Reblog: #worldwithoutdowns: A Challenge for Christians

My first thought when I heard about the new, safer pre-natal test for Downs was ‘thank God there’s no test for autism!’ Abortion of children with Downs is eugenics by the back door, in my opinion. I know there will be those who disagree. But I also know that we are firmly instructed ‘do NOT judge’ as well as ‘love one another, as I have loved you’ and the way He has loved is without boundaries. None of us is worthy of Christ’s love. So what do we do? I believe this post from Included by Grace makes some very pertinent points.

Then people began to bring babies to [Jesus] so that he could put his hands on them. But when the disciples noticed it, they frowned on them. But Jesus called them to him, and said, “You must let little children come to me, and you must never prevent their coming. The kingdom of God belongs to little children like these. I tell you, the man who will not accept the kingdom of God like a little child will never get into it at all.”

Luke 18:16-17 (Phillips)

NB I have not seen Sally Philips’ BBC documentary as we don’t have a television license. I did catch her on BBC Radio 4 the other morning, speaking about the programme, the Downs community, the current very high rate of abortion for those diagnosed with Downs before birth, and about her son, whom she clearly values as much as I do my own dear boy.

includedbygrace

I was going to write a ranty post about the implications of genetic screening (and it may still work out that way) but in the middle of composing it in my head, I got a message from a friend who is isolated from her church, her family and community because she is a single mother with a severely autistic child. Many Christians would talk about the value of life and speak up against abortion, but then sit in churches that exclude these ‘valuable lives’ because they are so inflexible and inaccessible to them. Changing things for the few is met with horror at the mere thought. So families and adults with disabilities are left out, excluded, not welcome.

Watch Sally Phillips documentary “World Without Downs”

I wanted to join in the throng of ‘all life is sacred’ with the many that have responded to Sally Phillip’s BBC documentary that I…

View original post 840 more words

Are We Hypocrites for our Baby Gammy shock?

Very interesting post over at Special Needs Jungle (see here: ‘Are We Hypocrites for our Baby Gammy shock?‘). I wholeheartedly agree – and I have to say I am only thankful that autism cannot be diagnosed prior to birth. The very thought is chilling. Hayley Goleniowska, author of the post above, is right. Eliminating babies with Down’s Syndrome is eugenics. It is no different to the Spartans who left disabled babies to die of exposure. It is no different, though we might kid ourselves that it is, from the Nazi plans to eradicate disability (note: people often use the behaviour of the Nazis to support their argument – I try not to, but here there is a very clear link).

 

‘The Lord called me before I was born, while I was in my mother’s womb he named me… the Lord… who formed me in the womb to be his servant…

…Can a woman forget her nursing-child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? 

Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands…’

From Isaiah 49: 1-15 (NRSVA)

 

My son with autism is beautiful, irritating, innocent, lazy, sweet, frustrating, charming… All the things a teenage boy should be, in many ways! Hard work, yes, but I wouldn’t change a hair on his bonny head. His presence in this world is God-breathed. His existence is a gift from God. He is special, in the true meaning of the word. I have learned more about life, about myself, indeed about what it means to be human from my boy than from anyone else, more than anyone can learn from their ‘normal’ child.

 

“He will answer them, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.’

Matthew 25:45 (The Message)