Impairment is any loss or abnormality of structure or function, be it psychological, physiological, or anatomical. A disability is any restriction or inability to perform an activity in the manner or range considered normal for a human being. The restriction or inability results from impairment. A handicap is a disadvantage for a given individual that limits or prevents the fulfillment of a role that is normal. As traditionally used, impairment refers to a problem with a structure or organ of the body; disability is a functional limitation with regard to a particular activity; and handicap refers to a disadvantage in filling a role in life relative to a peer group.
The doctrine of the fall of humanity is easy to verify — all we have to do is pay attention to the news. Injustice is easy to spot, both blatantly and subtly, in institutions such as the Church, government, corporations, families, and my own field, Christian
What happens when the hall of theology becomes an echo chamber? What happens when half the sky meets God but the church doesn’t want to hear their story? What happens when the theological insights of women are pressed to the margins of Christianity?
Often, those outside of the social justice activist community can feel overwhelmed by the concepts and terminology of justice work. Many Christians want to understand these terms and concepts so they can do justice well in their communities and in the world.
Recently, someone asked my thoughts on racial segregation in the US church on Sunday mornings: “How will we ever move forward together, as a unified church, if people of color don’t forgive us for the past?”
You would think after all that was made (most of it justified) of the inequities of this year’s Oscar nominations that last night would have been more of the same. And to a certain extent it was. A lot of white men got up to accept awards, reflecting the Academy’s key demographic. But more than who was or was not nominated, the night was marked by people speaking out for what the causes they believe in.
The only gavel I’ve ever had is the one that reverberates in my brain every time I come across an injustice in my daily experience. It happens so often that if I was the star of a Marvel comic, there would always be a ((BONG!!)) scrawled above my head.
Prayer leads Christ’s followers into the deepest places of human suffering. Here the church becomes the church militia—toppling injustice with the weapons of prayer, service, resistance, and community building.