Wednesday, June 18, 2008

'Ugly' is Still Illegal for Some

The things our society does to preserve “decency” and “morality” are unbelievable, many times bordering on horrible and many times unethical. They certainly are not always Christian or moral. That’s still true today.

Chicago used to have an “Ugly Law”, as did Columbus, Ohio and Omaha, Nebraska. Chicago’s law was as follows:

No person who is diseased, maimed, mutilated or in any way deformed so as to be an unsightly or disgusting object or improper person to be allowed in or on the public ways or other public places in this city, or shall therein or thereon expose himself to public view, under a penalty of not less than one dollar nor more than fifty dollars for each offense.”

Thanks to a Jack operative, who happens to be an award-winning advocate for persons with disabilities, we were pointed to this blog. I just had to blog about it. Our history is ugly indeed, but not because of diversity, despite the calls to homogeneity of some arch conservatives.

Those “different” people, who God created, walk among us but are rarely treated with kindness, love, forgiveness or tenderness. Typically they are met with contempt and disgust. I can’t tell you how many mothers I talked to back in my disability-advocacy days who were kicked out of their family churches because their child had Autism or some other disability and the child moved around or made noises. These ladies would sit in my office and cry because they were unable to access God because the church refused to accept or understand their child. “If those mothers would just discipline those Autistic children” – a common mantra by the willfully ignorant.

Oh the ugliness continues today with people who have disabilities, disfigurements and the homosexuals. Even some compassionate folks can be kind to the poor disabled and still have open contempt for those who love the same sex.

I don’t feel sorry for society’s “ugly ducklings”. I just feel angry that my fellow Christians, as we make up the majority of the US, find such practices acceptable and Godly. Most of my agnostic and atheist friends do not. I don’t know if that is true for the general non-God population. Just an observation.

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