The Missouri Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding the case of a Christian man whose views on Christianity led him to abuse his children. Peter D. Hansen, 50, was convicted in 2011 of locking one son in the bathroom for days on end and strictly control when he was allowed to eat. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison for child abuse, but now Hansen wants his side of the story told. He says that the Seventh Day Adventist church encourages a vegetarian diet and thus, he isn’t actually guilty of child abuse, he’s just following his religion. How many times have we heard that one?
Hansen, who had been homeless, but was living in a church basement at the time of the crimes, would sometimes put his son into the tiny church bathroom, a space where the boy couldn’t even stretch out on the floor, for days at a time. Prosecutors said that such behavior “inflicted cruel and inhuman punishment” on the boy and for Hansen’s daughter, she was punished by being isolated from the family and by refusing her “luxury foods like fruit, or butter.” She complained about being hungry much of the time. As child social services was taking the children away, Hansen was heard to say that the bathroom was “like a hole for a 14-year-old and I’m OK with that.” Doctors found that the children were “receiving inadequate calories for appropriate weight gain and growth” and that the boy’s ribs and shoulder blades were “visibly prominent”.
I’m sorry, I don’t care what ridiculous beliefs you have, you’re not allowed to starve your children or lock them in a room for days or weeks at a time. The very idea that anyone would even entertain such a thing is a sure sign of how messed up our culture is with regard to religion. This ought to be a no-brainer, I shouldn’t even have to bring it up on Horror Show Sunday and hopefully, the Missouri Supreme Court will rule that religion is no defense against charges of child abuse. Of course, this is Missouri we’re talking about so religious insanity may rule the day.