Every so often, Sam sends me an email with a story of a Christian doing something stupid and asks incredulously if I could possibly approve of the horrible actions. Sometimes I agree with Sam’s take. Sometimes I disagree. Occasionally, I take a more liberal, nuanced view of the situation. This is one of the nuanced times.
On the surface, it seems idiotic that a doctor would refuse to treat a young girl with an ear infection because the girl’s mother has a tatoo. On the surface, I agree with that. But there are issues beyond the surface that must be considered.
Personally, I think the doctor is doing more harm to Christianity than good. As Sam, points out at his blog – this runs contrary to the way Jesus and devout followers such as Mother Theresa ministered to those around them.
Jesus was notorious for attracting the outcasts of society. If he were alive today, it is a sure bet that he would spend more time on the streets with the “bad seeds” of our culture than with the stained glass community.
This doctor could show more Christian principles by going out and offering a free clinic in the inner city or in a local trailer park. I don’t know that the doctor is not doing this already, but it seems to run contrary to his office standards.
Having said all that, as a private business, the doctor has the right to refuse to see anyone for whatever reason he would like. (There are exceptions with life and death, but this was not the case with the little girl.) He has posted in his office that he has a dress code of sorts for his office. If someone violates that, he is well within his rights to refuse treatment.
He says that he wants to create a certain atmosphere in his office and does not want tatoos and other things there that may cause people to be uncomfortable. It is also true that the parent and child may go to another doctor that will see them without any problem. Their insurance company has already said that would be the case.
The mother however has decided that she doesn’t care what rights the individual business owner may have, she’s demanding the policy be changed and an apology issued for making her feel like an outsider. One can assume a lawsuit will be forthcoming. The mother had more sympathy from me until she took this position.
So as a Christian, I find it appalling that one would use their faith in Christ as a reason to discriminate, especially when the most harm is done to a small child, who had no control over her mother’s apperance.
But as a private property advocate, I support his decision to enforce whatever type of treatment policy he wants. I simply wish, he wouldn’t use Jesus to hide behind.