Are My Parent’s Religious Beliefs Ableist?

Jul 06, 2018

Anonymous asks, quote:

My parents are very religious and as a minor I have to go with them to religious stuff. One of the main beliefs of this particular religion is that disability and such happen because God is letting Satan rule the world to prove that he can’t do it right and that God’s way is better. A large portion of the whole “have hope for the future”thing is that God will fix all disabilities and we should be happy for the disabled because they’ll be able when God fixes them. Is this ableist?

end quote.

I’m going to start off my answer with the following points:

  1. I firmly believe that everyone should have the right to practice whatever religion they want to.
  2. I am an atheist; I lack a belief in a god or gods.
  3. Religion is a sensitive topic for a lot of people.

Now that that’s all out of the way, I’m going to answer your question. You asked this question in good faith and I intend to answer it in kind:


Telling someone who is disabled that they are disabled due to the fact that they are a pawn/victim in a cosmic war between The Ultimate Good™ and the Ultimate Evil™ and that they don’t need to worry about things like finding employment, dealing with accessibility or health issues, or feel anxiety or sadness about their condition because “in the future”, their condition is going to be cured through literal magic, is ableist.

It is ableist because:

  • It dismisses any negative feelings that a disabled person might have about their disability.
  • It gives able‐bodied people an excuse to not make the world a better place for the disabled.
  • It takes agency away from a disabled person by saying that their condition is pre‐destined, pre‐ordained or is in some way their fault.
  • It marks disabled people as being “singled out”for some kind of “punishment”as opposed to everyone else in the congregation. It isolates them and makes them feel separate from a community they should otherwise feel included in.