A church minister was charged Tuesday with physical abuse of a child in the
death of an 8-year-old autistic boy who died as church leaders tried to
heal him at a storefront church in Milwaukee.
This so-called "minister" sat on a kid for two hours, suffocating him to death, in trying to drive out the "demons" that caused his autism. The mother of the boy helped hold him down as he was murdered in the name of religion. And people wonder why I insist that rationality, not emotion or the supernatural, govern my life.
My daughter is turning 8 years old in a few months. This boy was 8. It makes me wish some form of divine Justice would intervene to show this minister what a horrible death he gave this boy, to have the life crushed out of you by an overweight sweaty man screaming at the top of his lungs.
Jim Stingl has something to say about this case. Here are some compelling excerpts:
Parents of children with autism will tell you how challenging and
frustrating it can be to deal with the disorder and the behavioral problems
it causes. Terrance's mom, Patricia Cooper, apparently thought she found a
She helped hold her 8-year-old son motionless while church elder Ray
Hemphill, who admits to having no formal theological training, lay on the
child to drive out the evil spirit that wasn't there in the first place.
For two sweaty hours, Hemphill ordered demons to leave Terrance. When he
was finished, the poor boy had suffocated and was soaked with his own urine
from the ordeal...
You can almost imagine God looking down on the twisted scene and saying,
keep me out of this. If you go to this church and you have heart disease or
you need a liver transplant, you might want to keep it to yourself...
Hemphill's brother, Faith Temple Church Pastor David Hemphill, said the
church would not change the way it operates. He sounds insulted that anyone
would question him or his church, even when a boy is dead.
The minister should not be faced with felony child abuse. He should be prosecuted for murder, homicide, or manslaughter. Belief in the supernatural is no excuse for killing another person.