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Christian Couple Uses 'Religious Freedom Restoration Act' as Defense in Beating Their Children

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(Image by Lawrence County Indiana)   Details   DMCA

Scott and Cherry Blattert are devout Bible-believing Christians. As such, they erroneously believe the Christian Bible (the Protestant version, not the Catholic version) is the word of God. Due to the cruelty found and promoted throughout all versions of the Christian Bible, they believe it is their right and their Christian duty as God-fearing Christian parents to discipline their nine children any way they see fit. This includes Scott punching his sons and daughters in the face, choking them, whipping them or doing anything else he desires to punish them.

Thankfully Scott and Cherry Blattert were arrested in Springville, Indiana, and charged with multiple counts of child abuse and child neglect. Their defense to the charges is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This law was passed in 2015 when the Christian theocrat Mike Pence was governor. It "allows individuals and companies to assert as a defense in legal proceedings that their exercise of religion has been, or is likely to be, substantially burdened." The Blatterts believe state laws that prohibit parents from beating, choking and whipping their children are a substantial burden on their free exercise of religion.

A court ruled against the Blatterts (it's surprising that any court in Indiana would rule against them, as Indiana is one of the too many US states that allows the withholding of medical care from sick and/or injured children by religious parents, which often results in the deaths of the children), but the Blatterts appealed the lower court's decision. The Court of Appeals of Indiana ruled against the Blatterts and affirmed the lower court's ruling, stating that the state has an obligation to protect children. In its decision to affirm the lower court's ruling, the Court of Appeals of Indiana made clear, probably inadvertently, the root cause of the child abuse the Christian Bible-believing parents inflicted on their children. The court wrote:

The Blattert family attends Ellettsville Church of Christ, which relies on teachings from the Bible. Blattert believes 'the Bible is the word of God' and he must 'do what Christ commands'--including practicing corporal punishment. He compares physical punishment to the 'Rod of Correction' and describes the rod as an 'abstract form,' which can include the authority or discretion of a father to discipline his family.

Most Deists and other freethinkers are aware that the popular image of Jesus as being a peace and love hippy type of person is not at all accurate, based on the writings of the four anonymous authors of the Christian Gospels. A great example of this is found at Mark 7:1-13, which has Jesus being upset with the Pharisees for not following the command in the Hebrew Bible, allegedly from God but in reality from ancient Jewish clergymen, at Leviticus 20:9, which claims God commanded the Jews:

For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.

Like Scott and Cherry Blattert, Jesus falsely believed the cruel and ungodly Hebrew Bible was the word of God (Christians believe the Christian Bible, which includes the Hebrew Bible with the New Testament, is the word of God). This is evident in verse 13, which has Jesus complaining to the Pharisees that by not following the Hebrew Bible command to kill their children who curse their parents, they are "Making the word of God of none effect..."

The example the Blatterts and Jesus give us makes it very clear that being under the delusion that the Hebrew and/or the Christian Bible is the word of God causes very real harm to very real innocent and helpless children in the real world. Deists, and all freethinkers, have an important duty and obligation to inform as many people as we possibly can, that none of the versions of the Bible are the word of God. By doing so, we are making the lives of children safer, and therefore, better.
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Bob Johnson is a paralegal and a freelance writer in Florida. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after reading Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason, he became a Deist. In 1993 he founded the World Union of Deists and in 1996 he launched the first web (more...)
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