Religion is no excuse for killing your child. That's the message that abusive parents Larry and Carri Williams got when they were found guilty of first-degree manslaughter when they let their adopted child, Hana, die in their backyard from starvation and hypothermia after reportedly following tactics outlined in a Christian parenting book called To Train Up a Child. Hey, just because you label something Christian doesn't mean it is. What's that saying? Lipstick on a pig is still a pig. And beating and starving your child is not Christian.

Hana was adopted from Ethiopia and believed to be about 13 years old. Hana was forced to stay in the couple's backyard -- apparently as part of cruel parenting rules that the couple got from the book. She died of hypothermia aggravated by gastritis and malnutrition. Her body was rail thin, covered in bruises, her head was shaved and lumpy, and she had evidence of physical abuse.

The Williams' defense team called this "questionable parenting practices" and said they didn't necessarily equate to a crime.

WRONG.

Horrifyingly, the couple had seven other children in their home -- all have since been removed. One of their other adopted children, Immanuel, testified that the couple beat them with belts and switches. As punishment, they were hosed down, forced to sleep in closets, and made to listen to the Bible on tape and Christian music.

The level of hypocrisy here is obscene. Christianity, like all major religions, is founded on principles of love, caring, forgiveness, and treating others as you would like to be treated. Unfortunately, religion is often perverted and those basic tenets are bent and twisted into something grotesque and far from the original idea behind them.

Religion is never an excuse for abandoning your critical thinking, compassion, and basic humanity. And the justice system recognized this. You don't get to kill someone and then say, "These were just my ways of parenting." You don't get to torture someone and say, "That's my religion."

Mankind's basic religion is kindness and do unto others. Anything that deviates from that is just perversion of religion. Unfortunately, all of this comes too late for Hana. But her death allowed the other seven children living in this hellhole to escape.

Do you ever hear people perverting the ideas of religion?


Image via KIRO7