In true Mommy Dearest fashion, an Indiana mother and fundamentalist Christian, Kin Park Thaing, is charged with beating her 7-year-old son with a clothes hanger, leaving 36 visible bruises, discovered by the boy’s teacher. As her defense, Thaing is citing Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed into law by VP-nominee Mike Pence last year. In essence, the RFRA prevents the government from interfering with an individual’s religious liberty unless there’s a compelling reason to do so.
Thaing says that being charged with a crime for beating her son would be in direct conflict with Christian scripture such as these:
She who “spares the rod, spoils the child.”
“Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol (hell).”
So in this mother’s brainwashed mind, beating the shit out of your 7-year-old to the point where he winces when a teacher tries to pat him on the back for a job well-done is perfectly acceptable in the eyes of her deity, and therefore should be legal. Does she also keep slaves and follow the Bible’s instructions on how to beat them properly? Does she also kill nonbelievers? I could go on about the disgusting suggestions in this book of torture, but I won’t. Plenty have exposed the Bible for what it truly is before me.The prosecutor in this case is of course fighting Thaing’s request to invoke a religious exemption from the state’s child abuse laws, saying that her act goes “beyond these religious instructions she cites from the Bible.”
Even if her ridiculous religious freedom exemption attempt is thrown out, Thaing may still win her case. A 2008 ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court paved the path for parents to discipline their children using weapons such as cords and belts. Using a coat hanger is not very far off from those items.