Is God really near to those on the margins?

Feb 20, 2021

There is this Judeo Christian idea that God is near to those on the margins. It’s a nice sentiment but it’s unfalsifiable because those on the margins have no voice and if what they said went against the prevailing narrative they would be shot down rather quickly. In contrast if something is true to those on top they merely need to go to Davos and announce the change and whatever it is will be adopted right away. Those of us on the autistic spectrum have a much higher rate of irreligiously than our neurotypical peers and those with mental illnesses are also less religious. So there’s two significant groups of people on the margins of society that God is decidedly not “near”. When you don’t “experience God” or God is telling you to do things like drink urine or kill yourself and the church treats you like garbage you can see why the faith is not attractive to people with mental illnesses and autism.

The truth is people don’t care about individuals with disabilities unless they are a parent of a kid who happens to have one. The Christian disability scene is more about shoring up the narrative and defanging the experience of disability so it fits in their neat little Christian box. Disability and mental illness are an existential slam-dunk argument against Evangelical Christianity (particularly against the idea that life will go according to “God’s plan”). This is why in Evangelical Christian circles people with disabilities are generally not allowed to speak for themselves or if so are tone policed and talked over when they do. For Evangelicals it’s a matter of keeping their faith alive because a raw, unfiltered experience of disability works like an armor piercing bullet through the armor of God.

How it does this can’t easily be put into words because it’s different for everybody. If you yourself are a person with a disability or you spend a lot of time with one where they are free to be their unfiltered self you will get a grasp of this. Otherwise this world is closed to you.

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