate Jews from their non-Jewish neighbors. Christianity opened the door to all cultures so the need for specific cultural identity no longer exists. With that being said, many Christians do feel that piercings and particularly tattoo's should be avoided because there is no specific scriptural abatement like there is with the dietary laws.

Also, you are making many broad assumptions such as the Star of David. Some do wear it for cultural or ethnic identity and some were it for religious identity. The cross has become a fashion statement but I wear mine specifically to identify myself as a Christian. Many people within a belief system take their beliefs extremely seriously. Broad brushing a whole group by calling their practice cultural customs misstates the seriousness in which many hold their religious beliefs.

Personally I take scripture very seriously. For example, Scripture teaches me that I am not to respond to violence with violence. I am considered an extreme pacifist in that I don't believe in violence even to protect myself. Would I fight back if attacked? I say that I won't but in the heat of the moment instinct may take over and I may answer violence with violence. I am not setting that up as an excuse because I would need to seek God's forgiveness for my actions.

The cross is a symbol adopted by Christian as an identifier. Others have picked it up and use it for their own cultural purposes but that doesn't change what a believer feels about it. Historically the cross isn't even the first symbol used to represent Christians. The earliest was the fish. The chi rho was also an early symbol and made famous by Constantine as the symbol he saw in a dream and had painted on the shields of his warriors.