Disposable People

Father and Son

Father and Son

At first I thought it was the article about the Canadian mother who received a letter from a neighbor suggesting she should euthanize her autistic son which prompted me to write today’s blog.  Maybe it was my recent discovery that 92% of babies determined to have Down’s Syndrome are aborted by their parents.  It could have been the alarming lack of compassion for the elderly and terminally ill among us as advocacy for assisted suicide and euthanasia for these fellow humans is growing at an alarming rate.  Then I thought it was the horror that is abortion and the staggering number of innocent children murdered daily in their mother’s wombs in the name of “choice” or the atrocities committed by Kermit Gosnell which was the catalyst for this writing.

No.  It was something else.  As abhorrent as all of these are to me, I realized it was concern for the future of my 15 year old son who has autism which compelled me to write this post.

You see, my son has become one of the “disposable people” in a world which increasingly doesn’t want to deal with personal responsibility, inconvenience, sickness, age or anyone who is less than whole and healthy by the world’s standard.  I take comfort in knowing his final destination in Heaven is assured, yet also fear for his future as an adult where his life and the blessings which come from having him in the world may not be valued.  The growing callous disregard for human life around the world and even in our own country is sickening and evil.  Do you see it as well?  Why do we tolerate it?

My wife and I pray for him every day as do many who know our wonderful son.  I know he is a special child of God and God loves him for who he is.  I trust he was given to us for a reason and we have already seen how blessed our lives are because he is our son.  But, one day my wife and I will be gone and he will be forced to fend for himself, dependent upon God’s will and people who hopefully care about him and love him as we do.  Outside of this circle, I put little faith in the world’s ability and desire to help our son.

Do your homework and educate yourself about what is happening to the defenseless, marginalized and unwanted people in the world.  Don’t be deceived by misleading language used by the “Culture of Death” or organizations parading as something they are not (i.e. Planned Parenthood).   I encourage you to carefully reflect on what you believe.  Search your heart for what you know to be true and see these people as our fellow human beings, equal in dignity.   It will take a lot of prayer, people willing to act and the movement of the Holy Spirit for the world to change.  It will require us to shake off the sleepy fog which obscures our vision.

For real change to occur, it may take us recognizing that one day, we or someone we love might just be one of the “disposable people.”

Looking for a Catholic Speaker? Check out Randy’s speaker’s page and the rest of the ICL Speaker’s Bureau.

Randy Hain, Senior Editor and co-founder of The Integrated Catholic Life™, is the author of The Catholic Briefcase: Tools for Integrating Faith and Work which was released by Liguori Publications. The Catholic Briefcase was voted the Best Catholic Book of 2011 in the About.com Catholicism Reader’s Choice Awards.

Randy Hain’s exciting new book, Along the Way: Lessons for an Authentic Journey of Faith was  released by Liguori Publications in November, 2012. Along the Way was recently named Runner-Up in the About.com Catholicism Reader’s Choice Awards for Best Catholic Book of 2012. Learn more here. His third book, Something More: A Professional’s Pursuit of a Meaningful Life, was released in February, 2013. All of Randy Hain’s books can also be purchased at your local Catholic bookstore, Amazon or www.liguori.org.

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  1. Amen, brother! People in Syria were also “disposable people” when they were forced upon by the chemical weapons. It is so important we recognize these truths – they will truly set us free! Thanks for sharing!

  2. “First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

    Then they came for the socialists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for me,
    and there was no one left to speak for me.”

    –Martin Niemoller

    1. I love this quote too. So powerful, and a reminder to be bold for these “disposable” people. Late term abortionist Leroy Carhart lives 20 minutes from me and he can legally kill babies up until the day before the baby is due to be delivered. I have been out on the sidewalk in the past, but I need to get back out there and advocate for these babies.

  3. Randy, I love your boy dearly. I love the way he lights up when we ask him a question and I love the speed with which he gives us the answers. I love the “Aw shucks” tilt of his head when we compliment him. I signed up to help Jean (she is AMAZING) and those few hours return so much joy and laughter and satisfaction that I want the whole world come and share with us. And so, dear father of a very special young man, keep loving, keep hoping, keep praying. You will be heard.

    1. Rosemary,

      Thank you. This note made my day. Our parish is blessed to have special people like you and Jean who care so much for our children.

      God bless you,


  4. Colleen, This poem says everything that should be said about disposable people. Since it was written in the context of the Holocaust, there is a lesson we should all take away from it. There really is NO such thing as a disposable person. Not a single one. God has a plan for every one. If we circumvent that in any way, then we are stepping in where we perhaps should not be going. The question is always how much courage do we all have to step up and be counted when people are treated as disposable. Would we risk our careers? Money? Friendships? What?

  5. I do understand where you’re coming from. I live it each and every day with a 39 year old son who is physically and intellectually challenged. I went many years when I didn’t go to church at all or went somewhere other than a Catholic church because my son was accepted there. I have only recently started attending mass again and it has not been easy. Altugh many people welcomed us with open arms it only takes a couple of people with something less than acceptance to make it a painful experience for both of us. People do need to think of how their words and actions can effect a person’s faith journey. Wish I had an answer to how to make people understand or at least accept.

    One thing I can say is never be afraid to ask polite questions and never discourage kids from interaction with a challenged person. Education and interaction are the keys to making disposable people like my son feel like “one of the family” …..Christ’s family.

  6. Randy, Take a look at the facebook page Faith Hope Love Brittany. Brittany, age 23, walked The Way (Camino de Santiago)for awareness on autism and the glory of God. She just finished! Her father was with her for much of it. She returns to Tampa, Fl tomorrow night. It is an awesome testimony to these kids and what they can do!

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