"And as Jesus passed by , he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying , Master, who did sin , this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered , Neither hath this man sinned , nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." - John 9:1-3 KJV
A site called Wonkette recently posted an article by Jack Stuef about Trig Palin, a boy with Down syndrome celebrating his third birthday. It was a post so sick, with insinuations of rape and incest, written in the name of politics, that I did not have the heart to get past the first few paragraphs. To an ordinary decent human being, the article was enough to churn a stomach upside down. To parents of children with special needs, every sentence was a stake, laced with acid and vinegar, lunged repeatedly to the heart. I should know. I myself have two kids with special needs.
Every family dealing with Down syndrome, autism, or any other disorder or special needs, will tell you that living with disabilities are a constant challenge. But it should not be a burden. People who are fortunate enough to have lives not touched with these challenges should not have to encumber these families with their irresponsible rants and misplaced attempts at humor. It is not a laughing matter when your child is seven years old and still hasn't spoken a word. It is not a laughing matter when your child's peers were running off to the playground and yours is left staring at his toy car's spinning wheels. It is not a laughing matter when your child goes through childhood without having been invited to a slumber party because other kids just find him/her a bit odd. It's not a laughing matter when other kids are running around in Chuck E Cheese's yet your baby would not even go in because the noise and the lights are just too much to handle.
It is incomprehensible how a man could be filled with so much vile and hatred, a grown-up man taking it all out on a three-year old kid, one who has Down syndrome to say the least!. Since I do not personally know Mr. Stuef, I cannot know for sure if he truly is among the avid band of Trig-Truthers, or if he genuinely looks down on kids like Trig or if his hatred is simply directed towards his (Trig's) mother - Sarah Palin, for using the toddler as a political prop. Yes, Sarah Palin, who is the embodiment of everything that's against what Stuef and his leftist cohorts stand for. She, who is pro-life, for limited government and strong military, a lifelong hunter, who is itching to drill for oil in ANWR, a perennial threat to the presidency of Barack Obama and his agenda.
There is a thrift store in my neighborhood that I like to visit where the store greeter is a handicapped young man in a wheelchair with a communication device attached to his chair. "Danny" is not verbal at all, cannot speak one clear word but whenever I stop to say hi and talk to him, his eyes would light up and his mouth would break into a big smile. Here's a young man with limited skills yet still trying to make a decent living and be part of the community. When I think of Danny, Trig and my own children, I do not think anymore of how unfair this world is. I'm past the stage of asking "why does this have to happen, for a disability to take away their childhood and deprive them of a normal life?" I am at peace at the realization that God works in mysterious ways. People with disabilities, young and old, are God's reminder of what is GOOD in us. They are His reminder to us that the world does not revolve around us, that there are others whose struggles are greater than ours,that we should always lend a hand to lift up those who need help in whatever way we can. God so designed it that helping others make us us feel good about ourselves. That in turn compels us to not stop and be content with giving ourselves a pat in the back but to continue to reach out to others and do good - for ourselves, our neighbors and our communities. The presence of people with special needs touch and teach us and ensures that the cycle of doing good and helping others does not end.
Without uttering a word, Trig raised up the voices of many, decrying the foulness of Mr. Stuef's logic. It woke up the nurturing instinct of decent human beings who will fight for those who cannot defend themselves. It spurred strangers into action to protest the malicious post. Business owners put principles ahead of profits and cancelled their advertisements on Wonkette. People of different political opinions spoke as one to denounce the site and its author. The social media, the same one that Stuef used to spread his mean-spirited rants, became the same medium that brought attention to the cruelty of his writings and eventually forced Wonkette to pull out the offensive article. Good always trumps evil. God makes sure that, in the end, it always works out that way.
As for Mr.Jack Stuef, I do have some parting words:
In a small town where I grew up, elementary school children were required to take a class called GMRC (Good Manners and Right Conduct). The students were taught to stand up when a teacher or any figure of authority would enter the room. Kids must address adults as "sir" or "ma'am". But generally, the responsibility of raising a disciplined and well-mannered child falls on the parents. It seems to me that Stuef needs to go back home and ask for a refresher on how to be a good boy. His mouth needs some serious washing and his tongue, an overnight soaking. A combo of Clorox, Purell and Listerine will do the trick. Then he needs to sit down in his timeout chair and write on a piece of paper the Golden Rule a hundred times ... then write an essay on "How Not To Embarrass Your Mom".