Wednesday, February 2, 2011

We're Just Here to Make You Look Better

I keep seeing these blog posts and articles that I think are meant to encourage people to keep rather than abort a fetus with Down Syndrome. They don't push other disabilities for some reason. I guess Trisomy 21 is the sexy disability these days. Seriously, for every one child with Down Syndrome adopted, there are 300 people waiting to adopt such a child. Meanwhile, there are thousands and thousands of children with disabilities languishing in foster care who will never be adopted.

Does that strike anyone else as being a little . . . odd?

Anyway, back to my original point. I keep seeing these blog posts that give the following "purpose" to the disabled:

In the fictional novel The Clowns of God by Morris West, Jesus comes back to earth, and some people think it's Him while some don't. At one point, Jesus is at a school for children with Down syndrome, and He is holding a little girl. Jesus says:

"I know what you are thinking. You need a sign. What better one could I give but to make this little one whole and new? I could do it, but I will not. I am the Lord and not a conjurer. I gave this mite a gift I denied to all of you -- eternal innocence. To you she looks imperfect -- but to me she is flawless, like the bud that dies unopened or the fledgling that falls from the nest to be devoured by ants. She will never offend me, as all of you have done. She will never pervert or destroy the work of my Father's hands. She is necessary to you. She will evoke the kindness that will keep you human. Her infirmity will prompt you to gratitude for your own good fortune... More! She will remind you every day that I am who I am, that my ways are not yours, and that the smallest dust mite whirled in the darkest spaces does not fall out of my hand... I have chosen you. You have not chosen me. This little one is my sign to you. Treasure her!"

That seems nice, doesn't it? It's so sweet. God made you a perfectly imperfect child to remind you how awesome not having extra chromosomes is. I bet god puts people in wheelchairs to remind the walking how really great that is. I'm in pain all the time to remind all of you how truly special it is to not be in constant pain.

Because when you're disabled, you're only possible purpose is in relation to the abled. We're always secondary to you. We couldn't possibly be a purpose in and of ourselves. Not like the normals. (Whom we're stealing all the good parking spots from. Because we're selfish.)

Nobody questions why children exist- unless they're disabled, and then they need a reason.

Remember what was odd above? People want children with Down Syndrome, but almost nobody is deliberately adopting children with autism or sensory disorders or debilitating food allergies. Why is that? Two reasons, I would guess. For one thing, Down has an ad campaign at this point. For another, Down Syndrome is an obvious disability. All you have to do is look and you know. You couldn't tell, however, just by looking that little Billy has a sensory disorder and is at the end of his ability to cope, rather than just a brat having a temper tantrum. Then you go from being the Greatest Parent Evah!- so self sacrificing!- to the Worst Parent in All of History- Shut that brat up!

It's disability as accessory, and let me tell you, as a person with an "invisible disability", I have seriously considered carrying around a cane. Not that I really need one (some days I could certainly use the help, but not often), but so that people would look at me and immediately know I am not completely able. No more eye rolling, no more snap judgments, no more accusations of faking it for drugs or attention. Yes, in certain groups, canes and wheelchairs are enviable.

Disabled people do not exist to teach a lesson to abled people. Disabled children are not born to provide the abled with patience or selfless love or acceptance for the different among us. The disabled do not exist only in relation to the abled. We simply exist. Just like you.

You can stop turning us into motivational posters any time now.

8 comments:

  1. AARRGGHHH.
    I try to be non-violent, I really try. But, if Jesus said that to me I can't guarantee I wouldn't break a chair over his head.
    Psycho fucker.

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  2. Totally agree. In bible study (I'm the pastor's wife, otherwise I wouldn't even be there) everyone was talking about how God chooses people to endure suffering to teach other people lessons or ever draw that person closer to God. And I was like that God sounds messed up to me, sickness and suffering is just a part of life. And every single one of them started crying! And then defending their perverted version of God. It just baffles me.

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  3. To you she looks imperfect -- but to me she is flawless, like the bud that dies unopened or the fledgling that falls from the nest to be devoured by ants. She will never offend me, as all of you have done.

    Forgive me, but that doesn't sound sweet at all. That's fucking horrible. The only way to avoid offending this particular God is to never grow, never develop into what you were meant to be...but to die before you get the chance to live. Exactly how is that supposed to be inspiring?

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  4. Young Mom: That's . . . disturbing. The concept that god made me imperfect in order to make someone else pray more is just monstrously cruel. I can't imagine finding comfort in that.

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  5. There are many, many defenses of the god of Abraham when it comes to the problem of evil, and so far every one I've heard makes him sound on a par with any of the Dark Gods.

    I think the problem Yhwh has is that he is, according to modern beliefs, omnipotent and omnipresent.

    I think a benevolent and omnipresent but not-omnipotent God, doing his best to help as many people as he can against an uncaring universe, and seeing and empathising with all those he can't help, would be a very sympathetic and likable character.

    A benevolent and omnipotent, but not-omnipresent God would be less likable, as he is failing not because he is powerless but because he is ignorant. But that could still make a good story, assuming he didn't come across as a Mary Sue.

    But the forced addition of these two attributes breaks the character. By definition, he knows about all evil, is capable of stopping it at no cost to himself, and he chooses not to. To which the natural human response is: "Asshole".

    "Because when you're disabled, you're only possible purpose is in relation to the abled. We're always secondary to you. We couldn't possibly be a purpose in and of ourselves. Not like the normals."

    As much as I like "normals" as a plural noun, I am enamoured of the term "normo" (and the plural "normos") as term for normal people. I read or heard that somewhere, but I can't remember who or what used it. All I remember, and my memory may be flawed, is a cross between the cookie-monster and a Jaeger.

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  6. To you she looks imperfect -- but to me she is flawless, like the bud that dies unopened or the fledgling that falls from the nest to be devoured by ants. She will never offend me, as all of you have done. She will never pervert or destroy the work of my Father's hands.

    They don't see Down's children as people, at best they see them as pets and at worst they see them as an escort mission in a divinely-devised video-game.

    Even from a theological perspective that is f***ed up. She is basically saying that Down's syndrome children lack the capacity to sin (and possibly lack original sin). Not to mention the implication that evilness is results from higher mental functioning and compared to flight in birds and flowers blooming.

    I'm really surprised a pro-life site has Jesus saying this because it is so easy to put "aborted fetus" between "the bud that dies unopened" and "the fledgling that falls from the nest to be devoured by ants."

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  7. i couldn't comment on this before.

    COULD. NOT. triggery. i've been TOLD this - that the reason i suffer is to "teach" other people - so shut up and stop complaining about suffering, if you whine, it makes people not like you and thus they don't learn.


    FUCK THAT

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