Twelve Step Privilege:
Any Religious Context
I love the precedent set here: anything said "within a religious context" gets protection. Too bad atheists will never qualify, unless we promote the misconception that atheism is some kind of belief system. Of course, given our low showing in the prison population, it appears atheists are too honest to ever need protection in the first place.
I wonder, though: if I wanted to hide something, would it be enough to say "I did it, so help me God," to create a "religious context"?
As the Cardinal Spellman character said to the Pope John character in that old Lenny Bruce routine, when Christ and Moses appeared at the church: "Look, what am I paying protection for?"
Meanwhile, we get protection from our doctors and lawyers. The only protection we're missing is protection we don't want in the first place: if you don't think it's a good idea to confess your sins, either to a Priest or to a Sponsor, then you won't be needing to protect yourself from having told all to another human under a religious context. I would certainly rather be in the position of not feeling compelled to tell all to a fellow-human and not need this protection than to have this protection which is still under appeal and may not be rock solid even for Roman Catholics, as I suggested over five years ago in the "Eugene DA Genuflects" piece.
Meanwhile, in the we told you so department, even though it's still very tough to stop government mandated Twelve Step indoctrination, someone has managed to use the Alcoholics Anonymous is a religion angle so that now Alcoholics Anonymous members all get clerical privilege. AA is so utterly informal that literally anything goes. That can of worms aside, this is a good thing because now it will be that much easier to actually stop enforced AA instruction.
Due to a mistake in a medical record that I've not been able to clear up, I currently face mandated something or other in order to receive medical care. However, this means that I get to go to a real psychologist -- a Ph.D. or even an M.D. rather than some clown which a shingle who completed twelve units at Twelve Step School. And this case will make it that much easier to demand that I be seen by a professional or not at all.
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