Clarification of Purpose

Jesse Capece offers readers of the Providence Journal the service of clarifying something about which the average citizen might have misconceptions:

My name is Jesse Capece and I, like Mr. Felkner, am pursuing a master’s degree at RIC’s School of Social Work. I have heard Mr. Felkner run off at the mouth about how the school is left-leaning. The absurdity of this argument borders on insanity.
Of course, the School of Social Work is left-leaning in its beliefs. Social work is about change. Everything that social work does is geared toward destroying the social norms that oppress so many. In short, social work is in the business of change; we are not trying to conserve anything.

Social work is in the business of change — as opposed to the business of helping people. Change first. Destruction of social norms first. Well-being somewhere after that, and defined as freedom from “oppressive” social norms. Take Capece at his word: “we are not trying to conserve anything,” which as a simple matter of definition would include somethings evolved through millennia of human society to secure well-being and happiness.
Such an approach is fine, for its true believers, but social work thus defined strikes me as a matter of religious dogma not to be imposed with public dollars. I, for one, am not keen on funding the destruction of social norms. Helping people to secure material needs, yes; leading them toward spiritual deliverance from our shared culture and heritage, no. With the veil of euphemism removed from “social work,” surely others will agree.
Although not likely the intention with which his letter was written, Jesse Capece has certainly offered a public service.

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