Skip to comments.[Austin, TX] Church leaders accused in beating -- Boy in intensive care with kidney failure
Posted on 07/09/2002 7:10:44 AM PDT by Illbay
By ARMANDO VILLAFRANCA
Copyright 2002 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau
AUSTIN -- An 11-year-old boy who read the wrong Bible verse at church was severely beaten with a tree branch by a Baptist pastor and the pastor's brother, the boy's family said.
Photo supplied by family attorney Bobby R. Taylor
An 11-year-old boy suffered kidney failure after being beaten on the back and buttocks with a tree branch, a police affidavit says.
The boy suffered kidney failure as a result of the beating and spent the Fourth of July weekend in the intensive care unit of Brackenridge Hospital sedated with morphine, according to a police affidavit.
Austin police issued arrest warrants Monday for Joshua W. Thompson, 22, of Austin, and his twin brother, Caleb D. Thompson. They are wanted on charges of first-degree felony injury to a child.
Joshua Thompson is pastor of the Spanish-language congregation at the Capital City Baptist Church. Caleb Thompson is an assistant to the pastors. They are accused of using an inch-thick tree branch to discipline the boy.
"(The boy) was accused of not taking this very seriously," said Bobby Taylor, an attorney for the family.
According to Taylor and family members, the beating occurred Wednesday while the boy and other children practiced for a Bible competition.
"He was trying to find the verse and he was on the wrong verse, and they thought he was goofing around," the boy's mother said.
She said church assistants summoned Joshua Thompson, who took the boy to Caleb Thompson's house.
Taylor said the boy was placed facedown on a bed and beaten with the tree branch on his back and buttocks. When the boy tried to break free, Caleb Thompson held him down so the beating could continue, Taylor said.
Taylor said the beating lasted 90 minutes, during which the boy was allowed to use the bathroom one time. The boy told his family the Thompsons turned up a radio to drown out his screams.
The family said the Thompsons brought the boy home and suggested he wear long sleeves for a while. The family said one of the brothers told the boy's stepfather, "It's your turn now" and that they suggested he "finish the job."
According to the police affidavit filed in support of the arrest warrants, the stepfather told investigators the Thompsons said they tried to break the child and make him repent from wrongdoing.
"Their idea of discipline was to take him out of school and beat him until he was black and blue," said the boy's uncle, Felipe Garcia.
A photograph provided by Taylor showed deep purple bruises and scabs on the boy's back and buttocks. The police affidavit noted the boy also was bruised on his arms, legs and head.
Attempts to reach the Thompsons on Monday were unsuccessful. Jerald Finney, a lawyer for Joshua Thompson, told the Austin American-Statesman that "facts have been distorted."
"These are two very responsible young men," Finney said. "Anybody can make allegations. That's what the criminal justice system is for -- to sort out truth from fiction."
The boy's mother said she and her family had attended the independent Baptist church for four years and that the sermons never endorsed severe discipline.
"It was a surprise to me; it was shocking," she said. "I never heard nothing like this. I never heard the pastor preach like this. I have no idea why they beat him so badly."
The family intends to file a civil lawsuit against the church.
And don't tell me this was an "isolated incident." It was a "hate crime."
Many of you wanted to know what a "love crime" would consist of. Now you know.
Your source for that statement?
Christianity - The Religion of Peace.
I have friends who were pastoring at 22, but that's still awfully young.
That aside, this was wrong from the first time they hit the boy...
A fallen sinner can claim to be a Mormon, or a Baptist, or an angel! Doesn't mean he IS one!
I agree wholeheartedly.
No wonder the "evangelical" movement has peaked and is now experiencing a downturn in membership.
Non sequitur. Please check your prejudices at the door.
And don't tell me this was an "isolated incident." It was a "hate crime."
Isolated in what sense? Have these particular twins ever beaten people before? Probably they have. Do all or most or even many pastors beat their parishoners? No. Go grind your axe elsewhere.
And those are just the high-profile cases.
IMO, the problem is systemic. Anyone can set themselves up as religious demagogues, and make good money doing it. In fact, that was the hit on Tilton: He decided in college to go into the "evangelical religion racket."
There's no accountability and no standards. The Bible can mean what he says it means (I imagine the Thompsons were thinking "spare the ROD and spoil the child").
It's a mass of confusion and ripe for corruption. You see it time after time after time.
Who gives one thin damn about what they would SAY? Look at actions, not words my friend. Many souls can talk a fine talk, but do they walk the walk? LOVE IN ACTION! That is TRUE Christianity. :)
In his upcoming book, THE NEW CHRISTIANITY, American church growth researcher and author Jim Rutz describes the astonishing increase in growth rate of evangelical Christianity.
"In the mid-80's, evangelical Christianity experienced a strong upward turn. Prior to 1985, the growthrate was 2% per year, slightly higher than the growth of the world population; today it is around 7.5% per year. If the current growth continues, the entire world would be followers of Jesus Christ in 2041..." he says.
Year Christians (millions) % Growth rate 1970 272 1985 366 2 (1970-85) 1990 445 4 (1985-90) 1995 596 6 (1990-95) 2000 836 7 (1995-2000) 2001 899 7.5 (2000+)
In comparison, the growth rates of the most important religious groups:
% Growth rate Catholics 1.2 World population 1.3 Buddhists 1.7 Hindus 2.3 All "Christians" 2.6 Moslems 2.7 All Protestants 2.9 Evangelicals 7.5Evangelical Christians include charismatic and Pentecostal Christians, as well as a growing number of Christians outside traditional churches."
Those people need to get a taste of their own meds..by real men. True Christians are not abusive..Jesus said "let the children come to me"..
. . . unless the kidney damage is permament. In that case, 20 years to life would be in the ballpark. If the kid dies, try them all for murder-one (although the conviction would likely come back at murder-two).
Personally, It wouldn't have been me that called the cops, it would have been the coroner......
The cops would have found these two geniuses dead on my fron porch.
But for the Preacher to take the equal of an axe handle to your back'n butt is criminal. If this kid dies ,IMHO it is capitol murder .....yes/no ?
Stay Safe !
This was an isolated incident.
If you are aware of more evangelical church savage beatings, please let us know.
The downturn in evangelicalism is real, though I doubt this church really preaches by grace, through faith. My guess is this church prides itself on its fundamental dogma, and the gospel preached there is founded on works.
The confessing church throughout time has always preached Christ came for sinners, standing in the fray, while Gnostics on the left deny the body, blood and incarnation, and fundamentalists on the right negate the sacrifice by requiring works of the law. This church is probably no more a place of worship than Joes garage.
Its faulty reasoning to use this incident to smear Christians of any denomination when The Scriptures obviously contradict this type of behavior.
Guns Before Butter.
Wolves in sheep's clothing.
I believe you are correct. I also believe sexual assaults on boys and young men by Catholic priests and Mormon elders are isolated incidents.
Illbay ought to appreciate that.
An 11-year-old boy who read the wrong Bible verse at church was severely beaten with a tree branch by a Baptist pastor and the pastor's brother, the boy's family said.
I'll wait for evidence to pass final judgement in this church blaming media atmosphere.
The difference here is that the vast majority of Christians view this act as an atrocity, and want the perpetrators punished. The Islamic world, by and large, has institutionalized this sort of barbaric behaviour.
Let's see what more comes of this. Perhaps the stepfather did part of it. It's very early and usually somebody talks after the initial police reports are published.
The problem as I see both the recent Priest scandals and with this incident is the WILLINGNESS of the sheeple in the congregation to totally rely on someone else for their education in faith. Very seldom do I see christians conducting their own education. Rather, they rely on the clergy to TELL them what is right and wrong and when the clergy backs it up with a scripture or two - often taken out of context - the sheeple accept it as truth without conducting their own research.
This "absolute trust" leads to an environment where behaviors are not questioned or supervised. The clergy and pastors are allowed to have a free hand in the running of the church without oversight. In my particular involvement, I found that the pastor had been able to push through a number of changes to the Church's constitution that made is removal near impossible (he was removed anyway). Also, he had managed to consolidate almost all power into the office of the Sr. Pastor without any oversight. It was necessary to correct this by distributing powers and adding checks and balances to the constitution.
While the age of the pastor is only a minor issue to me, I would be concerned that a pastor would be taking children from the church. Our revised constitution made specific rules for the custody of children and what could and could not be done. One of the first rules was that parents would be the first notified of any misconduct. Teachers, Church staff, and Ministerial staff were NOT allowed to punish children in any way. This policy was adopted to clearly articulate to the staff acceptable behaviors. It sounds to me that this church has never addressed such issues.
As such, it exposes the church to lawsuits. I think that churches should review their constitution for a balance of powers and review their policies with a view of preventing conduct that would expose the church to a lawsuit. Such reviews may take a more cynical approach that maybe uncomfortable, but they are of great value in preventing things like this in the first place.
On a side note - Having been through the most basic process of creating a small constitution, I now have much greater appreciation for our founding fathers and the task that they faced. I would imagine that a simular exercise for a class on American History would be a great teaching tool.
Just my .02
Because you are neither judge nor jury with any power at all to affect the lives or future of the alleged assailants, you ought to feel free to "judge" all you want.
Oh wait, you are judging. You're accusing the step-father. Well enough.
All Christians view this act as an atrocity and want the perpetrators punished.
Well, first of all, I am an actuary - so, yeah, I guess you could say I was "sufficiently educated in the discipline."
Secondly, if you are referring to the author's extrapolation to 2041, I would agree that such use of statistics is not valid. However, I believe you are focusing on the part that is less meaningful to the discussion in this thread. The current statistics the author provides refute the claim that the number of evangelical Christians is decreasing.
Incidents such as this, and many others, have put me off the evangelical movement. I have a personal relationship with God, and do not want the guiding hand of interference(beating) sheparding me towards the light.
You now have a source for those sensitive to having their toes stepped on. It is wise to be discriminating (or prejudice...a little sheep lingo there)
Mark 9:42 "And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea."
These two do not have a bright future, here or anywhere else.
I am not the author of the piece - I merely quote it as my link to the Source indicates.
Also, I do not see the source of your consternation. Maybe I missed it, but I don't see where the author denies the Christianity of other believers.
One key thing that bothers me,I don't see any qoutes from the kid....maybe it was a school yard beating,and he needs to cover up that to remove the risk of future beetings?
I'll wait for the evidence to come in before "judging".
The first part, showing the growth both in raw numbers and rates of the evangelical population is fine, and I agree that is the most important part, for this thread.
And a notice posted on their cell door informing the rest of the inmates as to the particulars of their crime. It is a pity that so many times we must rely on prisoners to exact the punishment the State should be meting out.