Hey Richard Dawkins: My Child Has Down Syndrome, You Think He’d Be Better Off Dead?

Opinion   |   Christine Pokriefka   |   Aug 26, 2014   |   10:48AM   |   Washington, DC

After I read an article about athiest Richard Dawkins tweeting out that it is “immoral” to not abort babies with Down Syndrome because they are “diagnosed before they have human feelings,” I posted some comments on Facebook, then I took my son for a car ride. The quote by Richard Dawkins was more personal than I could initially say. Those who know me would instantly understand this, because my son has Down Syndrome.

As we drove along a country-like road, I had the sound track to “Frozen” playing. My son was smiling, rocking to the music and attempting to sing along to something that just made him happy. I looked over my shoulder at him and he just smiled this really sweet, happy smile that was really more like a grin.

ChristinePokriefkaI couldn’t get Richard Dawkins’ words out of my head as I watched my son. The tears soon came because I knew in my heart that it’s not my child (or those like him) who has to change or be eliminated to make society a better place; but the HEARTS of society that need to change toward my son and other children with Down Syndrome. When those hearts truly change and they can see my son — and other children like him — as a gift, THEY will be changed forever by pure goodness, and hopefully with that new understanding will share that kindness and inherent love to others. What a better world it would be!

My niece — young yet wise — is able to articulate that God has created everyone with a purpose.

God’s knowledge, wisdom and timing are much greater than our human understanding. I think if everyone were perfect, we would completely lose the gift of compassion. The world has become so unbalanced, and immune to things like dignity, a simple kindness, and charity — it is alarming.

It is humbling to be in the presence of someone with Down Syndrome, who really likes you just because; loves you even more; and gives hugs with sincere warmth and just wants to “be” with you — no ulterior motives. Your appearance does not matter to him, so why should his appearance matter to you?

I can never pretend to know the answers to life’s mysteries, and it’s probably better that way. There will always be joy, suffering, love and hate. I would rather have a child with Down Syndrome who loves genuinely, and I hope through his example of true goodness, unselfishness, and beaming joy that a little healing will result in this world.

That sounds like purpose to me.

LifeNews Note: Christine Pokriefka is a wife and mother, a marketing professional, an artist and a blogger for Save The 1.