Exorcism in the News

Here’s a story , from a place that many Americans consider backwards and uncivilized, in which a court of law threw out a jury award over injuries a 17-year-old girl suffered in an exorcism conducted by members of her religious congregation.

…ruling that the case unconstitutionally entangled the court in religious matters.

And here’s more illumination from a 2002 story on the same case:

Because of an earlier court ruling, jurors made their decision without hearing any religious aspects of the case, including Schubert’s accounts of two exorcism attempts in 1996.

“This is a situation where religion went real bad,” said Schubert’s father, Tom Schubert, a former Assembly of God minister and missionary.

“We are a Bible-believing, Pentecostal church. For this we make no apologies,” pastor Lloyd McCutchen said in a statement. He will have to pay 50 percent of the amount awarded to Schubert. Former youth pastor Rod Linzay, his wife, Holly Linzay, and other church members were also found liable.

Schubert’s lawsuit, filed six years ago, described a bizarre night in which church members anointed the sanctuary with holy oil, rapped on pews and propped a cross against the church doors to keep or drive demons out. But jurors heard none of that.

[Schubert’s attorney] reminded jurors that church officials and youth group members testified that they had pinned her to the sanctuary floor.

Schubert and other witnesses testified that she had kicked and yelled to try to break free.

“I don’t know how many times a woman has to say `no’ before she is believed,” Wuester told the jury. “How many times does she have to say, `Get away. Don’t hold me. Let me up. No!’ ?”

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