Saturday, April 24, 2010

Worst foster system nominee: No Muslims allowed

In Maryland, the foster care system has refused to allow a woman to be a foster parent because she is a Muslim and therefore won't have pork in her house, which violates the kid's right to eat pork. No, really, that's what they said.
We are denying your application because of concerns raised by statements made during the home study interview, specifically your explicit request to prohibit pork products within your home environment. Although we respect your personal/religious views and practices, this agency must above all ensure that the religious, cultural and personal rights of each foster child placed in our case are upheld. Your statement indicates that there could potentially be a discrepancy between your expectations and the needs and personal views of a child placed in your care.
As Ed Brayton said on his blog, where I found this, "Unless they also refuse every vegetarian and every Jewish person, this is pretty clearly a matter of discrimination."

As the current expression says, I am gobsmacked by this. How could any person with normal cognitive abilities imagine that putting a foster kid in a house that does not serve pork (or coffee, or Coca Cola, or okra, or brown rice, or Skittles, or any particular food) is harmful to the kid? How can they construe the first amendment to the constitution to mean there is a religious, cultural, or personal right to eat pork?

Does it mean that a Muslim or Jewish kid cannot be put into a Christian, Buddhist, Hindi, or atheist home, because they might see other family members eat pork?

Whoever made this decision should be given a nice job somewhere where he or she* won't be forced to make constitutional judgments.

*I first wrote "he, for it must be a he," and then I remembered Michele Bachmann.

1 comment:

  1. I guess this means that no Muslim children end up in foster care.

    This is a breath-takingly ridiculous bit of news. I was a foster parent (LA County, in the early '70s), and our point of view on everything was, for better or worse, the Rules of the House. (Which caused a problem for a while, as DPSS, as it was then called, had neglected to tell us that the children had been raised as Jehovah Witnesses, and we didn't know for months, until they broke down in terror, because we had celebrated their birthdays and were now -- horrors -- preparing for Hallowe'en.)