On 20 October 2014, a Christian woman visited a Marie Curie Cancer Care Charity shop in Bournemouth and after making a purchase enquired whether they had any Bibles. To her surprise she was informed by the shop worker that they "do not sell them because it offends some people".
The Christian woman then decided to write a letter of complaint to Dr Jane Collins, the Chief Executive of Marie Curie Cancer Care, see below.
20 October 2014
Dr Jane Collins
Marie Curie Cancer Care
7th Floor, 89 Albert Embankment
London SE1 7TP
Dear Dr Collins
Whilst I admire your care for cancer patients and have supported your activities for many years, I was disturbed at the response I received this morning from an assistant in your shop in Poole Rd, Bournemouth, Westbourne, Bournemouth BH4 9DZ.
After purchasing an item I asked if you had any Bibles. I was told that you do not sell them because it offends some people. I was deeply offended to know that censorship of the Holy Bible was now a part of your sales policy. Our nation was founded on Christianity, Parliament opens in prayer and Her Majesty made a Coronation Oath to defend the Christian religion etc.
The Marie Curie strategy for 2014-17, which you are currently developing, has a "commitment to being an inclusive and diverse organisation". In addition, you are creating a diversity and inclusion framework and action plan.
How is it that your diversity and inclusion policy excludes the Bible? And what about employment for those with a Christian faith? How do you treat patients who value the truths of scripture? You further state that you:
• Value every individual
• All views and expectations are heard and respected
• Aim to demonstrate respect for all ... regardless of their age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, civil partnership status, disability, nationality, race, religion or belief.
If respect is shown for the transgendered, why does it not apply to a straightforward request for a Bible in your stores?
Can you please confirm if this policy is now standard procedure for your stores?
A Christian Woman (name withheld)
We are pleased to report that Dr Collins, responded very quickly on 24 October 2014, that a mistake had been made in the application of their Diversity Policy by the shop assistant and that staff retraining would be undertaken to correct the Political Correctness of some shop workers. She states "We have a commitment, as you rightly state, to being an inclusive and diverse organisation."
Further, she confirms that Marie Curie do not have restrictions on selling Bibles etc. They will address the concerns raised in her letter and the retraining of their staff and volunteers will make sure that the experience is not repeated; this goes for all their shops. Marie Curie Cancer Charity's Diversity Policy does not exclude the Bible or items which represent a religion or belief.
This just shows the importance of challenging political correctness. It's a shame there is no such response from most politicians.
Marie Curie Cancer Charity