CNN Investigates Christian Fundamentalists' Child Abuse

Brainless brutish bullying Bible-bashers busted:

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And last but not least, from the same show, here is a must-see disturbing interview with Jocelyn Zichterman, a woman raised abusively by a Independent Fundamental Baptist pastor with Pearl’s philosophy of discipline, wherein she describes in detail the methods of beating for hours with the goal of completely breaking the wills of children (even at 3 years old), “so they have no will of their own” and are “completely docile”.

Hermana Linda has extensive links with more information on Pearl. No Longer Quivering has older coverage worth reading too.

Your Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • docslacker

    My thoughts? Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. I have been reading about this and watching the CNN interview for the past week and I can’t believe this is allowed to go on. It’s not like the child abuse is a secret practice, it’s put down in a book for crying out loud!

    I have seen this mentality to one degree or another. I know people who have grown up in borderline abusive homes (thankfully not to the point espoused by the Pearls.) They feel ashamed because the bible commands them to honor their parents, but their primary feeling is resentment. This feeds into feelings of guilt for failing god.

    Where’s the commandment to keep your child safe?

  • Cuttlefish

    My thoughts? Along with the disgust at the actual story and people involved, there’s the added slap in the face that this abuse–which they say is commanded by their bible–and the inability of the Indiana government to address it–because religious institutions are exempt from regulation–are problems that stem directly from religion, and yet what is the adjective the story uses?


  • Francisco Bacopa

    Can’t someone just file a regular criminal complaint? Seems the second woman has grounds to file a sexual assault complaint and though I don’t know what the law is in there, it’s only been 8 years or so.

  • Donna Hawes

    I can say right now this is the first I am hearing about this and it make my blood reach boiling point. Our children should be protected not abused or negelete in the name of God. Doesn’t Indian laws protect children in child care? Maybe someone should make a very public law suit of it. Bring into the light what is done in darkness. I say do to them the same things that was done to these children.

    • lei fricko

      This the first time i have heard of it either.

  • besomyka

    This sort of thing makes me physically ill. I cannot understand what goes through these people’s heads. How can they have empathy and love, and intentionally raise a hand to their own children?

    They are alien to me, and my heart breaks for the victems.

  • Christine

    What a bunch of garbage. Bruce Feller states To attempt to take biblical passages and apply them(to matters of family) is very dangerous. REALLY? This is the type of reporting you are listening to people. CNN is putting people on who are ANTI christian anti God perhaps. And most definately anti-biblical values. He claims to know what the Bible says an does not say, but is off base in his OPINIONS! He stated the book of Proverbs is vague and poetic. Vague really?? Well I am average intellect and can say it most certainly is NOT vague. It is very clear, it is very specific.
    CNN how about putting on someone who actually believes in the Word of God. Someone who actually applies it to their life. Who actually knows the application and can think beyond their religious bias.

    • Christine

      For clarity sake the comment was in reaction to the video that comes after the 2nd video down, about Hephzibah House- The second video is titled – the Hephzibah house- The law. It comes up after you watch the first video about the House.

    • Me’chelle Dowling

      To make things clear… I did this interview to help future girls not have to go through the same abuse I did at Hephzibah House. Also to make another point, I am a Christian. I still attend church every single Sunday. I am a firm believer in the Bible. Also to make something clear with your ignorant point of view, there was absolutely nothing Godly about what they did to me. There is no where in the bible that permits such behavior. You are entitled to your own opinion but you need to do some soul searching my friend.
      God Bless,
      Me’chelle Dowling

    • Camels With Hammers

      Thank you for your courage in going public to expose these abuses Me’chelle. It is such a good thing you are doing.

  • John Morales

    Who’d want to do inferior design courses, online or otherwise?