Separation of church and state
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3677) 8 years ago
A close family member is involved in the legal system. She is in the position by her own hand and is quick to admit that she has put herself in the position that she is in.

Briefly, time has been served and she is now on probation, in Miles City.

As part of her probation she is ordered to attend counselling. Medicaid is charged for these sessions. Fine, with the exception that two of her "counselors" in the group (mandatory attendance) have have told her that "she will never make it because she doesn't believe in god." For the record what they are saying in essence is that she doesn't believe in their god.

For the time being, I will not mention them by name.

I was a resident of MC for fifteen year and have many fond memories and close friends that I still hold near to my heart. None of them, however are small minded, bigoted, fundamentalists. Oh, I forgot to mention that what they are doing is against the law. It makes no difference if it is freedom of religion or freedom "from" religion. Both are protected by the constitution from the time of Thomas Jefferson to the current supreme court.

This is simply a rant. I know it will get back to those who are participating in this travesty. The action (through legal means) will come later. ttfn, Tucker
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Posted by Kelly (+2706) 8 years ago
As a firm believer in Church/State separation, I say go get 'em tiger.
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Posted by Jeri Dalbec (+3244) 8 years ago
http://www.youtube.com/wa...DP4qrA8hvg

Tucker...I think we have reached a time where there are those that may not have been alive when John F. Kennedy made that speech. I just posted it yesterday as a reminder to those who "thumping" a little too much. Although, he may have had a different purpose it fits many circumstances.

Good luck to your family member...this too shall pass:-) And...Karma is interesting!!
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Posted by Jeri Dalbec (+3244) 8 years ago
I meant..."are thumping"...sorry.
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Posted by Elizabeth Emilsson (+797) 8 years ago
Tucker, I believe your concern is legitimate. When I lived in Miles City and would attend different forums, e.g. Prevention for under Age Drinking or putting, together a disaster plan, there were always a couple of self-styled, know-it all preachers. acting with great authority to dominate the discussions. . I don't know why I felt this, but it seemed their source of livlihood was feeding at the "public trough". I do hope your relative can be connected with some one who can be helpful. The last thing a person who has had problems needs is to hear they are evil because they don't adhere to the same faith as the "counselor".
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Posted by cj sampsel (+479) 8 years ago
This counselor should be reported to his supervisors immediately
and action demanded.
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Posted by Kelly (+2706) 8 years ago
Tucker-

These folks may be able to help you out.

http://www.au.org/
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Posted by howdy (+4943) 8 years ago
I am so very sick of these "ignorant bible pounders" trying to control others beliefs...it is just so un-American and theocracy instead of democracy...
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Posted by milagros (+49) 8 years ago
Tucker,

At least when you rant, you have worthy topics to bring to the table. Do it more often!

The following is a link to the ACA Code of Ethics - American Counseling Association which might come in handy for your family member since they are being subjected to mandatory counseling:

www.counseling.org/files/fd.ashx?guid=ab7c1272-71c4-46cf-848c... -

If the counselor is a psychologist there is a separate code of ethics pertaining to professional conduct. That information can be found at apa.org and search for the Code of Ethics for Psychologists. If you have any problems, let me know.

Your family member has a right to know what to expect and they should know in order to protect themselves. You have a valid concern about the separation of church and state.

While not privy to the complete context of the mandatory group session between your family member and the counselor(s), or the other group members, even if a group member were to ask about any given topic, the counselor's role is help people figure things out; not to judge or dictate what they believe. Obviously, whatever the counselor responded with was NOT received in a positive manner. Group sessions that are beneficial are best served when peers interact, leaving the counselors only as a meditative source and behavior befitting a church mouse.

Best wishes to your family member.
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Posted by milagros (+49) 8 years ago
To ward off further rants, let's clarify the definition of a church mouse. It is a fictional character created by Lewis Carroll. The context for my use is meant that you can hear its scampering about but rarely see it. It is an unimposing little creature....
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3677) 8 years ago
Thank you all for your support and recommendations.

I will pursue this.

Milagros, mi amigo, I downloaded the Counselors code of ethics. My feeling is that no one involved is a member of the American Counseling Association and probably aren't aware of their existence.

[This message has been edited by Tucker Bolton (2/20/2013)]
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Posted by milagros (+49) 8 years ago
Tucker,

If the counselor has LCPC (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor)behind their name they are fully aware of it as ethics plays a large role in whether they are licensed. A Bachelor's level in psychology provides training in ethics as well as the Master's level which is required in clinical psychology in order to be a licensed counselor.
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Posted by Kacey (+3159) 8 years ago
I would have her contact Medicaid. They are paying for counseling that is in actuality making her worse instead of better. As the "responsible payee" they have the right to know what is being done. And they can make sure she does NOT have to see them again.
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Posted by Jan Cornutt (+275) 8 years ago
The counselor has not broken any law or violated in any part the constitution. The reference to God did not refer to any religion or church. The counselor probably did not use good judgement by using the reference because of the ongoing controversary over that part of the constitution. There must a separation of religion and the Bible also because no where in the Bible is the word religion used......korkyII
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11757) 8 years ago
The counsellor no doubt meant well but had on the blinders on that most religious people do. It never occurs to them that their personal superstitions are irrelevant to others who don't hold them and may even be offensive.

Suppose you, as a good "Christian," found yourself dealing with a Hindu counsellor, who told you to practice Yoga as a spiritual exercise. Would you be offended? Would you point out it was against your beliefs? Suppose a Buddhist counsellor told you to stop eating meat because that counsellor believed it was wrong. Would you?

Think outside the box, folks.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14950) 8 years ago
To hell with "outside the box" part. Just think.
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