Monday, January 16, 2012

One year, maybe, people will THINK before they speak...

Once again, I find myself in a position of anger.  Anger at a person in a public position who, aside from being woefully uninformed, has used said position and made statements that are beyond hurtful to those with any kind of disability.

This actually occurred nearly two years ago, apparently, although I just learned of it today.  And what I learned sickened me.  No, it beyond sickened me.

I have long avoided using this blog as a platform of any kind.  I share things regarding our family life, our journey through raising a child with cleft, things I find interesting.  I tend to steer away from hot button topics like politics, simply because I just don't feel that this is the place for those things.  I have my beliefs.  It doesn't matter to anyone but me what my personal beliefs are, and I feel no need to shove those beliefs down someone else's throat.  I know not all people feel the same way that I do about anything, and I respect that. 

Tonight, I find myself in a position to bring up politics on my blog.  But, this is something that I simply cannot avoid addressing. 

Apparently, in 2010, Virginia State Delegate Bob Marshall gave a speech at an event.  The speech was a call for Virginia to stop state funding to Planned Parenthood.  In his speech, he said that children with disabilities were God's punishment to women who had abortions.  Yes.  You read that correctly.

Here is his exact quote, from, from THIS article:

"The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically," he reportedly said. "Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children."

"In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord," he added. "There's a special punishment Christians would suggest."


He later posted a statement saying that what he said was misinterpreted.  (This is also discussed in the above referenced article).  I fail to see HOW what he said could be misinterpreted.  It seems very clear to me.


As the mother of a child that has a disability (whether visible or not, her cleft is considered a disability), I am extremely offended by this statement.  Regardless of your view on abortion, this is reprehensible.  I have never had an abortion.  I certainly have never even considered an abortion.  In fact, I became a single mother rather than make that choice.  Yet my daughter was born with a disability.  She is my husband's first born child.  This whole idea makes me sick.  Simply sick.


I have long been taught that abortion is a sin, since I am Catholic.  Regardless of what my church teaches on abortion, my church also teaches that Christians forgive.  That Christians love unconditionally.  That Christians should not judge, but should rather preach God's love.  THIS, this entire situation, this is NOT being a Christian.  I feel that it only makes matters worse that this man is a political figure, who makes these statements to the masses. 


I find myself at a loss as to how to educate close minded individuals like this.  Whether he posted an apology, recanted, or whatever, the fact is that those words left his mouth.  IN PUBLIC.  In a forum that was later spread worldwide courtesy of the internet.  And that there are people out there who will believe what he said.  The fact that he said it in any context is a true example of his ignorance.  The fact that he is spreading this ignorance is even more sickening.  How do you truly educate someone who says and thinks things like this?  I don't know that you can.  But, I can and will certainly let this man know, in no uncertain terms, how wrong I know he is.  He has recently announced that he will seek national office.  I hope that any of you who feel so compelled will reach out with me to let him know that this is not okay.


God does not punish his people for their sins.  God loves all his people, and forgives them their sins.  My daughter, with her disability, birth defect, whatever label you want to put on it, is NOT a punishment.  She is a GIFT.  A wonderful gift that we were blessed to have, not because God felt the need to punish us, but because he felt we were strong enough to care for her the way she should be cared for. 

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