Evelyn Boyd locked herself in a room for three weeks straight, with nothing but water, so she could pray.
And now she’s dead.
I don’t understand how some people are surprised by this and I don’t feel bad for her. It sounds like she knew what she was doing. She brought this on herself. No one else killed her.
“If she had been under 18, we’d have taken the parents to jail,” [Sheriff Grady] Judd said. “If she had been a senior citizen and she had dementia or mental issues, and someone in that house had ignored her health, there would be legal culpability. But it’s very difficult to assign legal culpability in this case.”
“It’s not illegal to fast,” he said.
It’s not illegal, but I do question how any rational person could find that behavior acceptable. In the Jain faith I grew up in, people sometimes fast for eight days straight — my sister did it once when she was in middle school — and possibly even more. It’s a harmful and disturbing practice made worse by the fact that people celebrate your fasting when you’re done.
If there wasn’t a religious component to Boyd’s fasting, I wonder what people would be saying about it. Would it have been ok then? Would charges be filed against the husband if she just wanted to lock herself away and fast for no reason?
It sounds like another example of how religion serves as a get-out-of-jail-free card.
You kill your child by not taking him to the hospital? Jail.
You kill your child by not taking him to the hospital because your religion teaches you should pray for him instead? No jail. Or at least a reduced jail sentence.
Boyd’s death isn’t unexpected. But it is senseless and it could’ve been avoided.