Thursday, September 01, 2011
As we have roamed Colorado -- an apt term if ever there was one -- we have driven past huge cattle ranches with hundreds of grazing beasts. It happens that on the flight here we watched an HBO docudrama about Temple Grandin, the professor at Colorado State University whose research and practical solutions have made a significant impact on the way cattle are treated as they led to slaughter. Grandin figures that even though we may eat other creatures, which is the way of the natural world, it doesn't mean that we forego treating them with respect.
Grandin is a fascinating person whose mother refused to institutionalize Temple because of her autism in a day when that was common practice. She managed to complete several university degrees despite her aversion to touch, and the challenges of functioning at such a high level in the midst of crowds of people. She is convinced that her autism allows her to think and feel like herd animals.
The HBO movie is very well done and actress Clare Danes has won awards, including a Golden Globe, for her portrayal of Grandin. We were both moved by the film. It is such an important reminder that just because we don't understand the supposed outsider, the "other," that they have nothing to offer.
It seems to me that this was a constant in Jesus' ministry, whether he was addressing individuals from different religions, and ethnic backgrounds, and those deemed "possessed."
Have you seen the film? What are your thoughts about this?