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Father Damien Selections

             His superiors further accused Damien of being a "loner" because of his unhappy relationship with the three assistants they had sent him at different times. However, no one was more irritated by Damien's fame than Hawaii's Yankee missionaries. Stern Puritan divines felt leprosy was the result of the Hawaiian people's decadence. The segregation policy would have to be enforced to hasten the inevitable physical and moral collapse of the essentially rotten Hawaiian culture. There were medical doctors who were so convinced of an essential connection between leprosy and sexual immorality that they insisted that leprosy could be spread only through sexual contact (Damien the Leper). .
             From the time he arrived, Father Damien never showed his disgust, despite working for sixteen years in what has been described as a living hell. Upon his landing, he immediately considered himself one of them, referring to the group as we lepers. In all things, his lepers came first. In the very beginning of his mission, Damien attempted to restore a sense of personal worth and dignity in each leper. He encouraged all the lepers to help in all of his activities, and together they built everything from roads to cottages. "Under Damien's vigorous lead, a sense of dignity and joy-and order replaced Molokai's despair and lawlessness. Though he decided not engage in sexual contact with the lepers, he did not try to protect himself them. He bandaged their sores and "placed the host upon their battered mouths" (Damien the Leper). Father Damien's stubbornness about the care of the lepers angered the Hawaiian government, who was spending five percent of their annual revenues on care for the lepers. After his death, one of the Yankee missionaries, Dr. Charles Hyde, attacked the priest's moral life. He claimed Damien contracted leprosy through his licentious behavior. At the time, leprosy was thought to be spread primarily through sexual contact, and so Dr.

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