Thursday, March 28, 2019

What The Church Of England
Is Failing To Grasp

The first effective disability law began in the UK as early as 95 with the early stages of what was then DDA.

What began with DDA and now continues under the Equality Act of 2010 is that both acts saw the lumping together by government of several issues under one act, issues of LGBTQ, BAME and disability were all placed under one act. 

This has created an unintended consequence whereby groups that represent all those differing interests have banded together to be more effective and to make better use of very limited resources. 

After more than thirty years the relationships between these different interest groups has grown, relationships have formed, bonds have grown and many of us across theses groups have grown to see it as one united causes and no longer see it as separate interest groups but as the once cause of equality and inclusion.

Those who are unhappy about this should not blame us in these various interest groups for banding together but should look to the government, they lumped us all together and then proceeded to try to restrict our rights and then suddenly become indignant when they see these groups begin to work together. What would you expect to happen when people are forced in to a corner. 

The Church of England have failed to cotton on to what has happened over the last thirty or so years in the secular world where these interest groups have bandied together and fall in to the trap of regarding LGBTQ, BAME and disability as totally separate issues, totally failing to understand that this is no longer how these groups see themselves. 

We in these groups have grown together over the thirty years  and although it is true that some of the issues are very different, we share the common ground of knowing what it is to be the outsider and now look at the issues as "if you leave one behind, you leave all behind" and because of the bond that has grown between us their is a solidarity between us that simply says "leave no one behind".

My plea to the Church of England is that we MUST understand this relationship and to try and deal with these issues in isolation will be seen by those covered by the Equalities Act as an attempt to divide and conquer. 

We can no longer attempt to deal with these issues in isolation, for many disabled, LBTQ and BAME people we are one oppressed group both in the wider community but also inside the church and we MUST be dealt with on that basis. We may not like the tide of culture but we can not turn it, we have to deal with where it is now.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Contract

It had not been my attention to write a blog for Ash Wednesday and to be honest with you I can not think of an obvious link with what I have to say and the solemnity of today but non the less I have been haunted by these thoughts all day so decided I'd best listen and write them down. 

Contrary to popular belief there is no longer a register of disabled people here in the UK but there is however, a register of visual impairment. To me that has always seemed unfair and in it's self discriminatory. 

I remember the day I was registered blind, I stood in the hospital car park, cursing God, cursing the consultant who had just put me on the register and cursing life it's self. 

But amidst all the anger I remember striking a deal, contract if you like. I did not want the labels of blind or disabled but in that moment I promised myself that this was to be a contract between me and society. If indeed I had to be a blindy, then by Got I sure as hell was going to be the best damn blindy I could be. In return for putting me on the register against my will society was also entering in to a contract with me. If I must wear the label of blindy that society was forcing me to wear then I'd make sure society fulfilled it's obligations to me as a blind person, it would give me the support that I needed to live the best life that was open to me, support in the forms of disability benefits, training, a guide dog, some dignity and respect.

I have to tell you that in my opinion society has broken that contract time and time again and I have spent the intervening years determined to hold society to account for breaking that contract. 

For me, I built this model on the story of the cross. Jesus entered in to a contact with the father, one of those contracts that he would not have chosen, a contract which would by our freedom in return for his suffering, a contract which in my life I see being fulfilled over and over each day. 

I've talked elsewhere on this blog about the Disneyfication of Jesus. For me there can be no redemption without the shitty bits. 

Being blind on your own can be exceedingly shitty, being blind walking with Jesus does not diminish the shit, it simply meansthe shit no longer matters.

What The Church Of England Is Failing To Grasp The first effective disability law began in the UK as early as 95 with the early s...