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Joshua and Caleb Thompson
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Joshua and Caleb Thompson, corporal punishment, capitol city baptist church, austin, texas, beaten boy, tree branch

Joshua and Caleb Thompson

Joshua and Caleb Thompson

Capitol City Baptist Church (Austin, Texas)


The Thompson brothers are pastors at the Capitol City Baptist Church (a 'King James Only' church). They are in trouble for reportedly injuring a boy while administering corporal punishment for 'misbehaving' in Bible class. Court records obtained by Reuters alleged that the beating lasted for 90 minutes, broke blood vessels and caused the boy's kidneys to fail.

Though the Bible talks about spanking as a form of discipline (proponents typically cite only a handful of verses from the Book of Proverbs), it does not condone abuse.

[A]n 11-year-old boy is in Intensive Care at a Texas hospital. Police say he was beaten as punishment for failing to study his bible.

Arrest warrants are out on two young ministers at this Baptist church in Austin in connection with the beating of an 11-year-old boy into unconsciousness. The child's attorney says they did it because the boy did not take his bible verses seriously enough.


BOBBY TAYLOR, BOY'S ATTORNEY: They took him to this private home, and the person who took him was the -- I won't call him youth minister, but he was a 22-year-old minister, and apparently, he may have been the son of the minister of the church -- cut a branch off a tree, made my client lay on the bed, and then began to beat him, and beat him for almost an hour.

BLITZER: The child is reportedly conscious now, but has been in a local intensive care ward since the middle of last week. The incident allegedly occurred while the boy was attending a religious summer camp at the church, for Spanish-speaking children. But, church officials say that, because this happened at a subchapter for Spanish- speaking members, it's not a church matter, and they won't comment on camera. Still, the head pastor told our local CNN affiliate over the phone he was heartbroken over the incident.

JERALD FINNEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Pastor Hank Thompson, the pastor of Capitol City Baptist Church, would not - would never - he's instructed all his personnel not to use corporal punishment against the children of church members.

BLITZER: The child's parents refused to speak on camera, but they said when the young ministers dropped their son off at home, one of them told the parents they should discipline the boy further.
Source: CNN Wolf Blitzer Reports, July 9, 2002

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) -- Austin police arrested a church pastor and his twin brother Tuesday, alleging they used a tree branch to beat unconscious an 11-year-old who misbehaved in Bible class.

Joshua Thompson, 22, a pastor at Capitol City Baptist Church, and his brother Caleb turned themselves in Tuesday and were released on $25,000 bond, KEYE-TV reported. They were charged with injury to a child, a felony punishable by up to life in prison, the station reported.

The alleged beating took place July 3, according to reports. The brothers thought the boy did not take his Bible verses seriously enough during a church-sponsored summer camp for Spanish-speaking students, officials said.

The alleged abuse took place at a private home, said Bobby Taylor, the child's attorney. "They ... cut a branch off a tree, made my client lay on the bed, and beat him," Taylor said.

Court records obtained by Reuters alleged that the beating lasted for 90 minutes, broke blood vessels and caused the boy's kidneys to fail. The brothers allowed the child to take a break in the restroom during the reported beating, documents said.

Joshua Thompson beat the child while Caleb Thompson held him down, Reuters reported, citing court records. They reportedly turned up a radio to drown out the child's cries, the news service reported.

Afterward, the two took the boy back to his home, where Joshua Thompson told the parents the child needed further discipline, the AP reported.

After the Thompsons left, the boy's parents discovered bruises and cuts covering his entire back, as well as bruises on his neck, buttocks and legs, AP reported. They called police and took their son to a hospital, where he remained in fair condition Tuesday, the news service said.

Capitol City Baptist does not support corporal punishment, said Jerald Finney, Joshua Thompson's lawyer.


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On December 10, 2003, twenty-four year old twin brothers Joshua and Caleb Thompson were convicted in an Austin, Texas court of injury to a child. Joshua was sentenced to twenty-six years and Caleb to fourteen years in the Texas state penitentiary. The injury to a child charge was for applying corporal punishment to an eleven year-old boy who attended their church. We are not arguing guilt or innocence, but rather that their sentences are unreasonably severe, giving the impression to the rest of the U.S. that the state of Texas harbors a vindictive attitude toward Christians who violate the law. We assume this is not true and feel that reducing these unreasonably severe sentences is the best way to illustrate to the entire country that Texas does not harbor prejudice or malice toward its Christian population.

Joshua and Caleb Thompson have absolutely no past criminal record, and we are confident that they would never make this same mistake again. The purpose of this website is to awaken Christians in America to the dangerous level of moral decline in our political and judicial systems, and to help the Thompson family write the final chapter in the story of their trial of faith.

About this page:
• Subject: Joshua and Caleb Thompson
• First posted: Dec. 1, 2003
• Last Updated: Aug. 16, 2005
• Editor: Anton Hein
• Copyright: Apologetics Index
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