Generous Orthodoxy  




Saturday, January 14, 2012

God in the New York Times

I have long noted that to get a respectful mention of God into the Times, you have to be an African-American. Or perhaps, now, you can be Tim Tebow, though anything said about you in the Times would be with an ironical twist.

Today we can add another category: the severely disabled. There is a very moving story in today's international news section about a paraplegic Frenchman, Jean-Christophe Parisot, who has achieved astonishing things in spite of his multiple handicaps. He graduated from one of the elite French institutes, and now, according to the article, he is employed as an advocate for the voiceless and needy. But the clincher comes at the end of the article where he is quoted with no shading of irony or mockery:


With four permanent assistants, Mr. Parisot works to reduce the isolation of the elderly and improve living conditions for one of France’s largest communities of Roma, or Gypsies. He often travels to nursing homes, prisons and troubled neighborhoods. He has learned to conduct his life with the same speed and determination with which he steers his motorized wheelchair along the narrow
corridors of the prefecture. He has written six books, including a novel, an essay on theology — he is the youngest deacon in France — and a biography of a distant cousin, Frédéric Chopin, while raising four healthy children with his wife, Katia....He says that he has no qualms about the future, whatever it holds. “I don’t fear living, and I don’t fear death either,” he says. “I believe in God, and he knows what is good for me.”

How about that!

The link is
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/14/world/europe/jean-christophe-parisot-a-champion-of-frances-downtrodden.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=todayspaper