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Austin Cline

Girl Refuses to Attend Mormon Church; Father Beats Her

By July 27, 2009

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Uluia Muliipu is a 55-year-old father who beat his daughter over the head with a piece of concrete. Her "crime" was to not want to attend church — that's all. I shudder to think of what he'd have done to her if she said she didn't want to be a Mormon anymore or, even worse, if she had stopped believe in God. Remember, though, that atheists are the militant ones while religion is never, ever to blame in any way for anything that religious believers ever do. Every religion is pure and innocent.
He chased her down the street and back into the house picking up a lump of concrete along the way.

He then whacked her over the head in a bedroom with the concrete causing skin on her head to split and start bleeding.

They were both "covered in blood" and he kicked her in the face causing bruising.

"When police arrived you told them your daughter was lucky you did not kill her," Judge Rea said.

Source: NZ Herald News

Now, how likely do you think it is that any father would do such a thing in the context of a secular organization? It's true that horrible abuse occurs without religion being involved, but I'm asking about abuse in the context of nonreligious organizations and membership. How many parents beat their kids with anything, much less chunks of concrete, when their kids say that they aren't interested in going to a secular group's meeting? First, few things outside of religion arouse this level of passion; second, few things outside of religion actively teach that children or anyone else needs to be punished for not accepting what the religion teaches.

Judge Rea said a probation officer's report made "grim reading" because he "still does not understand what all the fuss is about".

He had been ejected from an anger management course because of his views and had an inability to understand "whacking someone on the head is unacceptable".

It's hard to believe that Uluia Muliipu truly didn't understand what the was doing because when the police arrived, he "ran into the laundry where he attempted to rinse the blood out of the shirt." The police had to physically restrain him to prevent him from getting rid of all the evidence of what he had done to his daughter, and it's unlikely that a person would engage in such guilty behavior if they didn't have strong feelings of guilt — and that, in turn, means he knew and understood just what he was doing.

He may have thought that his actions were justified and reasonable from the perspective of his religion, but he also seems to have understood that the state wouldn't approve.

Comments
July 27, 2009 at 6:23 pm
(1) AL Jeremy says:

I’m not sure if I’d say that his religion had much to do with the situation beyond his daughter not wanting to go to church being the catalyst for this outburst. It sounds to me that he would be a volatile and violent person with or without the religion. However, even though the article doesn’t say he has, I would not be surprised if he uses his religious beliefs as cover for or to mitigate his actions.

July 27, 2009 at 7:16 pm
(2) Jeffrey says:

Presumably he intended to simply stone his disobedient child to death, as the good book says to, and felt that a chunk of concrete was close enough?

Sorry, just a little sarcasm, I don’t even know if the book of mormon calls for this punishment. What a horrible story, I hope she is removed from the home. Nothing I could find said how old the girl was.

July 27, 2009 at 9:34 pm
(3) Alma says:

He may have thought his actions were justified and reasonable from the perspective of his religion if he were an idiot–but I guess that’s already been established. Such child abuse is grounds for being expelled from the LDS Church. If he hasn’t been expelled I’d be surprised. Of course, someone like this would probably assault his bishop for kicking him out of the church as well…

July 27, 2009 at 9:49 pm
(4) Peter says:

Mental, verbal and physical abuse is extremely frowned upon in the Mormon church. Depending on degree, it can disqualify a person from attending the temple to excommunication.

July 28, 2009 at 8:29 am
(5) sally says:

As stated in previous comments, the Mormon church does not condone this behavior. The Book of Mormon does not condone this behavior, nor did Jesus in the New Testament. The father has real anger problems. It could be anger for not being obedient to his wishes. I have a teacher friend who hated to give students a B that they deserved because she knew they would be beaten for not getting an A. The school is not teaching the parents to beat their children for less than perfect performance. In this example the school is a nonreligious institution for which parents will get angry enough to beat their children if they do not do what they say.

July 31, 2009 at 10:39 am
(6) Dean says:

I suspect this man is a convert from another faith tradition in which the punishment for disobedience is more severe than the Mormon Church condones, and he has not yet fully adjusted to the mores of his new religion. Plus, he’s a violent bastard.

July 31, 2009 at 4:43 pm
(7) Drew says:

Sally, the fictional Jesus character “tells” people that he has come not in peace, but with a sword, to set believers against non-believers: parents against children, brothers against sisters. He also “says” that people must “hate” (his word, not mine) those members of their family who do not also “follow” (ie obey) him, Jesus.

What, of any of this, is inconsistent with what this Maori man has done to his daughter? This question applies to the other posters above who are trying to give this man’s religion a pass.

Religion condones this behaviour, religion teaches this behaviour. Right now the Latter-day-saints church (isn’t that the Mormons?) are heavily advertising on this site (just look above) that they will send people free Bibles, from which my Jesus-quotes above are directly taken. They have the blatant dishonesty in these adverts to say “give peace another chance,” yet their god Jesus specifically says the opposite.

July 31, 2009 at 4:57 pm
(8) mIke says:

Even though the behavior itself is not condoned by the church, the LDS organization has a history of excusing one or another of their “previously allowable” practices in the guise of “progress”.
When polygamy was once welcomed, the clamor for statehood caused the church leaders to “have a vision” that they should change their ways.

While beating anyone for any reason I think is reprehensible, I also know that it is only the extreme cases which make it to the news and create a feeding frenzy for the anti-LDS crowd.
This behavior still takes place, but most are careful to keep it from the public eye. Yes, I’m painting with a broad brush, but I speak from experience.
It will take a cultural revolution to stop the beating and misogyny at all.

July 31, 2009 at 4:57 pm
(9) Bob says:

In this case I wouldn’t blame the religion. I think he is probably a dangerous nutter. The judge’s comments support that. He might not believe he has done anything wrong but he knew he was in trouble with the police.

In cases of extreme abuse against children by parents it makes you wonder where their natural affection and desire to care for them have gone.

August 2, 2009 at 2:40 am
(10) Murray says:

Hey Drew, he’s not a Maori, that’s a Pacific Island name – probably Samoan.

And the reason he got so angry will be loss of face in his community, not anger that god’s being disrespected.

Cheers

August 2, 2009 at 11:08 am
(11) sally says:

Drew,
I could not find in the New Testament that a parent should beat their child. That is the behavior this man did.

When I went to the other citation you were using, it also included that a man not only should hate his family, but also his own life – the point being that complete commitment was needed to really follow Jesus. Example: To be completely committed to earning an Olympic medal, the athlete must be willing to give up time with their family and to often endure pain. I think the quote you used on hating family and self had more to do with commitment to being a disciple of Jesus. And yes, for your sensibilities, I realize this is all a fictional story.

September 22, 2009 at 4:45 pm
(12) Kent says:

This is an absurd article.
A mentally unbalanced Maori man from New Zealand, who apparently already has a criminal record (note mention in the newspaper article of the “probation officer’s report”), who may or may not be a “Utah Mormon” (there are many flavors of “Mormon” in the world, but I assume it is the SLC church this atheist wishes to smear), who injures his teenage daughter, is now the pattern and exemplar for all Utah-headquartered Mormons in the United States and the world? That is an absurd assertion. So, by your logic, if I can find a single atheist anywhere in the world that did something outrageous or criminal, then all your atheist beliefs are completely bogus and evil and reprehensible. Do you really want to start that ridiculous fight?
Incidentally, have you ever heard of the Maori war dance, the Haka? They have been fierce and frightening warriors in the past, with associated rituals. I don’t know how that affects their society today, but I suspect there are some holdovers.

September 22, 2009 at 4:53 pm
(13) Kent says:

I love it that at this moment there is an LDS ad saying “Give Peace Another Chance” and offering a free Bible, appearing on this atheist’s blog.

September 22, 2009 at 6:05 pm
(14) Austin Cline says:

is now the pattern and exemplar for all Utah-headquartered Mormons in the United States and the world?

Who said he is a “pattern and exemplar” for anyone?

That is an absurd assertion.

Which may be why you’re the only one saying it.

I love it that at this moment there is an LDS ad saying “Give Peace Another Chance” and offering a free Bible, appearing on this atheist’s blog.

I also love how they financially support my critique of religion generally and their religion in particular.

September 24, 2009 at 1:07 am
(15) Kent says:

I agree that it is quite ironic that with your articles describing and promoting atheism, you are also promoting LDS missionary work perhaps nearly as much. I saw three different Mormon ads on your site as I read through several articles. That is a most unusual form of cooperation.

I would like to respond to your article “Is atheism a religion?”

September 24, 2009 at 6:58 am
(16) Austin Cline says:

I would like to respond to your article “Is atheism a religion?”

Then you should have done so in the forum; it’s completely off-topic here so I’m going to delete that part of your message and repost it in the forum for you.

I’ll just point out that everything you claim about the article is false. I don’t define atheism out of existence. I don’t claim that atheistic beliefs can never be connected to behaviors.

I do say that the absence of belief in gods does not by itself predict any particular attitudes — you’ll find both moral and immoral, good and bad among atheists. You claim you find this “interesting,” but it’s noteworthy that you don’t even try to point to any behaviors that are common to all or even most atheists.

I stopped reading after that because there was just no point reading one lie after another — I can’t imagine why anyone would need to lie about an article so blatantly, but maybe that’s why you never bothered to link to the original or post your “comment” anywhere that it would be relevant.

September 24, 2009 at 3:23 pm
(17) Kent says:

Thanks for relocating that for me. I did look at your discussion area, but could not figure out the best way to add it in. I couldn’t find an existing place to put it, and wasn’t sure I should start a new one.

“Lie” seems like a strong word to describe someone’s opinion. Perhaps I was too negative in my approach, but it really is hard to pin down precisely what atheists are all about. For example, it seems rare, in my limited experience, to find an atheist who is not on the Left or Far-Left of the political spectrum — I’ve never found one on the right. That seems like a pretty important correlation.

September 24, 2009 at 3:34 pm
(18) Austin Cline says:

Thanks for relocating that for me. I did look at your discussion area, but could not figure out the best way to add it in. I couldn’t find an existing place to put it, and wasn’t sure I should start a new one.

People who aren’t used to the forum-format can have that problem; that’s the main reason why I started a new thread for you. All you need to do is create an account so you can post.

“Lie” seems like a strong word to describe someone’s opinion.

I disagree. When a person states as fact some claim about some text when that text clearly states the exact opposite or says absolutely nothing of the kind, they are lying. The only counter-argument they can make is to supply massive evidence that the essence of the text is communicating the opposite of this — not an impossible tasks, since this can happen, but it’s not common.

Perhaps I was too negative in my approach, but it really is hard to pin down precisely what atheists are all about.

All atheists are not about anything; the only thing all atheists have in common is the absence of belief in gods. You’re trying to “pin down” something that doesn’t exist; ergo your confusion.

For example, it seems rare, in my limited experience, to find an atheist who is not on the Left or Far-Left of the political spectrum — I’ve never found one on the right.

They exist. Did you think to try “conservative atheist” here on the site or even on Google?

That seems like a pretty important correlation.

You’re absolutely right, but you seem to have made the mistake that the reason for this correlation lies within atheism as opposed to the culture you and the atheists you encounter happen to live in.

September 27, 2009 at 12:46 am
(19) Zack says:

For example, it seems rare, in my limited experience, to find an atheist who is not on the Left or Far-Left of the political spectrum — I’ve never found one on the right. Kent on September 24, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Define “rare” and “Left or Far-Left.”

http://www.theatheistconservative.com/review-godless-the-church-of-liberalism/

September 27, 2009 at 11:42 am
(20) Leo De Bruyn says:

Many crimes are committed in various religions around the world. Our instincts tell us that the father’s actions were wrong. However which denomination may condone it? YOURS? That’s why I am an atheist.

September 29, 2009 at 3:26 pm
(21) Rose says:

I’ve got to agree with some other commenters; this man has serious issues, but his religion doesn’t seem to be the cause of them. His daughter refusing to go to church set him off–but from the other details in the article, it seems like this is far from the first time or type of thing that something has done so.

A horrible thing, something that anyone in his or her right mind should condemn, and it nauseates me–but religion doesn’t seem to be the cause of his problem, and nothing in the article says that he beat her because his religion tells him to do so.

Simply seems like an article with several leaps made, in an attempt to make it fit as you’d have it. I enjoy much of what’s written here, but this is just not one of your better pieces.

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