Although I find this paragraph in the article on the ABC website slightly amusing:
Adelaide’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital has developed a system to enable the re-introduction of Gideons Bibles to bedside lockers.
They are using a machine to wrap the bibles in plastic, which means nurses can clean the holy book to prevent cross-infection.
Bibles were removed from some Hospital room lockers some time ago because of concerns they could spread not mind rot, but real infections like MRSA.
And I thought we were making progress, when, as I blogged the other week, the Australian citizenship ceremony is now “bring-your-own-holy-book” only.Which makes sense, given the large religious diversity in this country.
But the Gideons, who provide those Bibles, know why they want them in Hospitals.This is the ideal environment for religion to flourish, among people who are sick, in pain or dying.It’s what religion has done since its invention, and Christianity is particularly good at preying on the sick and distressed.
So no, I don’t want a Bible in my hospital room, in such a religiously diverse country like Australia this is intolerant towards the 36% of the population that are not Christian.(based on the 2006 Census data) And if I was a Hospital executive, I would not want one particular brand of stone age superstition to be what’s being offered as reading in my room lockers.
Nurse manager Marion Seal says patients require the comfort a bible can provide.
“The majority of patients nominate that they have an affiliation with a recognised religion and faith,” she said.
“So often it is when you are feeling low that that can come back to you and you look for that source of comfort.”
If it works for the citizenship ceremony, it will work for Hospitals too, I’m sure.If you are a religious person and sick in Hospital, bring your own holy book, or ask for a copy from the library.But don’t by default offend me by putting the holy book of one particular stone age sect into my locker.