National Secular Society goes after NHS chaplains

I have to admire the tenacity and boldness of Britain’s NSS. These guys are always looking for ways to untangle the church and state, and their battle recently has been to get the National Health Service to stop spending money on chaplain services. According to their report, the state spends close to 32 million pounds on these guys, which is an expense the NSS feels should be absorbed by the church.

Personally, I couldn’t agree more. Already religious organizations benefit from not paying any taxes. With that extra cash, the state could afford to hire 1,300 new nurses. That’s a lot of extra hands to help provide care to people who will actually make a difference in their health service. I’m guessing, of course, that the policy won’t change. If there’s one thing that is predictable in any bureaucracy, it’s that nothing ever gets done.

I’m not implying chaplain services aren’t appreciated by religious people who do get ill, but why the hell can’t the church contribute their services for free? The fact these institutions pay no tax represents a huge loss of tax revenues. Is it too much to ask that they stop suckling at our collective teat and start contributing more to society than their useless chants and dogmatic advice?

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