The deeper we dig into Patriarchal Christianity, the more rot and corruption we find, so we dig again, and find more, so we dig again, and…
The Schatzes adopted Lydia and her sister Zariah, a year older, from Liberia…and proceeded to beat them for hours on end. Lydia’s casus flagendi was getting a word wrong during a homeschooling lesson.
According to authorities, when the Schatzes beat Lydia, they took breaks to pray. They then resumed the torture, as one held the child down while the other whipped her with 1/4-inch wide plumbing line. Lydia died from the beatings. Zariah barely survived, having suffered kidney failure and other injuries.
The Schatzes did not come up with their disciplinary methods all on their own. They were followers of the Tennessee-based No Greater Joy Ministries, which is operated by a fundamentalist Christian minister named Michael Pearl and his wife, Debi. The Pearls’ book To Train up a Child is hugely popular among Christian homeschooling parents; it has sold more than 650,000 copies and has been translated into many foreign languages, according to the Pearls’ website. The Pearls strongly advocate for the spanking of children—even those who have committed minor infractions—saying that God demands that parents spank. The Pearls suggests that spankers use implements rather than the hand, because “hands are for loving and helping.”
In particular, the Pearls believe that 1/4-inch-wide plumbing line is ideal for spanking children. “It will fit in your purse or hang around your neck. You can buy them [sic] for $1.00 at Home Depot or any hardware store,” notes Michael Pearl on his website. He adds that sections of the pipe “come cheaper by the dozen and can be widely distributed in every room and vehicle. Just the high profile of their accessibility keeps kids in line.” The Pearls’ book was found in the Schatz home with passages underlined. Police photographed a section of 1/4-inch plumbing pipe lying on the parents’ bed next to a children’s book.
What else is there to say?