“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Monday, April 23, 2007

April 23, 2007

It has now been three years since the birth of this blog. I have made 256 entries (not as much as I would have thought in three years) and much has happened over the three years.
-We have seen the taking of the life of a person with a severe disability by starvation and dehydration in our own country. We have come to the point where we now call giving someone something to drink and something to eat "medical procedures." We have done that so that we can talk about removing medical procedures from a person. Our language is not to say we are going to "starve this person to death" we say we are "removing medical procedures." That is evil. In the United States of America, a defenseless person can be starved to death and people will argue, "that is what she would have wanted." I know of no one who wants to be starved to death. Perhaps they do not want to be kept alive artificially, but is giving someone food and drink keeping them alive artificially? If so, I and you are being kept alive artificially.
-We have seen a young woman have her growth and development stunted via surgery so that she will be easier to care for. If I were to do this to anyone other than a person with a severe cognitive disability, with mental retardation, I would find myself in jail. But because the person has a severe disability, I can change the rules and do unusual things to the person for my own convenience.
-The Supreme Court of the United States upholds the partial birth abortion ban. If you are unsure of whether or not this is a good thing, you should get a medical textbook and just read a description of the procedure. No politics. No agenda. In response to the stopping of this evil, we have politicians who group the upholding of this ban with the murder of 32 people at Virginia Tech.
-The Joni and Friends organization founded by Joni Eareckson-Tada build and now occupy an international center on disability as a launching point for ministry and programs of inclusion. This is another exciting next step.
-I think we are beginning to see the Christian church moving a bit as it awakens from its slumber over inclusion of persons with disabilities. I hear some pastors speaking about it, and little things are beginning to happen. I could be that three years from now, there is an even greater awareness and response. That is my prayer.

In my own little world...
-My own church will celebrate its second disability awareness Sunday! It should be awesome with participation of people with various disabilities, parents and leaders. My church has made great strides, largely having nothing to do with me, but with people within the church catching the vision and running with it. I has been an interesting and exciting time. But there is still more to do. As we met to plan the service, I said, "This is what this service will look like in 5 years and this is what it will look like in 10 years." Yes we have made great strides but there is so much more to do.
-The National Association of Christians in Special Education conference (NACSPED) was held at Azusa Pacific university and 120 people attended! We hope to have the conference at Azusa again next year, and perhaps in San Diego the following year. Little NACSPED is growing and one of its major goals is that special educators would go to their churches and get them to include people with disabilities. This is very encouraging.
-California Baptist University will be offering an MA in disability studies from a Christian perspective. This is very exciting and quite novel, I believe. We hope to make further announcements about collaborations we are working on in the near future, which will be an incredible blessing should the Lord allow the collaboration.
-Opportunities for writing about persons with disabilities and churches are increasing. This implies to me that there is a growing interest. Even five years ago, there were limited opportunities for such writing.

There is so much more to do, so much further to go, but we are seeing change and growth. God is waking a slumbering church. Be a part of the change.


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