The story of another Christian graduate student being expelled
from the counseling program because she refuses to counsel
homosexual clients based on her "religious" beliefs was in the
news. Julea Ward, a purported counseling major, lost her
lawsuit against Eastern Michigan University which she filed
because she was expelled. Students under the ACA code are
required to counsel clients without imposing their personal
values. Ms. Ward could not refrain from imposing her world
views on her clients.
Paraphrasing, the university apparently realized that Ms.
Ward was never going to change her behavior and would
continue to refuse to counsel clients who did not meet her
"Christian" standards before she would consent to counsel
them. (And of course, if they're already good Christians,
what do they need counseling sessions with her for?)
There's another virtually identical case going on in Georgia
right now with another purportedly "Christian" grad
student, who also refuses to counsel homosexuals.
(Allegedly, the Georgia girl is also no great shakes at
written communication either, as she's been ordered into
so remedial training for that as well.)
This is the same Fundamentalist tactic that has some
pharmacists trying to refuse to give the morning-after
pill to people with valid prescriptions because they don't
believe in abortion. The rationale these "Christians" are
using is that making them comply with the ethical codes
of the professions they have chosen is an infringement on
their religious freedom guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
These hard-core, hard headed Fundamentalists don't see
their behavior as infringing on the rights of the clients, who
have a reasonable expectation of receiving services from a
certified member of a given profession. They don't see the
invidious divisiness of cherry-picking which people are
entitled to professional services. Suppose they were
indulged in their fanaticism so they don't have to counsel
anyone who doesn't meet their Christian standards. Should
we then allow only homosexuals to counsel homosexuals
heterosexuals need not apply? And only Jews can counsel
Jews, Muslims for Muslims, and only women can counsel
women, and on and on.
And then we can just isolate people in their own separate
little ghettos so they don't have to run into any of "those
people." And it depends on which ghetto you live in as to
who "those people" might be. And then eventually, we can
each only obey those laws which we think apply to our
ghetto and then find ways to punish "those people" so
they'll see our way is the only way. And maybe we can
rename ourselves something like, oh, I don't know, the
Taliban, and make sure EVERYONE knows the
consequences of not believing like we do.
Or we can be Americans and practicing Christians and say,
"There but for the grace of God go I" and reach out with
compassion and kindness to those in need and leave the
religious drumbeating to the intolerant jackasses of the world.