I check Emily Rapp's blog, Little Seal, occasionally (the name Ronan means "little seal" in Irish), and found a powerful post there today which refers to Michel de Montaigne's essay "Of A Monstrous Child," in which the Renaissance humanist describes seeing a grotesquely-deformed toddler being exhibited by his caretakers as a begging lure. Montaigne surprises the reader by concluding that it is the shock and horror that men express when they encounter something so outside of the ordinary that is contrary to nature, and not the thing itself. As Rapp notes:
The burden . . . falls on the looker, and the looker is held accountable for the lens through which she sees – and sorts – the world. I love the way Montaigne makes that child . . . extraordinary in the truest sense: brilliant and shiny. The thing you want most to pick up when it glints at you from the street. The man born blind in the Gospel of John did not exist to make people feel grateful for their vision; the text is very clear that he, in fact, possessed the vision that others did not. That his was a looking that saw wonder, saw God, when others did not.
Rapp also references a politician who has stated publicly, as she puts it, that "disabled children are a woman’s punishment for having abortions in her sullied, slutty, ho-bag past." There is no comment worthy of this perversion of the Christian proclamation, but it is germane to note that it directly contradicts the passage in the Gospel of John mentioned above:
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”