An Indiana woman charged with child abuse is citing the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act in her defense, arguing that her religious beliefs allow her to discipline her child as she sees fit, free from government interference. The case shines an uncomfortable spotlight on the controversial law, which was signed last year by Donald Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R). Kin Park Thaing, 30, is facing felony abuse and neglect charges for beating her 7-year-old son with a coat hanger on Feb. 3, according to documents filed by Thaing’s lawyer in late July and reported by the Indianapolis Star on Wednesday. Doctors found 36 bruises on the boy’s back, thigh and left arm, and a bruise on his cheek in the shape of a hanger hook. Thaing said she needed to stop her son from engaging in dangerous behavior that would have harmed his 3-year-old sister. She allegedly hit both children and told them to pray for forgiveness. “I was worried for my son’s salvation with God after he dies,” Thaing said, according to court documents. “I decided to punish my son to prevent him from hurting my daughter and to help him learn how to behave as God would want him to.” Thaing also quoted the Bible in the documents, saying a parent who “spares the rod, spoils the child.”
Mother charged with child abuse: ‘I punished my son to help him learn how to behave as God would want him to’
Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 09/01/16
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