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Archive for October, 2010

Can’t we just get along? Why is it we all need to be politically correct. I am still trying to figure out what Juan Williams; recently fired NPR news commentator said that was so wrong. Mr. Williams simply stated he had a fear about individuals who are dressed in Muslim garb. From my point of view it was refreshing. Not that I think Mr. Williams fear is rational, in fact, I would suggest this is an irrational fear. We all have them; we just do not verbalize them for fear of the repercussions we may need to live with.
Growing up with a disability, people gawked at me all the time and even now, I can see people stare at me. It’s obvious they are staring at me because something about them makes me makes them feel uncomfortable. I have friends who have children who have tubes sticking out of them and friends whose children walk in an awkward fashion, and other friends whose children have trouble controlling their behavior. I have been in situations where people have gazed on and gave the look of “what is up with that”! I often admire the person who comes and asks questions regarding a situation. I can begin educating and help people to move beyond their own discomfort. Mr. Williams made a statement and I hope one day he will move beyond the feeling of discomfort of seeing someone dressed in Muslim attire and see the person who is there.
I Samuel 16:7 states: “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” I have been invited to sit at the table with a God, who sees beyond the outward appearances and sees the inside of people. For this we are truly blessed.

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Thanks for Rosa!

So the 111th congress did do something meaningful!   I am sure the media will not pay much attention to this bill know as “Rosa’s Law.”  This law was originally introduced by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). She named the bill “Rosa’s Law” after a young woman in her state that successfully advocated for the elimination of the phrase “mentally retarded” in Maryland state law.

No longer will it be acceptable to use the phrase “mental retardation” in any Federal document.  A small victory for my friends who have intellectual concerns.   I know this may seem very small to some, but for me, this is as big as getting rid of the “n” word. 

I long for the day when we will not have to use adjectives to describe the unique qualities of others and we are just people at the table.

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Recently, I was in a room of disability ministers from around the country. I enjoy spending time with this group and the conversations were very good. But…….. I flew on to my next destination thinking about what the next generation of leaders would look like. Who would they be? Where would they come from? What would they see their mission to be? All of us are effective at what we do and desire the same thing, to bring the individuals and families closer to Jesus.
Around the table sat white men and women with middle-class values. All of these workers in the Kingdom had at least average intelligence. Great, this is a start, but now I wonder, where the black man or the Latino or the Asian or the person utilizing a talking device, or utilizing a wheelchair or the person who has different intellectual capabilities.
Reality tells me, movements start with who is around the table. I just want the table I sit at to be much more inclusive than the table I sat around yesterday. So friends, how do we bring for people to the table.

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