And Another Thing…

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The Stupidest Thing I’ve Heard This Week

Regular readers of this blog know that I frequently take issue with Christians here in the States and other western nations for whining about perceived persecution every time that we are misrepresented, ridiculed, challenged, or have our sensibilities offended. I make no apologies for this. Jesus said that this (and far worse) would happen to those who chose to follow him and I don’t know why any group of believers would think that they should be exempt.

But it would be inconsistent of me to not call a spade a spade. So I am going to call the actions of a British foster care board (as detailed in the story below) for what they are: favoritism at best, persecution at worst.

A foster mother has been struck off the register for allowing a Muslim girl in her care to convert to Christianity.

The woman, who has looked after more than 80 children in the past ten years, is considering suing the council over the decision.

Although she is a practising Anglican, she said she had put no pressure on the girl who was baptised last year at the age of 16.

She said social workers had also raised no objections to her own attendance at church.

But officials insist she failed in her duty to preserve the girl’s religion and should have tried to stop the baptism.

Last April, they ruled that the girl, now 17, should stay away from church for six months….

 

…The carer is a single mother of two in her 50s who has worked with young children for much of her life. She has had an unblemished record since becoming a foster parent in the North of England in 1999.

Of the Christian convert, she said: ‘I did initially try to discourage her. I offered her alternatives.

‘I offered to find places for her to practise her own religion. I offered to take her to friends and family.

‘But she said to me from the word go, ‘I am interested and I want to come.’ She sort of burst in.’

I have no problem with prohibiting a person in a secular job that requires providing care for others from using their status to evangelize. When you are taking care of someone else, child or adult, there is a power differential that is far too easy to exploit. I have serious doubts whether a conversion that takes place under the influence of a person with power over the convert can be authentic.

But this foster mother never leaned on this kid, and made every effort to do the opposite. Furthermore, the child in care was 16; children younger than this have made decisions about their faith before.

Apparently, the foster mother’s crime was failing to impinge on the child’s rights. I can’t help but wonder if a similar fuss would have been made over a Christian child converting to atheism or Islam.

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Filed under: Faith and Religion, Society, , , ,

11 Responses

  1. Frank says:

    That is pretty stupid. Lots of irony there.

  2. andy says:

    I agree that taking her off the list was ridiculous, but apparentely the organization eventually realized that too, as the end of the story said she’d been reinstated. Annoyance, yes. Persecution, no.

  3. andy says:

    Apologies, I guess the reinstatment was the nurse and not the foster parent. Either way I expect they’ll reinstate the foster parent once her lawyer gets done. Either way it’s annoying and ridiculous but I can’t say persecution when I think the decision will ultimately come down in her favor.

  4. odgie says:

    Andy – You may be right that all of this will be sorted out. However, I do think that it qualifies, at least for the time being, as persecution. Society is imposing a consequence on her simply because of her faith, despite the fact that she didn’t evangelize.

    I keep reading a lot of conservative-leaning bloggers who claim that England is pretty much giving up the ghost to militant Islam. I had always thought that they were exaggerating. But now, i’m not so sure.

  5. Media will hype this as persecution, but to be certain there is power play here which will ultimately feed some short-term notoriety to some attorney.

    I find it sad that often organized religion plays itself out with subterfuge and social imperialism. Clearly fundamentalism in any religion can almost always have derogatory marketing affect. Churches in America are wondering why less and less people are attending services these days. They need to take a strong look at themselves before “going ye unto the world.”

    “Oh the country was young
    With God on its side.” – Bob Dylan

  6. odgie says:

    GTC @ #5 – Welcome and thanks for kicking in; but I honestly don’t get what you are saying. Can you elaborate?

  7. Kelly says:

    What? GTC, I agree, mean people do indeed suck. But who are the meanies in this particular scenario? Are you saying that by letting this girl become a Christian, somehow Christians are to blame? I don’t get it, not trying to be mean or anything…

  8. I am not an attorney.

    But I believe this to be a freedom of speech issue, not necessarily one of discrimination. To share whatever you want with whom. The Muslim girl should have the freedom to listen, to weight, and to choose from whomever step in her spiritual path regardless of age.

    Be it art, books, music, knowledge or spiritual beliefs; it sets a bad precedent every time when you start burning books and forcing people to see from only one viewpoint. To require somebody to have a certain belief because of the where somebody was born borders on fascism.

  9. Kelly says:

    I agree, but I’m still confused. If you’re not a lawyer GTC, you should think about taking it up. Tax Law.

  10. katy says:

    Why is the girl “forced” to remain a muslim? Isn’t there freedom of religion? Why is she prohibited from going to any church she wants? The fact that the foster parent is a Christian is irrelevant. If the girl chose to be a Scientologist, would the foster mom be blamed?

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