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does this kind of thing make you mad?

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  • does this kind of thing make you mad?

    Some background: I'm a church-going person, but not the sort that cares all that much about the bible. I don't believe in a personal God, I don't believe in the resurrection or atonement for sin or anything Paul said. I like having a community, and I really like the people in that community who helped me raise my kids and showed up when Bruce got hurt, etc. We're still in the same church we picked to get married in way back in 1986.

    So anyway, it's Easter, right? And we're sitting there with one of our grown daughters, and the pastor starts out her sermon with a story about a young minister who went to a hospital where a guy was paralyzed, and after praying with the paralyzed guy, the paralyzed guy said he felt his legs tingling and he thought he could walk, and the minister said it was probably not going to work like that, and the paralyzed guy said, no really, and then stood up and took a few steps.

    And then the minister went out to his car and thanked God for healing the paralyzed guy, beat his head against the steering wheel, and said "Don't you ever do that to me again!"

    It was a laugh line, contrived to introduce a message about being afraid of things God might do if you ask, or something like that.

    So, here's my question -- when people use paralysis as a metaphor, does it bug you?

    Because it bugs me. I kind of want to send her a note saying, look . . . for some people paralysis is not part of a joke. Do you make jokes about people with cancer? Do you make jokes about people with ALS? Blind people? How about lepers? What is it about someone paralyzed that's so tempting? Being paralyzed absolutely sucks. It really does. I get that it's a tasty metaphor for a lot of things, but really -- it's not bad enough that he has to live his life with a screwed up central nervous system, he also has to sit in church and listen to people laughing over a joke like that?

    Meh. So then I started thinking that I should just tell her how this comes across, and I went into a whole mind-fuck about not wanting to be a whiner and about how she'd never get it anyway, and how I should get over myself already.

    Which leads me to my other question: Would you say something? if so, what?

  • #2
    Yes I would. People like that propagate the notion that we're lazy or just not strong-willed even (or don't have enough faith) to get up and just walk.

    It would be difficult to control my emotions or the level of my voice while doing so, as well.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

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    • #3
      i agree with lynnifer. that stereotype needs to be kicked in the butt! it bothers me and i have been the unfortunate recipient of ppl wanting to "lay hands" on me in public or being told over and over by family that i cannot walk because i don't believe in jesus.

      in cases like this where you feel you may umm lose your religion, write a letter to the pastor telling her how you feel. you can have it proofread so that you make sure it isnt rude but to the point.
      "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
      http://www.elportavoz.com/

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      • #4
        As to the question does "paralysis" used as a joke bother me? No...

        I jus dont get uptight about these things. Kate is right that people will not get it no matter how you try to explain it to them, even a pastor. Not saying its right or ok, but I know trying to wage that battle will be forever ongoing. I am jus not gonna let these things ruin my day.

        I think perhaps from being a supervisor in the past, I have a thick skin to such insults, and like water on a ducks back, let it roll off....

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        • #5
          It would rub me the wrong way too Kate, but don't think I'd say anything.
          Before SCI took over our lives it would not have occurred to me.

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          • #6
            I'm with graybeard.
            Originally posted by graybeard View Post
            As to the question does "paralysis" used as a joke bother me? No...

            I jus dont get uptight about these things. Kate is right that people will not get it no matter how you try to explain it to them, even a pastor. Not saying its right or ok, but I know trying to wage that battle will be forever ongoing. I am jus not gonna let these things ruin my day.

            I think perhaps from being a supervisor in the past, I have a thick skin to such insults, and like water on a ducks back, let it roll off....
            Please donate a dollar a day at http://justadollarplease.org.
            Copy and paste this message to the bottom of your signature.

            Thanks!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by graybeard View Post
              As to the question does "paralysis" used as a joke bother me? No...

              I jus dont get uptight about these things. Kate is right that people will not get it no matter how you try to explain it to them, even a pastor. Not saying its right or ok, but I know trying to wage that battle will be forever ongoing. I am jus not gonna let these things ruin my day.

              I think perhaps from being a supervisor in the past, I have a thick skin to such insults, and like water on a ducks back, let it roll off....
              i agree with not letting it ruin one's day, no comment is worth that. but if people feel strongly about something, then speak up about it in a respectful manner. and if nothing comes of it, at least you tried.
              "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
              http://www.elportavoz.com/

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              • #8
                What's with Easter Jokes? Our minister pulled a really lame one out of his pocket last Sunday. Back to your question, if it bothers you, talk to her about it. Explain your feelings and try to keep it non-confrontational.
                Tom

                "Blessed are the pessimists, for they hath made backups." Exasperated 20:12

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                • #9
                  What I hear "Graybeard" and "RDF" saying is that those of us who are sensitive to this kind of thing are unnecessarily uptight while they are just cool, no worries kind of guys. Makes the world go 'round.

                  All the best,
                  GJ

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                  • #10
                    Point it out Kate. Let her know. It IS important.
                    My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

                    Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

                    "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

                    Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

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                    • #11
                      Kate, you weren't expecting to hear rationale from the pulpit, were you?

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                      • #12
                        Did it bug your husband? I find that friends and family tend to get more worked up about stuff than I do. The other day I was rolling down the hall and our 400 pound, black belt in akido IT guy asks me if I am going to lunch. I tell him no, some asshat is in the handicapped stall and I am going to go down one floor to find an open stall to take a piss. I roll about ten more feet before I realize I need to turn around immediately and go stop Mike from pulling the guy of of the stall and threatening him with large amounts of pain. It is nice to have people on your side, but I can fight my own fights.

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                        • #13
                          Thx for replies, all of ya. I agree with everything you've said. I like this minister, and I know she wasn't suggesting that prayer can heal paralysis or anything silly like that . . . but she was furthering a bunch of stupid ideas all at once. Like, all people in chairs care about is walking, for example.

                          All 3 of us (me, Bruce and Heather) kind of flinched, and all 3 of us agreed later that it was offensive in the random way that any gratuitous stupidity is offensive. I was definitely more pissed than my husband was, to answer Tom's question, but I don't think that means I was pissed on his behalf.

                          My life -- my marriage, my kids' lives, my house, the configuration of the rooms in my house, the kinds of family vacations I can take, the amount of savings I expect to retire on, the life expectancy of my spouse, the way I can and can't have sex -- my life has more than a passing, tangential relationship to paralysis. I was pissed on my behalf.

                          I think -- to answer my own question -- that I'll say something to her. Like this, maybe:

                          Yo, you know that story you told on Easter about the poor minister who freaked out when his prayer for a paralyzed guy seemed to work? Not that funny when you're sitting next to a paralyzed guy. Maybe you can dial it back in the future, possibly turn it into a story about somebody with a truly serious problem, like for example a person suffering from a bad case of ignorance . . .

                          Ha ha, just kidding.

                          Still too angry, right?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kate View Post
                            Thx for replies, all of ya. I agree with everything you've said. I like this minister, and I know she wasn't suggesting that prayer can heal paralysis or anything silly like that . . . but she was furthering a bunch of stupid ideas all at once. Like, all people in chairs care about is walking, for example.

                            All 3 of us (me, Bruce and Heather) kind of flinched, and all 3 of us agreed later that it was offensive in the random way that any gratuitous stupidity is offensive. I was definitely more pissed than my husband was, to answer Tom's question, but I don't think that means I was pissed on his behalf.

                            My life -- my marriage, my kids' lives, my house, the configuration of the rooms in my house, the kinds of family vacations I can take, the amount of savings I expect to retire on, the life expectancy of my spouse, the way I can and can't have sex -- my life has more than a passing, tangential relationship to paralysis. I was pissed on my behalf.

                            I think -- to answer my own question -- that I'll say something to her. Like this, maybe:

                            Yo, you know that story you told on Easter about the poor minister who freaked out when his prayer for a paralyzed guy seemed to work? Not that funny when you're sitting next to a paralyzed guy. Maybe you can dial it back in the future, possibly turn it into a story about somebody with a truly serious problem, like for example a person suffering from a bad case of ignorance . . .

                            Ha ha, just kidding.

                            Still too angry, right?

                            This. But, your draft is much more ummm level than mine would be...
                            My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

                            Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

                            "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

                            Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              LOL! This is mostly the basis of why I don't involve myself in religion anymore. I guess Jesus didn't love me enough, lol.
                              Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

                              T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

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