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Pastor’s Code of Ethics

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I believed in the reliability in Pastor Mark Ehrlichmann—a Deaf pastor. I shared my personal struggles and my hardships as well as being a returned citizen. I usually do not share sensitive information with anyone–only few people I hold dearly with my life. I learned that Pastor Mark Ehrichlmann breached the Pastors code of ethics by sharing the link about me on Facebook page the other day that could potentially lead to violence and threat my life and got the snapshot of it. Thanks, friends for warning me about Mark. Did Pastor Mark Ehrichlmann break or follow the Pastors code of ethics? That is a red flag. That is why I do not trust pastors today.

“Ethical success or failure can make or break a pastor’s ministry. With a desire for pastors to make sound ethical decisions and to flourish, the National Association of Evangelicals developed the NAE Code of Ethics for Pastors designed to provide a consistent code of ethics that crosses denominational lines.”

Here’s the Code of Ethics for Pastors:

We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. (2 Corinthians 6:3)

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. (Philippians 1:27)

All who are called by God to the ministry of the gospel solemnly commit to a life of joyful obedience and selfless service in order to glorify God and enrich his people. Therefore, a minister will:

Pursue Integrity

I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. (1 Chronicles 29:17)

  • in personal character.

Exalt Christ, not self. Be honest, not exaggerating or overpromising; peace-loving, not contentious; patient, not volatile; diligent, not slothful. Avoid and, when necessary, report conflicts of interest and seek counsel.

  • in personal care.

Care for the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical dimensions of your person, for “your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19).

  • in preaching and teaching.

Interpret the Bible accurately and apply it discerningly: “In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned” (Titus 2:7-8). Speak the truth in love. Give due credit when using the words or ideas of others.

Be Trustworthy

It is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:2)

  • in leadership.

Model the trustworthiness of God in leadership to encourage and develop trustworthiness in others. Use power and influence prudently and humbly. Foster loyalty. Demonstrate a commitment to the well-being of the entire congregation. Keep promises. Respond sensitively and appropriately to ministry requests and needs: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much” (Luke 16:10).

  • with information.

Guard confidences carefully. Inform a person in advance, if possible, when an admission is about to be made that might legally require the disclosure of that information. Communicate truthfully and discreetly when asked about individuals with destructive or sinful behavior patterns. Tell the truth, or remain discreetly silent: “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret” (Proverbs 11:13).

  • with resources.

Be honest and prudent in regard to personal and ministry resources. Refuse gifts that could compromise ministry. Ensure that all designated gifts are used for their intended purpose: “If you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” (Luke 16:11).

Study the Bible regularly and carefully to understand its message, and embrace biblical doctrine. In forming theology, consider biblical teaching authoritative over all other sources.

  • in professional practice.

Identify a minister/counselor who can provide personal counseling and advice when needed. Develop an awareness of personal needs and vulnerabilities. Avoid taking advantage of the vulnerabilities of others through exploitation or manipulation. Address the misconduct of another clergy member directly or, if necessary, through appropriate persons to whom that member of the clergy may be accountable.

Embrace Accountability

Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. (1 Peter 5:2-3)

  • in finances.

Promote accepted accounting practices and regular audits. Ensure that church funds are used for their intended ministry purposes.

  • in ministry responsibilities.

Ensure clarity in authority structures, decision-making procedures, position descriptions, and grievance policies. Model accountability at the highest organizational levels.

  • in a denomination or a ministry organization.

Ensure compliance with denominational standards and expectations, including regular reports.

Facilitate Fairness

Believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism… Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? (James 2:1-4)

  • with staff.

Follow approved church and denomination practices in staff selection processes. Advocate for equitable pay and benefits for staff. Provide regular staff team building, affirmation, training, evaluation, and feedback. Be honest with staff regarding areas to celebrate as well as those needing improvement.

  • with parishioners.

Ensure appropriate access to staff by parishioners. Preach and teach to meet the needs of the entire congregation. Assume responsibility for congregational health. When asked for help beyond personal competence, refer others to those with requisite expertise.

  • with the community.

Build God’s Kingdom in cooperation, not competition, with other local ministries. Provide Christian ministries to the public as possible. Encourage good citizenship.

  • with a prior congregation.

Do not recruit parishioners from a previous church without permission from the pastor. Avoid interfering in the ministry of a previous congregation.

As a minister of the gospel, I commit to abide by the standards set forth in the NAE Code of Ethics for Pastors.

References: https://www.nae.net/code-of-ethics-for-pastors/

-JT

 

 

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Open Letter for Oklahoma Association of the Deaf

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Dear Oklahoma Association of the Deaf,

Deaf Access Justice, a Deaf-centered organization would like to respond to the letter you wrote about the shooting death of Deaf man. The letter was poor-written, offensive, and lack of compassion.

We continue to thrive human rights—to principles that bind the Deaf community together and oppose any policies that attempts to put in place that would undermine human rights. The challenges between the Deaf community and law enforcement is not the first time. We need police departments to see that we are not powerless in the face of bigotry, xenophobia and fear mongering. Who started the fear?

You wrote in your own words: “We are sad, but not surprised by this most recent act. Lack of education plays a vital part in many communities.”

We need you to recognize that police departments are not the most powerful department in the United States today but in fact, we are and YOU are, too. Also, in your quote, “there are many challenges between the deaf community and law enforcement. We would be willing to partner with agencies in Oklahoma to better serve our communities while breaking down barriers.”

Your “voice” can still decide the direction in which we lead to as long as you need to raise it. The power of your “voice”—united in solidarity with Deaf community to recognize the force for human rights. Your letter was too soft even not a bit of any compassion. Where is the fact that you did not write down Deaf person of color?

It is vitally important that we need to reach out to the media and police departments with this message in support of human rights for Deaf people, and Deaf community has been trying to work with police agencies to do sensitivity training for years, we have been ignored, building their ignorance and ego, and that is the problem.

I believe that OAD should write a thunderous letter with heavy heart.

Sincerely,

Jason “JT” Tozier, CEO and Founder of Deaf Access Justice

 

Oklahoma Association of the Deaf President’s Statement

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Oklahoma Association of the Deaf (OAD) President Renee Sites issued a statement yesterday. I do not know when, but here’s the statement in relation to a killing of an unharmed Deaf man (picture attached above) in Oklahoma City the other night. What do you think of this statement?

“The Oklahoma Association of the Deaf (OAD) steps forward in recognition that education is needed in our home state and across the nation between deaf and emergency responders. We are sad, but not surprised by this most recent act. Lack of education plays a vital part in many communities. It is our hope to join with police departments in Oklahoma, to provide better advocacy and training to law enforcement personnel. We want to prevent this type of situation from happening in the future. We want the members of our community to be safe. We understand that police are often in difficult situations and might not remember that all individuals can respond to verbal commands.

There are many challenges between the deaf community and law enforcement. We would be willing to partner with agencies in Oklahoma to better serve our communities while breaking down barriers. OAD has discussed providing town halls in different cities in Oklahoma. This is not only for police, but all emergency responders. If you would like to set up a town hall with our deaf community, please feel free to reach out. We are here to advocate, educate and learn together. Oklahoma Association of the Deaf is here to build bridges between the two communities. We would like people to know they can reach out to us.”

“The mission of the Oklahoma Association of the Deaf (OAD) is to promote, protect and preserve the civil rights and quality of life of deaf and hard of hearing individuals in Oklahoma.”

Where is the ACTION by Oklahoma Association of the Deaf?

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I am still numb about Deaf man’s death in Oklahoma City. He was unharmed–no weapon (gun or knive)– he was shot to death by police because he was Deaf. Where is the intelligent capabilities in police academy?

I am having difficult time trying to understand how they went ahead and kill him with a weapon on his own property and literally outnumbered by police officers. Today, the requirements of becoming a police officer is not required an university degree.

As becoming a police officer in Oklahoma, the requirements would be: being administered a psychological evaluation and been evaluated by a psychologist licensed by the state. How will the police officer deal with psychological evaluation when it comes to dealing with Deaf people? The fact that the deceased is Deaf–passing psychological assessments: it is also lack of sensitivity training about Deaf people. Of course, a high school diploma or a GED is not making things safer. I strongly believe in higher education and awareness. It is a HUGE. HUGE. HUGE difference.

The most important question, Where is the ACTION by Oklahoma Association of the Deaf (OAD) to speak out on his behalf? OAD should immediately stand up for Deaf community right away. OAD should confront the problem in this urgent hour should be clear message. Will the killings of Deaf people continue to be ignored? Will killings once more become an official government weapon against Deaf people without constitutional rights?

Honor Madgiel Sanchez.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

AGBell: His First Collegiate Degree

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“….the fact remains that the first collegiate degree received by the famous inventor of the telephone came from the National Deaf Mute College.”-[Atwood, Gallaudet College: It’s First One Hundred Years]
 
Red flag. What does it mean Alexander Graham never received a formal college degree nowhere–but only National Deaf Mute College? What does it mean? Is that why Gallaudet University is still Audist? What kind of profiting is that? Bell’s contribution becomes top secret in Gallaudet’s money. What does it mean when a college degree becomes guarantor of audist-class existence?
 
We need to be vigilant and resist against Audist mazes. The million question: Who awarded Alexander Graham Bell the degree? Was it Edward Miner Gallaudet?
 
We need to be vigilant and resist the mazes of Audism.
 

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

Rightful Presence in Justice: Challenging ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620)

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I am writing this out of my great concern to respond what Congress wants to pass so-called The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Education and Reform Act of 2017 [H.R. 620] this coming Thursday, September 14th. From the moment of its passage in 1990, it has quickly reached an unprecedented global scope, overwhelming the human rights formed by Deaf people because of Deaf President Now (DPN) in 1988 to the waves of marginalized people from shore to shore in America upheavals of earlier decades.

ADA became important for everyone including Deaf people and Disabled people. The doors were open. They were left out for generations. It reminds me of a movie called Music Within based on a true story. Richard Pimentel who lost his hearing during war in Vietnam then comes home and became oppressed after that then he became a disability rights advocate. One scene where he and his friend in a wheelchair went into a restaurant in Portland, Oregon and the waitress asked them to leave because they were not “standard” people according to a law called “Ugly Laws” so controversial that made people hate people who had disabilities.

The law continued to practice for almost 100 years from late 1860s until 1970s– several American cities followed the law where people were “unsightly” or “unseemly” to appear in public then it was removed from the law books. ADA of 1990 recognized the growing pain of ugly laws and gave those people with disabilities to have rights. No more hatred. Sandra Fredman in her book, Discrimination Law in 2011, writes:

Individuals with disabilities are a discrete and insular minority who have been faced with restrictions and limitations, subjected to a history of purposeful unequal treatment, and relegated to a position of political powerlessness in our society, based on characteristics that are beyond the control of such individuals and resulting from stereotypic assumptions not truly indicative of the individual ability of such individuals to participate in, and contribute to, society.

Tyler Ray, Americans Civil Liberties Union [ACLU] Washington Legislative Office and Vania Leveille, Senior Legislative Counsel writes on September 6, 2017:

H.R. 620 would completely change the way in which a business is required to comply with the ADA. Instead of requiring that a business comply proactively, the bill would place the burden on the individual who is being denied access. This bill proposes that after an individual with a disability is denied she must first notify the business owner, with exacting specificity, that her civil rights were violated, and then wait for six months to see if the business will make “substantial progress” toward access, before going to a court to order compliance. 

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The key word: “would place the burden on the individual who is being denied access”—isn’t that the same thing that applies to so-called Ugly Laws? The civil rights would be violated in the highest sense of oppression. The disabled people are at a higher risk of rejecting in a bias-motivated attitude. Why should Deaf people and disabled people suffer and deal with Eighth Amendment “nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” in the United States Constitution?

As bad as Congress brought the idea about wanting to pass unlawful H.R. 620, we must remind ourselves that the old-school politicians have since the last removal of Ugly Law in 1970s, at least moved in the direction of making strongest effort possible, through the eyes of public policy, to reduce inequality for Deaf and disabled people. We must also be aware of 1964 Civil Rights Act, and ADA that has carried the legacy in our society to keep and protect the rights of all our citizens. No matter what the cost is. The H.R. 620 is unconstitutional and inhumane!

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

References:

Fredman, Sandra (2011). Discrimination Law [2nd ed.]. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 96.

https://www.aclu.org/blog/disability-rights/congress-wants-change-americans-disabilities-act-and-undermine-civil-rights

 

After 9/11: The State of Islamophobia

History on This Day: September 9th

History on This Day: September 9th

Trump-Climate: Gallaudet University

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My thoughts about Trump fans who showed up for a softball game on Gallaudet University campus few weeks ago, then on August 14, 2017, President of Gallaudet University signs in a video, “…in Charolettesville, Virginia, are a sobering reminder that the values we hold dear at Gallaudet University.”—-“We here at Gallaudet unequivocally condemn hatred, bigotry, and violence.” also signed by the President.

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Last few months ago, after the election of Trump, there has been plenty of cases that were reported at Gallaudet University like the missing important piece of Black Live Matter banner off the wall, taking down signs for transgender to use bathroom doors, and had created climate of hate. An event about Islamophobia last March 2017 has provided plenty of stories, not a single highest-ranking Gallaudet official, for example, responsible for the safety of students, did not show up that event. How did we know there is not a single hate crime committed at Gallaudet University after Trump was elected and sworn in? Hate crime is often, invisible even for Deaf people.

The problem is that the half of Gallaudet’s campus, 50% of staff, faculty, and administers do not sign ASL. If they do not know ASL, how can the safety of Gallaudet University’s responsibility that ensures for communication, knowledge, and information? How can those 50% unequivocally condemn hatred, bigotry and violence? How will they explain to them in ASL?

There are some students that already left Gallaudet campus because they are living in fear within few miles from Trump White House. FEAR is powerful. They do not feel safe anymore. There may be “500 new students” already at Gallaudet, but the reality, the student enrollment is lower than expected that had dropped out, transferred to another higher education institution to get away from Washington, D.C., where the trust is broken, thanks to Trump’s fears. Gallaudet students are supposed to be protected status first. Although no federal law directly addresses bullying, however, bullying and harassment overlap, federally funded university like Gallaudet University has an obligation to resolve the harassment.

When you experience hate crime, you are no longer an individual. You have no freedom of choice. You are targeted, and all decisions have to be made within the society. They have no freedom of choice. No matter what how any of us feel, no one of us make a single decision unless it is within hearing society.

A faculty member writes the day before to gather together today.

Gathering for all—students, faculty, staff, administrators, visitors—Celebrate, acknowledge, and affirm.

Description: Here we go…starting the school year again, or for the first time (welcome new students!) Let’s come together. Let’s engage and look in each others’ eyes. Let’s acknowledge the harm, the fear, and the hate. Let’s celebrate hope, love, accountability, and kindness. Let’s affirm commitment to our community and to one another.

The plan? To be together. To invite each other to pause. Some people will share their thoughts. We can create a message, of support for UVA students, staff, and the faculty. We can create one for ourselves too—words of affirmation, support, kindness, and love.

12:30-1:50. Near the Marketplace in SAC at the bottom of the stairs. Show up when you can, for as long or as short as you can. “

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I regretted that I was not able to attend there, to celebrate, acknowledge, and affirm with students to stand up against hate. At the same time, we need to be aware that Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions do not support Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA) because they both think it is not necessary to fund HCSA and a total waste of time.

The truth is that the cases of hate crimes have reported more and more than ever and the growing of hate groups has jumped higher and faster. They laugh and talk with pride about supporting white supremacists and hate groups. The image you see where Trump grabs American flag when he thinks he is the king of the globe that is about to fall on his head. Was that what Trump wanted to create hate in America than ever for what purpose? To destroy the image of the flag?

With the hearing fans chanting for the name of Trump on Gallaudet campus, ignores the fact that the university is a sacred ground for Deaf people that do not need hatred, bigotry, and violence. Also, when hearing fans chant for the name of Trump, it becomes oppression and white hearing privileges that uses spoken English that creates double oppression on ASL. Is that also language bigotry? How can we allow that happen? I recognize any political affiliation is each to their own.

As the meaning of “UNIVERSITY”, the physical plant of an university, the plant is supposed to flourish for hope and peace, instead of allowing hearing bystanders who preaches hate in the sake of Trump’s name, which is the problem on the campus that was supposed to set a safe haven for Deaf people only. How much students and alumni/alumnus should invest their trust in the administration, faculty, and staff?

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Trust that cannot be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on students’ lives, how much Gallaudet University gives energy?

Will they all be trained not to ignore Islamophobia, Homophobic, or Xenophobic in any matter? Community accountability is a cardinal rule. Haters may encourage people to create more hate to upload their attitudes to degrade Deaf people’s personal timelines.

What does it mean to you, “a sobering reminder that the values we hold dear at Gallaudet University?” We are all remind of Gallaudet’s famous motto: There is no other place like this in the world.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.