jesus and disability

I just read tom Shakespeare’s most recent article on ouch, and I would encourage you to do the same. It is a short essay on disability issues in the bible, and I was interested to note that Hebrews 12.13 says ‘Make a level path for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled’, one of the earliest descriptions of the social model.

The problem professor Shakespeare and most disabled people have with Christ is that he went about his business in the wrong way. There is a supposition in the bible that disabled people want to be ‘cured’; most of us do not, for without our disabilities we no longer can be us. My cp is part of me, part of what makes matt matt. I think I would be quite lost without it. When I was very little, I asked dad if I could have a brain transplant in order to move properly; my father wisely replied that, were I to have such an operation, I would not be Matthew anymore but someone else inside my body. Although literally true, this can also be seen as allegorical cure my disability, and you eradicate matt.

Thus, in a way, Jesus did these lepers and blind people a disservice, robbing them of their individuality (and, in one case, their livelihood). As Shakespeare argues, it would be far simpler to fit ramps everywhere, and make VOCAs easier to obtain, rather than curing a select few. Then everyone benefits, not just a handful of people fortunate enough to meet Christ.

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