Politically incorrect: Televangelist Pat Robertson says it’s O.K. to marry your first cousin, but try to avoid having “some mongoloid kid.”
Right Wing Watch reports:
Robertson said that the Bible does not prohibit first cousins from marrying, but advised prospective first-cousin spouses to speak first to a genetic counselor. He then drew upon an offensive term for people with Down syndrome and disabilities.
“You don’t want to have some mongoloid child,” Robertson said, but he quickly backtracked after co-host Terry Meeuwsen caught him. “I shouldn’t say mongol.”
Raw Story reports:
“A close friend of mine believes that the person God wants her to marry is her first cousin,” a viewer explained in a letter to Robertson. “There is clear, powerful call of the Lord on both their lives. What do you think?”
“Kissing cousins! Hey, hey!” Robertson replied. “I don’t know anything in the Bible that says there’s a problem about marrying first cousins. Now, look, here’s the deal. If there are recessive genes and there are something in the family that would come out if those two recessive genes come together, they might wind up with children that got some kind of disability.”
“Other than that, there’s no problem,” he continued. “There’s nothing in the Bible that says you can’t marry your first cousin. Here you say everybody’s in favor of it. Alright, go for it.”
Marriage between first cousins is currently legal in 25 states and in the District of Columbia in at least some circumstances (though the majority of these states just say ‘Go for it!’).
While the cause of Down’s Syndrome is unknown, it is not influenced by incest.