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Take Up the Cross, Not Take Off the Cross

There is understandably some hoo-ha about the removal of the cross, amongst other religious objects, from Calvary Hospital in Canberra, Australia. This is apparently part of the government acquisition of the hospital.


Some are blaming the government for ordering its removal. ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith denies this, stating that it was the church’s agency making the decision.

If it is not at the explicit order by the government, three other possible reasons (which don’t necessarily exclude each other) come to mind:

  • Behind-the-scenes but direct pressure by the government.

  • The church is removing them out of cowardice.

  • The church is removing them as a form of retaliation—that is, a sentiment along the lines of “you secular scum don’t deserve them and we don’t want them to be further tainted by the likes of you”.

But which of the four reasons is almost beside the point. It is safe to assume that it is at least indirect pressure by the government as part of the takeover.


Some may argue that if the hospital is no longer run by the church, then why have these religious objects? It would be more honest to just remove them. Why pretend?


This point is not unfair; after all, honest intentions matter. But so does the objective act itself and the circumstances. God is just and justice demands everything be accounted for. Whilst there is the “black and white”, there are also degrees. Only a pseudo-fundamentalist moron would think purely in black-and-white terms.


Let us examine that argument by applying that reasoning to something else: If one can’t pray with perfect honesty, if one can’t pray well, then why pray at all?


But by that reasoning, why do anything? Since most of us most of the time don’t do whatever we’re doing well anyway, why bother?


Because we’re supposed to at least try and virtue requires practice. (By the way, “honest intentions” is more than just “nice feelings” but that is another discussion.)


So, not caring about religion is not good but maybe if there is at least a modicum of superficial respect for Christianity—for example, just leave the cross where it is and occasionally give it a clean—God may just give some corresponding reward and/or mitigate some future punishment. In other words, every little bit counts, and sometimes that little bit may just save you from some inconvenience later.


Of course, the removal of religious objects is nothing new. For example, it was not uncommon during and after the days of the French Revolution. It’s just what modernist liberalists do.


And on that note, look at what France is today.


 

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