Responding to the Disenfranchised

  • Jeff McNair, PhD
Keywords: caring distance, loving one's neighbor, helping people


This article considers one perspective on a Christian response to people who are disenfranchised from society. Whether this is due to poverty, disability or poor decisions by those affected, what should a Christian response be? Are there any reasons why a helping response should be attenuated? Helping is provided through physical, social and spiritual responses. The idea of “caring distance” is explored as a way to describe the relationship between those needing help and those having the ability to provide it. We also consider the differences between individual and corporate responses to people in need. The author concludes that people should be helped independent of the cause of their situation. Additionally, because one pays taxes, this does not necessarily demonstrate a caring disposition or remove the need for people to care for their neighbors in tangible ways.

Author Biography

Jeff McNair, PhD

Jeff McNair, PhD, is a professor of Special Education/Severe Disabilities at California Baptist University. He is also the Director of Church Engagement for the Christian Institute on Disability of the Joni and Friends Organization.

How to Cite
McNair, J. (2018). Responding to the Disenfranchised. Journal of the Christian Institute on Disability, 7(2), 65-82. Retrieved from