Must one get baptized (complete immersion) no matter how severe their handicap?
(Paragraph 2, Sentence 3..."Since baptism by complete immersion is a Scriptural requirement, humans have no authority to exempt someone from baptism."
My Thoughts: What elder/CO/DO will dare take a risk in exempting one from baptism if they have been told by the Society that no human has the authority to do this? So...no matter how severe the handicap is, you MUST get baptized in complete immersion.
Society: "Actually, Mr. Biggs, even though we said that, that's not exactly what we mean. Please read the final paragraph and the second to the last sentence..."
However, when special care or precautions are taken, in ALMOST ALL CASES, baptisms can be performed."So, Mr. Biggshot, we say you must get baptized regardless of your handicap but technically you don't have to. In other words, when someone with an iron lung or someone who has flesh-eating disease wants to become a dedicated servant of Jehovah, they will be referred to this wonderful, spirit-directed 6/1/2002 Watchtower. They will think to themselves, 'Self...If someone with a hole in their throat can get baptized, what prevents me from doing so?' However, there may be some new handicap that may one day develop. That's why we say 'in almost all cases'..."
Biggs: "But, what happens if, even after taking all the precautions (like, having a doctor or nurse standing near the pool) the baptismal candidate becomes more handicapped or dies as a result of a mishap? Will you (Society) bear any responsibility? Also, will you pay the doctor or the nurse to take the time from their busy schedule to oversee the baptism?"
Society: "We can answer those questions. Hopefully, the handicapped baptismal candidate has medical insurance. Maybe that will cover the expense. Even the local congregation may be willing to chip in. Just don't ask to touch our million$ up here in Brooklyn. Oh, yeah, and to answer your question as to whether or not we bear any responsibility due to the result of an unfortunate mishap...well...we've covered our arses. Just read the last sentence of the last paragraph..."
Therefore, every reasonable effort should be made to baptize a person in water if this is the individual's sincere desire and IF HE WISHES TO ACCEPT THE RISKS INVOLVEDSigh....You gotta love their double-talk and legal maneuvers!