First Amendment craziness – Pastor imprisoned for teaching the Bible says spanking ok

Read this from this ancient and irrelevant bit of parchment called the US Constitution

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Then read this news article from Wisconsin about a pastor who is being sent to prison for expressing his religious belief and will be prohibited from expressing that belief upon his release and will be prohibited from peaceably assembling with others upon his release.  From what I can tell in this article and others he never spanked other people’s children, just told parents that the Bible recommended this mode of discipline.

A Black Earth 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…

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.

“What is important to me,” Sumi also said, “is there was and continues to this day no expression of remorse or repentance for the consequences of those actions, or what the whole chain of events has led the family and the community through.”

Caminiti was found guilty by a jury in March of eight counts of conspiracy to commit child abuse for teaching church members what he said was a literal interpretation of discipline prescribed by the Bible, on children who were between the ages of 2 months and 5 years…

Caminiti will be on extended supervision for six years after his release from prison. Despite objections on constitutional grounds by Caminiti’s lawyers, Sumi ordered that he not have any contact with the Aleitheia Bible Church and have no leadership role in any church…

Lehner said she remains incredulous that Caminiti was even charged with a crime. “The whole thing has become much more flammable than I anticipated,” she said. “I really do feel like I’ve stepped into the Spanish Inquisition.”

The original article is available here.

Oh by the way, this is the same judge that block the Wisconsin legislature and governor’s attempt to balance the budget last year – see here.  Who we elect as judges & district attorney matters!


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