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-Pastor Gets 2 Years in Prison for Teaching Spanking and Forbidden to Pastor Again?

by Dr. D ~ June 2nd, 2012

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Here’s a case that is disturbing on many different levels:

A Black Earth (Wisconsin) church pastor who taught his flock to discipline their children, some as young as 2 months old, with wooden spoons and rods was sentenced Friday to two years in prison.

Philip Caminiti, 55, was pastor of Aleitheia Bible Church, which meets in the homes of its members. His lawyer, Yolanda Lehner, asked that he be given probation.

But Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi said the sentence, in part, was intended to send a message that child abuse will not be tolerated and to prevent Caminiti from once again teaching members of his church to spank their children with wooden objects to cure them of selfishness.

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Response: Like I said, this case is disturbing on many different levels.

The pastor was teaching his flock to spank their children but the implementation apparently included babies as young as 2 months old –that is just plain objectionable and really doesn’t reflect a normal Christian understanding of Biblical principals.

As disturbing as that is, even more upsetting is the precedent set by the decisions of the Judge in this case. Judge Sumi sentenced pastor Caminiti to 2 years in prison for his teaching and leadership, not for anything he actually did. Adding to that, she forbid the pastor to have any contact with members of his Aleitheia Bible Church and from taking any leadership or pastoral role in that church or any other church in the future.

So the judge in this case believes that she is now in a position to determine church leadership and has the power to keep a pastor from ever ministering again? I don’t think so, we still have a Constitution in this country.

Like I said this case is very disturbing particularly because it may reflect where we are heading. There is a great deal of sympathy for restricting certain traditional Biblical teachings in this country right now regardless of the Constitution. Particularly when it comes to homosexuality. There is a feeling among many in America that religious freedom can and should be trumped in certain cases for the ‘greater good’ of society. That feeling was demonstrated and pervasive in the attitudes and the decisions by judge Sumi in this case.            *Top

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