Stephen McAlpine writes:
The decision by the Royal Adelaide Hospital to build a prayer room for Muslims, but no dedicated chapel for Christians, merely a multi-faith room instead, has drawn predictable ire from the likes of Australian Conservatives leader Senator Cory Bernardi.
The Australian newspaper today reported Bernardi saying he is “sick and tired” of the constant accommodation to a minority group in Australia, to the detriment of Australia’s historical faith.
The report states:
Senator Bernardi said the new hospital’s arrangement was “everything that’s wrong” with the approach to integrate other cultural groups, and the prayer room was “clearly designed for Islam”.
Separate washing areas were “all the symbolism I need that this is tailor-made to accommodate to a tiny minority’’, he said yesterday. “We’re bending over to appease a minority for fear of causing offence while undermining our tradition and heritage.
is Bernardi right? Is that what is happening?
Perhaps. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility in our secular context, in which Anything But Christianity is viewed ironically, as sacrosanct, that that is the case.
But it’s not the only reason, perhaps not even the primary one. Other faiths are less demarcated in our culture in the sense that Islam has strong parameters about what it can and cannot do; what it can and cannot abide in the public square. Provisions need to be made. Dedicated prayer rooms need to be available.
A multi-faith room for everyone else seems somehow reasonable because no one else seems to care too much about separatism in the way Islam still does. And let’s face it, the anaemic version of Christianity in the public setting today has been at pains to show how much it is the same as everything else. Islam, to its credit, is not making that mistake.
Perhaps too Bernardi, for all his railing against the secular system, misses the radical point of Christianity. For if he understood it rightly he’d realise, we don’t need no prayer room at all!
Read the rest here