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Friday, July 30, 2010


George Offerman

In a ruling that hit too close to home for me personally, a graduate student, Julea Ward, who was enrolled in the school counseling program was expelled due to her stance that homosexuality is morally wrong. The ruling cited the supposed facts that Ms. Ward had violated EMU school policy as well as American Counseling Association (ACA) code of ethics. The university had given Ms Ward the opportunity to continue on in the program if she agreed to a remediation program, and cease and desist in her belief systems pertaining to homosexuality, and ‘imposing’ her views onto her clients. In this ruling EMU has attempted to sell their position as being neutral, and therefore correct, while attempting to sell their point that they welcome ‘individuals from diverse background into our community”.

Interestingly enough, EMU along with most in the mental health community and the larger society in general are either not aware, or are not willing to admit that homosexuality was seen as a mental disorder as late as 1973. (This year is famous for another horrible decision). The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders second edition (DSM II) removed homosexuality as a mental disorder, and reclassified it as Sexual Orientation disorder. The subsequent DSM III further removed the category and again reclassified this as “ego dystonic homosexuality” which puts it into a category describing only those who are ‘disturbed’ by their orientation. In fact, there is a strong effort to utilize the DSM IV, that came out in 1994, to classify homophobia as a mental disorder, thus completing the 180 degree turn by the homosexual activists in scrubbing their ‘way of life’ from any treatment criteria, and vilifying anyone who disagrees with them as ‘mentally ill’.

The DSM series, otherwise known as the ‘psychiatrists’ bible’ is the standard in which mental health is diagnosed and treated. No one would argue that the DSM has changed over the decades and that there are many instances in which the diagnostic criteria has been altered due to medical, societal, as well as political pressures to change them. There definitely is no question, that if one researches this issue, there was tremendous pressure put on the American Psychiatric Association to change the status of homosexuality from a disorder to a more normal behavior, to a protected behavior over the years. The current DSM V is going through final revisions, and will most likely move diagnostic criteria even further away from a mental disorder, and may even begin to target those who oppose it with their own newly minted disorder.

The idea that therapists and counselors cannot and should not verbalize limits or boundaries to any client’s behavior is the height of insanity. What would the EMU counseling center recommend a counselor to do, if for instance, a client came in and stated “I hate all ‘fags’ and I wish they would all die” I don’t believe for a minute that limits wouldn’t be set, or possibly, that client would be ‘fired’ by the therapist or transferred to another provider. If the school wants to truly be ‘Neutral’ in its teaching and training of counselors, it should teach that it is OK for married people to carry on affairs with no guilt or depression, sociopaths to continue on in their sadistical and contorted ways, drug addicts and alcoholics should be allowed into sessions high or drunk without kicking them out, wife beaters, child molesters or other miscreants cannot be corrected in their behaviors. After all, isn’t it their ‘choice’ and the ‘code of ethics’ states we providers are supposed to meet the clients ‘where they are’ and not ‘judge’ them? We are not, and should not be ‘neutral’ on most of these issues, and have an obligation to society to have norms that need to be respected.

The articles I have read simply stated that Ms. Ward sees homosexuality as immoral. It did not mention, or allude to her preaching or attempting to convert clients while in session. There was no allegation of complaints lodged against her by clients that felt ‘offended’ by her statements or behaviors. The school alluded to Ms. Ward needing to change her beliefs about homosexuality, not about her behavior while delivering mental heath services. If this is the case, then the school outright lied about ‘welcoming individuals from diverse backgrounds into the community.’

It is insanity to claim to be open academically, and claim to teach and train students to be counselors, and then tie their hands with unreasonable and prejudicial precepts. There are limits to people’s unacceptable behaviors, and they need to be called on them. Unfortunately in this day and age, what is considered to be a mental disorder is too often what is politically correct, and what used to be considered an illness is now a protected status. EMU is doing no favors by singling out a student based upon her Christian views, as it sets up a true monopoly on thoughts and beliefs. Doesn’t EMU’s behavior meet some criteria in the DSM?

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