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.

Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article.
Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.
Login
or
Subscribe
or
Register
Recent Posts
James Dobson's Birthday Gift: Latest Court Victory Over Obamacare Contraception
In shadow of Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby hearing, judge rules in favor of Family Talk.
Bill Gothard Breaks Silence on Harassment Claims by 30 Women
(UPDATED) Popular seminar speaker: 'I have failed to live out some of the very things that I have taught.'
New Poverty-Fighting Alliance Launches
World Relief, Germany-based PartnerAid combine to grow programs, donor base.
Bible Society Takes 'More Accurate and Hopeful' Stance on Scripture Skeptics
(UPDATED) No more 'Bible antagonists,' among many findings in this year's ABS/Barna 'State of the Bible' report.