Thursday, January 23, 2014

Why I Left My MSW Program

The decision did not come easily. For weeks and weeks I was contemplating whether or not I wanted to continue on in my Master of Social Work program. The only thing which made the decision difficult was that I had a scholarship and stipend awarded to me by the school which I would lose. Because that was in place, I had difficulty deciding what to do. Allow me to explain what lead me to my decision.

The main reason why I chose not to complete the program is because my MSW program, probably not unlike most other programs, was simply a platform to indoctrinate potential social workers with leftist dogma. Education is supposed to be about hearing different views on various issues and interacting with them. This does not mean all views are valid or right; rather, it means different points of view should be heard and engaged with, not dismissed with a slogan or name calling. There was little to no education occurring within any of my classes. I can only think of 1 or 2 useful ideas which I learned throughout an entire semester. All the teachers, textbooks, articles, etc. were supportive of leftist values and ideas. Alternative views were either mocked or outright misrepresented. For example, one of my die-hard feminist teachers claimed that the Tea Party desires to get rid of all policemen and firemen because they're against government programs. I was amazed at such stupidity coming from someone with a doctorate. I desire a true education where I'll actually learn true and useful information. Paying thousands of dollars and spending hours each week reading and listening to leftist propaganda is NOT education. 

The next reason was because of the requirements of licensure. If one wants to be a LSW, one must pass a test; however, in order to keep the license one must pay for "continuing education" credits every year or so. This is what I have been told. Obtaining these credits are not cheap. Social workers already don't make a lot of money, yet another financial burden is placed upon them by the state. Since I already couldn't stand the courses I took in my first semester, I couldn't imagine having to pay for and complete similar courses my whole life in order to keep my license. I understand many jobs don't require state licensure but many do, especially in hospitals.

Another thing that helped me make my decision to leave was the fact that one must complete 144 hours of internship per semester in one's first year. The second year, the student must complete even more each semester. It's great if one gets a paid internship; however, not everyone is fortunate enough to obtain this. The CSWE makes it so difficult for social work students to work while in school. Many students simply took out loans and didn't work at all while in the MSW program. That's too much debt to be racking up for a profession that does not pay very much. 

 I thought about what I really wanted to do in the future and whether or not a MSW degree was even necessary. My passion is for mentoring/counseling/teaching children and adolescents. I knew I didn't necessarily need a degree for that. If anything, I could volunteer as a Big Brother or with some other organization to make this happen. Plus, I don't like the constraints many mental health professions place upon their practitioners, especially forcing the normalization of homosexuality down every one's throats. If a social worker dares to state that he does not embrace same-sex relationships, he may very well lose his job, license and possibly be sued. You don't believe me? Start reading or listening to other news outlets besides CNN, MSNBC, ABC, etc. Homosexual advocates are silencing their opposition through the force of law and unfortunately, seem to be successful.

Lastly, I contemplated what truly changes people. What penetrates a person's very soul and transforms them into something better than what they were? Psychoanalysis? Narrative therapy? Cognitive Behavioral therapy? Or is it any of the other plethora of counseling theories concocted by godless men? The only thing which I know of that can change a man's heart is the working of the Holy Spirit. Regeneration and repentance that leads to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only "theory' I know that can radically transform the most vile rebel. I'm not saying the secular theories can't accomplish anything; rather, I'm saying they never accomplish enough. All people are in need of God's pardon and forgiveness and only one person can provide that, namely Jesus.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Why Don't You Want to Live in a Bad Neighborhood?

I once asked a friend of mine her thoughts regarding the fact that most, if not all, of the neighborhoods within New York City that are considered "bad areas" are predominantly full of blacks and Puerto Ricans. I do not recall exactly what her response was but we had an interesting conversation.

There is no doubt that the neighborhoods which have the most crime are full of minorities. I came to the conclusion that it's not the buildings, streets, stores, etc. that make these areas bad. There are places in Harlem which any yuppie would love to buy or rent (many are doing just that). The problem is the people. And it's not about being racist, prejudice or any of such nonsense. The truth is that blacks and Hispanics within NYC and perhaps most other parts of the U.S. engage in more criminal activity than other ethnicities. The reason why this is the case is a topic for empirical inquiry. Thomas Sowell has written a great book, Black rednecks and White Liberals, which addresses this very issue.

Many leftists and others will deny that blacks and Hispanics commit more crimes than others. Or they'll say the police are targeting only them. Oh please! The police patrol where there is high crime. Since there is already high crime in certain neighborhoods, of course police would make more arrests there since there's more crime. I have many more than a few white leftists who seem to love speaking out for blacks especially and condemning the police, conservatives and people of faith. They will rant about various issues regarding blacks, yet I have never met one who has come from that background. I have never met one who even has friends from these high-crime neighborhoods. Typically, it seems white leftists have no clue what the mind-set and behavior of blacks within these areas are even like so why do they even bother?

I don't know the reason. Perhaps it's because "social justice" is "hip" now and it's what everyone is doing so they jump on the bandwagon with everyone else. Perhaps it is because since the news outlets, television shows, movies, music, educational institutions, etc. have become so biased against any other views other than their own and only display images and information which will bolster their cause, that countless Americans are taken in by such tactics. Most people watch television for hours, thus they are being pumped leftist propaganda constantly. It's no surprise many would be duped by these tactics.

Speaking as a Hispanic and having grown up having mostly only black and Hispanic friends, I know what the mind-set of many of these individuals is and it is not praiseworthy. Taking pride in sleeping around with girls, beating up foes, and indulging in drugs are not activities which ought to be embraced. A new frame of mind is needed within these communities. A brand new outlook on life is crucial for these individuals to live more productive lives. The best way for this to occur is for the gospel of Jesus Christ to be preached and taught within these areas so that repentance and godly sorrow will be ubiquitous. Then, the light of Christ's work on the cross might shine so that people will be saved.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Faith vs Worldview

I think there is an important distinction which needs to be made nowadays between the difference of Christian faith and Christian worldview. Let me explain. These days, one can run into many people who will claim they "love Jesus" and attend church; however, if one were to probe deeper into this person's affection for Jesus, oftentimes one will discover the person's worldview to be completely at odds with Scripture. The individual will affirm and endorse homosexuality, same-sex "marriage", relativism, "all roads lead to God" notion, people are good and other ideas that do not coincide with a biblical framework of reality.

I do not doubt that there are genuine followers of Christ who happen to be completely ignorant of what it means to cultivate and develop a biblical worldview. The church and parents are mostly to blame for that. What one doe snot see very often is a follower of Christ who has trusted Jesus for his salvation after recognizing his own sinfulness and gradually crafting an outlook of reality that is explicitly biblical.

Cultivating a Christian worldview means behaving and thinking in such a way that aligns with what the Triune God of Scripture commands and teaches. If God says "...a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife and they shall become one flesh," then that excludes any relationship which wants to be deemed marriage as unacceptable. That is, any relationship falling outside the boundaries of a man and a woman is not marriage. Yet it is not uncommon to find self-identifying Christians which will not hold fast to this biblical teaching. They will jump on board with the world and promote the redefinition of marriage to include homosexual relationships.

It seems the root issue for some Christians is the authority and inspiration of Scripture. If one believes the Bible is full of errors, contradictions, etc. then one will not take seriously what it proclaims about the world. However, for the faithful follower of Christ who believes God has spoken to His creation through special revelation, they ought to be more intentional about developing a Christian worldview. For those doubting the authority of the Bible, I suggest they read books and articles by men of faith who have dealt with this issue a long time ago (e.g., James White, Greg Bahsnen, among many).

It is extremely vital for Christians not to be sucked into the deception and foolishness of the world. When one listens to the news of current events which are happening within our very nation, it is truly disheartening. Animals valued more than humans; babies being killed within a mother's womb; indoctrination within colleges and K-12 schools; the list goes on. As Christians, let us read the Bible and think deeply how what we read carries over into our society today. Granted this is not always easy but it is sure worth the effort.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Real Life Examples of Social Work Prejudice and Bias

While coming to the end of my first semester in my MSW program, I've encountered numerous examples of violations of the NASW Code of Ethics (the field's Bible for social work practice) by professors, workers in the field and current MSW students. Here are just some:

1. During a visit with a supervisor, political affiliation became alluded to. The supervisor said, "If you're a Republican, I'll kill you." She said this in a joking manner, displaying her dislike of Republicans.

2. Hardcore feminist professor deliberately misrepresents the views of those she disagrees with and expresses disbelief at how anyone would be a Republican.

3. Same feminist professor exclaims no one can use Fox News as a source for an assignment (because they are one of the very few non-leftist news organizations).

4. Professor writes "conservatives, military, police and capitalism" on white board and tells class to rank from 1-4 which are most responsible for racism, sexism and some other "ism" in society. The implication being all these ARE responsible but just rank which are MOST responsible.

5. Textbook says something to the effect that people sometimes hold to irrational beliefs. Then the textbook gives an example of a sick woman who declines medicinal help because she believes God is punishing her. The textbook declares this woman's belief irrational.

6. During a class discussion, topic of same-sex marriage came up. A young handicapped man from Africa expressed his cultural/religious belief that marriage is to only be between one man and one woman. Several of his classmates couldn't hold their tongue and told him not to bring his cultural beliefs into the discussion.

These are just some examples; I haven't listed them all. For a profession that is so adamant about "multiculturalism," "pluralism," "tolerance," and being nonjudgmental and non-biased, I cannot recall a time where I have seen so many prejudiced, biased and intolerant individuals in one room. The hypocrisy of these individuals is risible yet disheartening at the same time 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Think Twice Before Considering MSW Degree

I'm currently in my first year in a MSW program. I'm having serious second thoughts about continuing on with the program. Let me explain some reasons why.

1. The pay stinks. I knew beforehand that social workers typically do not make a lot of money. I didn't think I would enter this field and come out making a 6 figure salary years down the road. With that being said, I also did not realize how little of an increase in pay there is after years in the field. After talking to people in the field, graduates of MSW programs and looking online, I've fully realized that even after working the field for 10, 15 or 20 years one might still be making $50k. That's horrible. I'm not saying this is the case for everyone but I think it is for most social workers, excluding those with dual degrees (e.g., MBA, JD, MPA, etc.)

2. MSW degrees are typically very expensive. The school I'm currently attending charges around $40k for a two year MSW degree (i.e., in tuition only). I know schools like USC charge around $80k for the degree. That's unbelievable. Some people will tell you you have to go to a well known school to make more money and build better connections. That's bull. Don't listen to them. They'll be working in the same jobs as those who graduated from a cheaper state school except the state school graduates won't be in debt almost $100k. The degree is costly though and as mentioned before, the earning potential for social workers is very low especially for someone who has a graduate degree. I would advise people not to go for the MSW unless they are receiving a significant amount of scholarship and/or their job is paying for the degree.

3. The field is dominated by leftists (or as Star Parker calls them, "The enemies of God"). Every course I've taken thus far has had a leftist professor and textbook. You'll hear nonsense like, "Families don't need fathers," or "Homosexuals just want marriage equaliuty and they are "oppressed." One of my teachers is a hardcore feminist and constantly alludes to it throughout her lectures. You'll hear only one side of most social issues and if you dare bring up the fact that you're conservative or Republican, you'll be ostracized and ridiculed. You won't gain an education from attending most MSW programs I suspect. You'll be indoctrinated with leftist dogma and never hear another side to any issue unless you actively seek out other opposing views on your own time.

4. Many jobs out there in the world that only require a bachelors degree or less are available and pay the same or sometimes more than what MSW graduates make. One could go to a community college, complete a year long program and become a massage therapist making roughly around the same amount of money as many MSW graduates make. Others can go learn a trade at a technical school, complete it in a lot less time than a bachelors and MSW degree take and come out making the same or more money than MSW degree holders.

5. Even after getting your license (e.g., LSW, LCSW), you have to pay to take courses every year or so in order to keep the license valid. These continuing education courses are not cheap and you have to take several of them. Social workers already make little money yet the state requires that you do this in order to keep your license. How ridiculous! Plus, still after getting these licenses your pay does not significantly increase.

These are just some of the thoughts that come to mind and that have caused me to seriously reconsider pursuing this degree. I'm not sure that it is a worthwhile investment but to each his own.