There's no excuse for locking your own child in a chicken coop and making her live for days on just bread and water. But neighbors in Butler, Georgia say mom Diana Franklin and husband Samuel Franklin allegedly has one hell of an excuse. Literally. Franklin supposedly said that the Bible made them abuse their adopted daughter.
It sounds like it could lead us down into a religious argument. But considering all the good parents I know who happen to be Christian and aren't abusing their kids, I'm going to skip that quagmire and go straight for confusion. Are there really people who think it's OK to live "by the Bible," even when the laws in America say it's wrong? Have they actually read the same book?
Franklin was allegedly referencing Proverbs 13:24, the portion of the King James Bible that reads, "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." As a result, cops say her 15-year-old daughter was forced at times to wear a dog's shock collar, which Franklin would set off with a remote key fob. Other abuses described include living in a chicken coop for days on end and perform manual labor around their home in the oppressive heat.
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Not exactly what I've read in the Bible, but let's say it was. Let's say that the Bible really makes a case for abusing your child. The Bible isn't the Constitution. It's an incredibly old book that, although considered sacred by many people in this country, includes some very dated material and some outright atrocities. I was raised in a Roman Catholic household, and I've read enough of the Bible to know it's chock-a-block with things that would land your butt in jail.
Just take a look at these examples that get an A-OK in the Bible:
1. Killing Anyone Who Hits Their Parents. Forget an eye for an eye. If you read Exodus 21:15, the crime of hitting one's parents is punishable by death. So next time your toddler takes a smack at you, are you going to get out your gun? Didn't think so.
2. Burn an Entire Town to the Ground. The cops would call it arson, but Deuteronomy 13 gives you leave to set an entire town, and all its "plunder" on fire if the people who live there don't believe in the same God as you.
3. Kill the Kids of Criminals. The law might be satisfied with putting some evil guy on death row, but not Isaiah. Chapter 14 advises you kill his kids too, after all, they must be punished for the sins of the father.
4. Rape. In the prophecy of Babylon, Isaiah (once again) calls from the women to be ravished, and not with their consent.
I don't think I need to continue this list to prove the Bible defense is no defense at all, do I? Certainly not for abusing your child ...
What do you make of this "excuse" for child abuse?
Image via Sean MacEntee/Flickr