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Anorak | The Bad Book

The Bad Book

by | 3rd, June 2005

‘YOU’RE in a hospital bed, waiting for the premed sedative to kick in, when your conscience pricks your anxious mind.

‘And on the 7th day, while resting, God caught the MRSA superbug’

You’re possessed by a sudden urge to repent for some long-suppressed sin, an ill committed in your youth and in rare folly.

Your hand inches to the draw beside your bed, and using every ounce of effort in your hurting body, you remove the book from within.

But what’s this? Where’s the Bible, the hotline to God through which you can confess all? It’s gone. And in its place is a pamphlet preaching about cultural diversity and the need for tolerance.

You then realise you’re not dying – you’re in Leicester. And your nightmare is a vision of the future should managers of the local NHS get their way. As the Mail screams from its front page: “HOSPITAL BAN ON THE BIBLE.”

For added impact, the Express leads with exactly the same headline, and features heavily the words of Iain Mair, UK head of Gideons International, the Bible company you can trust.

Mair thinks it’s a ridiculous notion that suggests having Bibles kept besides all hospital beds causes offence to non-Christians. He calls the proposal “outrageous”. And then, with a sharp intake of breath, Mair delivers the line the paper wants: “This is political correctness gone mad.”

And it doesn’t end there. Over in the Mail, we learn of the other reason the good men and women of Leicester think Bibles are bad news: they spread the MRSA superbug.

Those of us who thought Bibles simply spread the word of God, albeit with a Judeo-Christian bent, now learn that the book could play a role in disseminating the scourge of hospital wards.

Before we have time to digest this, Iqbal Sacranie, of the Muslim Council of Great Britain, steps forward to call the idea “ridiculous and extreme”.

And this is not to say that he likes it, as some Mail readers will suppose, but that he thinks it a bad thing. As too does Professor Harminder Singh, of the Sikh Divine Fellowship, who says that “in 30 years of working with interfaith groups this has never been an issue”.

But today it is. And like the Express and Mail, we believe it to be one of the utmost importance.

But it is not up to us to see that good deeds be done. Nor is it up to God. The decision whether or not to remove the Bibles rests with the higher power of the Leicester NHS Trust, who work in mysterious ways, their wonders to perform…’



Posted: 3rd, June 2005 | In: Tabloids Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink