Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Sermon

Jeff Goldstein's round-up of Leftist reaction to Sarah Palin's nomination spurred this comment of mine, which I'll reproduce here for posterity. So to speak.
We ought to do a "Sarah Palin Facts" post based on those Chuck Norris Fact goofs. This would get my vote for number one.

They're doing it on Twitter already. Some are in her favor, others are not. So someone would have to separate the wheat from the chaff on another list.

As for aborting Down's kids: I know that some women are frightened and concerned about caring for such a child, and they choose to abort, but they may have given up the opportunity to grow in ways they've never imagined.

I am Gov. Palin's age, so if I were to conceive, there's a good chance I would have a Down's child, too. I would most definitely get tested to find out. Not so that I could abort, but that so I could bone up on the challenges specific to Down Syndrome.

I would also undoubtedly experience quite intense anxiety and even sorrow about the child I wouldn't have, and probably resentment at having to give birth to a freak after all these years. (Look, I'm a freak too, but for different reasons, so I don't use the term as an unqualified pejorative.)

No parent of a Down's child will tell you that their kid is a burden that they wish they'd aborted. Instead, they tell you that the kid might be different in some ways, but that only means that the difficulties are different, not increased.

In most cases, that is. Being a spectrum syndrome, as SarahW pointed out, some Down's kids never learn to function except at very basic levels, so they have to be institutionalized. Others end up with a nasty temperament instead of the typical sweet one. I've dealt with developmentally disabled people who were not little angels at all but rather overgrown children prone to explosive temper tantrums and the like.

However, I fear that we Americans are far too spoiled, to the point that we think that we are entitled to an easy life. We fail to see how dealing with the disabled can help us become better people. In fact, we fail to see how hard times of any kind are actually to our benefit if we handle them with a reasonable degree of integrity and humility.

I would never levy a blanket judgment against women who decide to abort their defective offspring. Some women truly don't have the resources -- especially a sufficient maturity level -- to deal with disabled children. And given how hard it is to put up the disabled for adoption, etc.

However, if that woman had the attitude of a nishi, I would condemn her with all the force of my soul. Such women have lost their humanity. They need to get off their high horses, learn to despise their social privilege, and grow the hell up.

The people that I admire most are not those who have staggering intellectual or artistic talents. They're not high-powered athletes or successful politicians. They're not beautiful or sophisticated. They may not have ever attended a symphony, read Russian literature, studied out a political philosophy, or darkened the door of a college classroom.

But they have enough generosity of soul to see these disabled kids and decide that they will go ahead and give them the best life they can, even if that means living in a run-down house with old furniture and appliances.

These people live in my neighborhood. This couple has one normal child, one Down's child, and two Asian girls with various physical and developmental disabilities. These girls are loved. Their parents and sister are patient with them, helping them along as they learn to do what they can.

I could never do that. I just flat-out don't have that skill set. I've got the ability to jump through any and all academic hoops you place before me. I'm a damn good writer. I used to play in a symphony orchestra. (Don't be impressed. I played the viola badly and half-heartedly from grades 4-7.) I've studied literature in two languages. Lived a spell in Madrid.

But given the choice, I'd much rather that the world were populated with people like my neighbors than with people like me. People like me tend to think like nishi and the soulless Lefties who now attack Sarah Palin. People like me start revolutions that descend into horror. People like my neighbors and their daughters don't.

He dicho. (Look, it's Sunday; I gotta deliver at least ONE sermon, eh?)

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