My head has been solidly in two zones this past fall: the election and the intensive revision of the Inclusive Lectionary Sunday reading series. Then the zones merged into one — the use of language, and how it can cause pain to “the poor, the lame, the blind, the deaf.” and so on.
The language of the campaign was crass, insensitive, and hurtful to so many people. It objectified them, denying them their dignity as human beings. “How can I insult you? Let me count the ways” seemed to be the mantra. Group after group of people were insulted and mocked.
But, then, my spirits lifted when I read Matthew’s gospel for the Third Sunday of Advent. The translation was from the Inclusive Bible (courtesy of the Quixote Center). Instead of defining people by their physical challenges, here’s how the reading goes:
Jesus said to his disciples,
“Go back and report to John what you hear and see:
those who are blind recover their sight;
those who cannot walk are able to walk;
those with leprosy are cured;
those who are deaf hear.”
How refreshing! The physical, racial, gender or sexual preference of a person is not who a person is. Being inclusive in all our language and images is transformational.
From now on, lets talk about:
- People who are poor
- People who are blind
- People who cannot walk
- People who are women or men
- People who are LBGT
- People who suffer from…
And now a plug. Buy the Inclusive Bible. Buy the Inclusive Lectionary. Even if you’re not religious, there are deep insights within those covers.