By Myra St. Clair Baldwin
It really irritates me that some people who seek positions in Social Work, whether as actual social workers or as AmeriCorps volunteers and/or other volunteers FROWN on the people they serve. A fellowette AmeriCorps Vista, who was doing her service at the Hope House women’s shelter, believed that there SHOULD be a religious mandate there, because some of the women “really needed God.” As a Godless person, this really annoyed me. I don’t think it’s right to shove God’s dick down ANYONE’S throat. Neither do I think it’s okay for the workers to judge homeless people as “inferior.” The Union Gospel for Mission also is judgmental towards drug & alcohol addiction and won’t give them a place to stay warm if they don’t pass a UA. People DIE from being stuck out in the cold at night! And an addiction is NOT a character flaw! One guy who helps out at City Gate makes negative comments, like “If you were REALLY hungry, you’d eat that!” Which he said to me because I didn’t want a bologna sandwich because I’m fucking VEGETARIAN! If you’re going to go into service to “help” other people, make sure you unlearn your ignorance first. Which reminds me…in Service-Learning our goal was to get students to volunteer and learn from their volunteering. Well, first they need to be educated to not fucking judge people. And unlearning ignorance is a time-consuming process. There’s no guarantees they will EVER unlearn their ignorance, so maybe we shouldn’t be trying to throw them into service like that! Unfortunately, a lot of social service work is left in the hands of the religious, who place a lot of moral judgements on others. Some of them are NEVER going to unlearn their ignorance! We need adequate government-funded shelter for ALL!