I believe we all should live in harmony with each and in doing so we should all respect the views of each other. Whether there is a God or not or which religion we follow is up to each individual and no other persons or organisation should decide otherwise.
Religions are beliefs and not a matter of fact and should never be held to be based on facts. Many of the religious scriptures were written many years after the events with no proof they occurred except for hearsay.
If religion make you feel good or not is up to the individual and not any other.
Respect each other and their beliefs, but do not dictate these to others, leave this to individual choice.
By all mean advise children the different religions but no one should say one is better or not than the other. Children should be allowed to make up their own minds, but they should be taught respect, understanding, compassion and that we all have a right to live our own lives, provided we all abide by the laws of the land.
We have no problem whatsoever in declaring that female circumcision is child abuse. If a parent allows their female child to be mutilated then most civilised people would shout loudly that it is wrong.
It does not matter if the parents erroneously believe that it is a religious practice.
Religious practices are not above the law.
Some religious practice declares that it is not only alright, but an absolute mandate from god, to take the life of a nonbeliever. It is never right.
Some religious belief declares that it is right for a wife to throw herself on the funeral pyre of her husband.
Female circumcision is an abuse. It is wrong. It is illegal. It never should happen.
Neither should male circumcision be allowed. It is nowhere near as bad as female mutilation but it is the same principle. A child should not be subjected to such a mutilation…
Following debates over the role of faith in social work, Ryan Wise analyses whether insisting beliefs are put to one side is the right approach
by Ryan Wise
In recent weeks there has been plenty of discussion in the social work community about the role of religion, and what part it can play in practice.
This was prompted by a social work student losing an appeal case against his university’s decision to expel him after he shared support for an American registrar who refused to give marriage licenses to gay couples on grounds of faith and said homosexuality was a ‘sin’. His appeal was on the basis that the university had unlawfully interfered with his rights to free speech and freedom of religion.
A piece written in Community Care on 6 November inspired me to reflect on my own perspective of being a social worker, a practice educator and a gay male. I think it is important to look at the relationship between social work and religion with an emphasis on when religious belief leads one to hold views possibly at odds with ideas of equality; namely same-sex marriage.
I am personally fascinated by religion and faith, I completed my undergraduate in religious studies where I was curious to explore the complexities of religion and the influence it has on society and people’s thoughts, views and behaviours.
I respect faith and belief and recognise how religion can be a drive to do well in the world. However, when it comes to views against same-sex marriage, I then struggle. Theologically, I must admit I am not au fait with the intricacies of teaching in monotheistic faith which indicates same-sex marriage as wrong.
Quite the contrary, my understanding is that most of the teachings focused on equality.
Right way forward
When confronted with these views, I do wonder if questioning why they are held is the right way forward. I don’t know for sure, but for me it is about understanding how one has come to this view.
It is key to explore such views and explore faith-based viewpoints more generally. I don’t propose questioning theologically, but adopting a curious approach to ethics and values which our profession holds at its foundations.
When I started as a practice educator I was informed on my first day that a high number of students on the University course held the view that same-sex marriage was at odds with their faith and thus possibly wrong. I struggled with this and, truthfully, I still am struggling. I was perhaps surprised as a view which opposed same-sex marriage was one I considered to be held by few rather than the many, like it was in this context.
I believe it is my role to encourage different thinking and curiosity. The example of referring to homosexuality as a sin is perhaps a clear red flag but what about the grey areas? The grey areas indicate that we can only consider each case in its own individual context.
Beliefs in social work
Perhaps it is about the individual person’s ability to consider their beliefs and values concerning same-sex marriage and reflect on difference. It can be argued that not agreeing with same-sex marriage is not the same as a homophobic stance, but again we have the issue of equality.
People have different beliefs, and often the question is how they can be put to one side to effectively practice in social work. I feel this is the wrong position to take and wonder why this is suggested. I do not think we can put our values and beliefs to one side.
We engage with difference all the time and we must engage with ourselves reflexively.
There is a difficulty when beliefs and values are at odds with equality, although this can be explored through the Social Graces. Devised by Roper Hall and Burnham, Social Graces represents aspects of difference in beliefs, power and lifestyle, visible and invisible, voiced and unvoiced, to which we might pay attention too.
The Social Graces have grown since their original development and currently represent: Gender, Geography, Race, Religion, Age, Ability, Appearance, Class, Culture, Ethnicity, Education, Employment, Sexuality, Sexual Orientation, and Spirituality.
An important part of self-reflexivity is engaging with the Social Graces. Religion is only one of the graces, do you have specific ideas about people’s ages, or people’s class or race? Are we always acutely aware of what we think or believe? With so many Graces in play at any one time, should differences over religion and faith play such a prominent role in deeming what makes a person fit or unfit to be a social worker?
My point is that we all hold different views, ideas and beliefs and we must engage with ourselves in the reflexive process to question those.
For me it is no coincidence that in my colleagues’ article they mentioned the student in the case central to this renewed debate did not ‘demonstrate critical reflection or regret about his comments, showing little insight into how LGBTQ+ service users might experience such an attitude’.
Critical reflection is a process, a process supported and encouraged by good quality supervision.
I have learned that it is my role as a practice educator to engage with beliefs and values concerning same-sex marriage which are at odds to my own and develop curious thinking.
I am coming from a standpoint that one can hold views that are different, or be seen by the majority as ‘unethical’, and if they are willing to engage with their beliefs then they can practice as a social worker.
I am not saying this is a right or wrong view, merely pointing out there is a plurality of beliefs and values.
If someone is sharing beliefs or values that are outwardly discriminatory or oppressive then it is different to being opposed to same-sex marriage because you believe it to be at odds with your faith. If same-sex marriage is not compatible with your religious beliefs, what counts as ‘good enough’ engagement or reflection and do we have a standard to work towards to allow practitioners to start working with vulnerable children and families?
I think there must be a standard; it is for the practice educator or manager to consider that individual’s capacity to reflect and engage with the Social Graces; if there is evidence of little-to-no reflexive willingness or skill I would question how that person would be able to effectively encourage and empower children and families to change.
I have spoken a lot about what is expected of someone else, but there’s also a question around how I address my own views and my own responsibilities. I must be open and foster curiosity, creating a space for students to explore their thinking. I need to engage with my own approach. I respect religion, but I am not a religious person myself; do I think about this enough when working with those who hold strong beliefs and values?
Reflexivity is not just for those who have faith, or who may hold views we deem controversial, its for every member of the profession.
I recently attended a talk on Witchcraft and Spirit possession. Here I saw a particularly inspirational speaker who spoke openly about how, as a pastor’s wife and a social worker, she skilfully articulated how she negotiated challenges of faith and practice.
The reflexive skill showed was outstanding and left me feeling enthused.
We need to identify our own areas of development and realise that this is not an easy area to articulate or navigate. It is important to consider the culture of organisations and the profession, and how they can work together to bring out these conversations.
This is necessary, not only to ensure that practice is anti-discriminatory but also support practitioners to feel that they should not have to hide their faith.
Ryan Wise is an advanced social work practitioner in children’s services. He tweets @ryanwise18.
I welcome your words and feeling and in an ideal world what you wish for would eventually be possible. But we all have fears and beliefs with regards to our lives and there will always be some people worse or better off than ourselves. What we need to do is to understand the reasons why and not listen to violent and unreasoned rhetoric from those who should know better, for they are harnessing the fears and beliefs of others for their own ends and not for the persons who they are trying to influence.
Unfortunately this is how the human race is, it will never be perfect, for no matter what occurs there will always be persons better and worse of than ourselves, what we need to do is learn to live with it and we all need to do what we can to better ourselves without reducing the lives of others.
It will not be easy, but for the benefit of all human kind and the existance of all life in the world we do need to make progress.
I agree with every translation there will be some differences in the text, especially when these are not from the original. The more translations there are from translations the differences could be more extensive. The only way to monitor if there are differnces in each translation is to compare with the original, so if this is not available, no one can be sure how accurate any translation is. Then, when viewing the original if this was possible, how accurate would that be, for to be accurate each should have been written by the person on whose knowledge it is based, for scribes may not always write what is verbaly expressed, even if this is done at the time the events occurred. If the scribing was done some many years later, then who can tell what the original meanings were meant to be. Then in some instances were the happenings from reality or assumed reality.
However, this should not bring any religion into disrepute, for all religions are beliefs and if these beliefs help and give comfort to the individuals who believe then the religion should not be disputed. This should not minimise the credence of any religion and detract from their beliefs, nor should it detract from believers of different religions or those who for other reasons do not fully believe in the total religion of others. For beliefs should be for each individual and not for others to belittle or force others to act against their beliefs, except where this goes against the law and customs of the country in which they reside.
We should all be tolerent of each other and learn to live side by side, for then and only then will there be peace within the world.
Unless you are a caregiver you can not comprehend the resolve, the will, the energy and time and patience needed to provide quality care. You’re concentrating on the person requiring and wishing to be cared for and rarely consider yourself. When you do it is then that you may realise how your own health is deteriorating and who then cares for you.
Life is strange, isn’t it?
I have to wonder sometimes at its fairness – how some of us get to stay relatively healthy while we watch our loved-ones fall apart.
Some believe it’s all predestined: were those who are put into the role of caregiver always meant to be one? Were they somehow chosen? I’ve heard it said that people who have ended up caring for others may be challenged by a higher power… that they are, by divine intervention, simply the person for the job. Some are able to make their own choice to work in the service of those who are less fortunate, or who are sick, some have no choice other than the choice to run away.
I’m a great believer that everything happens for a reason, though not necessarily in a mystical sense. Good and bad must always have a balance. The weights tip back and…
As many of you know, last summer I began to look into theology. Now that I’m no longer in school, I have gotten back into it. This had led me to think about the idea that the Bible is inerrant. As an atheist, I obviously don’t believe that this is true, but most Christians do believe that the Bible is inerrant. This is incredibly problematic.
When I talk to Christians about their belief in God, or my non-belief, the Bible inevitably comes up. I don’t believe in God because I see no evidence to suggest that God exists. I want evidence before I’m willing to commit to a belief. Christians, however, often believe that they have the evidence. The problem is this evidence is not convincing to a non-Christian. Why? Because it tends to presuppose the inerrancy of the Bible. This is also a major problem with the theology I…
I can’t pretend to fully understand your loss and pain. Being a forty-two year old white male in America, I haven’t experienced the harsh realities of society in the ways you have endured. That, in itself, would be a heavy burden to bear. The loss of a son makes it even more overwhelming.
I am a father of two girls, and can’t imagine losing one of them to such a tragedy. We, as parents, are saddled with great responsibility the moment they enter this world. We protect. We nurture. We discipline. We love. We envision grand dreams for our children, unsure if they will ever obtain them. We never anticipate outliving them. It’s an old cliche, but it’s so very true. A parent should never have to bury their own child.
As I watched the events unfold Monday night, my heart broke. I…