Deborah Gyapong: Should we make all professionals cyphers?

Should we make all professionals cyphers?

If the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) changes its policy, the result would be that doctors' freedom of religion and freedom of conscience would be nullified. They would become cyphers, non-entities, going obediently about their public functions with their private beliefs and moralities a total mystery, because their private conscience could never govern their public behavior if their beliefs contradicted public policy as laid down by the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Is this the kind of society we're looking for?

They would all be public Barbara Halls. Here's a story of a dilemma a counselor faced in the United States. I am sure this has already happened many times in Canada, but not to an Ezra or Mark Steyn with the wherewithal to publicize the insanity.

So this lesbian goes walking into a counselor’s office to get help with her same-sexed relationship. Actually, it sounds like the start of a really bad joke but it isn’t. The counselor’s name is Marcia Walden. In addition to being a counselor she is a devout Christian who believes it is immoral to engage in same-sex relationships. So she faced a tough decision when Jane, her prospective client, sought help resolving problems in her lesbian relationship.

Rather than misleading her, Marcia decided to tell Jane about her religious conflict, indicating that it would be unfair for her (Jane) if she were to serve as her counselor. But she remained helpful and offered to refer Jane to another counselor named Ken Cook.

Jane met with Mr. Cook just ten minutes later and even acknowledged that her counseling experience was “exemplary.” Mr. Cook told Marcia she had done the “right thing” by making the referral. For awhile everyone seemed happy, if not gay.

But later in the day Jane was feeling angry. So she called Ms. Walden’s supervisor Mr. Hughes and complained that she refused to counsel her due to “homophobia.” Hughes contacted Ms. Walden to tell her of the complaint about which he was “very concerned.”

Later, Ms. Walden was subjected to an interrogation about her religious beliefs. There were several supervisors there including Mr. Hughes who told her that if she ever found herself in a similar situation she should simply make up an excuse (read: lie) instead of telling the truth about her religious beliefs. Of course, Ms. Walden also stated that lying was against her religious beliefs.

Read the whole thing. What if a devout Christian seeking help with his or her marriage went into an atheist Lesbian's counseling office? Do you think it might be better for that counselor to make a referral or to disclose off the top that she thinks the Christian beliefs are delusional?

Or should the government mandate that it's okay for only one set of beliefs---i.e. the atheistic ones--to be supported by constitutional rights?

Ask yourself. Do you want liars and obedient conformists to government policies, no matter how draconian, as your doctors? or as your public servants? or as your journalists?



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