PROSELYTISING IN PUBLIC HOSPITALS: DESPERATION FROM THE RELIGIOUS RIGHTNot long ago, I have voiced my concerns with regards to evangelistic religions, especially those who infringe upon the rules of Separation of Church and State.
Below is a news article from the Straits Times, with regards to an incident that took place one of our local hospitals:
-Oct 15, 2005
Talking about God in schools, hospitals
THE nurse could not stop talking about her faith, even as she was inserting a needle into her elderly patient's arm.
A routine blood test at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) turned out to be a lesson in evangelical Christianity for Associate Professor Wong Weng Fai, 41, a computer science lecturer, and his 66-year-old mother, a dementia sufferer.
According to Prof Wong, a National University of Singapore lecturer, in the testing room, they were greeted by two nurses listening to Christian worship songs on a CD player. As one of them drew blood from his mother, she began evangelising.
He recounted: 'She asked my mother in Cantonese, 'Auntie, do you believe in Jesus?'
'My mum was saying, 'No, no, I'm Buddhist.' But the nurse continued, 'You should go to church because it'll be good for you.' '
Prof Wong felt offended. 'They're preying on the weaknesses of old folks, especially when they are sick and down.'
A TTSH spokesman said the hospital is unaware of the incident and that it 'regularly reminds our doctors and care providers that proselytisation is not allowed'.
The issue of promoting one's faith in public institutions has been in the news lately with letters in the Forum page touching on the subject.
How widespread is the practice? Should government doctors, teachers and bosses who are in positions of authority and trust be allowed to preach to their charges?
The official answer is no. But in practice, the issues are not so clear-cut, as Insight finds out.
The issue at hand here: Hospital stuff abusing their positions to proselytise their religion in a secular, medical institution.
My curiosity here: Why merely stop at proselytisation? Why not expound to their patients that religious prayers and what-nots will ensure full recovery? Better still, hand out free religious pamphlets, rosaries and bibles to the patients!
Instead of conducting religious proselytisation in their lavish institutions, religious institutions have now resorted to invading secular institutions to spread their gospels.
Our education system, at present, is a secular one, and at present, there has not been any reports with regards to teachers proselytising in public schools. However, I will not be surprised if reports of teachers dispensing Intelligent Design to counter the "theory" of evolution were to surface here.
As of writing, America is now witnessing the Dover Trial, whereby a group of parents are suing school authorities for inserting Intelligent Design syllabuses in Science Classes, despite the fact that Intelligent Design is a trojan horse for the much-criticized Creationism.
To sum it all up, hospitals are institutions of convalesce and recuperation. To dump religion onto poor, helpless patients is not only hypocritical and unethical, it speaks volumes of the desperation from the religious right to brain-wash the masses. Our government and education institutions, too, must remain a secular and neutral stance towards religion, as stipulated by our Constitution.