Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Where Lying Is Required

Where Lying Is Required

I have known a few people who emigrated from the Soviet Union--and one of the recurring themes is how much they got used to lying to people, because there was no other way to survive. This column by Mike Adams is about someone who is now in serious trouble because she refused to lie:
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.
Go read the whole column. Adams makes the point that accommodating homosexuality in a Politically Correct manner is turning us into a nation of liars--where to help them feel comfortable about themselves, we have to lie.

UPDATE: A lawyer who specializes in ethical issues relating to counseling tells me that the problem of how to transfer someone to another counselor is well understood, and points to the many circumstances besides this one that might require this--and methods to avoid lying about it. It sounds like a training problem.

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