in memory of lydia schatz

Two weeks ago, we observed Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, a special day each year that has been set aside for Christians to consider the evil of abortion, the pain of post-abortive women, the joy of adoption, and the preciousness of human life.

Central to the theme of the day is Psalm 139 which says, in part, “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” This is a powerful reminder that human life is sacred because God himself miraculously created it and even more significant is the knowledge that we, each one of us, are image bearers of the living God who is the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of the universe.

It is good for us to set aside one day each year to pause and remember the infinite value of a human soul and to examine our own hearts and how we will stand against the abuse and murder of little children.

Today I am calling us to do so again. Today is the one year anniversary of the death of Lydia Schatz.

On February 6, 2010, homeschooled seven year old Lydia Schatz died of blunt force trauma at the hands of her parents, Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz
. The pathologist reported “multiple whip-like striations between the child’s lower back and knees” and the autopsy showed that rhabdomyolysis, the rapid breakdown of muscle tissue, caused damage to the kidneys and other organs and, ultimately, death was the result. Prosecutors say the girl’s parents repeatedly hit her with a plastic pipe as a form of punishment, in this case, for misspelling a word in her lessons that day.

Devotees of Michael Pearl’s teachings on raising children, the Schatz children have testified that their parents kept lengths of plumbing supply line in various rooms of the house, as suggested in the Pearls’ book To Train Up A Child. Reading through the Pearls’ description of how and where to inflict physical pain on children alongside the accounts of Lydia’s death left a chill down my spine I shall never forget.

Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz have been charged with murder, torture, and cruelty to a child by inflicting injury and their trial will begin later this month. Please join me today in praying for God’s justice and mercy in this matter and let’s not forget the other children whose parents are following the abusive teachings of Michael Pearl. Let’s remember Lydia today and pray that her death will continue to serve as a wake-up call to those families who continue to defend and practice these methods of “discipline.”

For more information and links to other thoughts on this subject, Tulip Girl and Parenting Freedom are both great resources. For more information on this website, type Lydia Schatz into the search on the home page.

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  1. Michelle G. says

    I wonder if this child’s death put even a dent in the Pearl’s 2010 income??? So few Christian homeschoolers are even talking about this – so sad!

  2. Adam says

    Sad, terribly sad.

    We should be praying that God deals justly in this situation.

    God Bless,

  3. Jennifer Haltom says

    This couple should have never been allowed to adopt, or foster children. Adoption is a privilege, not a right. Too many people think they are entitled to adopt a child, regardless of who they are, or what their economic/home life situation is. Prospective parents should be screened for criminal history and odd/extreme religious beliefs.

    I hope that Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz are convicted and sentenced to death.

  4. Linda says

    I totally agree with Jennifer Haltom! I would LOVE to adopt a small child from
    India, China, South America or Ethiopia. Unfortunatly, I don’t have the financial resources at this time. So apparently in the eyes of the law, I’m
    less deserving of a child than sick puppies like Kevin & Elizabeth Schatz or
    Eddie & Donna Wisenhunt! Even though I’ve NEVER abused a child and have NO
    criminal record what-so-ever! I also pray that the Schatz receive the death
    penatly! In addition to that, I would also like to see the people who provided
    them with good character references (required for all adoptions) be sentenced
    to serve some jail time along with a six-figure fine! The agency who aproved
    this couple to adopt children, should also be held accountable! As for the
    authors who wrote the books on how to discipline children in the ‘name of religion’ (which the Schatz were avid followers and fans of!) should be fined
    SEVERAL million dollars, and their books should be pulled off the shelves with
    the remaining stocks destroyed! What kind of Publishing House would publish &
    promote this kind of shit, anyway?! They too, should be fined in the millions!

    While there is no way of bringing back this BEAUTIFUL, PRECIOUS little girl, we
    can prevent other children from suffering the same fate! And, I pray that the
    Schatz’s other children (especially the daughter who was severely injured but
    survived) are now in loving homes with non-abusive parents!

    I can’t imagine a SANE person even admonishing a child for mis-pronouncing a
    word, let alone striking them! The names of the idiots who approved the
    Shatz’s homestudy and provided them with good character references should be
    released to the public! The act of providing a good character reference which
    will enable someone to adopt, should be taken seriously! At least 5 or 6
    people performed this service for both the Schatz & the Wisenhunts!


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