I'm writing from Minnesota. I am staying with the community of women at St. Benedict's Monastery. This is the community of which I am an oblate, meaning that I promise to try to live the Rule of St. Benedict, and this is easier written than done.
I am working on my latest book, BEYOND ACCESSIBILITY: TOWARD FULL INCLUSION OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN COMMUNITIES OF FAITH. Seabury Press will publish it in 2010.
What I've learned from my time in the pastorate the last thirteen months is that the same forces that keep people with disabilities as "outsiders" to the Church are the very same forces that keep those of us who are LGBTQ as "outsiders" to the Church. It is the same force that kept and keeps women and other minorities outside the "mainstream." Handicapism, racism, classism, sexism, and heterosexism is as much a part of the fabric that the Church is located, and these "isms" are in the Church.
I once taught that the sloppiness of thinking was putting forth an argument re: people with disabilities, in which you could simply replace "people with disabilities" with "gay" and get the same argument. I still think this is kind of the case, because people with disabilities and LGBTQ have different issues, thus making arguments for inclusion a little bit more nuanced. I've had a change or heart and thought more recently in my time in the pastorate: I see the same forces of oppression work on both groups.
Thinking out loud here.
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