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.