Volunteer organization requires me to sign a statement of faith - page 2

This is sort of an ethical dilemma, I wonder if I am getting myself into trouble. I do not believe in god. I am more spiritual with nature and do not follow the bible. I was raised christian and... Read More

  1. by   tnbutterfly
    Quote from EarthwormRN
    I'd like to volunteer at this christian based non profit medical clinic because I want to volunteer my nursing skills but in the volunteer packet it requires I sign a statement of faith, that I believe in god and my faith is true, which it is not. I am afraid that if I tell anyone I am a non believer they will tell me to go elsewhere.. but I find that to be unfair. I am not going into a church to worship. I am going into a clinic to provide medical care to under-served and underprivileged individuals (who by the way are not required to be christian in order to receive care). I have not seen any other volunteer opportunities in my area where I can use my nursing skills so this is where I want to go. IF I do sign it, my plan is to cordially talk about the religion if spoken to about it and not tell anyone I am a nonbeliever. I have had many patients in the past of whom I have read scriptures to by their request and even talked about religion with them and they didn't know, nor did I ever tell them that I don't actually share the same faith with them.

    I also wonder, if I do sign it and someone finds out it was a false statement, what will likely happen?

    Thank you, any input is appreciated, and please no bashing on my belief. You will not convert me. I am a good person, with good morals, and I don't need a leader to help me distinguish right from wrong. (In this case, I feel if I sign it, I am part right/ and part wrong - but my desire to help the community is more beneficial)
    From reading what you have written, I surmise this clinic is not just looking for volunteer nurses to help provide medical care to under-served and underprivileged individuals. These individuals can get that kind of "medical care" at other clinics or ED. This Christian based clinic's goal is to meet the physical and spiritual needs of those individuals. This is what the clinic was founded on. It is not unfair for them to want volunteer staff who are Christians so that they too can talk honestly and sincerely to the patients about their spiritual needs...... pray with them as needed......quote scripture......talk to them about salvation if that is what the patient wants. A non-believer may have a difficult time doing this since they do not believe in the power of God and scripture. This clinic does not have to follow the same guidelines as non-Christian based clinics. They can require volunteers to be Christians. They can pray openly with their clients.

    I am certainly not judging you in any way. I am just trying to help you see things from the viewpoint of those who established the clinic. Like other posters, I recommend you find another volunteer opportunity in your community. There are many who could benefit from what you have to offer.
  2. by   Caribbean Character
    Help me get this straight. We have already established that you are willing to LIE about what you claim to be your core beliefs, but I am not real clear on the why, whether it is an odd desire to fit in with this particular group or in order to list the volunteer experience on some future school or job application.
  3. by   whealer
    I understand the idea of submitting your own set of standards and beliefs; but I'm not particularly sure of what that will accomplish. Instead just be honest with them, and most importantly, with yourself. As Caribbean Character pointed out, are you volunteering out of the earnest desire to help others or is this specifically to enhance your resume and keep your nursing skills fresh. I would get to know the medical staff before signing anything. See if you can talk to the main point of contact or Volunteer Coordinator and explain your situation. If you are honestly committed and/or compelled to help others (and not just trying to build your resume) then perhaps the Volunteer Coordinator can empathize. You say you are spiritual but you do not believe in God; then what do you believe in? What kind of values does your spirituality establish? Something you may have to come to terms with is why you discontinued your Christian beliefs. I think what's important to consider is how the patients might feel about you as a nurse - are their patients dominantly Christian?

    What is the mission of this particular Christian medical center? Have you spoken to other nurses at the center to determine why they are committed to the medical center? From my personal observation, nurses who volunteer at a Christian Medical Center, or at any faith-based medical center, do so because it is a calling from God. They do this because they are a servant of the Lord and as such this is one of their duties. Let's say you lie and sign the form and become a volunteer nurse at the center; you may want to leave because their particular values are at the forefront of their role as nurses. At best, it can become annoying; at worse, you may offend the other nurses because your beliefs are different. It would be pointless, in this case, to consider signing the contract.

    If their are any other medical centers, clinics, or hospitals nearby then offer your services as a volunteer. You may initially have minimum patient interaction but as time goes on and as you develop a relationship with the staff, you may get to eventually work closely with patients.
  4. by   rockymnthoney
    Feel free to pm me if you would like a list of organizations that do not have religious affiliations that send volunteers overseas. I am going on my third trip, Ghana this time and have never gone with a faith-based organization.
  5. by   Orca
    Some organizations blur the line between a ministry and a profit-making enterprise. It seems that this is one of them. I was also raised in a Christian faith but I have since adopted another faith more compatible with my personal beliefs. I would have an issue with the statement as it was presented. One need not be a Christian to be caring, empathetic or competent in delivering care.
  6. by   meanmaryjean
    Quote from Orca
    Some organizations blur the line between a ministry and a profit-making enterprise. It seems that this is one of them. I was also raised in a Christian faith but I have since adopted another faith more compatible with my personal beliefs. I would have an issue with the statement as it was presented. One need not be a Christian to be caring, empathetic or competent in delivering care.
    And how exactly have you determined that this group 'blurs the line'? I'm curious. And sometimes a ministry must 'make a profit' to stay open.

    And where is it said that the OP was told that in order to be caring, empathetic or competent she must be a Christian? You are reading much into the original post that is simply not there.
  7. by   xoemmylouox
    I would keep looking elsewhere. I wouldn't lie about my beliefs. It's their loss if they turn away competent volunteers.
  8. by   Retired APRN
    Don't lie.

    Some practical reasons not to lie:
    * it will add stress the entire you are working with them
    * you'll find that you have to keep lying to coworkers and management
    * if you get caught you will probably be terminated
    * if you get caught your reputation will be damaged and that can come back and bite you far into the future

    Intangible reasons not to lie:
    * You feel uncomfortable with it, or you wouldn't have asked the question
    * You describe yourself as a moral person, so lying would probably result in internal dissonance which can lead to stress, anxiety, depression
    * It puts bad energy into the universe
    * It's wrong

    Like some others, I suggest that you speak honestly with the recruiter, describing your background and upbringing, and offering your own alternative statement of faith and ask if that would be acceptable. If it's not, at least you tried.

    I also suggest you contact the commenter who knows of secular organizations that might interest you.

    Stay true to yourself and your own values. As Shakespeare had Laertes say: ""To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man."