Friday, March 09, 2007

In confidence

Cheesehead's recent posts about members of a covenant group who betrayed her confidence have had me thinking about confidentiality and betrayal--especially within the church. I deal with confidential matters for a living, so perhaps I'm a bit more tuned into this issue than some. But what part of THIS IS CONFIDENTIAL don't people understand??

Again, this may be because of my line of work, but over the years I've seen much greater breaches of confidentiality among church members than I have seen among colleagues and other friends. I've known of deacons who provided "encouragement" when people within their flock were in crisis--and later had to be admonished because of their big mouths!

After my first miscarriage, some people at church (not the church we attend now) sent cards, and others gave us hugs and words of sympathy. Appropriate, except...the only people we had told were our pastor and his wife! The worst was when a well-meaning (I guess) but completely clueless woman introduced us to another couple with the cheerful comment, "They lost their baby too." O. M. G. Nice to meet you.

Hey! Everybody! If I tell you something is confidential, that means Don't. Tell. Anybody. Ever.
Got that?

OK, on to more trivial matters.


Quotidian Grace said...

I don't think the average American gets confidentiality at all. The Oprahization of the culture has come to the point that people are willing to spill all kinds of intimate information to millions on TV. There's not much support for confidentiality anymore outside of the helping professions.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...


Presbyterian Gal said...

O.K., being someone who was never properly taught or modeled boundaries, I'll just go right ahead here and apologize. Not sure if I've done anything I shouldn't oughta. If I did, I'm real sorry and I'll do whatever you want to make it up. And I promise to take down the billboard I put up in the middle of town announcing "I BLOG WITH ZORRA, HERE'S HER PHONE NUMBER AND HER SHOE SIZE". Have to anyway, it's gettin' expensive. ;)

Purechristianithink said...

We had to remove the Deacon's Care Notebook from the church office for this reason. It was meant to help the deacons coordinate their caregiving duties--keep track of who needed visits and what visits had been made, etc. But somehow the "confidential info" contained therein was making it to some very inappropriate people and forums. Yikes.

Preacher Mom said...

Amen and Amen.

Oh, and I love QG's "Oprahization" - what a great word!