Horror Show Sunday: Bacon Beating

Jonathan Powell beat his daughter with a pack of frozen bacon, while quoting the Bible’s command against sparing the rod and spoiling the child.  Somehow, I doubt bacon is what the Bible had in mind.

This happened in Hampton Township, Michigan.  His 11-year old daughter broke down in court as she recounted her father attacking her for 10-12 minutes, hitting her with the bacon, his elbows, upper arms and hands, all the while justifying his actions from the Bible, saying it was okay that he did it because God said so.

If convicted, the man faces up to two years in prison for third-degree child abuse that left the child bruised with a bloody nose.  All of this happened over a broken dishwasher, for which Powell called his daughter a bitch, chased her into her room and beat her.  Powell, of course, denies the charges.  He remains free on bond pending a court trial.

I wish I could say this was unusual but it isn’t.  That Bible verse, Proverbs 13:24, gets used a lot by fundamentalist Christians who want to feel like they have religious backing for child abuse.  This is luckily a minor case, no serious damage was done to the girl and I doubt there will be any long-term psychological impact.  Still, you’re still looking at a case where someone thinks that a book of mythology somehow gives them permission to physically attack a child and beat them with a pack of frozen bacon of all things.  This is why magical thinking of any kind is problematic.  I mean, if someone read Harry Potter and came away believing they could run around hitting people with wands, we’d think they were crazy, but claim it comes from the Bible and all of a sudden, people actually believe it’s okay.  Religion, as Christopher Hitchens, poisons everything and this is just one more example, in a very long line of examples, to show up on Horror Show Sunday.

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