I'll be going back in about two weeks. The testing was supposed to be a one-day thing, but after talking with me, the doctor decided that she'd cast a wider net. I sometimes inspire that reaction in people.
All of which explains why I saw a sign that would have read something like "chapel" back when my hairline was near the front of my head.
"WelcomeI thought having a room like this - and presenting it in this way - was a pretty good idea.
"Meditation Prayer Room" at CentraCare Health Plaza, St. Cloud, Minnesota. September 3, 2010
I also realized that someone could be terribly affronted, offended, and/or appalled at those words. For a number of - reasons? Let's say for a number of points. I'm not convinced that reason has all that much to do with this sort of negative reaction.
I'm exaggerating the points for the sake of clarity and brevity. Not by much, though, in some cases.
- The name of the room is wrong
- Those rooms are "chapels"
- Meditation is Satanic
- Prayer is superstition
- The words in the vestibule are wrong
(To rest, think, pray, be)
- "To be?!" That's New Age evil!!
- Those rooms are "chapels"
- I don't like it
The room itself is quite restfully designed and decorated. In my opinion. I hope it's a sunny day two weeks from now, when I come back: I'm curious to see what it looks like with sunlight coming in through the skylight.
Restful colors, water sculpture: and a loud pump. September 3, 2010
That dark shape is a sort of water sculpture - and represents the only criticism I've got for the place. The sound of running water is quite pleasant and soothing - and water has symbolic significance in my background that could start useful meditations.
Just one problem: The pump inside the water sculpture makes about as much sound as the water running over the shapes. I like mechanical sounds, as a rule: but this didn't fit the ambiance.
The stained glass is in a pleasantly abstract pattern - without religious significance as far as I could tell.
The chairs, the colored glass, that sculpture and the loud pump are what first caught my attention when I entered the room. Looking around, I found - what else, in a place like this? Gideon Bibles.
Gideon Bibles: They're everywhere. September 3, 2010
Also a Bible without "Gideon" on the front, and some other literature.
If it were just for me, I'd like a place like that to have a crucifix where that water sculpture is, pictures of saints on the walls - St. Jude comes to mind - and a basin of holy water at hand. Naturally enough, since I'm a practicing Catholic.
Not everybody in central Minnesota is. We've got Protestants (Lutherans, Baptists, you-name-it), Jews, folks who don't approve of God being around, and - for quite a few years now - Muslims. Also, in all probability, Buddhists and folks who follow quite a few other beliefs.
Millions of people live in this state: and we're not all alike. (U. S. Census Bureau) I like it, but even if I didn't: that's the way it is. It isn't reasonable to expect a public facility to cater to my own preferences - or that of the various groups I'm part of.
'Real Americans' have been trying to 'protect' the Anglo-Saxon States of America from Catholics, foreigners and other dangerously un-American influences for centuries. (September 26, 2008) Which I think is rather silly - but then my ancestry and family isn't all that 'pure.' Good thing, too - look what happened to the Hapsburgs. Which is another topic.
Happily, from my point of view, 'real Americans' have been profoundly unsuccessful at keeping everybody who wasn't just like them out. Arguably, one of the reasons that this country has - haltingly, grudgingly - accepted the idea of religious tolerance is that folks who settled here weren't all alike. Many left the British isles so that they could worship the way they wanted: not as their king said they should.
By the time 1776 rolled around, there was quite a patchwork of believers in the 13 colonies - some of whom had been at each others' throats back home. Instead of restarting religious wars, they decided to bury the hatchet. Not, surprisingly, in the other fellow's back.
And that was just with the mostly-English colonists. Those troublesome Irish were already here: but they must have seemed positively British, compared to the waves of immigrants that started sloshing ashore.
Over two hundred years later, we've still got folks coming to America: which I see as a considerable vote of confidence. Yet another topic.
That "Meditation Prayer Room?" Okay: so it would have been called a "chapel" when I was in my teens. I might like a room with its function to contain a crucifix.
I'm just happy that a room like that is there. There are folks who really don't like to acknowledge the spiritual side of human nature - and I see that "Meditation Prayer Room" as an affirmation that people are more than a mass of protoplasm and cultural conditioning.
- "Assumptions About Religion, and American Rules of Etiquette"
(April 14, 2010)
- "Prayer, Medicine and Trusting God"
(March 4, 2010)
- "Religion Doesn't Cause Intolerance?!"
(February 27, 2010)
- "Medication for Depression? Yeah: The Catholic Church is Okay With That"
(February 25, 2010)
- "Jesus Christ, Beer, Tobacco, Idols and Indian Law"
(February 22, 2010)
- "Hating People: Not a Good Idea"
(January 22, 2010)
- "Tolerance: Yes, it's a Good Idea"
(August 3, 2009)