Here are two stories I’ve read in the last six hours about people with Down syndrome the way they are treated by our society and the church.
This Washington Post story recounts a horrific and heart-breaking story about a young man who wanted to watch a movie and ended up dead.
The second link is to the consistently excellent Her*meneutics page at Christianity Today, where we find an extended reflection about the blogosphere and media reaction to a story about a woman who agreed to carry a baby with Down syndrome to term when a priest stepped in and found someone willing to adopt the baby.
From the Her*meneutics story:
Moreover, the writer perpetuates a problematic ignorance of people with Down syndrome that seems to be all over the media these days. She implies—no, states outright—that the majority of children with Down syndrome live terrible lives. Yes, if they are mistreated, children with Down syndrome struggle mightily… just like typical kids. But data also suggests that the vast majority of families and individuals with Down syndrome live lives of contentment and joy.
The priest who reached out to the pregnant woman has a brother with Down syndrome. His father died in the act of saving that brother’s life. I suspect this priest knows the value of human life, including and perhaps especially the lives of those with Down syndrome and other vulnerabilities, full well.