On Opposing Assisted Suicide

The Right to Life isn’t only about abortion; infanticide and euthanasia are also grave concerns in American society today. (And I would also add that there are many, many living infants, children, and adults that are mightily struggling to survive in places where the law of the jungle rather than the common good prevails.)

Here are two articles in regard to the right to life for persons with disabilities:

Second Thoughts CT Leader Cathy Ludlum Interviewed On Opposing Assisted Suicide

&

British doctors order ‘do no resuscitate’ those with mental disabilities

See also:

 

Boarding Homes for Adults under the Protection of the Mother of God

from the website of

St. Elizabeth Convent (Minsk, Belarus)

The sisters and brothers from St. Elizabeth Convent visit two Boarding Homes for Mentally Challenged Adults in order to bring God into their lives. 

The article below lists the some of the ways they interact with the people in the boarding homes:

  • Organize events, concerts, trips to parks, museums, exhibitions, etc.
  • Organize creative workshops and masterclasses
  • Drawing the public’s attention to people with special needs.

To access: Boarding Homes for Adults under the Protection of the Mother of God

The article includes a video in relation to this ministry at the boarding homes, entitled “Sister Julia speaks about the mystery of a human soul,” which is part of a series on the boarding home ministry: “God’s People.” You can find the full series on the St. Elisabeth Convent You Tube Page: St. Elisabeth Convent. Orthodox Life and Chants (Social Outreach Playlist). The seven videos of the series in order according to the numbering of the playlist: 1-7 = 11, 12, 13, 16, 15,  __, 17. (Part 6 is missing from the list. (See the video Below)

Here are three videos. There are subtitles in English.

Here’s the first of the series:

Also:

Here’s Part 6 of the Series:

 

Social Participation and the Autistic Sensory System

from

Judy Endow: Aspects of Autism Translated

Judy Endow, who is autistic herself, is a clinician and resource specialist at Common Threads Family Resources Center in Madison, Wisconsin. She has written several books and many articles in regard to life with Autism, which can be found at the About Judy section of her blog.

In the following  brief article, Judy illustrates from her own experiences how she negotiates the environment of a public restaurant given her autistic sensory system:

Social Participation and the Autistic Sensory System

From there you can go on to enjoy her other various writings on the Autistic frame of reference, and how a Autistic person can navigate in our largely non-autistic world. 

Here’s Judy Endow’s You Tube Page.  (11 Videos) 

More from Judy Endow on  The Autism Society‘s You Tube page:

The first session of a six part Panel Discussion sponsored by The Autistic Society including Lars Perner, Sondra Williams, and Judy Endow on aspects of the culture of autism:

“… the Mighty One entered, and put on insecurity …”

Your mother is a cause of wonder: the Lord entered into her
and became a servant; He who Is the Word entered–
and became silent within her;
Thunder entered her and made no sounds;
there entered The Shepherd of all,
and in her He became the f60a1-easternorthodoxnativity-icon1easternorthodoxchurchorgLamb, bleating as He comes forth.
Praise to You to whom all things are easy, for You Are almighty.

Your mother’s womb has reversed the roles:
the Establisher of all entered into His richness,
but came forth poor; the Exalted one entered her,
but came forth meek; the Splendrous one entered her,
but came forth having put on a lowly hue.
Praise to You to whom all things are easy, for You Are almighty.

The Mighty one entered, and put on insecurity
from her womb; the Provisioner of all entered–
and experienced hunger; He who gives drink to all entered–
and experienced thirst; naked and stripped
there came forth from her He who clothes all!
Praise to You to whom all things are easy, for You Are almighty.

a
An excerpt from St. Ephrem the Syrian’s Nativity Hymn 11, translated by Sebastian Brock, the distinguished Oxford Syriac scholar (The Harp of the Spirit, Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius, 1983).

 Saint Ephrem the Syrian

Useful Apps for for Persons with four various disabilities

From GOARCH: FOR THE LIFE OF THE WORLD – Toward a Social Ethos of the Orthodox Church

GOARCH = Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America

Read the article from their website:

Toward a Social Ethos of the Orthodox Church

IV. Poverty, Wealth, and Civil Justice
Remember, Lord, those who are mindful of the poor

§33 All this being so, it is impossible for the Church truly to follow Christ or to make him present to the world if it fails to place this absolute concern for the poor and disadvantaged at the very center of its moral, religious, and spiritual life. The pursuit of social justice and civil equity—provision for the poor and shelter for the homeless, protection for the weak, welcome for the displaced, and assistance for the disabled—is not merely an ethos the Church recommends for the sake of a comfortable conscience, but is a necessary means of salvation, the indispensable path to union with God in Christ; and to fail in these responsibilities is to invite condemnation before the judgment seat of God (Matthew 25:41–45). Thus it was that the earliest Christian communities of the apostolic age adopted a manner of life radically unlike that of the greater culture, holding all possessions in common and surrendering all private wealth to the community as a whole, so that the needs of every member of Christ’s body might be met (Acts 2:44–45; 4:32–37). At that time, it did not lie within the power of the Church to fashion civil society anew; nor could the Church—given the absolutely intractable reality of imperial order—produce anything like an abstract political ideology that might correct or ameliorate the injustices of the age. Nevertheless, Christians were able to care for the poor within their reach, and for widows and orphans especially (the most helpless classes of the ancient world), and to create among themselves a polity of love that left no one to his or her fate. What is more, this understanding of the life in Christ as one of radical solidarity was carried over—not perfectly, unfortunately, but to some real effect—into the age of the politically enfranchised Church. After the conversion of the Emperor Constantine, no change in imperial policy was more significant as a concrete expression of the social consequences of the Gospel than the vast expansion of the Church’s provision for the poor, with large material support from the state.

§40 The Church has a special vocation to recall that, with the exception of unrelieved hunger, there is no crueler deprivation endured by the poor throughout the world than lack of access to decent medical care. Christ, again, brought his good tidings not only to the destitute, but to the lame, the blind, the disabled, the sick, and the suffering. His ministry was marked by no more radiant sign of God’s liberating love for his creatures than his power of healing, which he offered freely to all who sought relief from their physical and spiritual afflictions. Christ indeed numbered visitation of the sick among the necessary criteria of salvation (Matthew 25:31-46). A Church that strives to proclaim that same love to all nations, and to demand of every society the justice that God requires of all human beings, must insist that every government seek, by whatever powers and resources it has at its disposal, to provide universal healthcare, of as high a quality as possible, for all its citizens. That those who cannot procure such care for themselves should be given access to it, by public policy and at the public expense, and that such care should not leave the needy at the mercy of insurance agencies that exact huge premiums while supplying meager benefits, and that the poor should not be further impoverished in exchange for the privilege of living and thriving among their fellow citizens, is the absolute minimum that the Church should expect of countries with developed economies. Nor can such obligations end at national borders. Richer nations are morally obliged, from a Christian point of view, to seek to improve medical conditions for persons everywhere, to the degree that they can. Often this means seeking to provide affordable pharmaceuticals in countries whose citizens cannot bear the costs of the most effective and current medical treatments for serious ailments. Often it will entail direct assistance from physicians and other medical professionals. Whatever it involves, however, the Orthodox Church is bound to call for and participate in the ceaseless effort to bring healing to all peoples in the name of Christ, the healer of souls and bodies.

VII. Orthodoxy and Human Rights
You have created us in your image and likeness

§63 The chief philosophical principle animating the conventions of human rights theory is the essential priority of human dignity, freedom, equality, and justice in the social, civil, and legal constitution of any nation. No set of laws, no realm of privilege or special concern, no national or international imperative transcends the absolute moral demand of human rights upon the state and all its institutions. In every sense, then, the language of human rights accords with the most fundamental tenets that should inform any Christian conscience. Intrinsic to every theory of human rights, moreover, are certain specific legal, civil, social, and international obligations incumbent upon every government. Among the legal rights that every state must protect and promote are a number of basic freedoms, such as freedom of conscience, freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and so forth. There are also more specific legal protections that must be provided: the right to safety, the right to legal representation under any circumstances of forensic prosecution or police investigation, immunity from unwarranted searches, seizures, or arrests, protection against incarceration without cause or charge, strict evidentiary standards such as the rule of habeas corpus, among other things. Then there are those civil rights that must be regarded as the universal and inalienable possessions of all persons: the right to vote for or against those exercising political power, equal access for all persons to political representation, freedom of association, freedom of religion, the right of peaceful assembly and protest, freedom of workers to form unions, freedom from all forms of forced labor (even for those in prison), protection against segregation, prejudicial policies, or hate crimes, freedom from discrimination in housing or employment on any basis, the right to equal police protections for all persons, protection of non-citizens against unequal treatment, laws insuring humane practices of criminal justice and incarceration, the universal abolition of capital punishment, and so forth. As for the social rights that every government should insure, these include the right to free universal health care, equally available to persons of every economic condition, the right to social security pensions and provisions for the elderly sufficient to insure them dignity and comfort in their last years, the right to infant care, and the right to adequate welfare provisions for the indigent and disabled. As for conventions regarding international rights, these must at the very least presume the right of every people to be protected against aggression and spoliation by foreign powers or corporate interests, preservation of a healthy and habitable environment, protection against and vigorous legal prosecution of war crimes, an absolute prohibition on torture, protection against displacement, the right of flight even when this involves crossing national borders, and the universal right of asylum for those displaced as a result of war, oppression, poverty, civil collapse, natural disaster, or persecution. Again, the conventions of human rights theory cannot accomplish or even address everything that the Orthodox Church desires for human beings; by themselves, these conventions cannot conquer selfishness in human hearts or create enduring forms of community; they cannot provide a comprehensive and compelling vision of the common good that answers all the material, moral, and spiritual needs of human nature. The language of human rights is, in many ways, a minimal language. It is also, however, a usefully concise language that can help to shape and secure rules of charity, mercy, and justice that the Church regards as the very least that should be required of every society; and so it is a language that must be unfailingly affirmed and supported by all Christians in the modern world.

Gretability

Greta is a a precocious 12-year-old girl from New York City. Her blog is about what it is like to have a disability. But she’s not bewailing her lot; she is very creative and has a very active life. In her own words:

About Greta 

The full title of her blog is Gretability: Finding Ability in Disability.

To access her blog:

Home

It’s actually hard not to be an active person in New York City. There is so much to see and do. The crowds and the pace of life can be overwhelming for visitors. (I lived there for two years many years ago, and acclimated to life there. But when I go back from time to time, the pace bothers me.) One of Greta’s posts illustrates the places there she especially likes:

Favorite Spots in New York City

Greta also has a You Tube Page:

This video is about her service dog, Midas, and how he helps her:

Also:

Get to know Greta!

 

The Spoon Theory and Orthodox Christian Worship

 

From a Post by Summer Kinard, an Orthodox Christian author and mother of autistic children. She is also autistic herself.

To Access the Post:

To Give All You Have: Virtue for Spoonies

What is the Spoon theory? Summer Kinard cites an article from the person who came up with the idea, Christina Miserandino, which offers a comprehensive picture of what it means. But I find the text size small, and for those who also find it so, I offer you another article, with larger text, explaining the Spoon Theory: WebMD: What Is the Spoon Theory? By Hope Cristol 

To sum up Summer Kinard’s post, Christians love involves consideration and patience with others- with specific attention to people with disabilities, some of which are evident, while some are invisible. The person looks “normal,” but we are called not to judge by appearances! This person has some personal obstacles to overcome, during Church services and in the rest of his life. 

You Tube Videos Explaining the Spoon Theory:

. . . written by and spoken by Christine Miserandino:

Bearing Disability: Which e-book app is best for Dyslexia

From the Shannon Weston‘s Blog Little Sea Bear: Where Creativity Storms On. Shannon is a proactive screenwriter, and has been engaged in “a

Derby Cathedral. Photo By Michael D Beckwith – Own work, CC0. From Wikipedia

collaborative radio project which has recently been produced and showcased at the University” of Derby in England, where she earned a Masters degree. She hopes to write for television as well. Shannon has dyslexia herself; she knows whereof she writes.

Shannon’s blog is multifaceted. There are three sections: one focused on a broad array of practical matters for people with disabilities (she also has cerebral palsy), one which is focused on her writings and writing in general and one addressing university life, including some advice she gives which she learned by her experiences. 

To access the article:

Bearing Disability: Which e-book app is best for Dyslexia

An earlier post by Shannon Weston addressing this issue:

Bearing Disability—A New Diagnosis: Dyslexia

The latest post addressing this issue:

Bearing Disability: ClaroRead Software for Dyslexia

Orthodoxy and Disability: The Conversation Continues, by Monica Spoor

From Orthodoxy in Dialogue:

Monica Spoor encourages Orthodox Christian Parishes (Priests, Parish Counsel members, etc.) to be creative in providing the kind of supports persons with disabilities need, not only to remove physical and emotional barriers, but also to be included and involved in the parish community. She also laments that in western societies the worth of people with disabilities [and abled as well] hinges on their ability to produce. She contends that both in society and the Church persons with disabilities are virtually counted as second class citizens, and the Church must lead the way in changing this.  

To access the article:

ORTHODOXY AND DISABILITY: THE CONVERSATION CONTINUES by Monica Spoor

Monica has also written a book: Spirituality on the Spectrum: having Autism in the Orthodox Church. Unfortunately, it is at this time out of print. But she has written an 8 page preview of the book:

Click to access 9789402162004.pdf


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