New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense

Disability Is Natural Books and Media

(This article focuses on Judeo-Christian faiths, because those are what I’m most familiar with. I hope this article is applicable to other religions, too. The omission of other faiths should not be construed as an intentional act of exclusion.)

Six adults sit together on the front pew at church. The Six have just come from Sunday School—the Fish Class—a special class created just for them (adults with developmental disabilities). At the church’s Thanksgiving dinner, they sit quietly together, apart from the camaraderie shared by the children, teens, parents, and elders of the congregation. They’re “in” the church—the Six were “adopted” by the church as a group—but they’re not really part of the congregation. They are not included.

In another town, Sofia, Robert, and their three children attend Sunday School and worship services every Sunday. The two boys scamper down the hall to their respective classrooms. Sofia drops four-year-old Rebekah at the church nursery—Rebekah, who has Down syndrome, is not allowed to attend the preschool class since she’s not yet potty-trained. Sofia’s not crazy about this, but she thinks it might not be such a big deal: there’s a child in the nursery who is older than Rebekah (a six-year-old who has cerebral palsy). Maybe the church knows best—Sofia doesn’t want to cause trouble in the House of God.

Another family no longer attends church together. Mom and one son attend the early service. Dad attends the later service. Someone has to be home with twelve-year-old Jared, who has autism. Click here to continue.

Religion and Disability: Are All Welcome?

Religion without humanity is a

poor human stuff.

Sojourner Truth