Monday, February 02, 2009

More Intolerance of Christians in the Secular U.K.

From the BBC:
A Christian nurse from Weston-super-Mare has been suspended for offering to pray for a patient’s recovery.

Community nurse Caroline Petrie, 45, says she asked an elderly woman patient during a home visit if she wanted her to say a prayer for her.

The patient complained to the health trust about Mrs Petrie who follows the Baptist faith.

She was suspended, without pay, on 17 December and will find out the outcome of her disciplinary meeting next week.

Power of prayer

Mrs Petrie, who carries out home visits in North Somerset, said she had asked the patient if she would like a prayer said for her after she had put dressings on the woman’s legs.

The patient, believed to be in her 70s, refused and Mrs Petrie insists that she left the matter alone.

The sick woman contacted the trust about the incident and Mrs Petrie was challenged by her superiors.

Mrs Petrie said: “The woman mentioned it to the sister who did her dressing the following day. She said that she wasn’t offended but was concerned that someone else might be.

“I saw my patients suffering and as I believe in the power of prayer, I began asking them if they wanted me to pray for them. They are absolutely delighted.”

A spokesman for North Somerset Primary Care Trust said: “Caroline Petrie has been suspended pending an investigation into the matter.
Again, as is the case so often, Christian speech is forbidden speech.

It’s true, of course, that some atheist might object to an offer of prayer. But then, a Christian might very much appreciate the offer. Do the prejudices of atheists outweigh the good felt by those (far more numerous, even in the U.K.) who welcome the offer?

It seems that the sensitivity of a few atheists who might object trumps the free speech rights of Christian employees.

And if we are going to be so terribly “sensitive,” why is utter insensitivity toward Christians -- indeed hostility toward the Christian faith -- OK? Why are atheists free of the burden of hearing expressions they might disagree with, but not Christians?

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3 Comments:

Blogger JesusIsJustAlrightWithMe said...

Yeah, this sounds a little ridiculous. Still, I find people offering to pray for me to be totally annoying. I'd imagine if I was really sick I'd find it even more annoying. I see nothing irrational about not wanting your employees to be annoying others. It'd be the same as if you had people always telling their patients dirty jokes or singing monster ballads to them. Sure, a few people might find such things entertaining, but overall it seems annoying. I don't realy see this as a free speech issue or a religious freedom issue. Praying is just annoying.

4:05 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

Sure, a few people might find such things entertaining, but overall it seems annoying. I don't realy see this as a free speech issue or a religious freedom issue. Praying is just annoying.

It's annoying to you, but I'm sure you are aware that you are in a minority. So do you have a right to shut up this kind of speech just because you are annoyed?

Some people would be annoyed with "have a nice day." Should that be outlawed?

The cost-benefit analysis is highly favorable, since more people would appreciate the offer than be annoyed.

Also, you can say no.

If somebody was subjected to dirty jokes or singing monster ballads against their will, that would be one thing. But you could tell the woman "no" and hear no prayer.

Also, why not just accept this expression of good will, without quibbling about theology.

If a Muslim nurse told me "I'll pray that Allah will heal you," I would not think of arguing with her. I would appreciate the good will.

In other words, why not be a little tolerant of religious speech?

Nobody has a right to coerce you. Prayer, in this case, is just a well-intentioned offer.

10:28 PM  
Blogger JesusIsJustAlrightWithMe said...

Yeah, like I said, I agree with you. This was ridiculous. I just think you're overreacting. I mean, so what if she can't talk about her dillusions in front of customers? Is it that big of a deal? Couldn't she just go pray on her own time?

12:35 PM  

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