Relgion and Health and Safety?

Western Face of York Minster
Image via Wikipedia

A piece I found interesting the other day which came via Peter Hitchens at The Mail

Slipping into York Minster at daybreak on Sunday, I was surprised to see police officers in baseball caps roaming purposefully around the mighty building. They were conducting a search before a military service of some kind later in the day.

My mind was on other things, so it took me a while to work out why I found the sight so jarring. Then it came to me. Men don’t wear hats in church except for bishops, and policemen usually aren’t bishops. Had they been searching a mosque, they would doubtless have been briefed on cultural sensitivities and carefully taken off their shoes. Since it was one of the great sites of English Christianity, nobody bothered to wonder.

Multiculturalism means our national religion being treated worse than those of ethnic minorities

BBC Report: David Cameron has criticised “state multiculturalism” in his first speech as prime minister on radicalisation and the causes of terrorism… (Read more)

But most striking of all was the response of North Yorkshire Police, who said it was all about health and safety: “The headwear that you refer to is actually a reinforced bump cap which provides protection for specialist search officers. As these officers operate in confined spaces as they go about their duty to ensure public safety, it is a requirement to wear the caps to prevent head injuries.”

I think I see the point Peter is making however; were the police officers really being disrespectful to god or indeed the hallowed religious building they were assuring was same for the intended use? I think not and, it would be interesting to see what journalistic spin would have been applied to the same set of circumstances if there had subsequently been an explosion at the Minster. Another case of police being damned if they do and damned if they don’t by the media perhaps?

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