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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Special Olympics

President Obama went on David Letterman's talk show on Thursday night (3/19/09). While there, without a teleprompter, he made a joke saying that he bowls like someone in the Special Olympics. He quickly apologized, and his apology seems to be accepted by the American media, at least, who talk about a slip of the tongue.

This remark made me sad. Yes, it's the kind of quick joke that many people might make and I don't read too much into it, but frankly I don't find it funny. When I was pregnant with my second child I had an abnormal alphafetoprotein scan early on that indicated a slightly higher risk of Down's Syndrome, but didn't get amniocentesis because a) I wasn't going to *terminate* anything, and b) there was a risk (odds quoted to me were 1/300, admittedly low but not zero) that it might cause the pregnancy to miscarry. I thought long and deep about the baby, and made my own the thought that a person is worthwhile simply because he is, not because of achievements or qualifications or anything else.

Our son was born perfectly healthy, and is currently a curious and active seventh grader. I don't know how he's able to eat as much as he does!

Still, there are many parents and children who do have challenged children. These children are greatly loved and wonderful, but they and their families face additional problems that those without them cannot imagine.

Sarah Palin, the Republican candidate for vice president in the 2008 election, recently addressed the Special Olympics organization. This video is fabulous!


Cathy Bryant said...

Hi Amy~ Thanks for this post. Most of the time, I'm out of the loop on stuff like this, so thanks for bringing it to my attention.

I'm giving you TWO blog awards today at WordVessel (!


Jessica Thomas said...

What a sweet video of Sarah and her son. Brought a few tears to my eyes.

During the election, I overheard a coworker in the hall say how cruel Sarah and her husband were to go through with the pregnancy. Still makes me sick to think about it.

As for Obama's comment. Big oops.

Pro said...

Remeber Don Imus' Comment?

Obama said: "He fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America. The notions that as young African-American women — who I hope will be athletes — that that somehow makes them less beautiful or less important. It was a degrading comment. It’s one that I’m not interested in supporting."

Therefore, laughter and the lack of reaction from Obama’s remarks suggest Americans have a set a rules for race, class and gender: If you touch them you will pay.

And another set of rules for individuals that have a mental or physical disability: If you touch them, it’s ok if you apologize. Oh, and by the way, it’s okay to laugh at the jokes that come at the expense of the latter.

It is just cruel:

Andra M. said...

My husband and I went through the same thing as you did with our son. Like you, our son was born with no genetic defects.

Sarah Palin is an amazing lady, and I fell in love with her son the moment I saw him. He's adorable.

Hey, it looks like Cathy beat me to it; you won two blogging awards in my blog as well! See for more info.

Amy Deardon said...

Hi Everyone, I recommend you visit Pro's link -- the website does a brief write-up of the top Special Olympics bowler, Kolan McConiughey, who has bowled 300s (a perfect score) more than once.

Again, I don't think President Obama meant to target any group; the comment on Special Olympics just slipped out. Even so, *out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.* (Matthew 12:34) It is essential that we meditate on good, strive for God's standards, and ask humbly for His guidance. We need to respect ALL people as being made in the image of God, valuable simply because they are, not because of what they can contribute.

Obama as the first black man elected president of the United States has overcome great barriers of prejudice. Let us keep tearing those barriers down, and keep praying for our leaders and all those in authority.

Gwen Stewart said...

Amy, thanks for your thoughtful comments.

I'm still shocked that President Obama, a man who campaigned on his care for the less fortunate, would not apologize to the American people for this remark.

I'm praying for our leader and our country. God bless America.