Krista - posted on 06/20/2012 ( 47 moms have responded )
"In 2009, a student at Eastern Michigan University named Julea Ward was expelled from her graduate studies program. She was removed from the program because she refused to counsel a suicidal gay student. The reason, if you haven’t already guessed, is because she is a ‘Christian.’ To be clear:
Julea Ward, while seeking certification from a state university, refused to apply her training to a fellow student (a requirement for certification), even though his life was at stake.
Julea Ward turned away a person crying out for help, because she is an adherent to the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Either way you look at it, it seems like a huge failing. And we would all agree that something needed to be done to prevent this kind of potential tragedy from ever happening again. The Michigan House of Representatives have addressed the problem…By passing a bill making it illegal to:
“discipline or discriminate against a student in a counseling, social work, or psychology program because the student refuses to counsel or serve a client as to goals, outcomes, or behaviors that conflict with a sincerely held religious belief.”
Yes, that’s right. They went pro-intolerance. It’s called the “Julea Ward freedom of conscience act‘,” and if it passes, it sets some very interesting precedences:
It would create an anti-discrimination law that permits discrimination. More troubling is that it awards priority to the protection an ‘idea’ over the protection of the needs of an ‘individual.’
It would prevent learning institutions from disqualifying students from certification when the student holds beliefs that make them unwilling or unable to satisfactorily complete their training. Obviously it also allows them to ply a trade they are unwilling or unable to hold. A critical trade, where lives hang in the balance."
What think you of this?
I admit I'm coming at this from a bias. I don't agree with ANY sort of conscience clauses. This, however, seems to go even farther. Are some religious people now trying to say that they should have the right to not even have to DEAL WITH people who offend their beliefs?
And on a practical basis, what kind of counselor can you really be if you refuse to deal with people who engage in behaviours that you don't like?
And frankly, I question whether someone like this should even BE a counselor (unless they advertise themselves specifically as a Christian counselor). Will their analysis and advice be for the good of the patient, or will they be utterly incapable of objectivity?