Kicking People Out of Church

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Jul 3, 2008, 2:33:07 PM7/3/08
to Mennonite Poverty Forum
Here is a news article from Crosswalk:

Judge OKs Church Ban for Autistic Boy

The Associate Press reports that a judge has upheld a restraining
order against a 13-year-old autistic boy that prevents him from
attending a northern Minnesota church. Todd County District Judge
Sally Ireland Roberts called Adam Race's behavior at the Church of St.
Joseph "repeated, unwanted and intrusive," constituting "harassment."
Adam's mother, Carol Race, intends to continue the legal fight. "I
thought it would be possible I would lose on some things, but I'm
surprised that so many of the points in the judgment were based on
hearsay," Race said, referring to the testimony of the Rev. Daniel
Walz, the parish priest. In requesting the restraining order, Walz
said 225 lb., 6 foot tall Adam has nearly knocked people over,
urinates due to incontinence, and needs to be restrained by having his
hands or feet bound. His mother said these claims are exaggerated.

What do you think about this? Where should we draw the line to
"inappropriate" behavior in church? When do we stay our open,
"unconditional" welcome?

Steve K

June Forsyth Kenagy

Jul 3, 2008, 2:47:54 PM7/3/08
Autism can be very hard to deal with, especially if the family is unable to maintain control. But, having a retarded/mentally ill boy myself who is 50 now, I think churches should make special accommodation, even to the point of hiring a trained helper to assist the autistic boy to sit quietly and to go to the bathroom. Also to get him to wait until others are out of the way so his uncoordination doesn't cause him to knock someone down.
June Forsyth Kenagy
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