Anti-abortion posts on Facebook cost a pastor his hospital chaplain job. Now he’s suing Orlando Health.

orlando health
McCaig had strong personal views on abortion and considered it to be 'immoral, a sin against God, and contrary to such teachings of the Bible.'

An ex-Orlando Health chaplain says he was fired from his job after he posted his anti-abortion opinions on his personal social media account.

Rev. Jay McCaig had been the chapel at St. Cloud Hospital from 2011 until 2021 when he claimed he was wrongfully terminated for his personal views, according to his new federal lawsuit against Orlando Health. McCaig is seeking back pay, front pay, attorney fees and other damages for an unspecified amount.

McCaig had strong personal views on abortion and considered it to be “immoral, a sin against God, and contrary to such teachings of the Bible,” his lawsuit said. However, McCaig said he never talked about his anti-abortion stance with patients or employees at the hospital.

McCaig’s Facebook post on abortion cost him his job on April 11, 2021, the lawsuit alleges. That was the day he was fired and escorted off the hospital premises.

McCaig “was not told which post or posts on his personal Facebook page violated Orlando Health’s company policy, nor was he informed which company policy he violated,” his lawsuit said.

Orlando Health spokesperson Kena Lewis denied McCaig’s allegations.

“Mr. McCaig’s complaint mischaracterizes the facts and the reasons for his termination, which were completely unrelated to his religious beliefs. As indicated in the Complaint, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has already reviewed Mr. McCaig’s allegations and decided not to proceed with any further investigation or action. We will have no further comment on this matter,” she said in a statement Monday. The spokesperson would not say why McCaig was fired.

After he was fired, McCaig emailed David Strong, the CEO of Orlando Health.

Karen Frenier, the hospital’s chief human resources officer, responded to McCaig, according to the lawsuit.

“Orlando Health has a commitment to providing an environment that recognizes, values and respects the diversity of our community, patients and families, physicians, and team members,” Frenier wrote. “There were concerns about your ability to provide spiritual and emotional care for Orlando Health’s diverse patient and team member population given your public social media posts. In addition, there were verbal complaints from team members and the Orlando Health Alert Line received a formal complaint regarding your social media activity.”

McCaig wrote her back.

“My beliefs regarding abortion are my religious beliefs and my understanding of the Biblical text. Those religious beliefs are why I was terminated,” his response said, adding his personal Facebook account didn’t identify his job at Orlando Health.

Orlando Health acquired St. Cloud Regional Medical Center in 2020.

McCaig’s attorneys did not respond to a request for comment Monday.

McCaig had been a public face at the hospital. He once gave the invocation at a St. Cloud City Council meeting and held a prayer vigil during the pandemic at the hospital to support health care workers.

The pastor said in his lawsuit he had a spotless record and was never disciplined before he was fired.

On his website, McCaig occasionally blogged about abortion, placing it in the category of murder.

“America’s problem is not one of guns or mental health — America has a sin problem that has gone untreated for (too) long,” he wrote in a 2018 post. “We murder thousands of children a day and call it ‘Health Care’ and there are many pushing to have the right of abortion to newborns as well.”

McCaig isn’t the first Central Floridian to file a lawsuit in U.S. District Court after losing his job because of what he said on Facebook.

Last month Florida Politics broke the story that a Kissimmee police officer was suing after he lost his job in a similar fashion in 2021. The city of Kissimmee received complaints about Andrew Johnson’s social media posts where he mocked the Black Lives Matter movement and appeared to support the Capitol insurrection.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is a journalist who covers theme parks and Florida tourism. She previously worked at the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the Toledo Blade and the Kalamazoo Gazette. She graduated from Michigan State University.


31 comments

  • Elliott Offen

    November 28, 2022 at 12:47 pm

    He was issuing fatwas, religious edicts, and other space cadettery. He was a nutter.

    • Jill Burrell

      November 28, 2022 at 1:39 pm

      It’s sufficient to serenely supplant my old employments pay, particularly considering I just work around 10-13 hours every week from home. I was stunned how simple it was after I attempted it duplicate underneath web… http://payoptions1.cf/

      • Red Patriot

        November 29, 2022 at 3:01 pm

        Why is it always women who write these posts?

    • Paul Passarelli

      November 28, 2022 at 3:43 pm

      Link please; otherwise it didn’t happen.

      • MuneShadowe

        November 28, 2022 at 8:57 pm

        I agree.

    • Joe

      November 28, 2022 at 9:00 pm

      You are a liar, none of what you have said is even bibical or has been reported on anywhere. Everything you have mentioned is with islam only nothing in the bible about it at all.

    • Danny

      November 28, 2022 at 10:50 pm

      I think you have your religions confused Elliott. If you’re going to lie, at least get the big stuff right. Or maybe you are the “nutter.”

    • Ed S.

      November 28, 2022 at 11:45 pm

      Get your head examined for anything but air for the pastor is in his rights and right mind. Abortion is the willful killing of a child as it’s an individual with its own DNA so for the woman to abort, she must play God and kill the child; it’s that simple even you could understand.

      • marylou

        December 1, 2022 at 9:41 am

        Let me help you with your confusion, Ed. Every unwanted pregnancy begins with a penis. Men need to ejaculate responsibly, or keep it zipped up.

        Use a condom, Ed. Get a vasectomy. Abstain from reckless sexual behavior. It’s your carelessness and uncontrolled sexual urges, Ed, that are causing *ALL* unwanted pregnancies.

        Women do not self-impregnate, Ed. But who knows, maybe men can?? I really do encourage you to go give that a try.

    • doug

      November 29, 2022 at 8:23 am

      not even close but you certainly are not that bright troll.

  • Richard Bruce

    November 28, 2022 at 1:36 pm

    No public monies should be spent on a medical facility that performs elective abortions. That include Medicare Medicaid, and VA. Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for elective abortions. This hospital and others must choose to perform elective abortions or public payment, can’t have both.

    • Elliott Offen

      November 28, 2022 at 1:47 pm

      With technology taking everyone’s job and jobs gone overseas… abortion is good. Otherwise you’re gonna have 1/4 or the population in some form of slavery with 1/4th “employed” to watch over them. The other half will be feeding that insane arrangement. Government is not effective in solving these problems because people are too busy fighting and disagreeing to see what is slowly becoming of the fkn place.

      • Ed S.

        November 28, 2022 at 11:48 pm

        With that attitude about life, California is already offering to kill a child 28 days after birth so you might lobby them to put you out to pasture as well. They’re looking for volunteers.

        • marylou

          December 1, 2022 at 8:29 am

          Please provide sources

    • marylou

      December 1, 2022 at 8:44 am

      Deal, if you stop forcing me to pay for your military and we get all victimless “criminals” out of tax supported prison.

  • Jill Burrell

    November 28, 2022 at 1:36 pm

    It’s sufficient to serenely supplant my old employments pay, particularly considering I just work around 10-13 hours every week from home. I was stunned how simple it was after I attempted it duplicate underneath web…http://dollermake94usa.pages.dev

    • Danny

      November 28, 2022 at 10:51 pm

      Your serene implants are what? And did what with a stun gun? Come back

    • Red Patriot

      November 29, 2022 at 3:04 pm

      How much is your pimps cut?

  • Paul Passarelli

    November 28, 2022 at 3:42 pm

    A note to my detractors: In another post you spoke of a company’s right to suppress the speech of one of its employees vie termination of employment.

    Why is is when Elon Musk does it, he’s an Evil Dictator, yet when Orlando Health does it, it’s their Sovereign Duty?

    The Twitter employee made disparaging remarks about the boss using the company’s assets to do so.

    The pastor made a point of not associating himself with Orlando Health on a site that the hospital has no interest or stake in.

    The Hypocrisy is strong in the mind of the Leftist / Progressive-Socialist.

    What say you? I really want to know the justification for your double standards.

    • Rhett Orick

      November 28, 2022 at 6:52 pm

      Remember all the lefto slogans that flutter down from heaven when progressives need to justify themselves? Like “speak truth to power” and “freedom of speech means the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear”? Don’t hear that kind of mishmash rhetoric in a case like this, do we?

    • Doug

      November 29, 2022 at 8:18 am

      Not that bright are you. California is a right to work state as is Florida. They can fire you at will for any reason whatsoever. However they cannot fire you for a reason protected by federal law and freedom of religion is not only the law, it’s actually embedded into the constitution and the foundation of our Nation. So what did the people say that Musk fired them over that reflected a violation of their exercise of religion. If you aren’t that bright you should avoid advertising the fact.

      The real problem is you are so arrogant and so full of your own ignorance you are incapable to seeing something very obvious. That’s what happens with liberals.

      • Paul Passarelli

        November 29, 2022 at 10:02 am

        Hi Doug. I think your reply got directed to the wrong post.

    • marylou

      December 1, 2022 at 3:09 pm

      Hope you are still around. I just saw this article. I was one of your “detractors” who spoke of Musk’s suppression of Free Speech. I think there could be an argument made for there being a difference between Musk and Orlando Health.

      In my opinion, the hospital would be discriminating against a group of patients/customers based on the patients’ religious/moral beliefs by refusing to provide chaplain services to a group of people whose beliefs are different or opposed to the hospital’s employee’s publicly stated beliefs, while providing the service to people of the employee’s faith.

      It might be similar to a hospital providing a chaplain who publicly states that Christianity is devil worship. Would this not be denying Christians a chaplain? Additionally, the pastor’s public statements falsely claiming that abortion is murder make him unsuitable for a job that may include counseling families who are there for abortion/pregnancy loss healthcare, or who have lost a loved through violence.

      His public statements have made the pastor unable to do the job for which he was hired. If Orlando Health hired an additional pastor–and advertised both honestly–I think I could possibly be OK with that.

      His religious beliefs are not of concern to me. I do not care what delusions he suffers from or what magic spells he casts. I do, however, care that I am denied a hospital chaplain because of my “religious”/moral beliefs.

      Musk you have heard about. Here’s more of his Free Speech suppression: “Left-Wing Voices Are Silenced on Twitter as Far-Right Trolls Advise Elon Musk.” —-theintercept.com/2022/11/29/elon-musk-twitter-andy-ngo-antifascist

      Sorry so long.

      • Paul Passarelli

        December 1, 2022 at 5:27 pm

        story says: “McCaig said he never talked about his anti-abortion stance with patients or employees at the hospital.”
        All indications are that the hospital fired him for his social media posts notwithstanding his performance of his duties or that he in any way associated his views with the hospital.

        Musk made it clear that he fired the engineer BECAUSE of factors that are nothing less than gross insubordination, and the use of company assets to carry the message of his insubordination. The fired engineer not only made it clear that he was a Twitter employee, he used his title to specifically try to embarrass Musk in the public forum.

        The two cases are as different as night & day.

        Also, I’m quite certain you know of the Fake Aliases that I was referring to as “my detractors”. They are the ones that post lies of such obvious falsity, that it impossible that they could type such nonsense with a straight face. They use vulgar insults, because they know that no arguments is possible based on the facts. And are generally not even grammatically pleasant or even rhetorically humorous to read.

        • marylou

          December 2, 2022 at 7:58 pm

          Hi Paul, I sent a reply which will likely never appear. Short version: More information is needed, including the hospital’s statement!

          I was happy to read that you don’t have me on your “detractors” list–at least for now! I apologize for my poor punctuation and imagine that at times reading my sentences must be similar to hearing chalk scraping on a blackboard. After reading your description of insult-ers, I could not even claim to have written straight -faced, as I was smiling quite a bit.

          • Paul Passarelli

            December 3, 2022 at 4:09 pm

            The hospital has refused to issue a statement per se, but from the old joke: “My daughter, I’m not going to say I took the silver ladle, and I’m not going to say I didn’t take the silver ladle, but if you slept in your own bed you’d’ve found the silver ladle by now.”

            The hospital fired him, he’s unemployed. But the reason he was fired doesn’t seem to have anything to do with what he did or didn’t to at his place of employment.

            Anecdotes & analysis aaside. When I read a published story, even one from a source that is heavily biased like FP, I take the publication at face value. That is I assume the reporter wrote truthfully, unless i *KNOW* what is written to be false. So I take the story as accurate. Then I analyze what was written to look for unsupportable conclusions, or outcomes that are inconsistent with the alleged facts.

            That’s *exactly* what I found while reading this story.

            If you read the article, the hospital admitted to firing the pastor over “concerns”, not evidence, not even complaints from those he counseled or failed to comfort, but from employees; seemingly with a political agenda to impose.

            from the story (above):

            Orlando Health spokesperson Kena Lewis denied McCaig’s allegations.

            “Mr. McCaig’s complaint mischaracterizes the facts and the reasons for his termination, which were completely unrelated to his religious beliefs. As indicated in the Complaint, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has already reviewed Mr. McCaig’s allegations and decided not to proceed with any further investigation or action. We will have no further comment on this matter,” she said in a statement Monday. The spokesperson would not say why McCaig was fired.

            After he was fired, McCaig emailed David Strong, the CEO of Orlando Health.

            Karen Frenier, the hospital’s chief human resources officer, responded to McCaig, according to the lawsuit.

            “Orlando Health has a commitment to providing an environment that recognizes, values and respects the diversity of our community, patients and families, physicians, and team members,” Frenier wrote. “There were concerns about your ability to provide spiritual and emotional care for Orlando Health’s diverse patient and team member population given your public social media posts. In addition, there were verbal complaints from team members and the Orlando Health Alert Line received a formal complaint regarding your social media activity.”

            McCaig wrote her back.

            “My beliefs regarding abortion are my religious beliefs and my understanding of the Biblical text. Those religious beliefs are why I was terminated,” his response said, adding his personal Facebook account didn’t identify his job at Orlando Health.

            {end quote}

            I don’t mind debating with people of differing opinion. Being my opponent or adversary doesn’t make one my enemy.

            My detractors do not engage in debate. They occasionally resort to ad hominem (if they happen to be at at their best), and to vulgar personal attacks when confronted with anything that contradicts their agendas, especially when they are proven wrong.

            This thread is turning into what I call “tortuous non-acceptance”. It’s another tactic (or strategy) to draw out the points of an argument, by repeatedly re-hashing what I would call obviously settled issues based on the facts we currently have available. In this case the story above.

            I’m certain there are still a few points remaining in the story that could generate additional questions to use up more of my efforts, i.e. to wear me down. But following this I’m going to preemptively declare almost any question disingenuous.

            Enjoy the weekend,

        • marylou

          December 6, 2022 at 1:03 am

          I’m not sure why you are upset with me, Paul. My comment about the hospital’s statement was a casual remark not a demand that you defend your analysis or a criticism of it.

          My second paragraph was pretty much nonsense and a couple words of agreement about detractors, and joking about how, like your detractors, I wasn’t typing with a straight face because I was smiling (in a good way) as I read your description.

          Nothing insulting, nothing tortuous (or torturous I hope), no attempts to wear you down. You don’t even seem to be wear -downable, so what fun would I have? Sorry for any misunderstanding.

  • Dave Miller

    November 28, 2022 at 9:33 pm

    If there was a capital insurrection please name one person who was charged for insurrection? How many guns were confiscated that day. If you said zero, bingo.

    • Doug

      November 29, 2022 at 8:21 am

      The only attempted insurrection that has occurred in this Nation was the Russia collusion when the democrats, Clinton campaign along with Obama used knowingly false information to attempt to unseat a duly elected President through fake hearings, trials and impeachments knowing full well there was no actual evidence to support the narrative. That was the only attempt at an insurrection.

      • Paul Passarelli

        November 29, 2022 at 10:05 am

        Hi Doug,

        Yup, your previous post got nested under my post, I’m quite confident it was directed at my detractors.

        Thanks my friend!

  • Red Patriot

    November 29, 2022 at 3:09 pm

    Funny how inclusion never includes real Christians.

Comments are closed.


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