When conscience is criminalized
Joe Coffman - Guest Columnist - 5/14/2009 1:15:00 PM
Usually May is the time of the year when students are fitted for the cap and gown, count their credits, pay their school bill and plan the parties. With a firm handshake and a costly piece of paper, they will start their lives in the real world.
That won't be true for Julea Ward, who used to be a graduate student at Eastern Michigan University until she was kicked out for her religious beliefs.
(Click on the title to read the whole story at OneNewsNow.com)
This is totally ridiculous. This woman did nothing to anyone. She responded to her own conscience and religion, and found another counselor who could help. And for that, she was kicked out.
Everyone had better beware. If this can happen to people like Julea Ward, it can happen to anyone. The day will come when this is turned around, and you can be kicked out for any reason that is considered "intolerant." And the way it's going, everyone is likely to be labeled intolerant in one degree or another.
Current Mood: Flabbergasted
Current Music: The Village People - Macho Man
My Carry Pistol: Taurus PT92AFS
Note the linked column, and yours, don't say what she was studying.
Sounds like she thought she was studying "Counseling Only Those I Choose To Help".
If in fact she was choosing to become a counselor, she must face the fact she will not always know in advance what issues will become evident in her clients or patients. Frankly, if I were a faculty advisor, I'd have told her she had to find a way to CONSTRUCTIVELY refer this client to someone who could be of help. Letting here pick and choose her lessons cheapens the academic program.
No one should have to become a counselor to someone she doesn't feel she can help. But to determine in advance she WON'T help someone makes her, in my book, unqualified to be a counselor.
Much as a pharmacist who won't dispense prescribed medication is not qualified to be a pharmacist.
A pharmacist is not nearly as likely to know your sexual orientation. In addition, a pharmacist will have some interpersonal contact with a client for about, 5-10 minutes at a time?
If she felt that her bias would interfere with proper counseling technique, I'd say she made the right move in recommending someone else handle a particular case.
The last thing I'd want, is a counselor working with me, who might have a bias against me, based on anything. It doesn't help me, and might even cause harm.
As for who may or may not be qualified to be any sort of counselor, I do not feel qualified to pass judgment in that area.
Since the original story didn't mention it I have no idea what her course of study might have been.
However, comparing counselors to pharmacists, is, as some might say, apples to oranges. And as the story also points out, she sought advice, from her SUPERVISOR, and his advice to her, "was to refer the student to a counselor who had no qualms with affirming homosexual behavior."
Seems to me, if she need remediation, so does her supervisor.
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