A six-year-old child was taken to the hospital when his teachers noticed he had numerous unexplained bruises and was sent to school without little or no lunch. The young boy said his dad restricted their diets due to religion, and that he was beaten for violating that code.
The young boy also said going to the hospital was against his faith, but he went anyway and the doctors discovered more bruising, including “defensive” markings. They discovered he was only allowed to eat food from the ground, as well as some seafood without scales, and he was often beaten if he broke those rules.
Thanks to the awareness of some of the boy’s teachers, his abusive father was ultimately charged with second-degree child abuse.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen child abuse in the name of religion. As we have pointed out before, there are passages in the Bible that seem to justify such behavior, including Proverbs 22:15, which says “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.” If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “Spare the rod, spoil the child,” that comes from Proverbs as well.
The father reportedly also followed the restricted diet, based on religious beliefs.
During one interview, the boy described a time his father beat him “for stealing a sandwich, a goldfish he shouldn’t eat, and a teddy bear,” deputy prosecutor Erica Eggertsen wrote in the declaration for determination of probable cause.
The child said he had to take his clothes off and do exercises, such as push-ups, before the beating.
And he said his dad had hit him with a belt, a paddle and punched him in the stomach.
The Bible also has some contradictory passages (crazy, right?) but Bible bashers who also beat their children typically ignore those.
Not all religiously motivated child abusers get arrested, but thankfully this one was. He pleaded not guilty on Thursday, and his bail was set at $75,000.
Most importantly, the young boy was put in protective custody by Child Protective Services, and he’s happy now.
He told an investigator he felt safe at his foster home, where he was allowed to eat two breakfasts.
This is a sad story, but this boy is no longer subject to faith-based beatings, and he’s finally getting food. That’s a happy ending if I’ve ever heard one. Let’s hope things stay that way.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Sarah for the link)