Saturday, September 06, 2008

Why Sarah Palin is not "brave" or remarkable.

Some may be reading this title and thinking I'm going to criticize Gov. Palin. Let me apologize to you ahead of time. What I am about to say, I am positive Sarah Palin would agree with.

Sara Palin did no great deed in deciding to keep her son Trig who was born with Down's Syndrome. I have heard from supporters and critics alike that this act was something extra ordinary. But from a truly Christian point of view, she did no more than what God has called her to do; love and care for her blessing of a child.
Rahul Parikh from Salon magazine has written in an article that Sarah Palin is actually a hypocrite because she "decided" to not abort her child but she wants to take away other women's right to make that same decision. This is a perfect example of how the pro-choice left simply cannot understand the perspective of pro-life advocates. For people like Sarah Palin there was only one decision made; to open her marriage to children. There is no later decision to keep a child, only to accept God's call and command on those who stand before him and enter into the marriage covenant He established when He created us.
I was surprised and excited to see that even a liberal pundit like Chris Matthew's echoed this point yesterday on Cspan when he remarked that it is wrong for liberals to be shocked that Palin would keep her baby and view her as a "monk" for making such a pious life decision. She did what you are supposed to do, welcome your child to the world even when they aren't perfect. Not all of out kids can go to Princeton and live perfect lives.
What I'm about to say may seem insensitive so if you haven't agreed with me yet, prepare yourself. People who don't abort their children with disabilities are not superheroes; people who do abort their children because they have disabilities are selfish, lazy, and partakers in a genocide fueled by eugenics that is as horrendous as Action T4. Some may see this as judgmental and unchristian but let me be clear that there is grace for these people, but no one receives grace who does not think they need it. It is especially important to remember that the grace given to them is given by our Heavenly Father who, knowing our wretched state and our crippling disabilities before He created us, chose to bring us into this world and make us inheritors of His kingdom. Who knew and has witnessed our failures to accomplished what he has called us to do, but still includes us in his plans even though we can never quite do things right. We are all God's retarded children!! I'm sure He could looks at our simple and ignorant lives where we pass on deeper joys for cheap thrill and shallow pleasures and say "Such a poor existence is not worth living." But He does not. He works with us in our ignorant state and helps us to catch small glimpses of the greatness that He knows and wants for us. How sickeningly prideful are we that we can, in our state, tell anyone that their life is so inferior that they should not exist?
Yet that is what we do. This self righteousness is not even reserved for the most difficult of cases but is seen with disturbing prevalence in cases of children with Down's Syndrome. According to Rahul Parikh, 90% of children diagnosed with Down's Syndrome before they are born are aborted. These are not people who will spend their lives on ventilators and suffering horrible physical ailments. I have worked with a variety of people with Down's Syndrome for years, I have known many who have graduated High School (most with appropriate support), have community jobs, have normal relationships, and have meaningful lives. My brother has Down's Syndrome and is diagnosed with severe/profound mental retardation (he's basically at the bottom of the spectrum in regards to cognitive ability) and he can talk to me, laugh and joke with me, play games, and in general live a good life. We won't be discussing Kierkegaard or anything, but I would never in a million years say that it would be better if he didn't exist. I'm not going to pretend that children with Down's Syndrome are just as easy to raise as any other child. I know just how difficult it can be. But that is what we are called to. If you are not willing to put in the work and sacrifice that a special needs child requires, you should not have children (or have sex for that matter, but that is a bigger issue).
So thank you Sarah Palin, not for going above and beyond what is expected of you, but for reminding us what is expected of everyone.
Dan, 8:14 AM


All I can say is AMEN!!!! From the sound of the statistics, you would think that Downs Syndrome was the plague or something. I am not making light of how hard it is to raise any child with a special need, but everyone that I have met that happens to have Downs is absolutely precious. Ah, the world we live in! It makes me ill! Funny that people make choices to kill babies that they have never met, yet many many people have young children who are diagnosed with autism or cancer after birth and not one of those parents would have chosen abortion if they could have been told what was going to happen. My point is that once you have met your child, there is no diagnosis that would make you wish for such a horrible thing as abortion. If only these parents could meet their unborn children before they make such a drastic decision.
Blogger Liz, at 9:35 AM  
That's a great point, Liz. Most people who truly know someone with a disability would not look back and say "I should have had an abortion." It would be funny if it wasn't so sad that we have done everything we can to segregate these people in "special" schools or hidden classrooms (if they even get to go to school) and then ship many of them off to institutions for the rest of their lives and then make such judgments about them. We herd them away so we don't have to see them (or know them in any personal way) and put them in situations that are akin to prison and then have the gall to say they have a low quality of life as if we haven't done everything we can to make it that way. But you are right, the people who take the time to truly know them and work with them understand how meaningful their lives can be and how important they are to those they care about.
Blogger Dan, at 7:23 PM  
Amen and Amen!!!!
Blogger Sarafu, at 8:46 PM  
"She did what you are supposed to do, welcome your child to the world even when they aren't perfect. Not all of out kids can go to Princeton and live perfect lives."

Basically along the same lines of what Liz said, but none of our children are perfect! (Except for the first few months when we think they are! LOL!) But soon after we realize their interesting little personalities, their physical challenges, maybe it's Cancer, ADHD, or bipolar. Maybe they just have horrible allergies or have a learning disability. All of us are imperfect in one way or another, but we are all human and deserving of life.
Blogger Elizabeth F., at 6:42 PM  
"We are all God's retarded children!!"

I love it. Generally speaking, right on Dan, and keep it up. This is a well articulated expression of the Christian position, as well as a heart-felt understanding of the "special needs" community in relation to the rest of humanity.

Thanks also for the kind words for my own writing. You made some comments there that I intend to get to soon.
Blogger Friar Dave, at 8:51 PM  
Thanks Dave. It's always nice to have new people stop by.
Blogger Dan, at 6:15 PM  
I remember reading a story given to me by SELF when Sky was 18 mos and we first found out she would, well, have to go there. It was a "Para-Christian" story if you well but blessed me beyond words, and I"ve used it with so many other mommies. It basicly has an angel ready to give a special baby with special needs to the earth, and the angel goes to God and says no one will want it. And God points to a specific woman and says "She will." The story goes on to say that God TRUSTS special adults to give special babies to. Fictional in content, yes. But the idea that God gave me SKylar because He trusted me more than anyone else to love and care for her? That message has gotten me through some very hard seasons. He trusted Sara Perry to give her Emily. He trusted Liz to give her Isaac. He trust Sara Palin to take that baby boy and love him and raise him, telling the rest of us to do the same. I don't agree with everything she says or does but I sure identify with that part of her, and am so proud to see a public mom so vocal about it!
Blogger Jenny W, at 12:15 PM  

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