They want to be together

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Deacon, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. Deacon

    Deacon
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    I’ve been following this story for the past few years as reported in the local paper. I see the young man perhaps once or twice a year, so I'm not totally unacquainted with him.

    http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/111-09032005-536294.html

    Gist of the story is that a Down’s syndrome young man and a mentally retarded girl met a Special Olympics event a few years back and have decided to get married. Cute….

    Down side is that they really are probably incapable of taking full care of themselves.
    And when they do get married they will loose a considerable amount of assistance that the state and federal government provides to those in need.

    The previous stories mention that the church but not the state will marry them (an unregistered marriage) in order to keep their benefits.

    What do you think?

    Rob
     
  2. Magnetic Poles

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    So much for the "sanctity" of marriage.

    This points out the dichotomy that marriage is a word for two entirely different concepts:

    1. A religious pair-bonding
    2. A civil contract

    I might add, that under these conditions, the state would not protect them if they divorced, e.g. spousal support, etc. They would also be free to marry another without a divorce first, in the eyes of the law. I also don't know, but don't states automatically recognize religious weddings as legal weddings in most jurisdictions?
     
  3. Doc1932

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    Here in Virginia as well as many other parts of the country, laws are still on the books forbiding people of their kind to marry. So even if they get married in a church the state doesn't have to recognise it and most likely won't. Many states still have the same type of laws regarding interracial marrying, but most of those laws although still on the books are not inforced.

    A church marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman and God. A marriage license from the state is a legal contract. The question comes down to this " are they mentally able to understand the contract" Most states would say No.
    Some states in the past have said yes but only after both were sterilized.
     
  4. Brother Ian

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    Perhaps if there were family members that could look after them, maybe it would be okay.

    Forest Gump wasn't a smart man, but he knew what love was.

    Definitely a tough call.
     
  5. Pastor Larry

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    Forrest Gump was a fictional movie character. He didn't know what love was. He didn't know anything.

    There is no tough call here. If you want to get married, then you get married and you do it legally. Part of marriage is the maturity to live with one another as God intended. If they cannot do that, then they shouldn't get married. If they are not willing to do it legally, then they shouldn't get married. These are decisions that are easy to make.
     
  6. Scarlett O.

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    You all don't want to know what I think, but I'm going to tell you anyways.

    I think it is a violation of their civil rights as human beings and Americans that they cannot be married.

    True love between retarded people is not "cute"...it's not "Forrest Gump"-like...it's not cause of automatic sterilization...it's not something that Christians have to put their puritanical stamp of approval on...and it's not something that the government can claim does not exist for "their kind".

    True love between retarded people is just that...true love. They should have people around them to counsel them, encourage them, help them to make the right choices about birth control (which may include sterilization or not), and to teach them how a Godly marriage works.

    There are many, MANY retarded people who are married.

    What's the big deal?

    ALL people...ALL people on this planet have a capacity for love.

    Retarded people need love and to give love just like everybody else. Surely, if they do not grasp the understanding of holy matrimony, then perhaps they should be encouraged not to marry.

    For pity's sake people!! How many NON-retarded people are there who have NO CLUE about the sanctity and holiness of marriage.

    And we let those knotheads get married everday!

    But millions of retarded people DO understand and CAN understand when taught.

    Let me go so far as to say that retarded people have all the other desires that the rest of us have. Sex...companionship...the need to procreate...the whole nine yards, folks!

    I know that some of them could not handle it, but some of them CAN!

    It makes me want to throw up when I hear people say that they cannot, absolutely cannot get married simply because they are retarded.
     
  7. LorrieGrace

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    They are more loving and understanding than "normal" people.

    This might be a tad different but two deaf people have a baby. Many thought that they shouldn't. But they made wonderful parents and their child was absolutely "normal" and very loving. A blessing to all that know her.
     
  8. Doc1932

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    Just because two people love each other is no reason to allow them to marry or to propagate. Would you say two men that love each other should be allowed to marry? No.
    And from a societal standpoint two homo's are less dangerous to a society than 2 retarded people. Depending on the degree of retardation. Because the retarded people are a drain on a society, requiring more resources than norm.

    I speak from experience.

    During the early part of the Korean war I was involved in research in a southern state in biological weapons. Sorry , not going into too much detail. But we worked with what they now call retrovirus's. The virus attacked the sperm and eggs of the infected people.Once infected the person would never be able to propagate, ever.
    Well it didn't work out as planed. Although it worked on mice and rabbits it didn't work on humans. Instead they were still able to propagate but the offspring were severely retarded mentally.
    Back then safety and security was not to much an issue. We were all scared of the red's.
    One weekend I went back home to see my parents and my baby brothers. Being in a hurry to get out of the restaurant( it was a restaurant that was the lab) I left a petri dish in my pocket. When I found it later the first night I figured as long as it didn't come open I was fine. So it was no big todo. later that night someone knocked my bomber jacket off of the hall chair. My brother (2 years old) found it and opened it.
    When I found it I got a bit nervous and fearful. I contacted my commander told him what had happened and he showed up in a couple of hours.
    He meet me at the corner store, gave me some money, told me to take everyone to the movie in town and not to worry that he would take care of everything.
    When we got back to the house it was burned to the ground, nothing was left. It all worked out, the army gave the funds for a much nicer house in a much nicer area.
    When my brother was about 6 he was considered slow. Not retarded, just slow. when he got into his early 20's he married another slow person. We had to drive them to Kentucky to get married because Florida wouldn't let them without being sterilized. Their first child was severely handicapped and only lasted a few months, the second set was a set of twins, both mentally challenged. They lasted till they were three years old. Then my sister-n-law gave them a bath one night. She placed them in the tub set the water forgot the bubble bath in the kitchen and went to get it. Got distracted doing something else and forgot about the kids. When my brother came home a little latter he found both little girls drowned in the tub and his wife a sleep on the couch.
    They then went on to produce several more children. All with mild retardation to severe retardation. The oldest boy lasted to the 5th grade. One of the kids told him to run out in front of a car, and he did.
    The rest of the children then grew up and started having more children. Not one of any of my brothers children, their children or their children are normal.
    My oldest nephew from him is the most loving fella you could ever meet. But he doesn't have a clue about right and wrong. And life just jumps from one moment to the next for him. You could hand him a puppy and he would love on it like any kid, then tell him to cut of the puppies head and he would. Then he would ask why his puppy was sick.
    My accident and stupid behavior has done allot to my family. But as for retardation, I stand by the sterilization idea( in some cases). Let them get married but don't let them reproduce. If my brother would have been sterilized a lot of pain and suffering would have been avoided.

    In 1976 I drove through the little town where the restaurant was. Stopped and got gas and noticed all the slow people around the little town. A drive around town seemed to prove to me that it wasn't just chance for that little town to be chosen.

    Retardation in the modern world is a serious condition. In centuries past most forms of retardation were caused by accidents. The child had some kind of trauma in the womb. Today it is more likely caused by chemical alteration of the dna.
    I have as much pitty and sympathy as the next person but I also know a great deal of the effects from being to Kind hearted.

    Society has to come first and foremost in any situation regardless of the pain it may cause.
    The old saying " God works in mysterious ways" is as close as I can come to how things work sometimes.

    I have lived with my sins for many years, and went through hell at the birth of all my sons, nephews and grandchildren.
    But by the grace of the Lord Jesus it is easier to deal with. He may have forgiven me but I can't seem to do it.
    Sometimes in life you have to be cruel ,to be kind.
    Sorry for being long winded. It was katrina day at services. The subject of sin was in the air.
     
  9. LorrieGrace

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    You need to forgive yourself. God does. ((((((HUGS))))))))
     
  10. FBCPastorsWife

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    Doc,

    My how you have suffered through life and for so long it seems. It broke my heart to read your post. I know you said you haven't been able to forgive yourself but at least you know our lovely Lord Jesus has. One day you will see all those dear children in Heaven and you must comfort yourself with that thought. There will be nothing wrong with them. They will have new and glorified bodies. And yes, God does work in mysterious ways...for one day you will know exactly what the master plan was. You have touched me already by still relying on the grace of God even though you have been through so much. That is a wonderful testimony to have my dear.

    Your experience sheds new light on a subject that I had not even thought about before. I did think it was cute when two people who were maybe a little challenged found a liking or "love" with one another. I had never thought about what could happen as a result.
     
  11. LorrieGrace

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    FBC, Well said!!!!!
     
  12. Ben W

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    The Bible instructs us to marry and have children in Genesis, It is written that it is not good for man to be alone. Even if someone has learning difficulties, it still applies that it is better to be together than to be lonely.
     
  13. Artimaeus

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    I taught Special Education for 15 years. I had kids from 10 to 17 years old and with IQ's from 40 to 75. I can tell you that they are all as different and individual as the people on this board. There were some who could definitely learn to live on their own and have a normal life. Some would never be able to handle the responsibilities of marriage and parenthood. Some would need assistance but with the right help could mannage. Just as those of us with physical limitations need glasses, crutches, wheelchairs, etc, those with mental limitations may need some assistance. The bottom line is that it is a very individualized answer and we can't make that determination with the limited information we have here. We should not only "allow" them to do as much as they possibly can, we should "insist" that they live up to their full potential. Anything less is not acceptable.
     
  14. Deacon

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    Men with Down syndrome generally cannot father a child. (A woman with Down syndrome has a lower fertility rate and when she concieves there is about a 50-50 chance of having a child with Down syndrome).

    The percentage of failed marriages in the normal population is high; among those couples where both are mentally disabled the percentages are even higher.

    Still, I don’t have a problem with them marrying (I’m very thankful that I have never been put in a situation to have to deal with this personally as a parent).

    I do have a problem with a decision to evade the laws regarding marriage so that they can obtain benefits only offered to single people (regardless of if I think the law is right or not).

    I’ve worked with men and women who attend a church regularly and live together without being married.
    I could never fully understand how they could justify their actions.
    I would guess that like this couple, they feel that they are married in their own eyes and the state doesn’t have to know one way or the other.

    I just think that it’s promoting deception. You are deceiving the government in order to receive a benefit from them.

    Rob
     
  15. bapmom

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    Doc,

    Im impressed by your willingness to share. I feel that FBCPastorsWife said it all and more than I could.

    May I ask....how many here have some kind of Sunday School class or teaching time for the mentally retarded in their church?

    Perhaps if we did more winning them to Christ and teaching them about the Bible, than questions such as "Should we pretend to be married?" would come up less often.

    This is one of my burdens you see, and I always look for a chance to challenge fellow Christians to start a class at church for the mentally handicapped in their community.
     
  16. Brother Ian

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    Forrest Gump was a fictional movie character. He didn't know what love was. He didn't know anything.

    There is no tough call here. If you want to get married, then you get married and you do it legally. Part of marriage is the maturity to live with one another as God intended. If they cannot do that, then they shouldn't get married. If they are not willing to do it legally, then they shouldn't get married. These are decisions that are easy to make.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Pastor Larry,
    Is that how you would treat them if they came to you asking you to perform the ceremony? Is it so black and white? Who is to decide if they are mature enough? The church? The state? The pastor? The parents? I could separate myself from the couple and make a decision, but where is the compassion in that?

    I have very close friends that have a son that is retarded. He is 50 but has the mental capacity of a 12 year old. It would be a difficult situation if he decided he wanted to marry. When you put a face to the situation, what was an easy decision becomes difficult.

    By the way, I know Forest Gump is fictional. So were Andy, Barney, and Opie, but you can draw Scriptural applications from the story.
     
  17. bapmom

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    I think though, that the issue being brought up here was not really if they should be allowed to marry, but if they should PRETEND to NOT be married in order to keep on getting benefits from the gov't. Id say, if they are going to be allowed to marry, than do so legally and honestly.

    There are some handicapped folks who can handle the challenges, and with minimal aid, can live a nice life together. I know (at least I think I do) that if I had a child in this situation I would allow them to live in my house, after they were legally married, and I would help them with those sorts of things.

    But I would be ashamed of my church if it purposely allowed a deception like the one described in the OP.
     

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