Monday, 30 January 2023

Another religious controversy

The National Secular Society is kicking up another fuss over religion. Southampton University Hospital NHS Trust will be assessing individual’s spiritual and psychological needs when they are admitted in to hospital. The NSS are declaring that this was just “˜chaplains in the hospitals touting for business’.

The NSS seem to want to turn this into a nation of atheists. Wasn’t it founded on religious principles? There is no separation of Church and state in this country, yet, increasingly, there is evidence of shame in proclaiming one’s faith, especially if it is of the Christian denomination.

What is so wrong about asking one’s religious beliefs and whether there is something that can be done for a person in hospital based on their faith? Some strongly believe in the power of prayer. Have they never heard about psychological effects of faith on healing? Psychology has a lot to do with well-being. What if one wants to receive communion? Wouldn’t it be nice if someone at the hospital can arrange this for you? People of other faiths, perhaps, may want their religious leaders to be informed and visit them.

If you do not want any “˜religion foisted on you’ as the NSS president has put it, you simply just say “˜no’. This is not touting for business for chaplains. After all, it is meant to serve all faiths, not just Christians. Hospital chaplains may have some training in other religions, but they are no means representatives of those other religions.

As for the spending on this policy, could it really be that exhaustive in money and time to ask a simple question and notify the correct person? Get real.


  1. What the BBC story didn’t reveal – but which can be seen on the National Secular Society’s website – is that the NSS did a Freedom of Information request about how much was spent on chaplains at the Southampton University Trust Hospitals. It is a staggering £280,000 a year. Now wonder they’re “touting for business” – they’ve got to justify that kind of money coming out of the NHS budget to pay for vicars somehow.

    1. Author

      That money was already being paid. The comments seem to imply additional money was being pumped into it. I don’t know what the average pay for chaplains is at any hospital or how many chaplains they have. I’m sure it is not just one person getting that pay. You may claim that they are trying to justify using that money, but if the chaplains did not do their jobs previously, then they’ll work for it now. Do you seriously have an issue if someone asks you about your religious beliefs?


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