Tell Me Again Why This Isn’t Child Abuse? October 14, 2007

Tell Me Again Why This Isn’t Child Abuse?


From ABC:

[Seven-year-old] Samuel [Boutwell] is a Baptist preacher at a church in his home town of Brookhaven, a small town in southwestern Mississippi. He also preaches outside in front of the local Wal-Mart, and has preached on the road in Virginia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Washington D.C., and the streets of New York City.

Like many, Samuel said he became a preacher after he was “saved” by Jesus — he just happened to be 3 years old at the time. “After I got saved, I knew I could try to reach more people to try to get saved,” Samuel said. His sin against God? Disobeying his mom. And so the boy turned to Jesus.

And apparently, Samuel is being tutored by Kirk Cameron:

When asked to describe God, Samuel said, “Can you show me a building that didn’t have a builder, could you show me a painting that didn’t have a painter? Because nobody made God. He just exists.”

Samuel isn’t the only one, either. Other kids in the article are featured as “pint-size preachers.”

Their parents say they had nothing to do with this. Even though Samuel’s dad is a born-again preacher himself. And another child preacher’s grandmother is a pastor who “taught him much of what he knows about preaching and touching people to take away their pain.”

Samuel often preaches outside abortion clinics. He said he knows what an abortion is and that he’s seen pictures of abortions. “Women going in and they kill their child. I’ll tell you the same thing I told my daddy one time: If they don’t want to have their child they can give it to someone else,” he said.

When asked if he knows how babies are made, Samuel said that he doesn’t.

This kid’s either going to become the next Jerry Falwell or the most rabid atheist you’ve ever seen.

Either way, it scares me.


[tags]atheist, atheism, children, child abuse, religion, Christian, Jesus[/tags]

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  • Tell Me Again Why This Isn’t Child Abuse?

    Because they’ve already been born.

  • Epistaxis,

    I couldn’t have answered better!

  • Mriana

    Sounds like a real brainwashing to force someone so young with no education to tutor them and then have them preach. Preaching at age 7 or younger? A 3 y.o. isn’t thinking for themselves unless they are extremely gifted. Again, he is a puppet, being trained to think and say only what he is told. They can only say what they are told and not think. How does this give them a chance to think for themselves? How do they even learn to think for themselves? IMHO it is a form of psychological child abuse, if not the ultimate in psychological brainwashing, as well as puppetry using a human being.

  • Somehow, this reminds me of those child beauty pageants that overachieving parents inflict on their kids.

  • Jen

    I saw this show on Friday! Freaked me out. The little white kid was shown protesting in front of abortion clinics, and when the inerviewer asked him what abortion was, he said, “When women go kill their babies”. Then she asked him if he knew where babies come from, he squirmed and said he didn’t. The interviewer also talked about her mother being Buddhist and [the interviewer] being not Christian, and did that mean she was going to Hell? Yes, says tiny preacher, while his creepy dad agreed, shooting daggers at the woman for daring to be Asian. They also showed him preaching, and it was strange- he was talking about how when he first started preaching, he didn’t understand brotherly love (I think) and now he did… and he’s seven! He also said he thinks the word of God is literal, and I have to wonder- can he even read the Bible? Seven year olds are not generally able to read the more complicated parts, I bet. I would be shocked.

    The little black kid, who is nine, was shown doing that Christian Benny Hinn thing where you put your hand on people and knock them over for some reason. He also had a pretty high pitched voice, which was strange coming out of a preacher.

    Both of these kids, mind you, were creepy. It reminded me of these movies I saw on tv one time, where Shirley Temple was three and she and other kids would do movies with vaguely sexual messages, pretending to be adults while wearing diapers. Really weird.

  • Joe M is right. These are parents forcing children to live the dreams of the parents, even if those dreams are as sensible as faithfully following the easter bunny. Oh, by the way, the reason that it is not child abuse is that the abusers have the upper hand just now. And, of course, because very few people have the balls (or ovaries) to say that religion may be intrinsically damaging.

  • Miko

    When asked to describe God, Samuel said, “Can you show me a building that didn’t have a builder, could you show me a painting that didn’t have a painter? Because nobody made God. He just exists.”

    Amazing… he mangled two arguments that make no sense into one biargument that made even less.

  • Mercredi

    To me, the idea that a three-year-old needs to be saved is sad and horrifying. What kind of person – human or deity or sentient alien with tentacles – would send a kid to hell just for disobeying his mother? How on earth can anything a kid under the age of five might do be deserving of eternal punishment?

    If people honestly believe their god would do such a thing, why doesn’t that horrify and sadden them? Why do they spend their energy on trying to convert others to their faith, instead of praying to that god to change his or her mind and stop being a draconian bastard who so harshly punishes children? Wouldn’t it save more souls, if their god liberalized his policies re: salvation?

    (Or do they also do that, but not talk much about it in front of me? =P)

  • Mriana

    Mercredi, two words in answer to all your questions: Evangelical Fundamentalists.

  • Steven Carr

    A 3 year old got ‘saved’, did he?

    Does this mean that 3 year olds in general are not saved?

    God damns toddlers for taking candy from each other. That’s theft, you know, so it’s Hellfire for you, little kid.

  • Steven Carr

    Mind you, while we find the idea of God sending babies to Hell bad, it should be rememberd that ‘God’s ways are not our ways’.

    Let us suppose you are not one of those pesky atheists who are convulsed with laughter at the idiocy in the New Testament.

    Then you would read stories of the foetus John leaping for joy in the womb when near his unborn Lord and Saviour and realise that the Bible is teaching that even babies can recognise good.

    Sadly, I would be too busy laughing to get the moral message of that story.

  • HappyNat

    Amazing… he mangled two arguments that make no sense into one biargument that made even less.

    Thus proof that he has been touched by God and is well on his way to being a famous preacher. 🙂

  • Keith

    I saw this report as well and wouldn’t want my child to be put under all that pressure at such a young age. And, while the kids could deliver their prepared speech, they did not make sense when asked questions. The final question in the interview featured the blonde kid asking his dad what he was supposed to say.

    I trust ya’ll will treat this situation as rare … kids preaching is far from the norm in Christianity, though perhaps it should be rarer (is that a word?).

  • It’s attention.

  • Siamang

    Check this video about another famous child evangelist:

  • Steven Carr

    Jesus was 12 before he astonished people with his learning.

    I guess he was just a bit slow.

  • Polly

    To me, the idea that a three-year-old needs to be saved is sad and horrifying.

    Mercredi, that comment struck me, too. I was used to this stuff having been a fundie most of my life. But, suddenly it seems REALLY non-sensical for a child to be “saved.” Saved from what?!? A god that wants to throw that child into Hell?


  • Mriana

    Refering to the vid posted by Siamang:

    That’s a few of the things that scared me and made me want to run when I was a child, but my great uncle wasn’t a child nor did he have cameras. Then there were the shotgun sermons and the forever long alter calls along with those bizarre laying on of hands. I know it’s all show now, but as a kid it was terribly frightening. There is some truth in the printed parts at the end, the thing is, if you have a perceptive child, like I was, they will fear such people.

    Oh such people still bug me today, but I know why they cause me such discomfort now and I listen to those feelings still.

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