A Pennsylvania Mother Assaulted Her Daughter For Not Regurgitating Bible Verses Correctly

Religion’s supposed to make you a better person, right?

Someone should have told Middletown, Pennsylvania’s Rhonda Kemp Shoffner. She was arrested last week after assaulting her daughter for the awful, awful crime of not reciting a Bible verse correctly.


Shoffner became enraged and yelled at the victim, telling her “to get on her (expletive) knees,” police said.

The girl complied, and Shoffner began quoting Bible verses, expecting the victim to repeat the lines verbatim, according to police.

Shoffner asked her daughter, “What did God tell the man to do with his son?”

When the girl said she did not know, her mother said, “God told the man to kill his son.”

Instead, the victim said, “God said to forgive his son,” and Shoffner grabbed her by the hair and slammed her head into the wall, police said.

Each time the girl incorrectly recited a verse or gave her mother a wrong answer, Shoffner slammed her head into the wall, police said. Shoffner slammed her daughter’s head into the bathroom drywall at least five times, according to police.

After that, she began strangling her daughter. The girl eventually broke free, ran out of the house, and called the cops.

Police have since filed charges against Shoffner of “aggravated assault against a child, strangulation and terroristic threats.”

Give it time. I’m sure Shoffner will eventually say God forgives her.

None of this is to say other Christians would act like her or that Christians are defending her actions. But it’s crucial that this point gets across: Religion doesn’t make you a better person. It doesn’t make you more moral than people without God. Holy books can be a cause for abuse just as much as it can bring people comfort. And when you mix religion with alcohol, or other kinds of dogma, or certain kinds of mental illnesses, the results can be disastrous.

(Thanks to Nica for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.