7 News Archive
Only Christians need apply
By Ulli Diemer

Despite a clear provision in the Ontario Human Rights Code forbidding religious discrimination in hiring, a local group has been putting up flyers urging people to give jobs to Christians.

The Cabbagetown Mission of 218 Gerrard Street East, headed by Ross Murphy, has placed flyers on local church bulletin boards and corner lamp posts headed “Do You Have Odd Jobs for Christians?” The posters go on to promote “the need of Christians pulling together” and suggest that “You have to spend money to get these jobs done, so why not use Christians who need the money”. The mission is attempting to co-ordinate a job program for local Christians.

When he was asked by 7 News if he was aware of the law concerning religious discrimination, Mission Director Ross Murphy replied that people “do it (discriminate) all the time anyways. It’s just that we’re not trying to hide it - I’m not a hypocrite.”

Murphy said the Bible enjoined one to “do good onto all men, especially the household of faith.” “This means that if you have a choice between a Christian and a heathen for a job, you take the Christian if you love God,” he said. Saying that the kinds of jobs he was dealing with were odd jobs around peoples’ houses, Murphy claimed that a “lot of people don’t want people coming into their house that aren’t Christians because they don’t trust them.” “I’m not going to send someone to work for a Christian who has a disrespectful attitude to my God,” he said.

Describing the membership of his mission as “fanatics for Jesus - but not crazy,” Murphy said that he wouldn’t discriminate against Moslems, Jews, atheists, etc., but added that he thought someone of another faith would have trouble fitting in at the mission’s job placement service. “I don’t kick people out of here because they’re not Christians,” he explained, “but they leave anyway because they can’t stand the atmosphere.”

Murphy conceded, however, that it might have been a mistake to put up the posters. “Maybe I didn’t use my brains,” he said. “You can take them (the posters) down if you like.”

One of the churches displaying the poster, Regent Park United, acknowledged that it was “a very good point” to question the legality of the notices. A spokeswoman disclaimed any direct involvement with the campaign. “He (Ross Murphy) just came in and asked to put it up,” she said.

Published in Seven News, Volume 8, Number 21, March 25, 1978