Ordained Ministers do counseling at crime scenes

Atheists are trying to stop clergy from being sent to crime scenes and accidents where they do grief counseling and help the victims deal with the tragedy or loss they’ve just endured.  The authorities, police, etc. send the minister, rabbi or chaplain to the scene.  But now the atheists say these dedicated ordained professionals are not doing anything, they are actually doing harm.

This article describes the atheist campaign to stop clergy.

Atheist group seeks end to Alabama grief counseling by clergy

Our online Seminary ordains ministers, chaplains and rabbis as alternative clergy…

…several of which have done crime scene counseling, terrorist scene counseling, etc.  Alabama is one of the places in the country that will still send a priest, ordained minister, as a counselor.  What a shame this practice is under attack now.  I remember reading after the Boston bombing how clergy were kept back from the scene, even a Catholic priest who could have read the last rites to the Catholic little boy that died. Humans have three natures, the physical, mental and spiritual.  It seems completely wrong to take every vestige of the spiritual out of public life and force it into private life only.  They are forcing spirituality into the closet.  Suppressing spirituality is  just as dangerous as suppressing sexuality.


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Katia is a consecrated independent sacramental bishop. She directs the online Esoteric Mystery School and Interfaith Theological Seminary. Check it out at NorthernWay.org.

One thought on “Ordained Ministers do counseling at crime scenes”

  1. It is hard to tell with so little actual information, but the AI *may* have a point. My first thought in reading the opening sentence, was that the counseling had *nothing* to do with the prevention of crime. How could it?

    So in part, among the errors committed by city is in mis-targeting the need, and in failing to respond appropriately. After all, the program cannot be about stopping crime. The crime has already taken place.

    What it *should* be about -IMO- is helping victims deal with the emotional distress of becoming victims. It should be noted that other counselors should be equally able to provided this service. However, it may be the cities chaplain corps is best placed to respond.

    But I see another, deeper problem. And this may be more to the heart of the AI objection. The quote reads:

    “Montgomery Police Department Chaplain E. Baxter Morris said the program offers an ‘evangelistic advance’….”

    I believe this is completely inappropriate! The last thing the victim needs is to be preached at!

    The victim needs spiritual and perhaps more immediately emotional support. It would also be good if the chaplain could offer assistance in navigating the justice system into which the victim has been suddenly, and violently, thrust.

    I have never seen the duties of a *chaplain* to be evangelistic in any way whatsoever. My belief is that the chaplain is present to *serve* the persons to whom they are ministering.

    This means a chaplain has to set their own set of personal beliefs to the side. They are not there for themselves nor for their church nor as a representative of their religious denomination. They are there to serve the *person* in need, as best they are able.

    Sadly, from what I have all too often read, many chaplains fail to understand this.

    Of course, where I would counsel restructuring the program and correcting the emphasis, I expect the AI is driving for a disbanding of the program, so that the victims are left no help at all.

    Too often the AI prefers to see a house burn to the ground rather than let a Christian fire fighter put out the flames. The home owner be damned! (Sorry for the puns in that imagery.)

    So while it is just my gut guess here, my expectation is that neither party really has the interests of the victim as their top priority. Both are just using the victims to advance their personal agendas.

    Which is really sad.

    Of course, I could be wrong.


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