An Indiana mother who allegedly beat her son multiple times with a hanger used the Bible and the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to justify her actions.
Thirty-year-old Kin Park Thaing used a hanger to beat her 7-year-old son after he came close to hurting his sister, reports Fox 59. The incident left her son with 36 bruises and related large welts on his body, according to court documents.
Thaing reportedly hit both of her children before telling them to start praying and ask God for forgiveness, court documents reveal.
“I was worried for my son’s salvation with God after he dies,” said Thaing in court documents. “I decided to punish my son to prevent him from hurting my daughter and to help him learn how to behave as God would want.
Court documents also show Thaing quoting specific Bible verses to justify the alleged abuse. She claimed a parent who “spares the rod, spoils the child.” She drew heavily from the book of Proverbs, quoting Prov. 23:13, which says, “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.”
A teacher discovered the bruises when she patted Thaing’s son on the back and he flinched. The teacher reported it to the police and child welfare authorities.
Thaing’s attorney, Greg Bowes, argued July 29 that the state cannot interfere with how Thaing chooses to raise her son. He also cited the RFRA, claiming that the law allows Thaing to punish her children as she sees fit.
Thaing, as a refugee from Burma, is also using “cultural differences” as a defense.
She has been charged with battery and neglect. Her trial is set for Oct. 19.
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