Sunday, February 14, 2010

My reply to the comment by Anonymous on my post below

I am thankful to those who leave comments on this blog, it is encouraging and at times challenging. Blogging for me is putting a little of me out there on display for others to see. I write two entries for every one I post, as I tend to rant about things that hit me. Anyway, I want to reply to a comment from my last entry here in this new post. While I don't like anonymous replies, I do appreciate the reply in its challenge and as an opportunity to open discussion, it is my hope to inspire discussion through what I write here.

I do not feel my Blog entry "What a day it will be" overstated any point. It is easy for us who are not being threatened and killed to feel it is ok to understate the current climate in which we live and die. Statistics prove that as many as 92% of babies who, through prenatal testing, show that they may be born with down syndrome, will be killed. This is the very definition of genocide. Webster defines genocide as the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial political, or cultural group. Coined in 1944, geno- from latin = race and -cide from greek = kill "genocide". People with mental disabilities are a culture, being threatened with extinction through mass killings. Socialized medicine has been detrimental to people with disabilities through out history. When Hitlers Germany began their attempt to crush people with disabilities into oblivion in 1939, the mass killing went unnoticed and the cries unheard by the world. The killings of thousands with disabilities continued for several years before what is called the holocaust even began. The worlds attitudes have changed little as this culture of people who have disabilities are still unvalued and threatened by this attitude. My use of the words genocide and crushed into oblivion are not thoughtless words of anger but rather well thought out words of taken from history we seem bent on repeating.
Ignorance is never a pass for bad language and hurting words. The language is constant and consistent in the world today. Just recently as I walked with my brothers at a dept store, one of them was called a retard by a teenage boy as he tried to talk to him. So know that people with disabilities are called this regularly, and this is not the only time this has happened to us.
My intent is not to see government change but rather the church. While I do see there have been changes in the last year for people with disabilities for the good, I believe the bad is out weighing the good. When there is a group of people in bondage to a government it cannot end well unless that group is freed. Therefor I believe the church is last defense of those most defenseless. The church is the only place where the culture of people with disabilities can be valued as God values and stand against those who wish to eliminate them in the ways I have mentioned here. I am not one who ever complains with out action, my life and the life of my family is centered in recognizing the value of people with disabilities and forcing the issue with anyone in our path. It is not a pet issue with us, but a life calling that has spanned generations, life and death. I will not rely on my words to try and get representatives, senators and lobbyists to create change, but on God and His church to value and love those He has created, values and loves. We are in the final days where we are not banging our heads against brick walls but rather where bricks are slammed into the heads of those most defenseless... and we must stand up for them. The change that came in Little Rock in the form of desegregation did not come fast enough for those who where lynched, tortured enslaved and killed in the preceding years of American history and change cannot come fast enough for those fighting for life now.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What a Day It will Be!

In Alice in Wonderland, Alice gets to a fork in the road and she asks the cat. "Which way do I go?" "Where are you going?," asks the cat. "I don't know." "Then it really doesn't make any difference which way you go," replies the cat.

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel recently used the word retarded and the backlash was swift and typical. He apologized to the Special Olympic President, and the movement to end the use of "R" word was hailed by all as the way to bring everyone together in a hands across America moment of solidarity. Almost a year ago we had the duplicate type of reaction which began with President Obama referring to his bad bowling as "Special Olympic". This unfortunate use of the word retarded has allowed me to step back and realize that nothing has changed in the last year for people with mental disabilities. Bad attitudes and beliefs that there is no value in those who have disabilities is what truly is behind ignorant words that people use. In fact things may be a little harder in America today than one year ago for most. Funding has been slashed for many, the health care debate continues to put those with disabilities in precarious positions, and babies who may be born with disabilities continue to be aborted. As politicians use their own ignorance and mistakes as platforms for engineering campaigns for popularity, people with disabilities are being crushed into oblivion.
I recently was blessed to spend much time with disability ministry leaders from across the US while in Florida. To hear about how others are going about reaching the disabled community for Jesus is exciting and inspiring. Yet, I come away feeling like we are walking down a winding path to no where. We seem to have little idea where we want be at the end of the journey. We applaud the good reactions to ignorant statements made by politicians and others who do little to protect the innocent who need protecting. We get excited when "inspirational" people with disabilities accomplish fetes that move our emotions, and we cry tears of pain for the millions who are ignored, marginalized, and killed for having disabilities.
I am unsatisfied with our reactions to these moments. I am angered at our inability for 2000 years to convince the church of the need to complete the body by including those so desperately needed in it. I am devastated at the genocide of people with disabilities here in the US and through out the world. I am ashamed at the lack of love for people Jesus loved so dearly. I am sickened by our acceptance of the crumbs that drop from the tables of the typical church while people starve.
We need to wake up, we are at a point in history where we must fight, we are at a fork in the road and must know where we are going in order to decide which way to turn today. It does matter which way we go because we need to be together on the path in order to get to our appointed destination. We must begin casting vision to the future so we can walk the path in confidence and determination. We must paint a picture so amazing and beautiful that the existing church cannot deny the need to move towards it. We must unify the church in order that the world does not take from us the gift of disability that God has given us. We must be so sure of our calling, we must be willing to risk everything in pursuit of Gods voice. I am ready Lord, I am ready...

So as I begin to ponder what God has in store, I look forward to a future where people with disabilities complete our church bodies and the church finally works as the whole and powerful force that it should be. I look forward to a day when the birth of a baby with Down Syndrome is celebrated as a the rare and precious gift God has bestowed upon our families. I look forward to church services where people with disabilities gifts are on display so God's glory can be revealed to us in ways we never understood before. I look forward to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which cannot be denied because God has used people without the mental capacity to manipulate or use Gods gift as an agenda to advance themselves. I look forward to walking into the gates of heaven and seeing Paul and Moses and then touching the disabling scars on Jesuses hands and feet as I truly understand for the first time that the last is now first and the poor now rich. What a day that will be!