School Psychologists

by Barry Drogin

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To Ilsa:

(An international phone call:)

Protestant: So what do you do for a living?
Inquisitor: I'm an inquisitor in a small Spanish town. I save heretics' souls.
P: That's terrible!
I: Well, it's a difficult job sometimes, but I'm very religious, so the heresy I encounter doesn't affect my personal salvation. Everyone says I'm very good at it.
P: No, I mean the Spanish Inquisition is a terrible thing!
I: Now, wait, there may be a few inquisitors here and there who have been a little overzealous...
P: And what happens to them? Nothing!
I: No, I've heard of two cases where an inquisitor was excommunicated for sympathizing with Jews.
P: Two cases out of how many thousands? And what's wrong with sympathizing with Jews?!
I: I'm sorry that you don't understand. You must not know about the Jewish religion. You're young and inexperienced.
P: I was married to a Jew for eight years! How could you say such a thing? You're my age and you're acting superior to me!
I: I'm not acting superior.
P: Of course you're acting superior! Anyone can be religious. Just because you went to divinity school doesn't mean you're religious. We Protestants don't need indulgences from Rome. You're paid to torture people. What's religious about that?
I: You're very provocative. Jews confess and their souls are saved. We do great work!
P: I don't believe that Jews need to have their souls saved. We'll have to start from there.
I: You know, you Protestants, you're devils!
P: You're calling me a devil? After only five minutes on the phone with me, you know enough to declare me a heretic and force me to confess to save my soul?! That's what kind of professional inquisitor you are? I can't believe you've called me a devil! What an insult! You must apologize.
I: You owe me an apology.
P: For what? For not believing in torture? Is that the same as my being called a devil? Goodbye!

In four hundred years, there will be no more school psychologists.

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Last Updated: August 4, 2007