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Last October, 7-year-old Ethan Hauschultz was found unresponsive — dead — in a relative’s home in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Law enforcement officials said the death was “suspicious” but didn’t say much more than that at the time.

Now we know those details and they’re horrifying.

Before Ethan died, he was “forced to carry a 44-pound log” outside his home on a pre-determined path. Along the way, a 15-year-old boy named Damian (apparently his brother) physically abused him with a belt or stick.

Damian rolled the heavy log across Ethan’s chest, stood on him while Ethan was face down in a puddle, and then burying him in a snowbank for more than 20 minutes without a coat or boots on.

Ethan eventually died of hypothermia, but those other injuries were extensive.

Why on earth was all this abuse happening while two adults (who share Ethan’s last name but aren’t necessarily his birth parents) did nothing to prevent it?

Because he allegedly didn’t memorize a set of Bible verses.

Damian said he had to carry wood for not knowing 13 Bible verses to Timothy’s satisfaction. The punishment was one week of carrying wood for two hours per day. Timothy picked out the logs, but Damian had to supervise the punishment for the younger children.

[Damian’s father Timothy Hauschultz apparent said] the log walking was a form of discipline, but he was not home when the incident happened with Ethan. Damian had called him twice because Ethan wasn’t moving.

[Tina McKeever-Hauschultz] was not quoted in the complaint. One of Ethan’s siblings said she is aware that Timothy uses this form of discipline.

Another child’s death, courtesy of adults who loved the Bible more than they loved a child.

These people may be anomalies, but what’s not surprising is the idea that memorizing Bible verses matters far more than putting those verses into practice. It’s a reminder that pushing the Bible on kids in any sort of way, even in an extreme case like this, is useless. What matters is teaching ethics and values — which these adults clearly never did.

(Thanks to Kenneth for the link)

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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