School Policy vs. Religious Beliefs? ...

School Policy vs. Religious Beliefs? Court to Decide

There are 33 comments on the Fox News story from Oct 6, 2011, titled School Policy vs. Religious Beliefs? Court to Decide. In it, Fox News reports that:

In July, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit of Julea Ward, seen here, against Eastern Michigan University after the school successfully contended she violated school policy and the American Counseling Association's code of ethics, which forbids counselors from discrimination in clinical practice.

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Since: Apr 08

Cleveland, OH

#1 Oct 6, 2011
When a person decides to enter a profession they should not be surprised that they are expected to follow that profession's code of conduct.

If your personal beliefs (religious or merely opinion) conflicts with the standards of that profession then seek another form of employment!

“Son of Abraham”

Since: Aug 07

Natural Deviant

#2 Oct 6, 2011
This would open a whole can of worms. So I could choose to not treat anyone because they're divorced? How about if they're black? I mean the Bible was once used to justify slavery? What about not treating anyone who isn't Christian since, supposedly, my religion feels other religions aren't getting into Heaven....
hi hi

Philadelphia, PA

#3 Oct 6, 2011
McMike wrote:
This would open a whole can of worms. So I could choose to not treat anyone because they're divorced? How about if they're black? I mean the Bible was once used to justify slavery? What about not treating anyone who isn't Christian since, supposedly, my religion feels other religions aren't getting into Heaven....
I agree. This is what's so disturbing to me that I don't even think these people know what they're doing. This is what proves to me that it's insane self-involvement on their part.

Based on their logic, you could refuse to treat BLACK PEOPLE. Anyone with any racist inclination (and ultra-regrettably, those people exist all over the place to this day; it's as rampant in the younger generations as it ever was) could refuse to treat a black person.

There is nothing whatsoever "noble" about these "religious beliefs" that dictate these people's "conscience." There is nothing righteous or noble about it whatsoever. They look like scumbags, and it needs to be said -- not only forcefully and repeatedly, but in order to wake SOMEONE up to this absolute jaw-dropping craziness.

The "religious beliefs" argument is such a goddamn smoke screen being used to treat gay people like blacks were treated in previous generations; it's frankly unconscionable.

Those people (and I often use divisive language such as "those people" to show them again and again how they divide everyone, sowing discord and animosity and doing NOTHING remotely "christian," NOTHING to bring people together) counsel thieves, murderers, rapists, the whole lot. Not to compare behaviors to inborn orientation -- but they'd counsel ALL of those ...

... yet they won't counsel gay people.

They look like scum. They look sociopathic (I'm seeing this word with increasing frequency in connection to the ultra-religious; just saw it again two days ago) and they look scummy. They're SINGLING OUT gay people like black people were once singled out ... and still are.

You'd like to believe, from that photo, that SHE would know better.

There is nothing noble about what they're doing and it is accomplishing nothing; its motives are so selfish that these people are poster children for HATING absolutely anyone you want. They're the greatest contributors to society's hatred today.

They are the #1 contributors to division, discord, animosity and hatred.
heartandmind

Moline, IL

#4 Oct 6, 2011
i have to ask though, would you ratehr have her go ahead and tinker around with someone's head and heart knowing how she feels about homosexuality than not? how much damage could she do to someone in a vulnerable position if she did or said the wrong thing?

i'd rather she advise the patient to go to another counselor that could be of more help.

should she continue as a counselor given her bias against homosexuality? that's a different topic altogether.

“WAY TO GO”

Since: Mar 11

IRELAND

#5 Oct 6, 2011
When she is in private practice, then she can certainly turn away clients based on her religious beliefs, but while in a Masters program......SHE MUST ADHERE TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE PROGRAM.....and she refused to do so in my opinion!!!

“Greetings!”

Since: Dec 06

Tampa, FL

#6 Oct 6, 2011
I had a roomate for 2 years who was going for his PhD in Counseling - he is a liscensed mental health counselor and on many occasions i helped him with his papers, tests, etc....i was impressed with how much professional ethics - and the constant training and supervision - that goes with being an ethical counselor.

What she did was a clear breach of the code of condcut. What if the client wanted to discuss his/her constant desire to rape and kill women? Rape and murder are agasint her religion, but I bet she'd take that client.

Bottom line, she let her PERSONAL RELIGIOUS beliefs interfere in her professional role. Even tho she talked with her supervision - the fact that she confessed to WHY she coudn't counsel a gay client was clear proof of her violation of the clear rules on such subjects.

The real irony is, she KNEW the rules, she knew that before she went into the profession. So to plead that her rights were violated is disingenious.

Oh, if she wants to do what she did, become a Minister - they are the ONLY group of "counselors" who can do what she did!
heartandmind

Moline, IL

#7 Oct 6, 2011
TampaBob wrote:
I had a roomate for 2 years who was going for his PhD in Counseling - he is a liscensed mental health counselor and on many occasions i helped him with his papers, tests, etc....i was impressed with how much professional ethics - and the constant training and supervision - that goes with being an ethical counselor.
What she did was a clear breach of the code of condcut. What if the client wanted to discuss his/her constant desire to rape and kill women? Rape and murder are agasint her religion, but I bet she'd take that client.
Bottom line, she let her PERSONAL RELIGIOUS beliefs interfere in her professional role. Even tho she talked with her supervision - the fact that she confessed to WHY she coudn't counsel a gay client was clear proof of her violation of the clear rules on such subjects.
The real irony is, she KNEW the rules, she knew that before she went into the profession. So to plead that her rights were violated is disingenious.
Oh, if she wants to do what she did, become a Minister - they are the ONLY group of "counselors" who can do what she did!
you have a point with regards of her knowing the requirements prior to joining the profession and the program.

your suggestion for her to become a minister is a good one. however, most likely, the denominational faith she follows does not allow women to become ministers or lay-leaders of the congregation, either. in order for her to become a minister, she'd have to switch to a more liberal denomination - which would probably also open her up to having to counsel homosexuals as well.

best bet to avoid such sticky situations? just don't become one. continue in her prior career path.

“Crusading Fundies r hilarious!”

Since: Feb 11

Location hidden

#8 Oct 6, 2011
Gay And Proud wrote:
When a person decides to enter a profession they should not be surprised that they are expected to follow that profession's code of conduct.
If your personal beliefs (religious or merely opinion) conflicts with the standards of that profession then seek another form of employment!
Just another example of fundamentalist christians thinking they can pick and choose what rules apply to them.

“Unconvinced”

Since: Nov 09

Seattle, WA

#9 Oct 6, 2011
This is no different from pharmacists who refuse to dispense birth control or Plan-B style medications (which are NOT abortion medications) based on religious beliefs. Sure, they could just refer their patients to another pharmacist, but that is not always a viable option, and it can be embarrassing or even damaging to the patient's well being.

When you decide to enter a profession, don't you have a responsibility to gain an understanding of everything that profession will entail, and everything that you may be called on to do in it? If you have chosen a religion that prohibits parts of that job, then PICK ANOTHER JOB.

“Crusading Fundies r hilarious!”

Since: Feb 11

Location hidden

#10 Oct 6, 2011
If she is more concerned about her religious beliefs then she is about the well being of her clients, then she needs to find another profession.

These people are frightening.

“Crusading Fundies r hilarious!”

Since: Feb 11

Location hidden

#11 Oct 6, 2011
TampaBob wrote:
The real irony is, she KNEW the rules, she knew that before she went into the profession. So to plead that her rights were violated is disingenious.
What? An uber fundie being disingenious? Get outta here!

“WOOF !”

Since: Jul 11

Libertarian

#12 Oct 6, 2011
Gay And Proud wrote:
When a person decides to enter a profession they should not be surprised that they are expected to follow that profession's code of conduct.
If your personal beliefs (religious or merely opinion) conflicts with the standards of that profession then seek another form of employment!
I agree.

DNF

“Judge less, Love more”

Since: Apr 07

Born in Newark Ohio

#13 Oct 6, 2011
RnL2008 wrote:
When she is in private practice, then she can certainly turn away clients based on her religious beliefs, but while in a Masters program......SHE MUST ADHERE TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE PROGRAM.....and she refused to do so in my opinion!!!
I have to disagree with many here. She asked to be able to refer clients to other counselors. The school refused. The school then insisted she take a remediation program to change her beliefs toward homosexuality.

FTA:
Realizing she could not affirm the client's relationship without violating her own religious beliefs, Ward then asked a supervisor for assistance. After being advised to reassign the potential client, EMU officials informed Ward she would need to undergo a "remediation" program in order to stay in the counseling program, the attorneys claim.

Ward was later dismissed from the program, and EMU officials denied her appeal.

"Julea followed accepted professional practice and the advice of her supervising professor when she referred the potential client to someone who had no conscience issue with the subject to be discussed," Tedesco's statement continued. "She would have gladly counseled the client herself had the topic focused on any other matter. Julea was punished for acting professionally and ethically in this situation."

I may disagree with her beliefs but from what I have read she tried to accommodate the client in a responsible and professional manner.

DNF

“Judge less, Love more”

Since: Apr 07

Born in Newark Ohio

#14 Oct 6, 2011
This amazes me. Actually I'm shocked and appalled. 60% of the people here so far saying a gay client should be forced to see a homophobic counselor. How do all of you square this stance with your objections to reparative therapy?

"heartandmind" said it best. This opens a huge can of worms.

Simple solution: Let her inform the client of her feelings and offer to refer the client to a more appropriate person.

“WOOF !”

Since: Jul 11

Libertarian

#15 Oct 6, 2011
DNF wrote:
<quoted text>I have to disagree with many here. She asked to be able to refer clients to other counselors. The school refused. The school then insisted she take a remediation program to change her beliefs toward homosexuality.
FTA:
Realizing she could not affirm the client's relationship without violating her own religious beliefs, Ward then asked a supervisor for assistance. After being advised to reassign the potential client, EMU officials informed Ward she would need to undergo a "remediation" program in order to stay in the counseling program, the attorneys claim.
Ward was later dismissed from the program, and EMU officials denied her appeal.
"Julea followed accepted professional practice and the advice of her supervising professor when she referred the potential client to someone who had no conscience issue with the subject to be discussed," Tedesco's statement continued. "She would have gladly counseled the client herself had the topic focused on any other matter. Julea was punished for acting professionally and ethically in this situation."
I may disagree with her beliefs but from what I have read she tried to accommodate the client in a responsible and professional manner.
I would give her life in the electric chair.

“WOOF !”

Since: Jul 11

Libertarian

#16 Oct 6, 2011
DNF wrote:
This amazes me. Actually I'm shocked and appalled. 60% of the people here so far saying a gay client should be forced to see a homophobic counselor. How do all of you square this stance with your objections to reparative therapy?
"heartandmind" said it best. This opens a huge can of worms.
Simple solution: Let her inform the client of her feelings and offer to refer the client to a more appropriate person.
I disagree. She's claiming it violates her Christian principles. By that logic, people who are NOT Christians, i.e. they CHOOSE to reject Christ as their Saviour, should not expect any help from her. Isn't their total rejection of Christ going to be MORE OFFENSIVE to her deeply held Christian beliefs ?

She can't pick and choose the people to treat if she chooses this profession.

“Crusading Fundies r hilarious!”

Since: Feb 11

Location hidden

#17 Oct 6, 2011
DNF wrote:
This amazes me. Actually I'm shocked and appalled. 60% of the people here so far saying a gay client should be forced to see a homophobic counselor.
I don't believe anyone said that. I don't remember anywhere where he didn't have the option to choose someone else if he didn't like her services.

Let me try it with another example. If a person comes to the pharmacy and a religious wing nut pharmacist says he can't prescribe fertility drugs because the person is a lesbian and he objects to assisting lesbians, then the pharmacist is not fulfilling the requirements of his job. If, however, the lesbian realizes that the pharmacy across the street is cheaper, and takes her business there instead, there is no religious discrimination taking place.
DNF wrote:

How do all of you square this stance with your objections to reparative therapy?
1) Because it's not "therapy", it's religious indoctrination.
2) Places like Exodus should be free to operate, provided they be honest in stating that they don't create "ex-gays", and they aren't performing legitimate therapy. The individuals attending these don't come out any "less gay" than when they went in. Exodus deals purely with behavior. If they weren't deceptive about this, I don't think as many gays would object to them so much. Places like EI lie about their successes, create their own vernacular in order to promote their agenda in a more positive light, and promote their agenda through repititious indoctrination to the idea that gay people should find their orientation "unwanted". They foster, promote, and encourage the very negativity that they then pretend to address.

I think it's proven that these places are never helpful and indeed can be very harmful. But if an individual comes to the conclusion on their own that they wish to interpret the bible in a way that doesn't reconcile with their sexual orientation, it is their free right to pursue whatever religious course they wish.

But people coming to Exodus International are looking for religious assistance, not therapy.
DNF wrote:

"heartandmind" said it best. This opens a huge can of worms.
If we allow here to place her religious bigotry over the well being of the patient, can a therapist that is a KKK member be free to tell Jewish, black and Catholic potential patients that he can't treat them because he "doesn't agree with them"?
DNF wrote:

Simple solution: Let her inform the client of her feelings and offer to refer the client to a more appropriate person.
Why should a person requesting mental therapy be subjected to even one comment that would allow the therapist's feelings of negativity to even remotely enter into the potential patient's mindset? She has NO REASON whatsoever to tell that patient her belief's. That's not her job, and that's not why he's there.

“Crusading Fundies r hilarious!”

Since: Feb 11

Location hidden

#18 Oct 6, 2011
DNF wrote:
<quoted text>I may disagree with her beliefs but from what I have read she tried to accommodate the client in a responsible and professional manner.
I'm sorry but I disagree. She didn't accomodate her client, she accomodated her religious beliefs. That's not why he was there. Her religious beliefs were irrelevant to his needs.

“Crusading Fundies r hilarious!”

Since: Feb 11

Location hidden

#19 Oct 6, 2011
Fred ABQ wrote:
<quoted text>
I disagree. She's claiming it violates her Christian principles. By that logic, people who are NOT Christians, i.e. they CHOOSE to reject Christ as their Saviour, should not expect any help from her. Isn't their total rejection of Christ going to be MORE OFFENSIVE to her deeply held Christian beliefs ?

People don't "reject" what they have no evidence of to accept in the first place. Other than that, I think you point is 100% SPOT ON. I hope the lawyers defending the school make this an issue.

(One can almost picture a her therapy session with an atheist patient. I'm sure her first bit of "therapy" will be telling the patient to find jesus)

[QUOTE who="Fred ABQ"]<quoted text>
She can't pick and choose the people to treat if she chooses this profession.
Agreed.

“Live and let live”

Since: Apr 08

New Orleans

#20 Oct 6, 2011
Since she cannot provide relationship counciling to gays and lesbians, then the fact of the matter is that she did not meet all the requirements of her job. Simple as that. This is an open and shut case.

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