CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Time to Put the UK Out of Its Misery

Feb 2, 2009

Historian Arnold Toynbee once said “Civilizations die from suicide, not murder”. I don’t think there is much debate about that. There might be some debate however as to which nation today best exemplifies this. A number of countries are clearly in the process of self-destruction. But a good case can be made for nominating the UK as the most obvious example of collective hari-kari.

Consider two recent episodes of national madness coming from the UK. They both illustrate a nation which is in big trouble, and provide good examples of when a nation abandons God and common sense, it quickly and inevitably heads down the gurgler.

The first concerns a nurse who has just been suspended for engaging in a horrific act. No, she did not murder 42 of her own patients. No, she did not bilk millions from a hospital. No, what she did was obviously far, far worse: she actually had the audacity to ask an elderly patient if she could pray for her. Yes you heard me right – despicable isn’t it?

One media account describes things this way: “Caroline Petrie, a committed Christian, has been accused by her employers of failing to demonstrate a ‘personal and professional commitment to equality and diversity’.  She faces disciplinary action and could lose her job over the incident. Mrs Petrie, a married mother of two, says she has been left shocked and upset by the action taken against her. She insists she has never forced her own religious beliefs on anyone but politely inquired if the elderly patient wanted her to pray for her – either in the woman’s presence or after the nurse had left the patient’s home. ‘I simply couldn’t believe that I have been suspended over this. I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong. All I am trying to do is help my patients, many of whom want me to pray for them,’ she said. Mrs Petrie, 45, is a community nurse employed by North Somerset Primary Care Trust to carry out home visits to sick and elderly patients.”

Evidently the elderly woman did not wish to be prayed for, and the nurse let it go at that. But later the patient complained about the invitation to prayer. The nurse said, “My concern is for the person as a whole, not just their health”.

Actually, she might have phrased that a bit better. Prayer for health seems to be part of the healing process. But even if prayer has no connection to health and wellbeing, it is not exactly a horrific request. To ask someone to pray for them usually means asking God’s blessing and favour on them. She wasn’t asking the patient if she could lop off her head or violate her grandchildren.

And when the patient declined, that was the end of the matter. Yet in tolerant, progressive and God-free England, it seems offering to pray for someone is now considered to be a hate crime, with stiff penalties being handed out. I suppose soon enough all believers will be rounded up and interred in re-education camps, until they learn the error of their ways, and renounce their dangerous and harmful faith.

The UK has become adept at turning vices into virtues, and virtues into vices. It is legalising all sorts of activities and behaviours that until recently were considered taboo. And it is increasingly criminalising those beliefs and practices that until recently were considered to be the hallmark of civilised and caring societies.

But lest the reader remain unconvinced that the UK takes the cake in the let’s-commit-collective-suicide stakes, let me offer one more example, just as recent and just as grotesque as the other. A big cheese government green advisor has said that in order to fight global warming, we have to abort more babies.

No, you did not misread me. The Sunday Times covered the story this way: “Couples who have more than two children are being ‘irresponsible’ by creating an unbearable burden on the environment, the government’s green adviser has warned. Jonathon Porritt, who chairs the government’s Sustainable Development Commission, says curbing population growth through contraception and abortion must be at the heart of policies to fight global warming. He says political leaders and green campaigners should stop dodging the issue of environmental harm caused by an expanding population.”

The story continues, “A report by the commission, to be published next month, will say that governments must reduce population growth through better family planning. ‘I am unapologetic about asking people to connect up their own responsibility for their total environmental footprint and how they decide to procreate and how many children they think are appropriate,’ Porritt said. ‘I think we will work our way towards a position that says that having more than two children is irresponsible. It is the ghost at the table. We have all these big issues that everybody is looking at and then you don’t really hear anyone say the “p” word’.”

Porritt, who of interest has two children, says he will pressure environmental pressure groups to make population issues their main focus: “Many organisations think it is not part of their business. My mission with the Friends of the Earth and the Greenpeaces of this world is to say: ‘You are betraying the interests of your members by refusing to address population issues and you are doing it for the wrong reasons because you think it is too controversial.” The article continues, “Porritt, a former chairman of the Green party, says the government must improve family planning, even if it means shifting money from curing illness to increasing contraception and abortion.”

So there you have it: kill a baby and save the planet. If the UK is becoming a third-world nation in its morality, it might as well become one in terms of government policy. China of course already has in place its notorious one-child policy. Today the coercive utopians in the UK are demanding two children. But tomorrow it may well be one – or even less.

This is yet the umpteenth example of bureaucrats and social engineers proposing the most inhumane of practices, all in the name of humanity. Indeed, whenever you hear someone carping on about ‘humanity’ it is best to stand up and take notice.

The Marxists of course were experts in championing ‘humanity,’ all the while knocking off millions of mere humans. Those who most despise human beings are often the ones who go on the most about the need to save ‘humanity’.

These two cases are simply the latest examples of a nation which has lost its way big time. The elites and bureaucrats running the UK are hell-bent on dragging the nation down to the level of, say, North Korea. And they seem to be doing a pretty good job of it.

The late Russian dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn once said that the reason for our troubles is our abandonment of our creator: “It is because we have forgotten God. That is why all this is happening to us.” He seems to have been on to something there. As the UK in particular and the West in general continue their march to secularism, they also seem to be heading into terminal decline and decay.

Sure, there are numerous factors which lead to the destruction of nations. But the erosion of faith and the exclusion of belief in the public arena certainly play leading roles. And Toynbee was not the only historian to point out these connections. Will Durant said similar things: “There is no significant example in history, before our time, of a society successfully maintaining moral life without the aid of religion.”

As the West continues along the path of losing its collective marbles, those who seek to wave a red flag of warning will appear to be subversive and/or deranged. As C.S. Lewis once said, “When the whole world is running towards a cliff, he who is running in the opposite direction appears to have lost his mind.” But such voices must continue.

The UK is at the cliff’s edge. A few warning voices are trying to be heard. But the warnings seem to be falling mainly on deaf ears. Yet the warnings must be made. Whether they can keep the UK from going over the edge is a moot point. But the moral responsibility of being a watchman remains.

www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/4409168/Nurse-suspended-for-offering-to-pray-for-patients-recovery.html
women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/families/article5627634.ece

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33 Responses to Time to Put the UK Out of Its Misery

  • I have always found ecologists and the Greens in particular to be anti-humanity and would like to see us all back in the caves with them in charge – shades of Animal Farm.
    With an insipid Archbishop of Canterbury you have an Anglican church that is impotent. However there is one Bishop or Archbishop of African descent who makes a Christian voice known.
    Wayne Pelling

  • Bill,

    I’ll quote from your article: ‘The nurse said, “My concern is for the person as a whole, not just their health”.

    Actually, she might have phrased that a bit better. Prayer for health seems to be part of the healing process’.

    I believe that the nurse actually had it right. Praying for a person who is ill does not necessarily imply that one is praying for that person’s recovery. For example when my maternal uncle lay dying in his hospital bed last year from cancer I prayed at his bedside, not for his recovery, but for him to continue to have the spiritual strength to embrace his Faith and prepare to meet his Lord. Part of my prayer was also asking our Lord to give him the Grace to face his death with humility and acceptance. I was praying for the whole person ie physically and spiritually. I sense that this is what the nurse had in mind.

    But as for that patient of hers who complained, I have nothing but pity.

    John FG McMahon, Kolonga, Qld

  • More evidence if it were even needed that global-warming and environmental propaganda go hand in hand with an anti-human and anti-God agenda. When will the churchian supporters of such madness wake up?

    Ewan McDonald.

  • Andrew Bolt’s back, and has a column Thank God they help, which mentions the case the first example as well as on the topic of Christianity’s Positive Contributions: An Atheist Confession. The column itself starts with:

    More people are volunteering, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures reveal, but most volunteers are Christians and/or women… People who were part of a non-Christian religion were less likely to do charity work, although the ABS noted this could be a result of a language barrier.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • In reference to my first post, it is Bishop Nazir-Ali – Bishop of Rochester – of Pakistani birth, who is making a stand against the UKs’ decline into secularism and Islamic ghettos.
    Wayne Pelling

  • One of the key measures of a worldview is consistency. It would appear that the diversity alluded to in the ‘personal and professional commitment to equality and diversity’ is perhaps not as diverse as its enforcers believe it to be. How can Caroline’s views be wrong in a diverse society? Indeed, shouldn’t the ‘thought police’ be insisting on the lady who made the complaint being followed up for not allowing the kind of diversity that Caroline expresses. But then that would deny this lady her the opportunity to express her diverse position. It would appear any agency actually pursing a charge of equality or diversity would be the one who is most guilty of a breach as they try to modify another persons behaviour and restrict the diversity of religious expression in the community. Can they not see the inconsistency in their actions and that they are not operating by the underlying worldview they claim to represent?

    Hopefully our own HRC can see the folly of going down this path as they undertake their latest enquiry into freedom of (from????) religion.

    Geoff Peet

  • Thanks Geoff

    Quite right – good point indeed. So much for real diversity. It seems we are to celebrate and promote all things – except Christianity that is.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Geoff Peet, Hope whilst you may because, nothing will change the blackened hearts of the HRC.

    The promiscuity, despair and growing nihilism of our youth and now the celebration of homosexuality are rarely ever spoken about in church. Church leaders would attempt to explain away their self censorship on the grounds that they do not want to offend or appear uncaring to those suffering with sex related problems – and who are part of their congregations. But the compassionate nature of the church that thinks it must listen to the experience of those so “gay” people, suffering with sex- related problems, is being manipulated and exploited by the enemies of democracy, who have no interest in equality, tolerance, diversity, inclusion and all the rest of it. They demonically push the tender conscience of the Christians in the direction that they will naturally fall; if we are prone to feel guilty and uncaring, they are there to help us with a shove. As a consequence, because no one wants to be seen as being nasty, least of all a homophobic bully, we allow the Marxists to invade our sitting rooms, homes, schools, youth clubs, churches, communities and lead our children away.

    I forget which Russian dissident writer it was who wrote this, but reviewing the Stalin era, they asked with incredulity, the question how it was that a whole nation allowed itself to be simply carted of, one by one, without a struggle, without a shot being fired, to the police station, prison and, for millions, certain torture and death. Why was it no one resisted? It was self-service annihilation and oblivion on a global scale.

    Richard Wurmbrand recounted a joke about communist rule in the bad old days in Romania: Communism has three “autos”: first there is the automobile that takes you away in the middle of the night, without you making the slightest resistance; secondly the autobiography as you co-operatively write down every sin you had committed against the state; thirdly there was the autopsy stating how you had died by slipping on a banana skin.

    Though Ghandi is held up as the arch pacifist, his mobilisation of the people of India to collect salt from the sea, in contradiction to British law, was a declaration of war.

    Likewise, in Romania, the peaceful, mass resistance of the people of Timi?oara, to the arrest of a priest by the secret police, spread rapidly to the rest of the country and within nine days, Romania’s tyrant, Ceau?escu was dead: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanian_Revolution_of_1989#Timi.C5.9Foara_protest

    Surely what we witness today is nothing less than Gordon Brown’s government traitorously and maliciously enslaving and destroying the British people with impunity. Just Take a look at his Minister for Equality, Maria Eagle http://www.justice.gov.uk/images/eagle_new_high_res.jpg, who is the twin sister of Angela Eagle.http://www.pink-news.net/news/articles/2005-4805.html. Does anyone seriously think that these two are in the slightest interested in equality and justice?

    Surely it is time to mobilise ourselves into civil defence forces before the spirit of Stalin is let loose to destroy us and our children.

    David Skinner, UK

  • Yet the UK remains surprised that it’s no longer a world power…!
    Michael Watts

  • Regarding those interested in contacting North Somerset Primary Care Trust, over the case of nurse Caroline Petrie, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/4427912/Prayer-nurse-should-keep-job-says-patient.html, the contact details are below: Vanessa is a very rational and sympathetic person so please do not be rude to her. But it would be good for the NSPCR to know how this story is reverberating around the world.

    Vanessa Dando
    PALS Officer
    Waverley House
    Old Church Road
    Clevedon
    North Somerset
    BS21 6NN
    Telephone : 01275 546755 – answering service available or Freephone: 0800 923 2222
    Email: pals@nsomerset-pct.nhs.uk

    David Skinner, UK

  • Thanks David for this very down-to-earth, helpful and practical suggestion. I hope all my readers do make contact and express their concerns.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Those who feel it best to kill off the human population and save the environment can set the example and start by aborting themselves.

    David Visser

  • Thanks David

    Yes I am always tempted to ask these guys who want to radically cull the human population: will you lead by example?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • The idea of keeping the population down, or reducing it, is not restricted to the UK. Just before Christmas, I attended (out of interest) an inter-faith meeting. The atheist on the panel (!) stated that the “elephant in the room” is global population and that the world’s population must be kept at a sustainable level and, “we have already passed this point.”

    I elected to stay quiet (in case I ever wanted to go back!), but in question time, nobody picked him up on this statement. Isn’t it interesting that only right-wing views are considered extreme!

    Roger Birch

  • “Caroline Petrie, a committed Christian, has been accused by her employers of failing to demonstrate a ‘personal and professional commitment to equality and diversity’.

    I wonder what the response would have been if she was Islamic, Buddhist, New Ager, a Druid or a Clairvoyant. I wonder if the measure of equality and diversity would still be the same?
    Most likely not!

    Thanks for the ongoing great work Bill

    Peter Janetzki

  • Thanks Peter
    Yes I was wondering the same thing. We all know it is open season on Christians. There probably never would have been a story had the nurse offered a New Age mantra or some such thing.
    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • It struck me the other day whilst typing up a submission, that we can pass any laws we feel like, but that if those laws don’t fit in with the laws of the universe that Father God has laid down, that they must fail, eg communists in old USSR centrally fixing the prices of basic commodities like potatoes etc. Local normal market pressures of supply and demand quickly subvert this system. Another is the 10-day week system the French tried – 7 days of work and 3 days of rest – it didn’t work. We can pass a law which says that 2 homosexual men constitute a “marriage”, but the natural laws soon show what a nonsense this is. Maybe we should pass a law that the sun should rise in the south, and set in the north!
    Ian Brearley

  • I sent this off to the UK:

    I am writing to you from Australia to express my concern at how values in the UK have been overturned in these “PC” days.

    I have learned from two separate sources that a nurse Caroline Petrie is suspended and may undergo disciplinary proceedings for an incident which should never have even been raised – that of expressing her Christian compassion for a patient by asking if she could pray for her.

    The offer was declined and the matter was then closed – apparently.

    The Telegraph article which I read claims the patient did not lodge a formal complaint, only mentioning it to another nurse, yet nurse Petrie’s offer has somehow put her job at risk.

    I find the incident bizarre in the extreme, given the reported care and concern for her patient’s whole person, and the patient’s assertion that she does not want to see nurse Petrie sacked.

    The idea that exercising one’s faith in favour of another person is somehow a breach of a code of conduct regarding “equality and diversity” demonstrates that such concepts (which attempt to place all religions on equal footing) are self-contradictory.

    The end result of such an interpretation is that all religious adherents will be prevented from acting on their beliefs.

    Since I live in Australia, the question of an established church does not arise, and my personal views are irrelevant, but the established postion of the Church of England, whilst legally still in place, is for all practical purposes dead, and Her Majesty’s Coronation Oath has been negated by interpretation.

    With the nurse’s husband, I would urge that common sense prevail, please.

    Christian regards,
    John Angelico

  • Thanks Bill for the excellent job you do of alerting us to these flying-below-the-radar-never-front-page news items.
    I send these out through my network and hopefully so on.
    To not act on these matters is one thing, but to not know about them in the first place is another. 1 Cor 14:8 ‘For if the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare for battle.’ As the ‘green tape’ tightens, our awareness and response to it needs to increase.

    Thanks also to David Skinner for his information and suggestions of a positive response to contact North Somerset Primary Care Trust – 2.2.09 8pm. Will do.

    Could I encourage all those reading this article to do the same and also copy this article (and others of Bill’s) to their networks who don’t get Culture Watch – yet!

    If we sacrifice a sit-com, we can super-size this via email.
    LET’S JUST DO IT!

    Michelle Shave

  • Thanks David S. for the information re contacting the Sommerset Trust re the sacked nurse. Couldn’t make contact on the phone line but emailed the following letter. Hope others may be encouraged to do also.

    Dear Vanessa Dando,

    Just heard via email about the incredulous situation of the Christian nurse who is on suspension for having offered to pray for the well-being of a patient. It’s OK to complain – we are all entitled to freedom of speech, but should every such complaint be acted upon especially when unreasonable. Also shouldn’t this nurse be equally entitled to freedom of speech?

    I know your position must be difficult trying to assist your clients and monitor your staff, and I’m sure your doing a good job in a difficult situation, but please consider – should a valuable, trained and obviously caring nurse be sacrificed to what I would call the unreasonable complaints of a difficult or wanting-to-be-offended patient who may just have a bias against Christians?

    We live in Australia but my husband is English and a Pastor. Increasingly Westerners in general and Christians world wide are aghast at how fast England is slipping into becoming a post Christian stronghold. All that made England the epitome of equality and justice is based on it’s Christain foundations. To see these foundations being knocked down and trampled on is not at all unlike watching the sinking of the Titanic – it’s truly tragic.

    Please don’t add to the growing darkness in Britian by blowing out another light – I write this with tears in my eyes not with condemnation. Britian was ‘Great’ because it was Christian and took the Gospel around the world. It’s so sad to hear of what’s happening there and with the North Somerset Primary Care Trust in this instance. In Australia we believe in ‘a fair go’ – which again came from our English Christian heritage. Please give this precious nurse a fair go (I can’t believe I’m having to beg for such a thing – for a nurse not to be sacked for praying…).

    Please Vanessa, do all that you can to restore a modicum of sanity to this situation and this good woman to where she deserves to be and others who value compassion, need her to be.

    With kind regards,

    Pastor Lofty & Michelle Shave, Western Australia.

  • I am extremely grateful for the response of all you guys for the way you have responded to this SOS from “the old country.” Can I encourage you all by saying that on the national news last night special mention was made of messages being received by the North Somerset Primary Care Trust from the other side of the World – presumably from you lot!!

    However, perhaps the greater evil is the on-going case of the two small children being forcibly handed over to two sodomites by the Edinburgh Social Services and the threat they made to the children’s grandparents to bar them from every seeing their grandchildren again if they every uttered another word against homosexuality. I would urge as many as possible to make your views known to this Social Service. Contact details are here: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/internet/Social_care/Carers_Introduction_to_services/CEC_social_care_direct
    The email is: socialcaredirect@edinburgh.gov.uk

    Just to remind folks of the issue here is an article by Peter Hitchins:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk:80/debate/article-1133033/PETER-HITCHENS-We-tolerance-gays-tyranny-return.html?ITO=1490

    David Skinner, UK

  • Ian Brearley, perhaps this quote has been up before and perhaps its authenticity is in some doubt but, all the same, it does remind us that God never changes.

    This is based on an actual radio conversation between a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier (USS Abraham Lincoln) and Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October, 1995.
    Canadians: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid collision.
    Americans: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.
    Canadians: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.
    Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.
    Canadians: No, I say again, you divert YOUR course.
    Americans: THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS LINCOLN, THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP IN THE UNITED STATES’ ATLANTIC FLEET. WE ARE ACCOMPANIED BY THREE DESTROYERS, THREE CRUISERS AND NUMEROUS SUPPORT VESSELS. I DEMAND THAT YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE 15 DEGREES NORTH–I SAY AGAIN, THAT’S ONE FIVE DEGREES NORTH–OR COUNTER-MEASURES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS SHIP.
    Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call.

    But allow God to speak himself with Psalm 93: “The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity. The seas have lifted up, O LORD, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea — the LORD on high is mighty. Your statutes stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days, O LORD.”

    David Skinner, UK

  • To Vanessa Dando
    PALS Officer

    I was very concerned to read about the suspension of nurse Caroline Petrie because she offered to pray for an elderly patient during a home visit. I don’t know what sickness the elderly patient has.
    However, it has long been recognised by many health professionals that healing involves not only the physical state of a person but the mental, social and spiritual dimensions as well.
    In my 42 years of pastoral ministry I would have offered to pray for people numerous times, regardless of their perceived faith level. Very rarely was the offer refused. Even some so-called atheists accepted!
    Usually people were grateful for any help they could get and for the care shown by the offer.
    Apparently M/s Petrie accepted the patient’s declining of prayer so I don’t know what all the fuss is about.
    I trust that she will be re-instated.

    Yours sincerely,
    Graham Lawn Busselton, Western Australia

  • Melanie Phillips has an article out now responding to the Porritt ‘cull the population’ nonsense: The deep green fear of the human race

    Here is an excerpt:

    There is in fact a direct line running between the modern environmental movement and the anti-human mindset of population control. Fundamental to green thinking is the belief that human consumption is innately bad.

    Human life itself is seen as a pollutant, not merely by producing too much carbon and thus contributing to global warming but by generally consuming and producing
    too much and thus eating up the planet like locusts.

    The roots of this thinking go back to the 18th century, when it was first thought that population growth would outstrip the earth’s resources and would lead to famine, starvation and death.

    Despite the fact that the world’s population massively increased and resources expanded to sustain it, the belief persisted in progressive circles and led to eugenics and thence to fascism.

    Ewan McDonald.

  • I trust all you good people are going to present submissions to the Australian Human Rights Commission Inquiry on: “Freedom of Religion and Belief in the 21 st century”. If you don’t we could very well find ourselves in a predicament similar to Caroline Petrie’s. Submissions need to be in by 28.2.09 at:GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 2001; or by e-mail to: frb@humanrights.gov.au
    Dunstan Hartley

  • Thanks guys

    Fantastic news. Thanks to David’s tip and your involvement, the nurse has been reinstated! Here is how one write-up puts it:

    Victory for Christian Nurse Facing Sack for Offering Prayer

    Feb. 5 /Christian Newswire/ — Caroline Petrie, the nurse from Weston-super-Mare who was suspended without pay for asking a patient whether she would like to be prayed for, has tonight been reinstated by North Somerset Primary Care Trust, the Christian Legal Centre which represented her can reveal.

    The dramatic turn around by North Somerset Primary Care Trust comes days after extensive media coverage and news reports which revealed that Mrs. Petrie, a born again Christian and mother of two, was suspended after her employers discovered that she had asked a patient whether she would like to be prayed for. Although the patient in question was not offended, the incident was reported and Mrs. Petrie was told that she could face disciplinary action. Last week Mrs. Petrie attended a disciplinary hearing on the basis that she had failed to demonstrate a ‘personal and professional commitment to equality and diversity’ by offering to pray for the patient.

    North Somerset Primary Care Trust, in a statement issued this evening, said that they recognized that Mrs. Petrie had been acting in the “best interests of her patients” and that nurses did not have to “set aside their faith” in the workplace, and could “continue to offer high quality care for patients while remaining committed to their beliefs”. The Trust also said that for some people, prayer is recognized as an “integral part of health care and the healing process”. The Trust has contacted Mrs. Petrie with the result of its decision and she will be returning to work in the near future.

    In what was widely regarded as ‘political correctness gone wrong’ decision, this is a welcome turn around and a clear victory for common sense.

    Leading religious liberties barrister Paul Diamond advised Mrs. Petrie and The Christian Legal Centre supported her throughout the ordeal. Andrea Williams, director of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “This is a great victory for Mrs. Petrie, and for common sense. Today’s decision highlights the importance of being able to take personal faith into the workplace rather than being forced to leave it at the door for fear of being silenced by equality and diversity policies.”

    So thanks again to all of you who got involved.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill,

    That’s great news, but:

    Although Mrs Petrie was relieved her ordeal was over, fears have been raised that new rules could lead to the dismissal of any health care worker who tries to talk about their faith to others.

    A little-noticed document published by the Department of Health last month gives warning that attempts by doctors or nurses to preach to other staff or patients will be treated as harassment or intimidation under disciplinary procedures.

    But it does not make clear the limits of acceptable discussion about religion.

    Faith groups said the guidelines were so vague that they could mean action could be taken against anyone who talks about their beliefs to fellow workers or patients.

    The document, called Religion or Belief: A Practical Guide for the NHS, states: “Members of some religions… are expected to preach and to try to convert other people. In a workplace environment this can cause many problems, as non-religious people and those from other religions or beliefs could feel harassed and intimidated by this behaviour.

    “To avoid misunderstandings and complaints on this issue, it should be made clear to everyone from the first day of training and/or employment, and regularly restated, that such behaviour, notwithstanding religious beliefs, could be construed as harassment under the disciplinary and grievance procedures.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/4530384/NHS-staff-face-sack-if-they-discuss-religion.html

    Mansel Rogerson, Melbourne

  • Mansel Rogerson raises the issue of workplace discussion of religion. For me the horse bolted in 1967 on my first practice teaching at Oak Flats Public (yes they were still public in those days) School in NSW. In the staff room we student teachers were all gathered for lunch when one staff member made a statement: “No mention of religion or politics in this staff room.” I know now that he was making both a political and a religious statement. I was shocked but also realised that if we objected we werelikely to fail our practice teaching course component.
    Greg Brien

  • We have only just begun:

    http://www.christianvoice.org.uk:80/Press/press126.html

    David Skinner, UK

  • Dear Bill, As always I thank you for your very interesting articles and particularly this one about the decline of the UK which is of interest to me because it is the land of my birth. I left England over forty years ago and have no wish to go back anymore because by all accounts it isn’t ‘the green and pleasant land ‘ I grew up in and to tell you the truth I feel what is happening there is a real tragedy.

    At school in the humble coal mining village where I was born we used to sing lustily and with great feeling the words ‘And did those Feet in ancient times walk upon England’s mountains green?’ because we were proud of our country and our culture which included a robust worship of the Christian God especially through song. No one questioned that we had a duty to praise God and thank Him for the blessings He had given us. It was taken for granted.That scene would have been repeated in every school in the country but how things have changed.

    Churches and chapels were full on Sundays and it is with fond memories that I remember my Sunday School teacher who instilled in me such a profound love of the Gentle Jesus that whilst I was still a teenager I became a Catholic out of obedience to Him. We weren’t rich but we were God fearing, which in my book means giving God what He deserves, our thanks and praise.The majority of the British people have forgotten this. They have let their beautiful churches, where the bells used to ring out on Sundays, fall into neglect and decay because they have deserted their Christian faith in droves. It might not be all their fault because they haven’t had good leaders but even so many English people now have the audacity to bemoan the fact that England is gradually becoming Islamist. What do they expect when many have never darkened the doors of a Christian Church or chapel for decades on end?

    They are so selfish they probably think like the young man I heard having a loud conversation on his mobile phone in a public library over here. He said to his listener’ We did go to Church for a while but we didn’t FEEL anything so we stopped going and anyway we can’t believe in some of the things they want us to believe. I would dearly loved to have said ‘Young man you don’t go to Church to get on a high and be entertained. Christian worship is not a feel good exercise. You go to Church to tell God you love Him and thank Him for everything He has given you.’

    I think that is the reason England is going down the gurgler, as we will too if we don’t change our self centred attitudes. Selfishness is rife and has even manifested itself in the emotional extravaganza displayed over the Victorian bushfires. Most people only care about what makes them feel warm, fuzzy and emotional and constant TV images of people who have lost everything certainly stirred this up. For instance, the Red Cross has been constantly short of regular blood donors but its pleas have been largely ignored until the bushfire emergency when it appeared every man and his dog wanted to give blood. That may sound hard but it is the unpalatable truth. Thank you again,

    Patricia Halligan

  • I am writing an article for a Canadian Reformed magazine and want to use some of your comments in Life News and News Weekly.

    Regards,
    Rene Vermeulen

  • Thanks Rene

    Yes feel free with proper acknowledgements of course.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

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