Bedlam (bed’lam) n. 1. Any place or situation of noisy uproar and confusion. 2. A lunatic asylum; madhouse. (Middle English - Bedlam, Bethlehem; Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem, in Southwestern London, which was an asylum at one time).
American Heritage Dictionary
BETHLEHEM AND BEDLAM
Isn't it ironical that the word which describes a place of noise and confusion -bedlam - is a corruption of the name of that town from which came the source of "peace on earth and good will toward men."
Many years ago in England there was a hospital called St. Mary of Bethlehem, a hospital for the mentally ill. In those days the treatment and conditions of such places was horrible. They were indeed places of hopeless confusion and despairing noise. And so anything which vaguely reminded anyone of that place was referred to as "Like Bethlehem" and eventually for ease of expression it became "Bedlam."
But you know such hospitals aren't Bedlam anymore. Science has quieted them with its miracles and brought hope to the hopeless. Finally, Christ has come into these Bedlams. For it is the spirit of Christianity and the spirit of Christ-like concern for suffering people, not a relentless marching of science, that has propelled man to do something for his despairing brother.