Two sides of a strange story in Wisconsin church spanking case

Looks like there are two sides to a story regarding a Wisconsin church involving the pastor and several others in a corporal punishment case. On the one hand, the EndoftheAmericanDream.com reported that a minister who was sentenced to two years in prison for simply teaching that parents should spank their children when they misbehave, and was not accused of spanking anyone.

Do you believe that parents should be able to spank their children?  Do you ever express that opinion to others?  If so, then you could be sent to prison.  Sadly, that is exactly what happened to one pastor up in Wisconsin recently.  A minister named Philip Caminiti was sentenced to 2 years in prison for simply teaching that parents should spank their children when they misbehave.  Please note that Caminiti was not accused of spanking anyone or of physically hurting anyone.  He was put in prison simply for his speech.  He was put in prison simply for what he was teaching others to do.  Whether you agree with spanking or not, this should be incredibly sobering for all of us.  Increasingly, speech is being penalized in the United States.  Much of the time, the focus of the attacks by the forces of political correctness is on religious speech.  If this trend continues, many of you that are reading this article might be put in jail for the things that you say in the coming years.  Read it here

Now comes word from the Huffington Post that the pastor indeed was charged. Here is the story, and it is quite different from the one above (though I’m not sure why HuffPo decided to lead off with author Lori Wick):

Members of Aleitheia Bible Church in Wisconsin Charged With Abusing Infants

The pastor and seven members of a small church in central Wisconsin have been charged with using wooden rods to spank infants as young as 2 months old for “being emotional, grumpy or crying,” the Dane County Sheriff’s office said.

The Aleitheia Bible Church, in the town of Black Earth, was started in 2006 with a donation in the range of $500,000-$600,000 from Bob and Lori Wick of nearby Mazomanie, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

Lori Wick is the author of almost three dozen historical Christian novels with more than five million books in print, according to her Amazon profile. Reached by AOL News today by telephone at their home, Bob Wick said they “have no comment” on the case.

Publicists at Lori Wick’s publisher, Harvest House Publishers, did not immediately respond to emails from AOL News today for comment

Philip & John Caminiti

Dane County Sheriff’s Office
Philip Caminiti, left, the pastor of Aleitheia Bible Church in Black Earth, Wis., and his brother, John Caminiti, 45, have been charged with a dozen counts of child abuse for allegedly using wooden rods to punish children.

The investigation into the Aleitheia Bible Church began last November, when former members contacted authorities with concerns about how children were being treated, according to the sheriff’s office.

Six church members pleaded innocent to charges of child abuse during an appearance Thursday in Dane County Circuit Court. They were booked and released.

Pastor Philip Caminiti, 53, and his brother, John Caminiti, 45, were charged with a dozen counts of child abuse last week and also pleaded innocent.

The victims included 12 children ranging in age from infancy to 6 years old, according to the sheriff’s office.

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17 Responses to Two sides of a strange story in Wisconsin church spanking case

  1. David J. Conklin says:

    >once in a while our parents would take out a belt or a wooden paddle and give us a paddling on the behind when we did something wrong.

    That would constitute abuse–that is NOT spanking. There are 6 rules to proper spanking:

    1) One swat.
    2) On the butt.
    3) With your bare hand.
    4) Not hard.
    5) Don't be angry when you do it.
    6) And this is the MOST important step of all! Put them on your lap and give them hugs and kisses–that's when they most need to know that you love them, despite what they did to deserve to be spanked for.

    If you violate those rules then in virtually no time you will never EVER be able to control your child. Which if you had done things right you could have through love alone.

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    • PPLRWRD says:

      Oh yeah, were are those rules published. Because I read the Wisconsin law on corporal punishment and I didn't see any of that in there. Maybe you got it from one of your pychologist books. Is that it. Hate to break it to you but that is not law. But if you want to go there then here is what I have been tought by friends who are pychologists and pastors. They all agree, never spank when you are angry and the butt or hand are the best locations. But, never use your bare hands because then punishment becomes associated with your hand. Swats should be hard enough to hurt but not to inflict damage. The amount of swats should be comparative to the level of the action. And you should explain why you are doing it. But again, that is not law, that is opinion. So shut it.

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    • Dennis says:

      David, those may be your rules, but they aren't the law, at least not in the United States. Surely you are aware that there are many schools that still paddle children?

      Like

  2. Kristy says:

    I thank God that my parents spanked me growing up. I was swatted with the fly swatter, paddle, hand, & belt. I have never considered any of it abuse in any way. My parents loved me enough to train me well. My parents did not believe in grounding or time out. The few times they did try grounding or time out, I would inevitably act out again. When they used spanking, they just had to look at me with furrowed eyes for me to get the message. I love my parents so much & I love that they loved me enough to not "spare the rod."

    Today's parent's ideas of discipline & weak forms of spanking have resulted in a growing population of teenage menaces to society, that feel they are entitled to everything without having to work for anything or show any kind of responsibility what-so-ever.

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  3. Thomas says:

    Mr. Conklin you are part of the problem. The real issue here is liberty and our right to raise kids our own way. You advocate paddling is okay as long as it's done YOUR way. There are no rules to paddling, that is for the parent to decide. If it becomes battery that is different. The rub is who decides where the line is drawn between the two. It’s tough to answer in a society with such varying beliefs which is why it's best not to interfere. I got slapped when I was teen and today my mother could've gone to prison for that if the right DA got a hold of the case. I consider this ridiculous and I should get to decide if it is a crime. Not you or anyone else. We should all consider what freedom really means. Life is not easy. Sacrifices will be required to keep our freedom. Inconveniences and tragedies will always exist regardless of how many laws we enact or restrictions we to try to put on each other in the name of being a gentler, kinder people. We must allow individuals some ability to define these gray areas for themselves and do the best we can to deal with the consequences. We are a good people, generally kind, caring and interested in the well-being of our loved ones. Let’s trust in that. Don't sacrifice the freedom of the many for the sake of the few. Whether you understand it or not that is not what this country was founded on. I always think about the famous line from Spock in one of the Star Trek movies, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one”. This is not the principal on which our country was founded. It is the opposite of the American dream. It’s the best representation an individual’s selflessness but it is concept that should only be applied by the individual. If you want to sacrifice for the greater good that is your right. Someone else may not agree they should have to sacrifice and nobody should be made to sacrifice because the “many” want it. Remember this as more and more of our individual rights are taken in the name of the greater good.

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  4. Mr Davis says:

    David where are the directions we are given from God's word on discipline. Where words like rod and stripes are used to demonstrate method followed by the intended result. These are scary words and they should inspire fear.

    If you think your way is proper what do you think of God's word?

    The pupose for discipline is to address rebellion, which will be apparent when they look at you. You will see it in their faces. Nip that in the butt.

    Don't discipline only for accidents, nor only for large infractions or if you do so you will be hard pressed to keep your anger in check. Lies and disrespect are great places to start.

    If you discipline to establish that rebellion isn't tolerated discipline for minor infractions can be used to establish this cause and effect business. Let the punishment fit the crime. Sometimes it is helpful to have a somewhat minor infraction have a steep consequence so true fear of wrong doing may be established.

    Jesus gave an example of this, if your hand causes you to sin cut it off for it is better to enter heaven maimed than to be thrown into Gehena whole. I am not advocating we cut our hands of but it's illustrations like this that demonstrate the severity of our rebellion in God's eyes and why Christ Jesus had to die for us in the manner He did.

    Isaiah 53
    5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed . 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

    If we take due dillegence starting early to the discipline of our charges before God they will love us for it. If discipline comes as only wrath you will lose them to the state because your children will hate you and turn on you. So always check your anger.

    Like

  5. Hanna says:

    Wow, reading the article makes me grateful that I live in a country where it's illegal to hit your children. Violence is always wrong! In my country this isn't even controversial, and we swedes think you are retarded. OF COURSE YOU CANT BE VIOLENT TOWARDS YOUR OWN CHILDREN! We are not cave men, we don't use violence when things go wrong, we solve our problems in a positve manner. Anyway, it's scentifically proved that children are harmed both mentally and psyically(obviously), when they are hit by the persons who should protect them the most.

    Like

    • Barr says:

      We Swede's?LOL.When are people going open there eye's.Please!It's amazing how many people fall for this "sientifically proven"lie.The more we get away from the Bible the worse society will become.Look at history.Spare the rod and spoil the child is more aplicable today than ever.I don't need science to tell me that since the Bible and God have removed from everything the world is getting scarier and scarier.Trust God's Wisdom,not Religion,which by the way is worst the worst thing known to man.Religion is man made.God is spirit and must be woshiped in spirit and truth.

      Like

    • PPLRWRD says:

      Hitting kids and spanking are different. One is a hateful act to intimidate or strike fear into your oponent. The other is used to teach. Oh, and you say it is proven that kids are harmed by spankings? First person I read who said that was Dr. Spock who's own son killed himself (Spock never spanked his son). Great example of scientific proof on why spankings are so horrible. Shut it until you actually have some realisitic information.

      Like

      • PPLRWRD says:

        Sorry, I said son, I meant grandson. Spocks Grandson killed himself at age 22. There is rumor that his son killed himself but that is not true but I had that in mind when I wrote son.

        Like

      • Amy Spreeman says:

        I edited your comment to take out the name-calling. You are welcome to post here, but please follow the rules for civility. Also, telling people to "shut it" is not going to fly either.

        Like

  6. Mr Davis says:

    Your right Hanna, in the worlds point of view none should be corrected or disciplined with pain. There is so much wisdom from the world in what you proclaim.

    But there is no hope in the world just death.

    1 Corinthians 1:20 KJV
    Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

    Christ Jesus, Himself was beaten torn and whipped to where he was torn apart, his flesh laying open to pay for the error of disobedience common to all men. That flesh was nailed to the cross where His flesh would struggle to live on until it was utterly and completely spent in death, even on the cross. And since it pleased the Father to bruise Him to lay on Him the iniquity of us all, to make Christ a sin offering so that as many as would receive Him He would give them eternal life.

    You must not think much of God the Father then Who Loved His Son and Loved us just as much, so He would make His son suffer in our place and die.

    1 Corinthians 1:21 KJV
    For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe .

    Like

  7. Lori says:

    When put that way, no I don't think much of a God who would allow that to happen to his son, thank you for opening my eyes. I believe in God and Jesus Christ, just not the corrupt opinion of old men who have twisted God to suit their own purpose, just because it was written hundreds of years ago, doesn't make it God's final word to me. I have often read the bible and thought, I just dont think that God would do that, this is exactly why. Some may say I'm not a real Christian then, oh well then.

    Just FYI, I don't spank my kids, I find it unnecessary when a well placed grounding from their privileges works well, however I was spanked as a child and don't think my parent's as abusers.

    ~ A long time christian who has struggled with the bibles teachings for years.

    Like

  8. Brent says:

    Corporal punishment has been clearly shown to be counter-productive. Children who are spanked are more likely to act out, be rebellious as teens and have their intellectual growth stymied. It's always interesting to me that these threads invariably contain Christians who view today's society as declining morally. I always see phrases such as "our problems today" or "the challenges we face today". It's the same basic message each time; that kids are not as well bahaved today and morally the nation is "getting worse". The opposite is true. We continue to evolve and progress and make the world a little better each day. Crime rates continue to decline making our country a safer place compared to my childhood in the 1970's and 80's. My daughter is 18 and her generation gives me great hope and inspiration. They are open minded, intelligent, not racist or bigoted and are full of ambition. They are also less religious than my generation. As more people move further from religion we will continue to prosper and be a less violent and more peaceful society.

    Like

    • James says:

      I was spanked very frequently and I'm definitely not racist or bigoted. Some of the folks who spanked me included African-American babysitters, and I thank God for them.

      Like

  9. criminal by words says:

    When you have one child, don't listen to the advice of those who have no children and take any advice given by those with one child politely and then reject it.

    When you have two children, ignore the advice of those with none, sympathise but ignore the advice of those that have one and consider, but generally reject the advice of those with two children.

    When you have three children, ignore the advice of those with none or one. Nod in sympathy with those with two and consider what those with three say, but not very strongly.

    when you have four or more children, listen politely and with patience the advice of others, but only consider valid the advice of those others who have four or more children. And even then, your children are not like theirs and so their advice is barely better than your own experience.

    If children were actually abused according to the law, then this conviction makes sense. But even if it violates the law, if none of the parents were convicted or tried, then this is oppression. Considering what's considered protected speech in this country, this is an example of tyranny by the government.

    Every parent in the state of Wisconsin should get out a wooden spoon and use it on their children. They have made criminals of millions of people who are in no way criminals.

    This is just a high profile way to send a message. It's a politically motivated, philosophically driven act of abuse to try and influence free speech and to suppress any non government approved speech.

    There was no crime here. There were only words. Words are not a crime. The fact that the Supreme Court did not decide to consider this case is so amazingly stunning as to show the people of this country that the First Amendment is dead.

    Like

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