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  • Writer's pictureEddie A. Rosa Fuentes

In the Midst of Deception: The Illusion of Disability

This blog was first published on March 22, 2016 at McCormick Theological Seminary Cure Blog. It is now in The Herald.


Revised and Updated for this blog on December 2, 2022.

 

“Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” Acts 10:15


We live in the culture of perfection. Society asks us to be perfect. Our work needs to be perfect. Western culture keeps asking from humanity, and following the idea of capitalism; having more, more and more. For this reason, we now have machinery doing the work that humans used to do. Because of perfection! It is said that robots and machines do not make mistakes, they cannot make mistakes; if there is any mistake, it was the mistake of the one who programmed it.


However, what is perfect? How and who defines perfect? Let's not forget that the idea of perfection is a social construction. For Western culture, perfection has to do with flawlessness, faultlessness, being unspoiled, unaltered, precision, and ability. I would say that to achieve perfection for many is to achieve a Godly image.


Almost everybody will tell you that humans are not perfect. However, our everyday lives are ruled by the different ideologies presented for example by the media to achieve the perfect life, the perfect family, the perfect body, the perfect clothes, the perfect eyes, mouth, nose, or ass, even many are constantly looking for the perfect size of penis. Does size matter?


What would society look like without the word perfection or where perfection is not a value or a virtue? What does it mean to embrace our “brokenness”? What if perfection means “brokenness”?


We are constantly bombarded with an ideology of perfection that is trying to deceive us from reality. The ideology tries to keep us focused on what we need to be perfect than to love who and how we are. Even the media and the system’s ideology uses people with “disabilities” to encourage “those who do not have ‘disabilities’” because—“if we can do it, so can you.”


Sadly, we have fallen into the illusion of disabilities, where society looks at the other as un-able, I mean, disable, and erasing altogether what we can actually do. The focus goes to what we do not have. True! There are things we cannot do, however there are many things that we can do that others don't. Likewise, there are many other things that we can do. Both can be acknowledged.


People with “disabilities” have other abilities. We can do many things with our body and the mind we have, the same way people without “disabilities” do things with the body and mind they have. God made us, all of us, perfectly broken, where with my unique abilities and the uncommon abilities of my neighbor, and the very common others abilities we might share, we can be together the Body of Christ, and create the Kin-ship of God on this earth. So help us God.

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