The 14-year-old daughter of Doug Ramsey disappeared from her Pennsylvania home last December. She was helped in her quest by leaders of a Mennonite church — they say the girl just wanted to practice the faith she had been brainwashed into accepting:
Three church members were arrested Wednesday for allegedly concealing the girl from her parents and from police after she ran away from home, with plans to ultimately take her to Kentucky.
Ramsey told police that his daughter had left a note, saying she was running away because she was “upset because she wanted to practice her religion and stay with others who believed the same,” according to the affidavits.
The religion was that of a Mennonite church the girl had been attending for a few months, until her parents told her she could no longer go.
Don’t think this is just a story of a girl running away. One church member encouraged her to do it and others helped make it happen:
Then, after she ran away, the Ramseys found several letters [Rachel Zimmerman] Starr had written to their daughter, outlining a plan for the teen to leave her home in the middle of the night without her parents’ knowledge. Starr later admitted to the correspondence, according to the affidavits.
“This included detailed instructions as well as instructions to burn, destroy or hide these letters,” according to the affidavits.
In later interviews with police, the teen confirmed that Starr had encouraged her to “sneak out of the house during the middle of the night and come to her residence where she would conceal her,” according to the affidavits.Following the plans, the teen said she left her home about 2:30 a.m. and went to the home of Starr, who gave her plain, Mennonite clothing. The teen said Starr then took her to [Alda Hoover] Martin’s house, where she was hidden in the chicken coop when police came to look for her.
Try imagining this story in a different light — what if an atheist group helped a Christian girl leave her church by helping her run away from home?
We’d have Christian groups calling for our heads. And we’d deserve it.
It’s one thing to get a child to think about religion and question their beliefs.
It’s another to hide a child from her parents because you think you know what’s best for her (or you think God will approve of your actions).
The Mennonites’ actions are disgusting and criminal. At least they’re all being charged with “criminal conspiracy in the concealment of the whereabouts of a child.”
(Thanks to Juliet for the link)