Let’s End Disability Discrimination in Church | The Banner

http://www.thebanner.org/features/2013/09/let-s-end-disability-discrimination-in-church

I am happy to say that I have not encountered these experiences at the church that I currently attend. I however did have an experience this week at a local food drive that greatly upset me. (At an affiliated church) Every month that I have gone to this church for a food box  I have politely asked the woman in line to please let my aunt and I go together because I am missing a limb and she helps me with my box, and yet she continues to separate us each time, I was literally standing in line talking to my aunt about how I could not carry my box, when as I was speaking the woman yells out “anyone who can carry their box, please come forward first!” .Let me start by saying that this to me is the absolute strangest church policy, “let all the abled bodied people go first.” I have never been to another church that did this. In fact the church I used to volunteer for always asked for abled bodied volunteers to help those of us who could not carry our boxes it was a way of honoring this verse”many who are first will be last and those who are last will be first”. Well call me crazy but people without physical impairments have advantages in every other area of life . For example, the majority of individuals in that line dont have to ask anyone else to open their cans for them, which I do unless it’s a pop top lid I can’t open it without my husband or someone else with both hands help I used to have a hands free can opener when I was in college but my brother Jacob accidentally broke it .I didn’t ask to be born missing a limb.I didn’t ask to be slower or less physically strong than most people it is simply the hand that life dealt me. ( no irony intended)Usually I am perfectly fine with being differently abled.However when I experience being pushed aside for those without disabilities that does not make me feel as if a church is a very warm and welcoming place for me. Consider this:I am a Christian woman imagine how an unbeliever might feel in the same situation?I definitely agree with this article that disability access is a major need within the church unfortunately however the disabled community is quite diverse and not every disability is visible so creating an outreach or even interchurch ministry can be quite a daunting task.

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