Delusional housing officer given the boot

The Christian Concern for our Nation website takes up their cudgels to stand up for a sacked housing officer: Justice for Duke Campaign. In common with many religious sites, there doesn’t appear to be a comment feature for curmudgeonly atheists such as I to respond. Any road, the article describes how

Bible-believing Christian Duke Amachree, married and father of 3 children who had served Wandsworth Council as a Homelessness Prevention Officer diligently for 18 years, was dismissed in circumstances Christians and non-Christians alike across the country rightly view as completely outrageous.

Well this non-Christian (actually atheist) doesn’t find it completely outrageous, at least based on the evidence presented by CCfoN.

In January of this year, Duke was helping a client with her housing situation. The client had seen various doctors who had told her that she had an incurable medical condition. Out of compassion for her, Duke commented that sometimes the doctors don’t know everything –and encouraged her to consider putting her faith in God.

The client went on to complain to Amachree’s managers, who then fired him. CCfoN are organising a Petition, Campaign, special website and Candlelight Vigil 15 December 2009 in support of this individual, who, in their capacity as a housing officer, advised a seriously ill client that she should put her faith in his Invisible Magic Friend rather than her doctors.

I say (on the basis on this information provided by CCfoN), Wandsworth Council did the right thing.  I’d be interested to hear what medical qualifications Mr Amachree possesses.  Other than superstitious beliefs.  I can well believe Mr Amachree may have believed he was doing his best for this client, but he clearly overstepped the mark.

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  1. Chris Lamke’s avatar

    Hello.

    I'm a humanist living in the US and I saw your article in my Planet Humanism news feed. I think the housing officer was clearly out of line, but if this is his first offense, I think written counseling is more appropriate than firing. I don't know much about the laws in your nation, so maybe firing is mandatory. Still, firing this man seems rather extreme (unjust), potentially deprives the community of a good social worker, and makes him a martyr (something that tends to strengthen Christianity).

    I think the world would be a much better place without believers in gods, but until we can find something that will replace many people's "need" for these beliefs, we'll have to co-exist with them.

    Co-existence doesn't mean expressing approval of beliefs we think are unfounded or harmful, or keeping our own beliefs in the closet, but it does mean showing compassion for those who can't help but express their beliefs to others. Compassion is always the right approach.

    I think the atheist bus project in the UK is a great example of balance in clearly voicing our opinion and letting people know we're here (and maybe even making them think about their beliefs) while not being threatening. I bought several of the "There's probably no god" stickers to put on our family cars.

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  2. GrumpyBob’s avatar

    All I know is the shrill CCfoN story – it may well be that there have been prior incidents. Usually people don't get fired for a single event, and an escalating series of written warnings are issued.

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  3. Neal O’s avatar

    Chris is spot on with the issue and without evidence to the contrary I am sure GrumpyBob is correct too. He must have prior form to justify getting the sack for this.

    Reply

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