Police are pursuing those responsible for the death of a 2-year-old boy at a church in Texas where the parents and pastors starved the boy to rid him of his possession by a demon — only to try to resurrect the dead boy later with the use of blessed oils. Police say the pastors at a Balch Springs church starved a 2-year-old boy they said was possessed by a demon, and later held a ceremony to resurrect the boy. The parents are believed to have taken the body to Mexico while Aracely Meza, 49, was arrested Monday and charged with injury to a child causing serious bodily injury by omission. The boy was given only water for 25 days and died on March 22.
Police have reported a very strong case for not just serious bodily injury by omission but homicide. When a church member tried to feed the boy, the pastors scolded her and prevented her from feeding the boy. However, as this column discusses, people who kill children in the name of religion have often been given more lenient treatment. This type of Abraham defense creates a mitigating factor in the names of some judges and prosecutors.
The boy denied at the Iglesia Internacional Jesus es el Rey, where Meza, her husband and several others lived. Meza acted as the church’s vice president and also claimed to be a prophet who could communicate directly with God. You can see the final ceremony in the video here.
It was Meza who on the morning of March 22 held the bizarre resurrection ceremony as Meza held the boy, named Benjamin, and says “In the name of Jesus, I’m utilizing this oil to try to get him back to life.”
After applying oil to his head, she says it’s time for him to wake up, “right now.” He didn’t.
Source: Dallas News
46 thoughts on “Police Seek Parents and Pastors After Church Starves 2-Year-Old To Death In Exorcism Ritual”
Well, there is faith healing gone wrong and then there is purposely starving to death, killing a child and THEN expecting a Lazarus type of reanimation.
The first is very wrong IMO, but the latter is just premeditated murder.
A number of states have statutory religious exemptions for faith healing. Idaho is a notable example since it is the home of Followers of Christ. The result is that children die unnecessarily and their parents are shielded from civil and criminal liability. But what the heck. As Idaho State Representative Christy Perry has observed, “If I want to let my child be with God, why is that wrong?”
Were they part of the Santa Muerte death cult on the rise in Mexico, yet another negative crossing our open borders?
So, basically they murdered a helpless child and then demanded that God reverse their crime.
What an ugly, selfish act.
What is unbelievable to me is that no one of the adults involved called the police, picked up the boy and ran away with him, or even snuck him food.
Why not just shoot parishioners and then try to “resurrect” the victims? It would be the same result and less suffering than starving to death.
What a vicious, vile, evil act. It brings me to tears to think of this small child suffering like that, surrounded by grown ups who wouldn’t help him, and essentially tortured him to death by starvation. This goes way beyond “faith healing,” as it intentionally inflicts death and then tries to reverse it. Did they think this child was both possessed by a demon AND Jesus Christ who could rise again? Were they all on drugs? Insane?
There is a sort of modern day parable I recall about the Drowning Man. I found a link on the web to the story, applicable to the question of free will and divine grace. (As a caveat, I am unfamiliar with the rest of the site and only link to share the parable.)
And since the parents escaped to Mexico, I doubt they will ever be brought to justice. They’ll just re-imigrate illegally through our open border and be given free healthcare, free car insurance, a free drivers license, free school, low cost housing, etc. under new names.
DBQ, I have gotten a taste of the hybrid Mexican RC religion here in San Diego.
Faith Healing and demon exorcism happens in more than just Pentecostal churches.
“Faith healing is widely practiced by Christian Scientists, Pentecostalists, the Church of the First Born, the Followers of Christ, and myriad smaller sects. Many of these believers reject all medical treatment in favor of prayer, anointing with oils, and sometimes exorcisms. Some even deny the reality of illness. When they reject medical treatment for their children, they may be guilty of negligence and homicide. Until recently, religious shield laws have protected them from prosecution; but the laws are changing, as are public attitudes. Freedom of religion has come into conflict with the duty of society to protect children. The right to believe does not extend to the right to endanger the lives of children. A new book by Cameron Stauth, In the Name of God: The True Story of the Fight to Save Children from Faith-Healing Homicide, provides the chilling details of the struggle. He is a master storyteller; the book grabs the reader’s attention like a fictional thriller and is hard to put down. He is sympathetic to both the perpetrators and the prosecutors of religion-motivated child abuse, and he makes their personalities and their struggles come alive.”
I see plenty of syncretism going on in many of the new cultish religions springing up all over the place. I see nothing wrong with People who are Mexican.
Once again Jesus our Lord constantly railed at the Pharisees and their practicing of Syncretism regarding old rituals that were outdated from times past when the Babylonians were among them and the gods were mixed up. He told them parables about old skins and new wine and old garments and new linen patches being rent asunder because they would tear from the old material. Not hard to figure out if you have an agile mind.
It’s amazing that well to do individuals would blame Mexicans of being the ignorant ones when their own brethren do the same thing.
Last month a jury convicted Hemphill, 47, of child abuse – recklessly causing great bodily harm, in Cottrell’s death.
Hemphill, a former maintenance worker with no formal religious schooling, was ordained as a pastor of the Faith Temple Church of the Apostolic Faith by his brother, Bishop David Hemphill, who founded the church in 1977.
He told police on the night of August 22, 2003 that he had been holding a series of special prayer services, described by some as “exorcisms”, during the previous three weeks to remove “evil spirits” of autism from the boy. Hemphill described how he would sit or lay on “Junior’s” chest for up to two hours at a time, whispering into his ear for the “demons” to leave his body.
Three women — including the child’s mother, Patricia Cooper — described to police how they sat on the boy’s arms and legs while Hemphill sat on his chest. One woman said she pushed down on Junior’s diaphragm several times during the service.
At some point during the service, he stopped struggling and breathing.
Pat Robertson of the 700 Club also claims to be able to communicate and recieve an answer directly from God, in what he calls “A Word of Knowledge”, and he ran for President as a Republican. Crazy fundamentalists.
The United States is not a Third World Nation. I knew many people that were raped by their Fathers as a Child that were white girls but had to keep their mouths shut to keep the peace. That being said, it is a great thing that we now can bring these things out under the Civil Rights Acts that we keep bringing forward that irritates the Reactionary Christians so.
That is not to say this act was done by a Reactionary Christian because they were a person of Color, but many exorcisms are done by Pentecostal Churches also where they bind schizophrenic people and withhold their medicine and “pray” the demons out
Much of Mexican and Central American Catholicism is unrecognizable as the Roman Catholic Church faith. It is a blend or synergy of RC faith, ancient native beliefs, shamanism, sacrifice to the Gods (yes multiple Gods). Combining much of the Mayan, Aztec and other religions with the veneer of European Catholicism. There were many underlying similarities in the two world views of religion (Roman Catholic) and the existing native American belief systems which allowed them to merge instead of having one replace the other.
Don’t be surprised at this shamanistic type of ceremony. This is the culture of many of the rural, uneducated and more impoverished immigrants that we are inviting to invade our country and who are NOT becoming assimilated.
I can say this because.
1.) My family lived in Mexico for decades. I grew up partly in Mexico. My Grandmother, Grandfather, and almost all of my aunts and uncles were legal residents of Mexico from the late 1940’s to the mid 1960’s.
2. My major in college was Meso American Anthropology and Archeology.
3.) My thesis paper was on this topic of the religious synergism existing today combining the belief systems into a “new” religion that was neither pure RC or pure native beliefs.
And an observation, that this lack of assimilation by the flood of immigrants will likely create a new synergy in the American culture where neither world view will survive intact and we will see a complete morphing of the US. This won’t be apparent, however, for several generations. If you were able to time travel to the future, you will not be able to recognize the US at all. It will be a completely different country.
It is what it is.
I suppose these actions would be protected under a Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
But, but, but, I thought that Bobby Jindal claimed that we had the Medieval Christian threat under control???
Welcome to the third world nation that the United States is becoming. Coming soon to a neighborhood near you.
Horrible. Poor child. Stupid adults.
Not the kind of thing you see from atheists, thank Christ.
And these people receive tax exemptions for their churches! That poor child.
Anyone who has seen Linda Blair in The Excorcist knows why you don’t feed the possessed, All Catholic priests can exorcise, but few do it. Those who do it specialize in it and I have not heard of one of them trying to raise a child from the dead.
These people should get the maximum for murder, perhaps more than the maximum. The crimes are so layered here that if the charges are manslaughter or some other charge including mitigating circumstances, it will simply stand as something that goes on the the Middle East. The greatest function of throwing these fools into prison for the rest of their lives will be to set a standard for society and the perimeters of religion. Disgusting.
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble,it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Jesus
The ultimate judge will not be kind to this type of error.
In our world, it is difficult for judges to balance the necessity for the free exercise of religion and parental rights against the rights of children. I cannot throw stones at the judges who, while ruling against such parents/pastors, go light on them but do disagree with them.
I believe the free exercise of religion should not be violated unless the government can show it has a compelling interest and is doing so in the least restrictive manner possible.
In these types of cases I believe the government should violate this sacred right. In prior Supreme Court jurisprudence human sacrifice has been mentioned as an extreme example that is outside the protection of the First and this is a small step away from that illustration.
Children in the terrible twos may appear to be possessed but grow out of it. Wonder why starvation was chosen for the exorcism when there are so many other creatively cruel methods available.
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