A Missouri pastor is under fire for claiming that children living with autism are demon-afflicted. Rick Morrow of Beulah Church in Richland was forced to resign his position as a member of the Stoutland School Board as a result of the comments.
Morrow’s remarks came in the context of a Wednesday evening service on Sept. 6 that focused on deliverance ministry.
“If someone has a physical infirmity and you cast that demon out, you might have to pray for some things to be fixed,” Morrow said. “Let’s talk about one. Let’s talk about autism.”
“I know a minister who has seen lots of kids that are autistic that he cast that demon out and they were healed, and then he had to pray. And their brain was rewired and they were fixed,” Morrow claimed.
Morrow then declared, “If it’s not demonic, then we have to say God made them that way,” referring to children on the spectrum.
“Why [does] my kid have autism? Well, either the Devil’s attacked them, he’s brought this infirmity upon them, he’s got them where he wants them, and/or God just doesn’t like them very much and he made them that way,” Morrow said. “Well, my God doesn’t make junk.”
“So let’s quit being nice and putting a bandaid on stuff and giving it medicine,” Morrow went on to say. “How about you just cast the demon out and then treat all the problems?”
In an interview with KY3 following an outcry from community members, particularly those whose own children live with autism, Morrow argued that his comments were misunderstood. However, he still maintains that autism is the result of demonic oppression.
“Yes, either in, around, or on—somehow, it’s affecting [them],” Morrow said. “And when I say a demon, people want to say, like I said, they want to get that Hollywood description of what a demon is, that it’s this nasty, so ugly—and that’s not the case. It’s just an evil presence. It’s just the presence of evil.”
Morrow also clarified what he meant when he apparently referred to children with autism as “junk.”