Religion Can Hurt Animals Too

Here’s a disgusting story. A woman in South Carolina killed a dog — hanged him and set him on fire — because he chewed on her Bible, which proved, in her addled mind, that it was a “devil dog” and must be destroyed. The Huffington Post reports:

Authorities have charged a South Carolina woman with felony animal cruelty, saying she hanged her nephew’s pit bull from a tree with an electrical cord and burned its body because the dog chewed on her Bible.

Animal control officers said Monday that 65-year-old Miriam Smith told them she killed a female dog named Diamond because it was a “devil dog” and she worried it could harm neighborhood children.


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  • If she had only said, “My religion calls for animal sacrifice,” she would be facing no legal trouble at all.

    And yes, animal sacrifice is still practiced in some faiths, including certain Christian denominations.

  • dingojack

    Silly bitch –

    but she didn’t deserve to hang.


  • dean

    Seems to be going around. This guy strapped explosives to a dog and blew it up because “it had demons in it”.

  • I’m not entirely certain its fair to blame religion for this one, being as it seems relatively unlikely that she’s all “there”.

  • hunter

    @ chriswalker — I think you’re right, religion is merely the vehicle. I’m usually reluctant to say this, but the woman obviously needs professional help, and probably medication. She’s showing evidence of being delusional.

  • scienceavenger

    @4 If we eliminated from the religious discussion all such people, it would cease to resemble “religion” as we know it. I can count on one hand the number of ministers from charasmatic congregations I’ve heard talk that I’d describe as “all there”, and virtually none of the flock. The percentages for more mainstream denominations get better, but remain very very high.

  • karmacat

    I hate when people punish dogs for acting like a dog. Some dogs like to chew on stuff. Someone also needs to tell this woman that dogs can’t read

    I have noticed that some people treat their dogs as if they are humans who can understand laws, English, etc. And these are people are usually not mentally ill. It drives me up the wall when people call a dog bad for chasing cats, squirrels, eating the cat food, rolling in dirt. It’s a dog, that’s what dogs do unless you train them not to

  • busterggi

    You beat me to it Dean

    But how can a demon possess a dog if, as Christian dogma states, dogs have no souls?

  • Don Williams

    Re chris at 4: ” it seems relatively unlikely that she’s all “there”.”

    1) Yep. Evidence suggests Miriam is actually the one possessed by demons. I like dogs and Back in the old days I at least could have argued that she should also be hung from a tree branch and set on fire.

    2) Meanwhile, this just in:

    “Family with two small children who abandoned the US for religious reasons and attempted to sail across the Pacific are rescued after THREE MONTHS lost at sea…Gastonguays believed they needed to flee U.S. because of acceptance of gays and abortion”

    3) What is hilarious is that these morons were sailing to KIRABATI for sanctuary. Kirabati’s Prime Minister is trying to convince Australia , New Zealand, etc to accept 100,000 of his countrymen as refugees because the

    low lying islands of Kirabati are expected to be SUBMERGED within decades due to the rising seas from global warming.

    4) But guess who the REAL MORONS are:

    “Both the United States Coast Guard and the United States Embassy had to get involved after a religious family from San Diego set sail to the middle of nowhere on the Pacific Ocean. …. Their eventual rescue has cost taxpayers big.

    It’s quite ironic, actually; part of the reason the family set sail in the first place was because they didn’t agree with having to pay taxes for things with which they do not agree. Here’s a message for them: a lot of people don’t want to pay taxes to enable the United States Coast Guard and United States Embassy to waste time rescuing numbskulls from the ocean. ….The US Coast Guard stayed in constant communication with the rescue ships to ease the family’s journey to land. Once in Chile’s capital city of San Antonio, they luxuriated in a hotel until the US embassy arranged their flight home for them.”

  • Nick Gotts

    But how can a demon possess a dog if, as Christian dogma states, dogs have no souls? – busterggi

    Don’t you remember, Jesus sent demons into pigs, which promptly stampeded over a cliff? Rather mean of him, I always thought.

  • Don Williams

    re scienceavenger at 6:

    1) Yep — emotional irrationality is very much part of the evangelical schtick — and powerful. Many years ago I was taken to a revival meeting where the preacher ranted for half an hour — at which point some women were possessed by the Spirit, fell to the ground in hysterics and started babbling in strange tongues. As they writhed their dresses rode up on their hip so you just knew Satan was around. Those sober Episcopalians can’t compete with that. heh heh

    2) Plus there are the Pentacostal snake handlers at Jolo West Virginia– they interpret a passage in the Bible as saying you should pick up poisonous rattlesnakes to show your faith.

    One of their sects was near my childhood home. On some Sundays, an ambulance would race up past the house. My father would grin, say “Someone was lacking in faith” and take a swig from his bottle of bourbon.

    Wicked old cynic — I miss him.

  • caseloweraz

    Not to excuse the woman of South Carolina, but she might have been influenced by Devil Dog of Logan County, aired in July, which tells how a group of expert hunters and trappers destroy the Devil Dog and make Appalachia safe again.

  • raven

    But how can a demon possess a dog if, as Christian dogma states, dogs have no souls?

    The same way jesus can hang out in a cracker and some wine.

    If you want to know more, ask the Catholics or look up transubstantiation.

  • dingojack

    I don’t know about dogs, but pigs:-

    Luke 8:26-33

    26 And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. 27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. 29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) 30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. 31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. 32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. 33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. 34 When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country.


  • dean

    The same way jesus can hang out in a cracker…

    My wife was diagnosed with Celiac’s disease 1.5 years ago. Her priest mentioned to her that she could request gluten-free wafers at communion. My immediate question was “if, as you claim, transubstantiation is true, why would such a thing be needed?”

    I received no answer from the priest.

    Sorry for the off-topic comment – the “hang out” bit got to me.

  • freehand

    So when Jesus sent the demons into the herd of pigs, some poor pig farmer lost his wealth. It’s OK, I guess, because he wasn’t Jewish.

    Later in the Middle Ages cats and dogs were sometimes hung for various crimes, usually for being witches’ familiars.

  • freehand

    Animal control officers said Monday that 65-year-old Miriam Smith told them she killed a female dog named Diamond because it was a “devil dog” and she worried it could harm neighborhood children.

    I suppose this is better than killing neighborhood children because they’re possessed. Sigh.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Don Williams @ # 9: Once in Chile’s capital city of San Antonio…

    Pls ask whether Chile has moved its capital, or just renamed Santiago.

  • tsig

    The joke’s on her because you can’t kill Devil Dogs that way, she will now be possessed by the burning spirit of the DD.

    🙂 .:)

  • dingojack

    Cats, and dogs? Hell they’ve hung an elephant for murder.

    (Warning: contains disturbing/distressing image and information).


  • bmiller

    Off topic: It’s still better, as well, than housing a 150 pound “war dog” in a small urban apartment building. Of course, the neighbor had to die for the perfidy of this attorney couple. (This couple were associated with Cornfed, a notorious Aryan Nations enforcer. As horrible as Pelican Bay State Prison may be, the inmates in the solitary confinement are often there for a reason. They are NOT nice people.

  • Don Williams

    bmiller at 21:

    1) The Aryan Nations are about as formidable as a pack of teenage girls having a hairpulling hissy fit.

    Cornfed belonged to the Aryan Brotherhood — something quite different:

    “According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the gang makes up less than 0.1% of the prison population, but it is responsible for up to 20% of murders in the federal prison system”

  • iknklast

    We had a dog that chewed on the Bible once (I swear, I didn’t put him up to it!). The big problem came, at least for my husband, when he chewed on the baseball dictionary, Then he was in trouble. But he was not set on fire. That would be insane.

  • Old story…this happened almost 2 years ago.