Sunday, May 13, 2012

Child Abuse Laws Do Not Violate Pastor's Free Exercise Rights

In Madison, Wisconsin last Thursday, a state trial court judge refused to overturn the conviction of a pastor who, in March, was found guilty on 8 counts of conspiring to commit child abuse. According to WTAQ News, pastor Philip Caminiti of the Aleitheia Bible Church in Black Earth (WI) was convicted for preaching to his parishioners that, consistent with Biblical teachings, they should discipline their children by hitting them on their bare buttocks with wooden dowels. Caminiti argued that his convictions violate his right to the free exercise of religion, but the judge ruled that Caminiti had failed to show that the state's child abuse laws put a burden on his sincere religious beliefs. (See prior related posting.)