I find it staggering and bewildering that Christianity — so often referred to as “the religion of love” — has provided so many people with so many opportunities to abuse and/or kill children, in Jesus’ name. I already blogged about one such case in Wisconsin. The latest such event actually took place several months ago; authorities only just now got around to charging anyone for it:

A Baltimore woman who police say is connected to a religious cult has been charged with first- degree murder in the death of her child, according to court documents obtained yesterday.

Ria Ramkissoon, 21, also known as “Princess Marie,” additionally is charged with child abuse, reckless endangerment and other offenses in the death of 21-month-old Javon Thompson. In December 2006, Ramkissoon had taken her son and joined the religious group, 1 Mind Ministries, which operated for a time out of East Baltimore, according to relatives and police.

Court documents say cult members starved the toddler to death and kept his remains in a suitcase for more than a year, until Baltimore homicide detectives found the body in Philadelphia. …

The leader of 1 Mind Ministries, who identifies herself as Queen Antoinette, had a problem with Javon, who a police source in court papers said would not comply with the group’s ritual of saying “amen” after meals.

Court papers say that the more Queen Antoinette pressed the toddler, the more resistant he became and that he was subsequently deprived of food and water as punishment. Javon became thinner and developed dark circles around his eyes, the source told police.

The boy eventually stopped breathing, but the group — which included Javon’s mother — sought no medical assistance, court papers allege. The police source said Javon’s body was placed in a back room at the group’s headquarters in the 3200 block of Auchentoroly Terrace in West Baltimore. Queen Antoinette told the group that Javon would be raised from the dead, according to court papers.

Clearly a young child — barely an infant — who refuses to say “amen” after meals, deserves to be starved to death! And when he does, that’s OK ’cause Jesus will raise him up again! Obviously!

Well, maybe not “obviously” to you or me … but to the religious mind, especially in Christianity wherein “with God, all things are possible” (Mt 19:26a), it makes perfect sense.

In case you feel like monitoring this case, the Baltimore Sun has a page listing all related stories; as new ones are published they should appear there. I wonder if the criminal case will proceed very far; courts in the US are loath to do anything about people who kill in the name of religion, so I don’t expect very good results. Of course, no charges likely would have been filed, had this taken place in Texas, because there, harming people in the name of religion is acceptable. In the Lone Star State, so long as you can claim God is on your side, it’s open season — even on your own kids!

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