They will be providing a bag breakfast

The nice man at Let Them Marry has a nice page for us where we can see the plans for their forced marriage “retreat” in Wichita – now put on hold because of the Salvation Army’s refusal to let them rent its facilities. It’s a mildly amusing read.

Mostly it’s about the money. Actually it’s almost all about the money. The pricing is complicated enough that there are examples, so that we can understand:

The Smith family want to come to the conference with their five children. Their oldest child, George Smith, is seeking a wife. The Smiths want a bit of comfort so they sign up for our ‘Cottage Family’ package. They heard about our conference a bit late, so they don’t get our special ‘early bird’ discount. The Smiths would pay:

$125 Cottage Family Package registration fee
$150 per person for Mr. and Mrs. Smith and the four little Smiths (six people)
$130 for George

Mr. and Mrs. Smith would get a double bed in a cottage, three younger Smiths would be in twin beds in the same cottage, and George and one of the younger Smiths would be staying in the ‘men’s bunkhouse’.

Their total fee would be:
$125 + $900 + $130 = $1155

Poor Smiths, missing out on the discount – but never mind, they get eight meals for that price.

Then there are what is expected of the forced-marriage families. It’s a long list:

We ask that everyone who attends the conference (parents and marriageable-age children) agree to the basic statements of faith and purpose:

  1. Statement of Faith: Basic agreement to a major statement of faith such as London Baptist Confession or Westminster Confession of Faith (Note: those are intended as examples, not to be an exhaustive list. We are not attempting to limit our conference to Calvinists. But we do feel we owe the participants some kind of assurance that they are coming to meet with other Christians. Feel free to contact us with questions.)
  2. Intentionality: While we hope to provide information and encouragement to the families that come to this retreat, we ask that a family agreeing to come state that they are actively, deliberately, seeking a marriage for one of more of their children.
  3. Confidentiality: We ask that all participants respect the privacy of the other participants and keep all discussions and revelations private. Things might be said in the context of discussing a potential marriage that would not be at all appropriate for general revelation.
  4. Definition of Marriage: We ask that all of the participants agree to the following minimum definition of marriage: a lifelong sexual relationship that is always open to the blessing of children.
  5. Trust: In order to preserve the integrity and purity of our children’s hearts and affections wholly for their spouses, we expect the interactions of the young people while at this retreat to be purely on the spiritual sibling side (I Timothy 5:1-2). We ask that any ‘courting’-type behavior be withheld until after this conference. For the purposes of this conference we ask that a young man who is interested in a young woman approach her father (mother, brother, etc.) before approaching her. In the case where he is interested in a young woman who is not accompanied, we ask that the young man speak privately to one of the retreat staff members. This is not because we are insisting on any one given way for marriages to happen, but because many families may have serious objections to the young women being approached directly. We will be able to sound out a given young woman and determine what will be appropriate.

So wholesome, so reassuring, so not at all creepy.

Then there is the schedule, which promises a wealth of fun and excitement:

Thursday 4 pm: Check-in
Thursday 6 pm: Dinner
Friday – To Be Announced
Saturday – To Be Announced
Sunday: Breakfast (in an effort to give families the flexibility to attend church on their own, we will be providing a bag breakfast)

That’s it, the whole of the schedule. The money is figured out down to the last dime, but the way the time will be filled…not so much. Good thing the schedule is only tentative.

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