[Forum]May I congratulate Rod Bower for his thoughtful contribution on the question of a social response to the coronavirus outbreak (Coast Community News, Out and About, edition 234).
I don’t for one second believe that praying to a god (any god) will have the slightest effect on the virus itself, but anything that strengthens a sense of community in the face of the present crisis is to be welcomed.
It is particularly encouraging that he sees the value of trying to involve people who have no faith based beliefs and, at the same time, warns against the dangerously ignorant fulminations of fundamentalist believers who threaten to undermine a fact based approach to dealing with our problem.
It is obvious that a day of national prayer to whatever god is chosen, can only alienate the substantial sector of the population that does not believe in prayer and thus, create division, when we should be aiming for solidarity and consistency.
Let anyone who wants to pray do so, but let us avoid grandiose sectarian gestures that unnecessarily emphasise differences in our society.
Email, Mar 22
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy