Saturday, July 05, 2008

You can’t sue a church because you find things they do emotionally disturbing

Posted by Hannah at 6:44 PM

States David Pruessner attorney for the Pleasant Glade Assembly of God! I guess now we can't depend on a church to not cause children emotional distress at their location, because now we have the courts legalizing it!

According to Justice David Medina, writing for the majority, said that while Schubert’s argument regarding physical injuries might be tried without mentioning religion, her case was mostly about her emotional or psychological injuries from a religious activity that was sanctioned by the church.

I guess that is okay now! YIKES! Can we say enable abusers here?

The church decided to take a girl and conduct an exorcism by holding her down on the floor for over 3 hours - causing bruising, carpet burns, etc - and it was OKAY because she was more HURT 'emotionally'!

The ruling by the court is awful, but the fact the church can't take their lumps over being irresponsible is even worse! The fact the parents were not there, and they also decided she needed a second dose of this treatment makes you wonder if you can now trust churches with your child's emotional state at all!

Schubert’s account of what happened over several days at the Pleasant Glade church in June 1996 is harrowing.

Schubert and her brother were involved with church activities while their parents were out of town.

On Friday evening, during preparations for a youth group garage sale, the atmosphere became "spiritually charged" when another youth said he saw a demon.

Under direction of the youth minister, the youth frantically anointed everything in the church with holy oil until, at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, the minister told the exhausted youth that they had finally been successful.

At the Sunday evening worship services, Schubert collapsed. Church members "laid hands" on her and forcibly held her arms crossed over her chest, despite her demands to be set free.

She reportedly cried, yelled, kicked, sweated and hallucinated while also making guttural noises.

She was released after she calmed down and replied with requests to say the name Jesus.

The following Wednesday, during a weekly youth service, Schubert reportedly began to act in the same manner. She curled into a fetal position and asked to be left alone. Church members thought she was in distress and held her down in a "spread eagle" position with youth members holding down her arms and legs.

During the incident, she suffered carpet burns, a scrape on her back and bruises on her wrists.

Her father, Tom Schubert, himself an Assembly of God pastor and missionary, questioned what happened at the church.

His daughter experienced angry outbursts, weight loss and self-mutilation and eventually dropped out of high school her senior year. She was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.


Pruessner said no one should think Friday’s ruling would give protection to a church leader accused of abusing a child.

I'm wondering what they are we suppose to think? Emotional torture is okay if we ALL we were doing is forcing your child to lay down as we wait til they break, and scream JESUS????

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Jeannette Altes on 2:57 PM said...


This post hits close to home for me. I was raised Assemblies of God. I know of incidents not unlike this one.

My first thought was the level of fear they live in if the mere act of a child saying they thought they saw a demon (where did the child get this idea?) caused the youth pastor to go into panic mode and anoint everything.... It is religious superstition - I say this with sadness because I know, I've lived it.

It's interesting, last night I had dinner with my mother and a friend of hers from the old days before I was born. Heavy duty A of G. Lots of religious talk - not all bad, but a lot of doctrinal interpretation on everything. Later, after I had been home for a while, I felt a fear creeping up on me that I had not felt in years - a very familiar type of fear that I grew up with.

*shaking head* There is no excuse for treating a child like this. Hmm... If I was a child being forcibly restrained like that, I might make those kind of sounds, too - PTSD? Yeah. Her behavior in the first place made me wonder if something else had not already happened to her...

Jeannette Altes on 3:10 PM said...

Hmm... another thought - aside from the emotional issues, isn't holding a child spread-eagled on the floor and inflicting physical damage (rug burns, scrapes), umm - physical abuse?

Hannah on 6:11 PM said...

It most certainly IS! Now they are legalizing that under the guise of religion.

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