A new state-of-the-art hospital in Scotland has ditched a plan to put Bibles in all patients’ rooms – and the Rev David Robertson, of the Free Church of Scotland, above, is furious.
According to this report, Robertson blamed the U-turn on:
A small and vociferous group of secular atheist fundamentalists (who) are seeking to impose their values on the whole of Scottish society.
NHS officials ditched the Bible plan after hearing a complaint that Christianity should not be promoted over other faiths – and now any patient who wants a Bible has to request one.
A total of 344 Bibles had been donated to the Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary by the Gideons outfit.
Ciaran Kelly, of the Christian Institute, said:
It’s sad that the hospital wasn’t a little bit braver in responding to this complaint. Making Bibles available isn’t forcing them on anyone.
Dr Donald Boyd, of the Scottish Christian Party, added:
A spokesman for NHS Dumfries and Galloway said:
Equalities legislation is meant to be respecting individual rights. What you’ve got is aggressive individuals who are turning minority rights into majority rights.
All 344 Bibles remain available to patients, but NHS Dumfries and Galloway took the decision to halt the direct provision of Bibles into social areas and single-bed rooms in order to consider the most easily accessible yet appropriate locations.
A spokesman for Gideons said:
I understand the person who made the complaint was not of any religion and they were possibly saying why should the Christians get preferential treatment?
We discussed this and thought the last thing we want to do is to put people’s backs up by being pushy, so we’ll accept that.
Robertson is reported here as saying:
Having a Bible in a country where the majority of people still profess to be Christian, in an area where there are many Christian churches, is not rocket science.
It can’t do any harm and it could actually do some people a great deal of good. So why would you prevent it just for ideological reasons?
He believes the hospital shouldn’t have given into the complainant.
The lesson is – if you are one of these boards who are deciding these things – don’t give into the bullies. Don’t allow one person; don’t allow a tiny minority to dictate for everyone else. Encourage people to show a great deal more tolerance because this is fundamentally intolerant in the name of tolerance.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn