Adopted African girl died after being subjected to a “faith-based” beating

A SEVEN-year-old African girl, adopted by a pair of fundamentalist Christian loons in the US, died after receiving a “Bible-based” beating. Her 11-year-old sister, who was also severely assaulted, remains in a critical condition at a Sacramento children’s hospital.

The two girls, Lydia, and her surviving sister Zariah, were adopted from an African orphanage in Liberia about three years ago – along with an infant girl, now 3 – by Kevin Schatz, 46, and Elizabeth Schatz, 42, from Paradise, California.

Elizabeth and Kevin Schatz are on bail of $2-million

Last Thursday, a judge granted a two-week postponement to allow the Schatzes to enter a plea to murder and torture charges that could carry two life terms in prison.

The father’s attorney, Michael Harvey, declined to comment regarding the specific allegations against the couple until he has a chance to review the evidence.

All I can say is the family is shocked; they are grieving the loss of their daughter and (ask) that people of faith will pray for everybody involved.

The Schatzes were arrested after Lydia stopped breathing. She was subsequently pronounced dead.

Prosecutors allege the two victims were subjected to “hours” of corporal punishment by their parents on successive days last Thursday and Friday with a quarter-inch-wide, 15-inch length of rubber or plastic tubing, which police reportedly recovered from the parents’ bedroom.

Police allege that the younger girl was being disciplined for mis-pronouncing a word during a home-school reading lesson the day before she died.

The two young girls reportedly sustained deep bruising and multiple “whip-like” marks on their back, buttocks and legs, which authorities believe resulted in significant muscle tissue breakdown that impaired their kidneys and possibly other vital organs, said Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey.

He said investigators are researching a possible connection to an Internet Web site set up by “fundamentalist Christian people” that recommends use of the same whip-like implement:

As an appropriate tool for biblical chastisement … to train a child from infancy to make them a happier child and more obedient to God because they are obedient to the will of their parents.

The district attorney said some of the Schatzes’ six biological children, who were removed from the family home for their protection following the parents’ arrest, have made statements suggesting the couple shared this philosophy.

The other children in the home said the same rubber or plastic tube was used on all of them “as a standard method of discipline, but certainly not to the extent of these two girls,” Ramsey added.

The website in question is not noted in the article. But Secular News Daily did a little hunting, and believes the couple may have been influenced by Tennessee evangelist Michael Pearl, a “paranoid fundamentalist Christian whack job” and co-author of a book entitled To Train Up a Child. In it he writes:

If you want a child who will integrate into the New World Order and wait his turn in line for condoms, a government funded abortion, sexually transmitted disease treatment, psychological evaluation and a mark on the forehead, then follow the popular guidelines in education, entertainment and discipline, but if you want a son or daughter of God, you will have to do it God’s way.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

18 responses to “Adopted African girl died after being subjected to a “faith-based” beating”

  1. Marcus says:

    “All I can say is the family is shocked; they are grieving the loss of their daughter and (ask) that people of faith will pray for everybody involved.”

    1. Why are they shocked? They were the ones who did the torturing.
    2. How will yet more faith possibly help the situation? Surely it’s done more than enough damage already.
    3. When will people finally realise that religion rots your feckin’ brain?

  2. Broga says:

    The defense attorney asks that “people of faith” will pray. I hope they stick these torturers away for life. And I would like some of their rabid pastors dug out and given the same treatment as they preach to these dumbfucks. The terrible thought is that these are only the examples we hear about because the victims die. My flesh crawls to think of all the other beaten, abused – physically and emotionally – children and women by these christian (let the muslims be for now although they are just as bad) scum.

    Criticism seems to be off limits for the “Suffer little children” brigade in the UK. Rowan Williams and his oecumenical mates are ready enough to get excited about gays, women priests and their other bizarre superstitions. Doesn’t this offer a better target.

    Sick bastards.

  3. Har Davids says:

    I can’t imagine being shocked by a child’s death after it’s been the victim of some relidiot’s repeated abuse, any lawyer should understand cause and effect. I guess the person who allowed these children to be adopted by these morons, is as god-riddled as the ‘parents’. As for this lawyer: let him do his thing for his clients, but refrain from soapy comments.

  4. Godless not gormless says:

    @ Marcus

    My thoughts exactly. The sentence you extracted from the story is just sickening. As you pointed out, THEY carried out this act of barbarism, but then in that sentence they manage, as the religiots always do, to turn it around and make themselves out to be the ones who are suffering! WTF!!!

    Children so often bear the brunt of the depraved minds of these retards simply because they are vulnerable. It’s long past time that this kind of shit was dealt with properly, but as we have seen in the past, very often the judge will be a believer too and the sentence will not befit the crime. Let’s hope this is not the case this time.

    @ Broga

    I agree with you also. The targets set by these scumbags are always the wrong ones. Morality is totally warped in the minds of these people. I had this out with some jehovas who visited my house recently. I pointed out how violent their god was and that they seemed to think that, although violence was a terrible thing, if god was instigating it, it was perfectly acceptable. After a short pause, all they could say in response was “I see what you mean but god gave people a chance and they opted not to follow him”. So, for those in charge, violence as a means of disipline is just fine.

    And this little girl died because she mis-pronounced a word? Mental. They are so fucked up.

  5. AngieRS says:

    And they’re out on bail. Sickening.

  6. Broadsword says:

    Elizabeth and Kevin Schatz would have been abusive parents whatever the circumstances. Adhering to their whacky religion simply elevated it to a higher level and absolved them of any blame as they were doing god’s work. Although all kids in their household were beaten, the adopted ones were punished most severely. That rings a bell somewhere.

    They were home educated to isolate them from corrupting outside influences. If the authorities insisted all kids attend a proper school, their teachers would notice and report any physical injuries or aberrant behaviour.

    My mother had to smack us occasionally to keep us in line. The familiar phrase, “Wait ’til your Father gets home”, was used occasionally too. There wasn’t any substance in this threat however. The old man did not, and would not, lay a finger on us. If only I’d known at the time.

  7. Broadsword says:

    Bloody hell.
    That book is available on Amazon:
    There are one or two others in my search that look a bit suspect as well. Why the fuck does anyone buy a book on parenting? To do so is an admission of failure. Feed them, clothe them, send them to school and make sure they behave. It’s not rocket science and you can pick it up as you go along. Friends and (especially) family will volunteer advice whether it’s wanted or not.

  8. Post says:

    The couple is not out on bail and are still in county jail. The bail amount is $2 million but has not been met. They are in court Thursday.

  9. Stonyground says:

    Broadsword, I have to disagree with your assertion that religion is not necessarily to blame. Sadly these kind of stories pop up in the news with depressing regularity. The perpetrators almost always turn out to be devoutly religious. There are of course chicken and egg type arguments to be had regarding the causality of these things but to me the bottom line is that people can excuse themselves the vilest of crimes just by telling themselves that God approves.

    “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.”
    Matthew Ch. 7 Vs. 15-20

    A perfect description of the Catholic Church but these people are examples of the fruits of Christianity as well.

  10. I love how some people go, “Well, I was hit when I was a kid, and I turned out just fine.” Anecdotal evidence is worth absolutely shit, when there is overwhelming evidence that laying a hand on a child is damaging to his or her well-being and upbringing. Who give a flying fuck if you turned out fine despite being hit?

  11. Marcus says:

    @YAA Dont you think that’s a bit harsh? I give a shit about most of the people who come here regularly precisely because in my humble opinion they did turn out fine (ie rational, thoughtful and anti-religion). I got the odd slap on the legs from my mother as a kid, but because I was brought up to understand the difference between right and wrong, to respect others and to always try to do the right thing rather than the easy thing, the slaps were so few and far between you could probay count them on one hand. However, the threat of getting one was enough to make you think twice about what you were doing. Ans speaking of respecting others, perhaps you might want to reserve future two-fingered posts for the people who really deserve it. Namely, people like the Schatz.

  12. Stonyground says:

    I think that we can all agree that there is a little difference between the occasional slap on the behind and brutally whipping a child to death.

  13. sailor1031 says:

    Let’s hope the judge isn’t stupid enough to give them a pass because they’re “people of faith and know this is unacceptable”…….I guess not if bail was set at 2 megabucks.

    Why would one adopt a child and then treat her this way? It makes no sense.

  14. J says:

    There is absolutely masses of peer reviewed research which shows how using violence to control children is one of the worst things you can do to kids.

    We’re talking reams. It’s not new, plenty goes back several decades.

    Neuroscience is shedding yet more light on the consequences of corporal punishment.

    Basically you’re teaching your kid that the people who they can run too when the world is too much to take… well no, they’re dangerous too so you’re on your own. That and that you get on in life by using force against those less able to defend themselves.

  15. L.Long says:

    What is the yelling all about?? The buybull is the direct word of g0d!! It says so on pg3. WHo are you all to question g0d?!?!?! ;-}.

    There is a big difference from a slap on the butt (g0d’s greatest teaching aid) and a caning.

    It is not the religion that is at fault directly, but the indirect support and implied permission of the religion made it easy for the psychos to do what they did, unlike atheist psychos that have no supporting religious BS.

    These two PLANNED their activity and purposely went forth. THAT IS MURDER!!! Pluck them both!!!

  16. NeoWolfe says:

    Stony and Broad,

    Stony said: “Broadsword, I have to disagree with your assertion that religion is not necessarily to blame.”

    As far back as I can remember my parents beat me with a belt that came with my father’s leather motorcycle jacket. That sucked!!! But, that was nothing compared to when my mother whipped me with a wire clothes hanger. Holy shit!!! And they always whipped me in places that would not show at school. And they were sure to tell me it was all to keep me tuned in on the truth about god.

    But, I want say, while religious perverts abuse their children beholden to some psychotic devotion, children die every day in homes of addict parents, someone who decides they are not cut out for the job, kills them because they cry, neglects them because the need too much attention. It’s a marked anomaly of natural norms and social standards. But, it should be noted, it happens far outside religious influence or motivation.

    I’m glad I didn’t beat my son. He’s eighteen now, goes to the gym, and if I tried to hit him now, he’d beat the living shit out of me, throw me into the street and call the dog pound.


  17. MrGronk says:


    Agreed. The only difference between a religiot abuser and an ordinary scumbag deadbeat abuser is that the former has a comprehensively self-justifying ideology. It’s precisely that which makes religious criminals more dangerous than the rest, and not just in the field of child abuse.

  18. Alan says:

    When former kids in the care of Sister Alphonso, (aka Marie Docherty) told Aberdeen High Court of daily beatings, sexual abuse from visiting priests, the force-feeding of a little girl with her own vomit, the wrapping of bed-wetters in their urine-soaked sheets, the forcing of a little girl into a cold bath in the middle of an epileptic fit (which Sister Alphonso was supposed to have described as “the work of the devil”), lads being dropped into scalding baths and the ‘cleansing’ of menstruating girls by immersing them in baths filled with Jeyes disinfectant. One woman claimed Sister Alphonso had dragged her by her hair and beat it against a wall so hard it broke her front teeth leaving only the stumps. Helen Cuister told a court that when she began menstruating, Sister Alphonso told her that it was ‘God’s punishment’ for girls who did not behave and that her punishment would go on until midnight when she would die for being so dirty. Louise Clark told the same court how she had been beaten mercilessly simply for not attending church. Sister Alphonso told the court how, as a child she had pulled down her knickers and asked her father to hit her and, when as a sister in the Aberdeen home she worked, she had given the girls a good talking to after she caught them watching forbidden TV programme, ‘Top of the Pops’.

    So the Catholic Church get a team of top lawyers including former Solicitor General, Paul Cullen QC. Witnesses were not called (a 75yo claimed her husband had to drag her off kids while she was beating them) and the kids were made out to be liars. Dressed in her nuns habit, Marie Docherty was found guilty of just four counts of cruelty and unnatural practices. After a polite ‘thank you’ to the Sheriff, she was free to walk away.