Dark Christianity
dark_christian
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May 2008
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Another case of dominionist "baby-beating"?

From the following article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

When Michael Bilodeau couldn't be there to see his 12-year-old daughter stripped and whipped with a belt, he made sure to listen in on a speakerphone from his Coral Springs home, according to police reports.

She deserved it, he told investigators, because she was a liar and "it is stated in the Bible that it is OK to spank your children," the reports said.

Bilodeau, 48, was arrested Saturday in Port St. Lucie on charges of aggravated child abuse and neglect. He has since bonded out of jail. He did not return messages left at his home and cell phone Tuesday.

Reportedly according to police reports, the child had multiple bruises in various stages of healing; the child has been removed to a care facility by the Department of Human Resources.

Lest anyone doubt this is yet another case of dominionism-related child abuse:
Bilodeau, who is listed as running a Fort Lauderdale office furniture business, lives with his wife and two sons in Coral Springs. Three years ago, he and his wife decided they couldn't take care of their daughter, so they sent her to live with a couple they were friends with in Port St. Lucie, he told police. He made sure the friends had similar religious beliefs.

He allowed them to punish her like he did: strip her naked, put her in an awkward position and strike her repeatedly with a belt or a stick, according to Bilodeau's arrest report. The punishments came in response to the girl not using proper English, not finishing her homework, lying, or "not accepting Jesus into her heart," police have said.

(Bolded emphasis mine)

Yes, you read this right--this apparently is very similar to cases involving use of dominionist baby-beating manuals by the Pearls, one of which is linked to the death of a child; it's also similar to the tactics promoted by Tedd Tripp, another dominionist "baby-beating" manual author. Both books promote the use of "chastening rods" made out of wood or PVC pipe, and both also have heavy emphasis on "deliverance ministry" and the general concept that all children are born with "spirits of rebellion" which must literally be beaten out and that the will of children must be broken completely to "save" them.

The article continues:
Police discovered the situation Saturday when the girl was reported panhandling at a Port St. Lucie Walgreens. When police found her, she told them she ran away because she was afraid of being spanked again by her caretakers. They found numerous bruises and cuts on her legs, buttocks and back, reports said.

The girl had been missing since Thursday, the police report said, but neither Bilodeau nor the girl's caretakers reported her missing.

Police said Bilodeau admitted to punishing the girl by striking her with a belt and a stick. According to the police report, he makes his daughter strip naked "because he wants her to feel the pain."

(In other words, had the girl not escaped and been essentially a "throwaway", it's extremely likely the abuse would have continued.)

I have emphasized, again, two bits--one where he admits to use of a "chastening rod", and the other being a point I have seen brought up repeatedly even in James Dobson's "The Strong-Willed Child"--that a child must be made to hurt if a punishment is to be "effective" and (in the more blatant "chastening" manuals) recommendations of whacking on bare buttocks. (In fact, at least one dominionist church's guide on "child training" specifically recommends whacking on the bare bum, and another dominionist guide (which promotes use of belts for baby-beating) even states "stripes are necessary"--in other words, if it doesn't leave marks, it's not a proper "chastening".)

Somewhat shockingly (and of grave concern), two children remain in the household:
Coral Springs police, along with child welfare investigators, visited the Bilodeaus' Coral Springs home earlier this week but did not remove either of the two children from their mother.

"They didn't see, at that time, any reason to remove the kids here," said Capt. Rich Nicorvo, spokesman for the department.

Bilodeau was the only person charged in the case as of Tuesday, but more charges are expected, Vega said.

"It's something we're looking into right now," he said.

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