Sunday, April 16, 2017

Disturbing News from Australia

Thanks to Séamus from Australia for pointing this one out to me-- a new hospital in Australia will be built with a specifically Muslim prayer room, but only a "multi-faith" room for all the other religions.

The details are confused, especially since there has been some pretty frenetic "spin" going on, but that seems the essence of the matter.

Even worse (but not surprisingly), the hospital's Christian chaplains have connived with this.

First of all, I'm not at all opposed to the idea of a special Muslim prayer room. But certainly, there should be a Christian chapel as well, in that case.

Would it really be too much to have dedicated places of worship for all the major faiths?

Stories like this confront us with the question; should Christians be culture warriors?

I've vacillated on that matter, in the past. At one point, I worried that culture wars drag Christians into politics and tribalism, and risk co-opting Christianity into battles that are essentially not about religion, but rather about cultural identity. It also seemed to me that anger and indignation can be addictive.

However, I've changed my mind. There's a risk of overthinking such matters. I've come to believe; YES, Christians should be culture warriors. We should get upset about people saying "Happy Holidays". We should fight for our place in the public square. Sometimes, indeed often, anger and indignation is justified.

Ask yourself about the kind of Christians who refuse to get upset about the war on Christmas (for instance), or who see it as beneath them; are they consistently that calm about matters of symbolism, or nomenclature? Do they, for instance, get het up about the imagery used in advertising? Are they being selective about their high-mindedness? And what does this say about their priorities?

I know the answers already.


  1. Didn't realize I was doing a press release(!)
    I tried to find a link for that particular article but the Sunday Times doesn't seem to have it in it's online version, however another article is on

    1. Religious facilities in public buildings is a subject that greatly interests me!

  2. On a brighter note,I just thought-if you're still looking for any of your saints, a lot of them are recent there would be many photos of their canonization (beatification) at which an image is always unveiled. I don't know if these are officially public domain, but might only be a matter of getting in touch with any catholic paper that was existent at the time or l'Osservatore Romano(although, from what I've heard, don't hold your breath waiting for a Vatican department's reply). Even for Pius, in the 50s, and Bernadette in the 30s, the would be plenty of extant pictures,
    and even if the ceremony took place in Fatima, etc. [at Precious Blood,CabraWest there was a nice Fatima grotto which included the children(it's in my parents wedding photos) but it's not a real image of course and given that Jacinta and Francisco are easy enough to find it's unlikely that you'd need to go that far. Also, the last picture I saw of it, the statues had been painted( they were white) and it didn't look very nice]

    1. I've had next to no reply to all my queries for permission to use or be furnished with photographs, so I've decided I'm going to plough ahead and use them anyway-- where I am confident they are public domain, anyway. I'll just find some on the internet.

      Actually my interaction with the Vatican publishing house has been very positive! They responded very quickly and helpfully to my request to quote from the documents published by them.

  3. Well, they can't say you DIDN'T ask...
    We're actually used to things like Muslim prayer rooms being made where there's really no demand whatever for them. If it wasn't for the double standards of it all you wouldn't care what they make for them.

  4. PS, do you have Halal Easter eggs made by Cadburys like us?
    A bit of controversy this year about it, it's not every flavour or type though

    1. No, we have Yorkie, Mars, Smarties, that sort of thing.

      Only kidding. Seriously, I haven't heard of them. I don't eat chocolate in order to keep my weight respectable, but recently I've been disturbed to hear reports that the big chocolate companies benefit from child and slave labour somewhere in their chain of production. I don't know if this is lefty hysteria or not.

    2. "I don't eat chocolate in order to keep my weight respectable"...and there is a perfect example of a missing comma changing a sentence's meaning!