In Religion’s Name

Pastor Blames Demons

A mistrial in the murder trial of a religious woman who fatally cut off her baby daughter’s arms was declared on Feb. 25.

Dena Schlosser, 37, of Plano, Texas, was arrested in November 2004, after police found her baby Margaret (Maggie”) dying in her crib. Schlosser, covered in blood, was holding a knife while listening to a hymn, insisting God had commanded her to cut off Maggie’s arms.

Doyle Davidson, pastor of the charismatic Christian church she attended, testified mental illness is demon possession. Davidson, 76, was arrested and accused of public intoxication after sitting on top of a married member of his congregation and trying to choke out evil spirits.

Father Defends Honor Killing

The Pakistani father who slit the throats of his three young daughters and their 25-year-old stepsister late last year is unrepentant.

Nazir Ahmed, a 40-year-old laborer, awoke his stepdaughter, Muqadas, cutting her throat with a machete, then killed his three daughters, Bano, 8, Sumaira, 7, and Humaira, 4, as his terrified wife watched.

The local human rights commission reported that the stepdaughter had incurred his wrath as an “adulteress” because she had returned home to her mother, fleeing an abusive husband.

Beheaded for Educating Girls

The headmaster of a school in central Afghanistan was beheaded in early January by Muslim militants while his family watched, for enrolling girls in the school. Four armed men stabbed Malim Abdul Habib, 45, eight times before decapitating him in his home in Qalat. The United Nations estimates 1.2 million primary school-aged Afghan girls are not being educated.

Christians Advised Abuse

Lynn Paddock, a South Carolina mother accused of murdering her adopted son, Sean, 4, in February, had sought Christian advice on how to discipline her growing brood of adopted children.

Paddock followed the advice of evangelical minister Michael Pearl and his wife, to spank children with plumbing supply lines. Older children came forward to describe being beaten with 2-foot lengths of plumbing supply lines.

The Pearls advise parents on how to hide the beatings, and even how to purchase the lines for “under $1.00 at Home Depot,” so they can be kept “in every room and vehicle.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation