May 9, 2008

A Mother's Day Prayer

Religious materials everywhere
and hymns playing on the stereo

At least occasionally, the distinction between religious belief and mental illness is somewhat difficult to discern.

After God entered negotiations with a Wisconsin religious woman, the woman left her 90-year-old mother dead on the toilet in her home for nine weeks. According to the religious woman, God promised her he would revisit his celebrated Lazarus number on the dead woman if the religious woman prayed to Him hard enough.

On Wednesday, police in Necedah discovered that the prior negotiations had evidently got somehow scuppered, and the woman's mother was still dead. Since March 4. "Piled" on the toilet.

The religious woman, Tammy Lewis a.k.a. Sister Mary Bernadette, said she was acting in concordance with the instructions of her religious "Superior," a gentleman called Bishop "I Refute It Thus" Bushey. Two counts of felony causing mental harm to a child — one for each of Lewis's two teenaged children — were filed against both grown-ups today.

Sister M.B. told police her mother wasn't really fully and completely dead and besides, there was another toilet for the kids in the house, which turned out to be a bucket in a closet.

Investigators understatedly described the scene as "horrific."

Bishop Bushey had warned the terrified children they had better not run away, because Demons were conspiring to keep Sister M.B.'s mother dead, and if the Demons won out, then the teenagers would have to go to school and get jobs, because the dead woman paid all the church bills. So just shut up and keep praying, kids.

"Juneau County Sheriff Brent Oleson said he had no further information on Bushey's religious affiliation," the AP reports.

Does it matter which one? The problem is *A* religious affiliation.

It's unclear whether the Bishop of Necedah's god was the same omnibenevolent deity who didn't save an 11-year-old girl from a diabetic coma and death late last month after an untreated three-week illness during an attempted "faith healing."

Earlier: National Day of Custom Mattresses.

Later: A Catholic Splinter Outfit.

So it wasn't Sister M.B.'s mother after all.

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