Jump directly to the content

Judge: Child Abuse Laws Do Not Infringe Pastor’s Rights

Wisconsin pastor convicted of conspiracy to commit child abuse had argued his conviction violated his right to religious freedom.

A Wisconsin trial court judge denied a motion to dismiss charges against a convicted pastor who instructed his church members to use wooden rods to spank misbehaving children, some as young as two months old.

Philip Caminiti, pastor of Aleitheia Bible Church in Black Earth, Wisconsin, was convicted of eight counts of conspiracy to commit child abuse in March. He faces up to six years of prison time; his sentencing hearing is scheduled for later this month.

Caminiti argued the convictions violate his right to religious freedom. But Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi disagreed, stating that though Caminiti had "a sincerely held religious belief" to use a rod to discipline young children, he failed to prove Wisconsin's child abuse statue "places a burden" on that belief.

"Scripture doesn't specify how and when the rod should be used," Sumi ruled.

In January, Christianity Today examined arguments for and against corporal punishment, as the misuse of biblical teaching on discipline can have deadly consequences.

Related Topics:Church and State
Posted:May 14, 2012 at 3:44PM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
Stem Cell Concerns Don't Freeze Evangelical Enthusiasm for Ice Bucket Challenge
(UPDATED) ALS raises $100 million in 30 days; pro-life groups worry about embryonic research.
One of Largest Christian Colleges Decides Divorcing President Can Keep His Job
Alma mater of Ebola doctor Kent Brantly believes in 'covenant of marriage' but also 'power of grace.'
Nine Current Mars Hill Pastors Tell Mark Driscoll To Step Down from All Ministry
(UPDATED) Mars Hill responds to leaked letter, says 'our team is Jesus, not one group of elders or another.'
Israel’s Christian Schools Threaten Strike over Government's 'Oppressive Steps'
'Don’t stop us from carrying on our mission,' say 50 schools as Jewish state slashes support.
Christianity Today
Judge: Child Abuse Laws Do Not Infringe Pastor’s Rights