A Missouri pastor has resigned as a member of the Stoutland School Board after he told his congregation that autism is a demon that can be cast out.
During a Bible study on Sept. 6, Pastor Rick Morrow of Beulah Church spoke of autism while discussing deliverance. He claimed he knows 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,” he continued, noting that they can see “lots of examples of it” online.
“If it’s not demonic, then we have to say God made them that way,” Morrow said. “Why does my kid have autism?’ Well, either the devil has 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.
“Well, my God doesn’t make junk. God doesn’t make mess-ups. God doesn’t make people that way. So let’s quit being nice and putting a Band-Aid on stuff and giving it medicine,” he added. “How about you just cast the demon out?”
According to The Christian Post, Morrow’s remarks sparked online backlash, including a petition launched by Jessica Loveland to have him removed from the school board just hours before he resigned on Sept. 12. His term on the board was initially supposed to expire in 2026.
“It is disheartening to know that someone like Rick Morrow holds a position of power within our school district while harboring such discriminatory views towards individuals with disabilities,” Loveland wrote.
“Morrow’s comments have not only caused immense distress among parents like myself but also pose a significant threat to the inclusivity and acceptance we strive to foster within our community. It is crucial that we take action now to ensure that our children are provided with an environment free from prejudice and discrimination.”
During a sermon last Sunday, Morrow argued that his comments about autism were misinterpreted. “I made a statement Wednesday night talking about demons, and we’re going to keep talking about them on Wednesday night. …
I said, let’s talk about something demonic, and I said autism,” he explained. “And then I said, God doesn’t make junk. Those of you who know me know that I love people and I would never say that people are junk.”
“It has been perceived that I’m evil, that I am full of the devil, that I am possessed myself because I said kids with autism are junk,” he continued. That’s what has been perceived. What was intended was that autism is junk. People that have it are loved by God and loved by me.”
Morrow said he’s tried to clarify his comments with some of the “mob mentality” presently attacking him for his comments but lamented that “I can’t get anywhere.”