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The Forum > Article Comments > School chaplains need counselling > Comments

School chaplains need counselling : Comments

By Brian Greig, published 1/7/2014

Some 30 per cent of all youth suicides are from LGBTI kids who didnít or couldnít get the care and support they really needed.

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I think you have highlighted a relevant issue Brian - that chaplains should be trained on Psychology and gay issues so that they can help gay students who are having a hard time and are at risk of suicide.

However, as a Christian believer myself, I think that at least one person with this knowledge/ awareness of the spiritual needs of humanity is also very valuable to have in schools.

Non- Christians such as yourself focus on the 'non-sense' in literal terms of the Christ story. I am a scientist and and a Christian and I have no trouble reconciling Christianity with science because the former is about mystery and the language is metaphorical. But spiritual Christian faith has brought comfort to billions over the ages.

I agree with you that the 'Christian religious right' who interpret 'God's will' to be homo- phobic (on the grounds of a few ancient pre-Christian 'Jewish background' texts from the Old Testament such as Leviticus), are wrong.

You may be comforted to know that worldwide, many church parishes - notably Anglican, United and Presbyterian are now 'progressive' and are inclusive of LGBT people and as you say recognize the science on the issue.

Another point raised against chaplains is 'why Christian - why not say Buddhist or Muslim?. Well my answer to that is that chaplains should have some knowledge of all of these faiths and be accepting of them. But I think that many of the positive aspects of our national culture stemmed from Christianity and can see no need to change that in schools; rather keep up that tradition that is unfortunately on the wane in our society.
Posted by Roses1, Tuesday, 1 July 2014 8:45:17 AM
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' Some 30 per cent of all youth suicides are from LGBTI kids who didnít or couldnít get the care and support they really needed. '

really? and how do you come to that conclusion or is this just another bit of propaganda to suite the narrative.

If anything, if these dubious stats are anywhere near true the homosexual lifestyle should not be promoted as the gay lobby seems so bent on doing. Leave the kids alone.
Posted by runner, Tuesday, 1 July 2014 9:59:48 AM
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You say you oppose the chaplaincy program outright so why not tell us why you oppose it outright? To oppose something outright means that there are fundamental arguments which mean that it should not exist. Drawing up a list of reasons why you do not like the school chaplaincy program does not add up to an outright argument. Outright means that the program should not exist no matter what elements it contains such as the ones you have outlined.

You say you want to leave aside the fact that the program undermines the separation between church and state. This is the fundamental reason why the program should be abolished outright. Why would you want to leave aside the fundamental argument unless you are not really concerned with abolishing the program but rather more concerned with detailing the victim status of one particular group.

There are many particular groups who are victims of the school chaplaincy program and who have their natural instincts questioned and distorted by the personal agendas of religious chaplains. These groups do not call for better awareness of their own particular issues but call for an abolition of the program altogether so that everyone is free of such interference in their own personal development. If every school chaplain had the attitudes to homosexuality that you would like them to have would that then make the program acceptable to you? Calling for the program to be abolished outright would simply make you a hypocrite.

It seems you are not concerned about the welfare of students but more concerned with telling us all how much homosexual people suffer and how much you have suffered. We all know this Ė people like you take all sorts of opportunities such as this debate on school chaplaincy programs to tell us. Perhaps you are really trying to convince yourself of your suffering because you are not entirely sure it is true.
Posted by phanto, Tuesday, 1 July 2014 10:15:35 AM
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It is notable that Brian makes no attempt to provide evidence that chaplains have discriminated against LGBTI kids. His argument is one of guilt by association: some Christian groups are homophobic, and most chaplains are Christians, so some chaplains most be homophobic. This is rubbish, and judging people according to the categories they belong to is one of the coarsest though commonest forms of prejudice. Happily, society is less and less inclined to discriminate against LGBTI in this way. Christians, apparently, are fair game, however.

Any form of bigotry or discrimination directed at kids for any reason (race, sexuality, religion) by professionals working with them is completely unacceptable. Teachers, chaplains, counsellors, medical staff etc. should be disciplined if they act in this way. But Brianís presumption of guilt is as much prejudice as the homophobia he rightly deplores.
Posted by Rhian, Tuesday, 1 July 2014 2:31:48 PM
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Sorry Rhian, but unless these Chaplains have more qualifications under their belt than bible studies with their respective churches, then they are not 'professionals' like teachers and psychologists.

We need trained counselors in our public schools, not Chaplains.
The parents can send their kids for religious 'counseling' after school hours...
Posted by Suseonline, Tuesday, 1 July 2014 2:50:46 PM
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Suseonline
I completely agree that theology or bible school does not qualify a person for chaplaincy. Chaplains should undertake whatever training is necessary to perform their functions professionally.

However, Brianís argument seems to be that theology or bible school automatically renders someone UNqualified to be a chaplain, and thatís another proposition entirely.
Posted by Rhian, Tuesday, 1 July 2014 3:02:15 PM
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