Thursday, 5 February 2009
DON’T PRAY FOR ME. I MIGHT BE OVERSENSITIVE!
The case of the nurse, suspended from duty for offering to pray for a patient, raises some interesting questions for all of us.
Caroline Petrie, 45, from Weston super Mare, was accused of failing to show “a commitment to equality and diversity” over her suggestion and faced the possibility of a disciplinary hearing.
Mrs Petrie, a married mother-of-two, said she did not force her beliefs on anyone but simply asked if the woman would like a prayer said for her, as she has done with other patients.
Who could possibly take exception to that? If, in the name of a commitment to “diversity,” all religions were to be relegated to the private sphere that would be bad enough for the life of any healthy society, but can one for a moment believe that if the nurse in question had been a Muslim, a Hindu, or a Sikh she would have been treated in such a high-handed and oppressive manner?
We should all champion equality and diversity, so long as the equality is diverse and the diversity has a measure of equality. But diversity is rapidly becoming simply a policy for singling out the Christian faith for a degree of persecution which would have been unthinkable a generation ago, and one has to conclude that we actually live in a very unhealthy society indeed, where expressions of equality and diversity are tailored to the anti-religious prejudices and desperate fear of litigation) of those who, as in Mrs Petrie's case,implement professional codes of practice.The implications for freedom of speech and religion are profound.
One might have expected this kind of thing in the days of Soviet Russia, but in modern England? But, then, nasty little liberal ideologues and Marxist commissars have a great deal more in common than one would at first think, except perhaps the latter might be more pragmatic. Where is George Orwell when we need him? Perhaps his writings and his Collected Essays, in particular, should be required elements of the National Curriculum.
Who makes and implements these internal rules regarding “equality and diversity?” Where has been the public debate surrounding their compilation, their adoption and implementation? Who was the complete idiot who decided to suspend Mrs Petrie?
In the Christian West, it seems, the Faith which formed us, our history and our institutions, has become the one unmentionable.
But can anyone really take exception to being prayed for? If someone doesn’t believe in God, then presumably that person might think prayer could do no possible good, but it cannot in any sense whatsoever said to be harmful or threatening. In the end, one can always say, “no, thank you.”
If we take this kind of bizarre nonsense to its logical conclusion then any display of religious affiliation could be said to be offensive. So, let’s follow Kemal Ataturk and ban religious dress of all kinds, let’s go one further and pull down our Churches in case they cause offence, and not ever use the name of Christ, except as an expletive.