Thursday, September 1, 2016

Indiana: Mother Uses State's Religious Objections Law to Defend Against Child Abuse Charges

Last year, Republican lawmakers and Governor Mike Pence passed a religious objections laws that prevents governmental agencies from burdening the religious liberties of citizens. It was drafted to shield religious people from LGBT-inclusive laws.

Here comes the unintended consequence. A parent is using the religious objections law to justify abuse against her two children:
The attorney for a woman charged with child abuse for allegedly beating her son with a coat hanger says Indiana's religious objections law gives her the right to discipline her children according to her evangelical Christian beliefs. 

Kihn Par Thaing, 30, of Indianapolis was arrested in February on felony abuse and neglect charges after a teacher discovered her 7-year-old son's injuries. Thaing is accused of beating her son with a coat hanger, leaving him with 36 bruises and red welts. 

Her attorney, Greg Bowes, argues in court documents filed July 29 that the state shouldn't interfere with Thaing's right to raise her children as she deems appropriate. He cited Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act as part of her defense, saying it gives her the right to discipline her children according to her beliefs. 

Court documents cite biblical Scripture and state that a parent who "spares the rod, spoils the child."
My hunch is that this court case will fall outside the scope of the religious objections law, but it wouldn't surprise me if we see more attempts to get criminal charges dropped using this law.

No comments: