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Mother says church baptized her disabled child against his will — and the courts are refusing hear to her case

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In an attempt to bring justice to one Ohio family, the American Atheists’ organization has filed a lawsuit claiming that a church baptized a child against his will, reports Patheos.

April DeFibaugh signed her son up with a mentoring organization Big Brother Big Sister. DeFibaugh’s son is disabled.

His mentor took him to get baptized without the approval of the son or his mother. The son has since suffered from recurring nightmares of himself drowning.

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“They held my son under water. It wasn’t like they sprinkled water on his head, it was like full immersion. He kicked, he screamed and told them beforehand that he was afraid. Every day since then he’s had nightmares, the same recurring dream, about being baptized over and over like he’s drowning,” DeFibaugh said.

She is seeking to have charges pressed against Morning Star Friends Church in Chardon, the pastor, and Big Brother Big Sisters.

A police told her the case would not likely be heard because her son did not suffer from any physical harm. A U.S. District Judge Patricia A. Gaughan also refused to hear the case.

Since DeFibaugh’s failed attempts to have her case heard the American Atheists’ organization stepped in and filed a law suite in a state court. They hope that she will be able to have her day in court.

“We are horrified by Pastor Chesnes’ and Mr. Guanera’s actions,” said Amanda Knief, American Atheists’ national legal director. “The people that the DeFibaughs relied on to protect their child violated their trust and their constitutional rights.”

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Geoffrey Blackwell, American Atheists’ staff attorney said: “Ms. Vaughan’s, Pastor Chesnes’, and Mr. Guanera’s actions are appalling. We are pleased that the DeFibaugh family will finally have their day in court.”


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