Another Set of Faith-Healing Parents Arrested After Allowing Their Daughter to Die of a Treatable Disease

In 2012, Greg and JaLea Swezey were sentenced to five years of probation after they allowed their 17 year-old son Zachery to die of appendicitis… even though it was completely preventable:

Zachery Swezey (via The Wenatchee World)

The Swezeys were not practitioners of Christian Science, but they were members of the Church of the First Born, a church that also endorses “faith-healing.” Why see a doctor when God will cure all?! (Except when He doesn’t.)

Now, it’s happened again — to another family from the same church.

Travis and Wenona Rossiter were arrested yesterday on charges of manslaughter because they allowed their 12-year-old daughter Syble to die of Type I diabetes this past February and a months-long investigation revealed that the parents withheld “necessary and adequate” medical attention from her:

Syble Rossiter

The 12-year-old had a treatable medical condition and the parents did not provide adequate and necessary medical care to that child. And that, unfortunately, resulted in the death of her on February 5 of this year,” said Albany Police Capt. Eric Carter.

When asked if she would have survived if she had been treated, he said, “That’s what I was briefed on. Yes.”

The Rossiters have two other children who are, I assume, fortunate that they never suffered a critical-yet-preventable disease.

Their church — which is totally web-friendly and would never cause you to think “OMG, RED FLAGS EVERYWHERE” — endorses James 5:14, which states:

Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.

You would think church members would have learned their lesson by now. This same fate befell another family in 1996:

In 1996, a Linn County jury convicted Church of the First Born member Loyd Hays of Brownsville on charges of criminally negligent homicide. His 7-year-old son was dying of a treatable form of leukemia, and Hays was trying to cure it through prayer.

Hays and his wife, who was acquitted, were the first people in Oregon to be prosecuted for following their religion rather than taking a sick child for medical care.

The Swezey’s, though, were let off the hook. And now the church’s beliefs have led to another death. Maybe the judge can serve the Rossiters with a punishment commensurate to the crime they have committed and, if they’re found guilty, send them to prison for a long enough time such that other members of the church will finally come to their senses.

Children shouldn’t be given a death sentence because their parents are brainwashed by their church.

(Thanks to Anne for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Nikita

    I can’t fathom this. If my child was ill I would do EVERYTHING and ANYTHING to make them well. Even when I was a bible thumper I believed that “God helps those that help themselves” so you got yourself or your family to the doctor when something was wrong. This is just too horrifying.

    • Pisk_A_Dausen

      I keep thinking about a story about a friend of my mother’s. She has diabetes, and one morning she didn’t wake up due to low blood sugar. (The husband would usually call to check that she was up because of this, but forgot that one day.) The only other person at home was her son, I think he was about eight. When he couldn’t wake her up, not only did he have the sense to call for help rather than seek comfort in an invisible friend / deity / teddy bear, but he called his mother’s work number – she works in health care. They got him to put a bit of chocolate in her mouth, and once it melted and the sugar started working, she woke up.

      A fracking eight-year-old had the sense to call someone and say “mummy is sleeping and she won’t wake up”. Several grown-ups couldn’t between them manage the same. I despair.

      • KMR

        The fear of hell is huge. They believe that if they go against their church’s teaching than they are in danger not only of eternal fiery torture themselves but also their children. I remember watching a documentary on Jim Jones and hearing the testimony from one of the survivors in regards to the actions of the cult “secretary” (if I remember correctly). Anyway she was in a different location than the rest of the cult but upon hearing Jim’s orders to die, she took her two younger children to an upstairs room with her older child and slit the younger children’s throats. Then she and the older child slit each other’s throats. I can’t comprehend that because I don’t believe in that shit but she honestly thought she was doing her children a greater service by killing them. Anyway the only way to modify a cult’s beliefs is to make it illegal to act on the more dangerous ones. It’ll serve as a deterrent and impetus to change in order to continue to survive. Hope these two parents end up jail.

        • dat common sense

          religion makes me so angry…they fear hell so much but what about “confession” where they go to get their sins absolved? if they’re so damn religious and care about their children then they should take their child to the doctor and swing by the church on the way home. boom. religious problem solved.

        • http://sunnyfun.com Tom and Mary Clare Mulhall

          The Nazis Goebbels did the same thing to their six kids murdering them versus surrendering to the Allies. These religious ministers are just as sick.

          • Daniel B

            K Goebbels weren’t exactly surrendering themselves to the American liberators they would have been surrendering to the Soviet Red Army who probably would have tortured them all. Same reason Hitler killed himself because the Russians got into Berlin first.

            • http://sunnyfun.com Tom and Mary Clare Mulhall

              Donitz, Kitler’s successor surrendered to the allies. Goebbels could have sent his wife and 6 kids out of Berlin to be where he was and they would have survived. Becaue he was a fanatic, really no different than these religious zealots that he killed his kids and himself.

      • Miss_Beara

        Wow. That is one smart boy.

      • The Other Weirdo

        All I got from that, apart from the obvious, is that chocolate saved a life. Take that your, personal trainer, and shove it.

        • Pisk_A_Dausen

          It beats having to plunder the sugar stash by the 7-11 coffee machine because you misjudged your insulin intake. (Yes, they did sell chocolate there, but we were drunk, so stealing free sugar seemed like a much better idea.) Apparently, a spoonful of sugar doesn’t help a spoonful of sugar go down, and the “patient” wasn’t thrilled with the solution. :-p

          • The Other Weirdo

            Not only do I not know how to respond to that, I don’t know what that even means.

          • pszymeczek

            My husband carries LifeSavers. We keep them at home and in the car, too.

      • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

        Kid sounds like a smart…
        *puts on sunglasses*
        Cookie.
        :)

    • Chakolate

      nodnodnod And the verse doesn’t say you shouldn’t do everything you can, it just says pray, too.

  • wright1

    I want to weep and pull out my hair.

    If I were a member of a church that had no problem with turning to modern medicine, I’d be looking to organize an interfaith initiative that condemned faith healing as a substitute for preventable illness. Quite apart from preventing more such tragedies, the moderate theists had better start thinking about damage control. This is the kind of thing that gets legislatures involved.

    • starmom

      Fortunately, in Oregon the legislature did get involved. This is why so many parents are getting arrested and convicted. I wonder how many kids die in other states and we don’t hear about it?

      • wright1

        I was thinking about the Oregon legislation in particular. State agencies rarely enjoy controversy and putting kids in harm’s way does not sway judges and juries towards the accused.

        Some states are beginning to consider the tax revenues lost to churches and their properties. Combine that with children dying in sects that promote faith healing over preventable health issues… like I said, the more moderate flavors of theists should be disassociating themselves from these “pray appendicitis / diabetes away” idiots.

      • Jeff See

        A great question. Some of these children are unknown to almost everyone; some people have midwives, never vaccinate, then home school. If they then die from faith, then they have come and gone, and only their fucked up parents know for sure.

  • Art_Vandelay

    That was confusing. I thought the first picture was the daughter at first.

    Yeah…tell me again how the pastor at this church is different from Chuck Manson?

    • NickDB

      Had the same thoughts about Manson!

    • Jeff See

      Well, Manson directed his followers to actually do the killing. This pastor directs his followers to just let death happen. More passive, just like Jesus would want!

      • Art_Vandelay

        That’s true. Manson also inspired better music.

      • Guy Incognito

        It’s Passive Manson. Just like Passive Euthanasia, somehow making it passive makes it acceptable.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    The problem is that most faith healers is that their bibles, like most bibles, have a key verse missing. Their bibles end at Revelation 22:21. However, this is in error due to faults with bronze age mimeographing machines. The last verse is Revelation 22:22 which should read “The preceding was all bullshit. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

    • Art_Vandelay

      Revelation 22:23: PSYCHE!

    • Joe

      This is one of the best comments I’ve read in awhile. Made me laugh out loud at work, bravo.

  • CJ Klok

    These parents did not withhold treatment on their own accord. They must have been sufficiently under the influence of the pastor and other senior members of the congregation. It should be determined which of these individuals were present and participated in the useless prayer sessions when things turned lethal. They should be arrested and charged as accessories to the crime and given equivalent prison sentences.
    Once it becomes clear a church can not influence congregation members to neglect their children’s medical needs in favour of a useless non-existent god’s interventions these insanities may come to an end.

    • Monica Leskovsky

      As a parent, you don’t get to use anyone’s influence as an excuse to let your child die. Period.

      • CJ Klok

        That might be true. But these church leaders were influential bystanders. Not only were they well aware of the extreme neglect, but they were actively encouraging it. Thus, independent of the parents’ culpability they have to face the consequences of their involvement.

        As I said in another comment elsewhere, if this was not neglect, but rape or aggravated assault, these leaders’ guilt in being aware of, and actively encouraging an ongoing crime would not be questioned.

  • bickle2

    Isn’t it time to ban faith healers from. Having custody of their children, Anyone over 18 can make moronic decisions like this, but they’re killing kids with their stupidity and insanity. So unless they want someone monitoring everything they do, they should not be allowed to have children. If they wish to change that, they’re welcome to produce their God in court

  • NickDB

    This is sickening. They love their god, the one that let their child die, more than their own children. They’re not going F you God! You let me child die, they’re going, it’s God’s plan, it was meant to happen.

    It’s pure evil, it’s Manson familyish.

    It’s also a perfect example of natural selection. That’s the beauty of science, you don’t have to believe in it.

    • Nic Steele

      Well, the Abrahamic God did ask Isaac to kill his son. If they fully believe the words of the bible, this doesn’t seem that unreasonable. It’s what God would have wanted. It’s totally messed up, but fairly inline with the Bible.

      • NickDB

        Hence making a very good case for not getting your morals from the bible.

  • Nilanka15

    The church should be tried as accomplices.

    • Carmenalex

      YES

  • Mick

    They are control freaks who put themselves on the same level as God himself. They think that, just like God, they have the power to decide who lives and who dies. They usually can’t exercise that degree of control over another adult (or an unrelated child) but if it’s their own child well who is to stop them? Nobody. So they start praying.

    If the child lives, good. The control freak saved them.

    If the child dies – straight down to the church to accept the congratulations of the other parishioners who are mightily impressed by the strength of their faith.

    They love their children and they don’t want them to die, but whatever happens, it was the result of their decision. They made the decision and as a result another human being either lived or died. Now that is the sort of control they were looking for – God has it, and they have it. Everyone else is is a ‘nobody’ by comparison.

  • DougI

    No doubt the fundies are claiming that they’re being persecuted by immoral people because they aren’t allowed to kill children.

  • Cat’s Staff

    The site has a form that people can fill out to send to the county/state that says ‘our child is sick and if you want to come visit at any time you can’…. This is trying to push the responsibility off on the government, saying “we told you they were sick”. The county and state should handle this one of two ways; they could just ignore the content of the letter and send back a form letter explaining that 1. the law says they are responsible for taking care of their kids and 2. how to go about finding that care (if in doubt, call 911), OR they could treat every such notification as a 911 call and send an ambulance to take the child to a hospital (if the parents want to sign the form saying they are refusing transport by ambulance they can do that, but if the medics see that the child’s life is in danger there’s ways they can get the kid help).

    • Tom

      Sounds almost like a weird inversion of “suicide-by-cop” – i.e. you tell the government your kid’s sick, and secretly hope they’ll step in and impose treatment without you having to explicitly ask them, so you can benefit from medical treatment without appearing to sin.

  • Goape

    Religious beliefs are directly leading to the deaths of children. At what point will theists be able to unburden themselves with this shit? Religion should be illegal. In fact, if corporations can be treated as individuals then so should the church. It should be tried in the court of public opinion as a serial killer that targets kids.

    • John O’Brien

      Religion should not be illegal. Doing so would only further destroy this country.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      Eh, not illegal, just… politely (or not-so-politely) discouraged by society at large.

      • Goape

        I know, you’re right (typed while sighing and with a look of resignation). People are free to be credulous, ignorant and irreflective—I just wish it didn’t sometimes result in dead kids. But thanks for checking my overreaction.

  • MisterTwo

    “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray
    over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” I know a preacher who takes a somewhat sensible approach to this verse. He says the “anoint them with oil” part in the context of the 1st century amounts to, today, saying “take your medicine!” Now, if they would just realize that the first part wholly unnecessary, we’d be getting somewhere. Still, it shows that even in the 1st century they knew better than to rely purely on magic.

    • Jim

      He’s taking the approach that says “well, we now know that prayers and oils do nothing for sick people, so I’ll make up some bullshit about it meaning ‘to take your medicine’ so my god doesn’t look bad”.

    • Tom

      Infuriatingly, a lot of people point to stuff like that as proof that moderate religion is just fine and dandy and a force for good, despite the fact that in such cases it invariably seems to be the assimilation of knowledge external to the religion itself that causes the positive effect, and so the religion itself is, as you say, entirely superfluous. Preachers like that are laudably practical, but not necessarily sensible, and arguably disingenuous: basically taking prior secular knowledge that works and rebranding it as Christian.

  • Bad_homonym

    I wonder if this church is anti-choice? You certainly couldn’t argue that they are pro-life!

  • fmfalcao

    Five years of probation is an absolute joke!. These types of people don’t believe in life or the rights of others – just how to follow rules so they can look good in the eyes of a man made myth. Maybe they should be subjected to a life of no rights or no life – kinda like the one they gave their daughter.

    FM

  • Collin Grimes

    The miracles you’re looking for with prayer already exist! It’s called modern medicine you moron!

    • John O’Brien

      That’s not a miracle.

      • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

        No no, it’s like Obi-Wan Kenobi said: they’re miracles… from a certain point of view!

  • Beth

    Hold the church leaders responsible. They are authority figures for these people who are telling them not to treat their children or god will punish them. They are all monsters.

    • 100meters

      The church leaders are scum, yes, but it is the parents who are fully responsible for the death. The parents were free at any moment to decide this church’s teachings were absurd and dangerous, and walk away.

      • CJ Klok

        No.They were participating bystanders. Not only fully aware of the neglect going on, but surely approving and encouraging of the non-action.
        They need to be prosecuted to the same extent as the parents.

        If you change the scenario from medical neglect to aggravated assault or rape their culpability would not be in question at all.

        Jail the bastards.

        • Spuddie

          Its safe to say jail them all. Throw away the keys.

          The parents are responsible since they have a duty to ensure their children are safe and not abused. The church leaders are responsible for encouraging and enabling the neglect. The parents ultimately are the actors, the church are accessories to it. Both roles carry equal weight.

  • Beth

    The parents will be told, maybe not directly, that they didn’t have enough faith to save their daughter. So not only are they grieving a daughter, they are also worrying about not being right with god which means hell fire awaits them. Shut this church down as a public nuisance.

    • The Other Weirdo

      It’s very biblical though, isn’t it? Abraham heard a voice in head tell him to murder his son and he was just about to–’cause that’s how he rolled–but then another voice told him to stop because he had enough faith. They called it ‘fear’ in those days. These are people who take their faith, such as it is, to its ultimate conclusion; they don’t cherry-pick their bibles.

      • Spuddie

        Typically Christians also take the wrong lessons from Bible stories
        http://morethodoxy.org/2010/10/12/did-abraham-fail-his-final-test-by-rabbi-hyim-shafner/

        “the real test was for Abraham to confront God …and ultimately to say “no” to God.”

        http://www.jewfaq.org/origins.htm

        Judaism uses this story as evidence that G-d abhors human sacrifice. In fact, I have seen some sources indicating that Abraham failed this test of faith because he did not refuse to sacrifice his son! Judaism has always strongly opposed the practice of human sacrifice, commonplace in many other cultures at that time and place.

        • islandbrewer

          I thought the moral of that story was to never bring a knife to a gunfightsacrifice.

          • Spuddie

            That too.

          • Gus

            Or: If God asks you to kill your son, move very, very slowly to give him time to find a sheep and interrupt you.

        • sam

          “Judaism has always strongly opposed the practice of human sacrifice…” If by Judaism, you mean the syncretic religion that developed after the Babylonian Captivity, then I agree more or less.
          But if you are referring to ancient Hebrews and Israelites, then this is a false statement. J source (~950 BCE) and E source (~850 BCE) both leave traces of human sacrifice in the Torah (Lev 27:28-29; EX 22:29-30, 13:2). Later texts address the authors’ increasing ambivalence toward this practice (EZ 20:26; JG 11:30-39). These tribes were overall no better or worse than their neighbors at the time.

          • Spuddie

            Sam and Gus, you are both absolutely correct on this. But these modern takes on morality also undermines the secondary arguments used by creationists. That all moral conduct comes from divine command so we need god and none of that funny science stuff. Here we are supposed to know better and tell god to buzz off when he commands something nasty.

            I thought it was a change of pace from the usual Christian centric take

        • Gus

          Same old story: religious leader living in modern society realizes that his ancient text has horribly immoral implications. But since the text must be true, he finds a way to twist it around so that it doesn’t mean what it so obviously means to everyone else, instead of arriving at the more obvious conclusion: this book is either false, or its God is a monster.

        • Jim

          Abraham got confused when God said “bring your kid”. God meant a young goat, not his child.

          • The Other Weirdo

            Thus cementing God’s eternal reputation as a bad communicator. This proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God was a man.

        • The Other Weirdo

          I don’t know about this. God of the OT was pretty much fond of punishing the children for the crimes of their fathers, and Abraham and Isaac were rewarded for Abraham’s moral failure. That’s my read of the text, anyway.

          • Spuddie

            Nobody ever said (with a straight face) that the Bible is consistent on anything.

            All I am saying is that even only using a religious source, the whole notion of doing stupid, harmful things because God tells you so is not as universal to theists as their image would suggest.

            Its just damn common and annoying!

    • viaten

      They might be told that if they’re not “preferred” members of the congregation. They could just as well be told, “It’s was God’s will.” Or the parents could beat them to it and say the same thing to display their “faith” and how they passed a test of faith.

    • Cattleya1

      I actually wonder having been a practicing physician in Alabama, if these faith-healing deaths are not actually Munchausen’s Syndrome by proxy. I had to deal with some of these people and I just don’t put it past them withholding care from a child for their own weird jollies.

      • sam

        That’s not a stretch. Many of these fundies believe in a god who creates/allows suffering in order to provide an opportunity for others to relieve those victims’ suffering, in an attempt to garner attention & sympathy for himself. That’s what their book teaches them:

        Rom 11:32 – For God has imprisoned everyone in disobedience _so that he may have mercy on them all_.

        John 15:22 – If I had not come & spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin.

        John 9:1-3 – …He saw a man blind from birth. & His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

        If yhwh can exhibit MSbP, why not his sheep?

  • mikedave

    I don’t generally believe the death penalty is justified, but in a case like this I would pull the lever myself

  • Mario Strada

    It’s possible that events such as the one I am going to hypothesize don’t get any traction in the news, but when is the last time that an adult from that church died of a curable disease?

    Is it possible that at least some adults drag themselves to the ER and keep mum about it yet refuse medical care to their kids?

    Again, I am speculating, but would it be so far fetched>?

    • sam

      That’s a really great question. It would be nice if someone quantified the number of adult deaths in these faith healing churches. Is this simply media selection of more sensationalist stories that creates the appearance that children are always the victims?
      Another consideration to take into account is the socioeconomic background of these churches. I would bet these are poor, uneducated segments of the population. Could this be a 21st century version of infanticide or leaving your sick child on the mountaintop to die of exposure?
      If you’re poor, uneducated, anti-birth control with a large family and you fear the government, doctors, & Obamacare, them having one of your children come down with a terminal disease may seem like a godsend. Praying to Jebus may be the only way these people can justify (to themselves) avoiding exorbitant health care costs.

  • randomfactor

    “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray
    over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.”

    Nowhere in that verse does it say you can’t do all that AND treat them medically too.

    And those people who say to a sick friend “I’ll pray for you”? Prayers work best when said on a couch at the blood bank.

  • viaten

    These cases make me wonder the most about what goes on in such minds, more than in the minds of suicide bombers and extreme creationists. It seems they have put something before the well being of their loved ones, but I wonder what kind of “love” and what’s more important. It seems they think they must have the utmost faith and have been given opportunity or the obligation to display it. And then there’s the children. How many others are out there in similar situations?

  • guest

    Animals like this need to be euthanized before their disease spreads and infects others. #uck religion.

    • Obazervazi

      Disgusting. The solution to religious lunacy is education, not oppression. Cruelty will only make their need for delusion stronger.

    • baal

      Additionaly, while I’m in full support of jailing the parents and even taking a legal shot at the church who foists this horrific belief, I don’t condone thinking or treating anyone them “as animals”. Too much past harm has been based on categorizing people as something other than full humans.

    • DC

      Sterilize the parents. Period.

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      I think it’s going to be just amazing what happens when healthcare becomes easier and less expensive to obtain. People put their faith in idiocy like supernatural healing because of deep societal dysfunction. Euthanizing people is barbaric and won’t address that dysfunction at all. It’s like how forced-birthers treat abortion–thinking that criminalizing it and stigmatizing unapproved sex will lower rates when really it’s addressing the societal dysfunction that leads to large numbers of unwanted pregnancies that does the trick. I know you’re frustrated, but instead of dehumanizing the very real people caught in this craziness, maybe it’d be more productive to look at how we can bring them to the light.

  • baal

    Keep in mind folks that if Michigan’s SB 136 stops being stalled in their sentate, that State would be unable to successfully prosecute parents like these. Religiously motivated negligent (even willfully so) killing of your kids will be protected.

  • Gus

    Three dead kids in one church? When do we get to prosecute the pastor? How many bodies does it take before we get to call him what he is: a murderous, brainwashing cult leader?

    • CJ Klok

      Indeed!

      Could one set up an online petition urging the authorities to include the pastor and other senior church members who were aware of, and encouraging of this crime, to be included in the prosecution?

      If such a prosecution is successful it could set a precedent that would make other reality impaired church leaders think twice before they exert their influence on their congregation to deny reality in favour of irrational and lethal doctrine.

    • Ryan

      “When do we get to prosecute the pastor?”

      When we start holding the vatican and the catholic church as responsible for the systematic, decades-long rape of hundreds of kids at the hands of priests and church officials as they should be held.

      So…never.

  • PeacePoll

    The James 5:14 quote requires you to pray and anoint the sick with oil, BUT it doesn’t say you aren’t allowed to take any other measures.

  • gg

    Can I point out that not only was this death pointless, it is also a very painful and torturous way to die. How can ‘loving’ parents stand to see a child go through this kind of suffering? She could have probably still been saved within hours of her death.

    • NoChildHasToDieFromDiabetes

      Hell that’s easy. The suffering of their child was a test of their faith that God would heal the child. A Loving God would not let their child die, so obviously they just had to have Faith in God.

      The more she suffered, the more faith they needed to show their Loving God.

      The more ill she got, the more weight she lost, the more she desperately craved water, the more nausea and stomach pain she had, the more she vomited that desperately needed water back up, the more confused she became, that was ALL a test. They just had to have FAITH, God WOULD heal her! If they just prayed hard enough, if they just BELIEVED, if they just squashed that traitorous evil thought that they should go to a doctor, that’s SATAN, that’s EVIL talking to them, they will be strong and worthy of God and all his Majesty, they would have FAITH their child, their dying, tortured, beloved child, that God would save her! The same God that sacrificed his Son on the Cross, tortured for days, then sent to HELL for days, only to rise in glory, if God could ask that of his own Son, tolerate that being done to his own Son, surely they could have Faith that their Loving God would make good for all their child’s pain! Praise God and Heal their child!

      And then when she calmed at the end, sleeping deep, with long deep breaths, I bet her parents saw their miracle miracle. Their tormented child, healed by their Loving God, no longer vomiting, no longer crying, no longer SUFFERING.

      And then she died.

      That was probably the nastiest trick Diabetes Ketoacidosis plays at the end, because due to her being so dehydrated and there being so much acid in her blood (a byproduct of fat and protein being broken down in an uncontrolled cycle due to her body lacking insulin to use glucose as fuel), she was essentially comatose, her organs failing, and other than rapid deep breathing, she probably seemed to be resting, but likely died within hours of loosing consciousness.

      THAT is how ‘loving’ parents can stand to see their child suffer.

      THAT is the danger of the Magical Thinking so many religions encourage.

  • Contitutionalrights

    I think people should have an absolute right to deny medical care for themselves and their minor children. Remember Parker Jensen!

    • gg

      You sir, are not thinking.

      • Constitutionalrights

        I am thinking. In particular I am thinking that I don’t want that other religion, medicine, to dictate what treatments I receive when they may be against my better judgment. Read about Parker Jensen – doctors wrongly asserted he needed treatment and his parents were prosecuted for not giving it to him. Turned out the doctors were wrong (financially and professionally motivated, too)

        • TheRoo

          good job, you have now chosen the ONE fucking case that is in your favour. Now find all the cases in the last 40 years of doctors treating the sick, and make a tally you dim witted twat. I’ll reassure you now that the percentage will not be with your asinine way of thinking.

          • Constitutional rights

            Gosh I don’t have time to list all 200,000 deaths per year attributed to medical error. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/01/opinion/more-treatment-more-mistakes.html

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              Don’t worry, soon the ol’ kanoggin will kick in and you’ll realize that “preventable deaths where the doctor made errors” is not even vaguely the same thing as “preventable deaths where the doctor made errors and the parents were right all along.”

        • Guest

          I am thinking. In particular I am thinking

          I love how he makes the very act of him thinking a special announcement before he goes on to explain what it is he’s thinking.

      • Constitutionalrights

        Would I let my kid suffer like this, no. But the fact is life is a terminal condition and these parents didn’t beat their child. They did what they thought best, and were wrong. When doctors are wrong they aren’t prosecuted (usually) . That’s why they ‘practice’. Medicine is a for profit business, as such it depends on sick people. It is right to have healthy skepticism of the medical field (no pun intended). It is a slippery slope and I for one think tolerating morons letting their kids die on occasion is better than everyone losing the right to make medical decisions. Atheists are pissed because their decision was based on religion, but what if they’d based their decision on research and somehow found an arguably sound reason to deny treatment? I suspect atheists would be less pissed.

        • Gus

          Doctors are experts with years of academic and experiential training. They certainly make mistakes, but in almost every case where they disagree with a patient or patient’s parent, the doctor is going to be right. There’s also such a thing as a standard of care. Your hunch is not better than a doctor’s diagnosis. That mistakes happen, and you have an anecdote of one of them, even if you had dozens, does not alter the fact that most of the time doctors are right and parents who disagree with them go along anyway and their kids get better. Your anecdote ignores all of those cases because there’s no way to count them. It is not evidence, it is not a sound argument, and it is not a rational basis for public policy or medical decisions.

          But that aside, none of your arguments here actually apply to this case. We’re not talking about parents who went to the doctor, didn’t like what he said, and decided not to do it or to get a second opinion. We’re talking about parents who had children who were terribly ill, who any reasonable person would conclude needed medical attention, and did nothing. They didn’t even check to see if a doctor agreed with them or not.

          I am forced to conclude with gg: You’re not thinking.

          • Constitutional rights

            Actually, my hunch WAS better than our pediatricians standard of care and I had the surreal experience of lecturing him while he took notes. But this isn’t about me, it’s about the right to make medical decisions. Even the CDC says juvenile diabetes deaths are merely potentially preventable. Treated children die from diabetes too and saying this kid would have lived if treated is merely speculative. Though perhaps their chances would have been better. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6143a2.htm?mobile=nocontent. But the bigger point is that parents care more about their children than doctors or the state do.

            • Telanis

              Some parents outright murder their kids directly, so that last statement is false.

              You have the right to refuse harmful treatments, you don’t have the right to force someone else to die because you’ve decided without evidence that your crazy theory is right and medicine known to work will not work.

        • allein

          these parents didn’t beat their child

          No, they just let her suffer for no reason, until she died.

        • Mario Strada

          “Atheists are pissed because their decision was based on religion, but what if they’d based their decision on research and somehow found an arguably sound reason to deny treatment? I suspect atheists would be less pissed.”

          Well yes. If they had evidence that their non treatment worked and they could prove it it would be an non issue. What kind of reasoning is that? “I bet that if Jesus appeared and made miracles that science could prove atheist would believe in Jesus”. Exactly. The “proof & evidence” part is what you are missing.

        • Bitter Lizard

          They did what they thought best, and were wrong.

          “They did what they thought best” could be used as an excuse in a lot of killings, particularly religiously motivated ones. “Oh, you murdered somebody and you’re a fucking moron? Well you’re off the hook, then, because those two things cancel each other out.”

          Atheists are pissed because their decision was based on religion, but what if they’d based their decision on research and somehow found an arguably sound reason to deny treatment

          Yes, making sound decisions that fail to save somebody’s life is exactly the same thing as letting them die because of superstition and negligence. You really got us there.

    • DC

      Themselves? Yes. Their children, who cannot defend themselves against their parent’s ignorance and stupidity? No.

      Sterilize them.

      • Constitutionalrights

        Again, learn about Parker Jensen. His parents were right doctors were wrong and the parents had no legal recourse for being prosecuted

        • Gus

          In other words: I have an anecdote! Why won’t you go Google my anecdote! Anecdotes trump all logic, reason, and evidence!

          How about you go Google: anecdotes are not evidence.

        • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

          And vaccines occasionally cause damage to the people who receive them. Obviously this means that nobody should be vaccinated.

    • allein

      So because doctors are not infallible, people should be free to let their kids die horribly painful, unnecessary deaths from common, treatable ailments like appendicitis and diabetes? No.

      • Bitter Lizard

        When I first saw Constitution’s posts Disqus was acting up and they were being displayed as being written by someone who said the parents should be prosecuted elsewhere in the comments. So I assumed they were intended to be sarcastic until I reloaded the page.

        • allein

          I saw the same thing, which was my cue to reload. “That doesn’t seem right…”

    • Gus

      Are you upvoting your own comments?

  • DC

    Their children should be taken from them, and they should be sterilized. If given the opportunity, they’ll let another child die.

  • Cavan

    I was passing through the town of Quinlat when a storm came upon the horizon. The good people hurried inside the safety of the town walls, all except one man. Before I left, I asked the man why he did not follow the others, and he said, “I do not fear this storm! I shall make the wind respect me!”

    I nodded in respect for his choice and went inside. The next morning, the man was found dead. The wind does not respect a fool.

    And neither does diabetes, leukemia, or appendicitis.

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      Unfortunately, religious sorts think that being very, very sure of something unreal can change and even trump reality. And when they prove to be wrong, like in the case of these dead children, the kids just go to heaven anyway, I’m sure, and life on earth is nothing but a preparation for the big eternal party, so it’s not like a big deal or anything if someone dies according to the ineffable plan. It all looks great, until someone starts to wonder why all those verses about healing don’t seem to be reflected by reality.

      Talk about a horrible choice: either embrace reality but in doing so renounce your faith, or else embrace your faith even though it totally denies reality. That’s just cruel to do to people, but it’s what right-wing religions are increasingly insisting on doing. I wonder sometimes if they are just counting on the fear of that showdown to keep people away from it.

    • EzterRay

      Star Trek DS9 is strangely prescient here.

  • tquid

    Prosecute the church under RICO and seize their assets.

  • Tom

    Is anyone among you sick (i.e. showing symptoms determined by medical science to indicate sickness)? Let them call the elders of the church (using scientificially developed telecoms technology) to pray
    over them and anoint them with oil (industrially farmed using modern biological science and quite possibly genetic engineering, protected by petrochemical pesticides, nutritionally analysed and shown to be safe for human consumption according to the germ theory of disease by government bio-laboratories, and probably transported halfway around the world by highly engineered, super-efficient mass transit systems) in the name of the Lord – don’t use scientific medicine, though, you don’t need anything like that.

  • Kinetik

    This is why many get irritated when a person says, “You HAVE to respect my beliefs.”

    “Um, no, we don’t.”

  • Bitter Lizard

    This was truly terrible, but you people seem to take a few out-of-context events and twist them to make it seem like the Abrahamic religions are all about killing children. I don’t recall anything in the story of Abraham that could possibly be interpreted as–oh…

  • hannah

    the dead boy and the dead girl have to be related somehow.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

      You noticed that, too?

  • Nev

    This is actually a tricky subject when you think about it. Yes from an atheist point of view where God doesn’t exist this is clearly negligence and just absurd that loving parents would withhold treatment. Yet, from their perspective where God very much does exist and wants to help them they most certainly didn’t feel like bad parents. They probably believed they were doing whats best for their family. It’s like if your friend is allergic to bees and gets stung and needs epinephrine to save his life but neither him nor you know that he needs epi and in fact you both truly believe he needs a shot of acetylcholine. So you inject the Ach and he dies. While this would be stupid from the point of view of anyone who knows better it’s hard to say the guy murdered his friend. So getting back to the point, the parents probably had good intentions and truly believed God would save her but I don’t know if (looking at things from their point of view) we can call them murderers.

    • Carol Lynn

      Just no. If they lived in some backwater of the world without modern doctors or hospitals and prayed because that was the only resource they had, you might have a point. Only might because in every area there is a long tradition of using herbs and other techniques besides praying.

      If someone killed a friend by giving him an injection of an inappropriate substance – yes, they are responsible for the death! They may not have intended it, but the person is dead. Their intent does not excuse them. If a friend is going into anaphylactic shock, why the heck are they giving them random injections instead of calling 911?

      It’s more like, your allergic friend gets stung by a bee and begs you to use the epi pen in his pocket and call 911, but you decide you know better, take the phone and pen away from him, and then just stand by while he dies, saying, “Should I try and help him some way? Oops. Dead. Not my fault.”

      The point is that there is more complete knowledge of how the human body works and a whole medical infrastructure near by – that these parents deliberately withheld from their sick children. Their actions caused the unnecessary deaths of their own children. Nothing says that they could not also pray, if they feel it is necessary.

      • Nev

        See this is very easy for us to say from the point of view that God doesn’t exist and we know that their child needed medicine to have any real chance. Unfortunately, from their point of view all they needed was God. Yes they were wrong, and we could have predicted that because we know better but that fact is that they probably didn’t know better. It seems just like a big tragedy rather than anything else. Plus health care is expensive so it’s easy to say they should have gotten her treatment but if they believed all they needed was God why fork over the extra 50 grand? To them maybe it seemed unnecessary.

        And there is a difference between being responsible for the person’s death and murdering them. Doctor mistakes are the third leading cause of death in America (behind heart disease and cancer) should every doctor who made a mistake and killed a patient be called a murderer? It’s their fault, they’re responsible for their death…but it’s a giant unfortunate event…not a murder.

        I think my example in this case is more accurate unless the daughter knew she needed modern medicine and begged for it, but maybe she fully agreed with her parents due to her religious brainwashing.

        So my point is still, it’s easy to condemn the parents because we know better, and I totally agree with them being on probation for their negligence but I don’t think you can call them murderers or put them in jail. They’re suffering too right now, God didn’t answer their prayers and they lost their daughter. I say blame their religion more than blame them.

        • Carol Lynn

          Sure, blame the religion – but put the parents in jail anyway. There is NO EXCUSE for this in today’s America.

          Deaths in hospitals are put under scrutiny and judged by panels of experts to see if the doctors could have prevented it if they had done things differently. Doctors can lose their license to practice if they do not act responsibly towards their patients. Doctors are often sued by patients when they make mistakes.

          And you want to give these parents a pass because …. they trusted a fantasm and an old book? Sure they are grieving – but their kids died when they did not have to! If they had done any other kind of negligent behavior that resulted in the deaths of their children, they would be held responsible.

          I’m not saying the parents deserve death themselves or that they should be put in prison for life, but there should be some serious, tangible, public consequence for them. If not outright murder, they certainly are guilty of negligent homicide, which is also a serious crime. It’s for people who are careless, inattentive, neglectful, willfully blind, or in the case of gross negligence what would have been reckless in any other defendant. So, yeah, arrest the parents, charge them, put their other kids in hopefully safer custody, and let the justice system take its course.

          • Nev

            There is a difference between willfull ignorance + child neglect and believing that you’re doing the right thing. They weren’t neglecting their child (in their delusional minds), they were doing what they thought was best. It just so happens that they were wrong. You don’t think losing a daughter when trying to do the right thing is a BIG consequence for them? Are we so uncompassionate that we wish them more heartache? Don’t get me wrong, if medicine was available and they just decided not to take their kid in because they thought she’d just get better on her own I would for sure be behind jail time for them. But again they lived in a world where they truly thought God would make all things better. Like I said obviously from our point of views this is absurd and they were clearly wrong but it’s not the same from their POV. Again just because someones actions result in someone else’s death doesn’t make them murderers. I see where you’re coming from and I respect your opinion but I disagree.

            • Carol Lynn

              Of course losing their child is a big consequence for them – it would be as big a consequence as if their daughter had been killed any other way that they were responsible for. But if it had been a death from any other obviously preventable means would you still say that their grief is enough of a punishment? Why do religious motives get a get out of jail free card?

              Besides, is it just fundy Christians who get a pass on child neglect and endangerment because they are sincere in their beliefs? Or does this get out of jail free card expand out?

              If parents somewhere in the USA sincerely believe that surrounding a child with crystals will drive the demons out of their sick child, is that fine with you, too, even if the kid dies? They thought they were doing the best thing they could to protect their child. They certainly have the same sincerity as any other faith healing devotee.

              What if they need to sacrifice an animal or kidnap and torture the witch who lives down the street who obviously sent the demons into their poor child (or it would not be sick) before their kid can get better? They really, truly, deeply, and sincerely believe that their god says that is the very best thing they can do to protect their child, so that’s fine with you, right?

              As long as they are sincerely delusional, whatever parents do is justified and their grief when the kid dies is punishment enough? Whatever they do, however delusional it is by scientific or rational standards, is allowed and encouraged by not being punished, as long as they sincerely believe they are doing what’s best? Are you sure you want to encourage that?

              • Nev

                I never said not to punish them. In fact I stated pretty clearly that they should get at least get some sort of probation for their negligence. They most certainly should have some consequences, just I don’t think jail is the answer here. I think it should be taken into account that the parents did what they thought was best for the child. Like I’ve said three times now the death was obviously preventable from our point of view we understand that and could have prevented it. How do you force a logical, scientific, and reasoned view on a couple who doesn’t value logic, science and reason? If someone who is schizophrenic or manic kills someone, on purpose because the voices in their head told them so, do they go to jail for life or get the death penalty? No, we take into account that they are extremely delusional and need help. It seems like a similar situation in this case where religion can be a delusion to an obvious problem and have horrific consequences. Of course this doesn’t justify the death of the daughter but I think it would be better to try and get them help and support rather than saying “they should go to jail for a long time.”

                • Carol Lynn

                  I never said they should go to jail for life or get the death penalty. I specifically said they shouldn’t. I’d love for them to admit they need help and give them all they need, but I doubt they feel they need any.

                  This is not the first child’s death in this community and leniency has not worked to prevent further needless deaths. If they want to deny themselves medical care as adults, that’s their right. I don’t think they have a right to deny medical care to their children while their children needlessly die.

                  Even if they are found not guilty by reason of insanity, criminally insane people are tried for their crimes and locked up in facilities where they are supposed to be getting help and can’t harm other people. They aren’t given a pass on their criminal behavior because they are ill. If found not guilty by reason of insanity or guilty but mentally ill, people generally serve MORE time in confinement than sane people similarly charged. Unless they can prove they were only temporarily insane and are now no threat to society, they are not merely given probation and let back into society, no matter how sincerely they insist that they had to do their criminal deeds or how much regret or grief they have. Do you think these parents were temporarily insane and that they would never withhold medical care from their children ever again? That would be reasonable, but I think it’s unlikely. I think they’d do it again with the same sincere religious conviction that they were doing the right thing. I don’t think they fit the legal definition of temporary insanity at all.

                  It’s admirable that you want to help these people who are, by your own admission and standards, deluded about the best practices to keep their children alive and healthy. Do you think leaving them alone to grieve with no further intervention or giving them probation would go any ways at all towards convincing them to use a more logical, scientific, and reasoned view? I don’t.

                  I don’t think they can be or even should be asked – much less forced! – to change their religious convictions. But children are dead who should not be. I don’t care what motivated them to withhold medical care – the care was deliberately withheld, the child died, and for that death it seems to me they are responsible. IMO, they should be arrested and charged with that crime, tried by a jury, and they should not have custody of their other children until the verdict is read. If they are found guilty, they need to serve their sentences like anyone else charged with the same sort of crime.

                  If they are guilty, at least while they are in prison, they can’t harm any other children and they can pray all they like.

                • Nev

                  I don’t know where your getting the impression I think they should get a free pass or that they weren’t responsible and just be allowed to go their marry way. I specifically said I think probation and some sort of help should be in order and that they are responsible, but I don’t think jail is the answer. Also I don’t think you can call it on par with homicide or murder because, while they were not temporarily insane, they were under an equally insane delusion. I feel that should be taken into account when determining their ultimate consequences. They withheld modern medical care yes, but they weren’t deliberately neglecting their child. In fact they thought they were doing what was ultimately best for her. That’s why I find it hard to label this as negligence because from their world view they weren’t being negligent. Surely you can understand that (even though their world view is wrong and deluded). I mean just try to picture things from a fundamentalist Christian point of view for just a second.

                  At least there should be a law that when parents withhold medical care in a treatable disease that would otherwise be lethal because of their religious beliefs the government should intervene. Why didn’t anyone intervene in this case? I think the problem is bigger than just deluded parents. There needs to be something in place to save these children from these situations.

                  I think we actually agree on more than it might seem. We both think there should be consequences, we both think they were deluded, and we both think there should be something in place to save kids from these tragedies.

                • Carol Lynn

                  I’m sure we do agree more than we disagree. I just don’t understand how you can insist we need to understand an allow for their point of view while admitting you know it leads to unnecessary deaths of children. I have absolutely no interest in what their point of view is. I care about what they did not why they did it.

                  Besides, say, for argument’s sake, I agree that they were from their point of view doing their absolute best for their children and they do not belong in the criminal justice system – Ok. They did nothing wrong from their point of view. Now what happens? They go home and keep doing what they feel is best, because we’ve all just agreed that from their point of view they did nothing wrong so nothing changes.

                  How can they both have done nothing wrong and still need to face consequences for what they did?

                  You’ve said, “probation” would be adequate punishment – but what do you mean by that? How do they get assigned ‘probation’ without being charged with crimes, going before a judge, and getting ordered to be under supervision? If they feel they did the right thing, it’s not like they will voluntarily ask for someone to supervise them. If they truly feel they are doing the right things, why would they voluntarily do anything different at all the next time one of their children gets very ill?

                  Either they have the right to remain deluded and do what they feel is best for their children regardless of the consequences. Or they have the right to reman deluded but not to do things that endanger their children and face criminal consequences for their actions if their children die. Punishment for negligent homicide can be probation and supervision and not necessarily jail time. Whether you like the terms or not, the parents still have to be convicted of a crime – negligent homicide or manslaughter or child abuse or murder – to get the probation and supervision you think is enough. According to the OP, In this ultra-religious community, probation is not working to stop unnecessary children’s deaths. Other members of the same congregation are already under probation for their child’s death and it did not prevent other children from being denied medical care.

                  We agree that someone or something should be in place to stop these tragedies – what do you suggest be done besides sympathize with the parents’ who are doing what they think is best?

                • 3lemenope

                  If someone who is schizophrenic or manic kills someone, on purpose because the voices in their head told them so, do they go to jail for life or get the death penalty?

                  Generally speaking, yes. Mania is no barrier to understanding the rightness or wrongness of any given action, and schizophrenia usually isn’t either. The bar for reducing culpability due to mental illness or impairment is extremely high.

                • Nev

                  Right provided they are found competent. My point was having a mental disorder counts for something in these cases. I think brainwashing should too. That doesn’t mean the parents get a free pass or let off the hook.

            • Bitter Lizard

              The 9/11 hijackers thought they were doing the right thing, too. Guess they’re off the hook. “Hey, I gave baby a bath, maybe I should dry him off in the microwave. I think I’m doing the right thing, so what could go wrong?”

              • Nev

                You didn’t read any of my discussion with Carol did you?

                • 3lemenope

                  I could be mistaken, but I think Bitter Lizard is trying to point out that being mistaken due to delusion is a woefully insufficient excuse for behavior that results in catastrophic harm. Intent is not magic, and people killed by actions undertaken with the best of intentions are no less dead than those killed by malicious actions. Living in a place where antibiotics have been in use for longer than any participant in the story has been alive, a person who eschews them for a prayer is engaging in abject willful stupidity of about the same proportion as the person who uses a microwave, a device likewise in use for many decades, as a baby dryer.

                • Nev

                  Well there’s nothing there that I disagree with.

                • Bitter Lizard

                  I read all of what I was replying to.

    • Nev

      I feel like you can only downvote/disagree with me on this point if you can’t take a moment to see things from a fundamentalist christians point of view. Because if their world view happened to be right their daughter would have been healed and everything would have been ok. How do you call a couple murderers if the childs death was the result of their religious brain washing?

      • Bitter Lizard

        People murder other people all the time because of religion. It’s not “tricky” once you accept that people just plain shouldn’t believe religious bullshit in the first place. People should have a legal right to believe whatever the fuck they want, but as soon as those beliefs kill other people, hang them out to dry. It really isn’t presenting that much of an abstract concept to say, “Hey, maybe don’t believe childish bullshit so your kids don’t die.”

        • Nev

          Easy for you to say as someone not brainwashed by religion to think things like you don’t need medicine only Jesus. In religious cults where leaders brainwash families to drink cyanide who’s more at fault the parents who are under a delusion or the bullshitter at the top? Wouldn’t the parents be victims too? My whole point is religion messes with people’s brains and I think that should be taken into account.

          • 3lemenope

            In religious cults where leaders brainwash families to drink cyanide who’s more at fault the parents who are under a delusion or the bullshitter at the top?

            Yes.

            Wouldn’t the parents be victims too?

            Yes. Perpetrator and victim are independent states, and a person can easily be both simultaneously.

            • Nev

              So if some hypnotized you into killing someone you’re to blame just as much as the hypnotist?

              • 3lemenope

                Seeing as how a hypnotist actually lacks the power to make you do something you wouldn’t otherwise do, yes, you would be just as responsible.

                I think what you’re looking for is something that actually degrades the ability of a person to either properly perceive the moral valence of choices or the ability to choose itself. Intoxication by various substances can qualify, and so long as it wasn’t your idea to consume said substances, one could make the claim that a person so influenced has a diminished capacity with regard to actions that have legal consequences.

                Quips by Marx or Feuerbach aside, religion really isn’t like a drug in the relevant way that it does not prevent a person from exercising their moral discrimination or executive judgment abilities. A person may blame their upbringing or religion for a course of action, but they generally are aware of the deficiencies of their choice and could have chosen otherwise, so their religion and/or upbringing does not actually excuse anything.

                • Nev

                  “… it does not prevent a person from exercising their moral discrimination or executive judgment abilities.” Yet it seems to have done just that in this case. I feel like these parents believed that they really didn’t need medicine and only needed God. Thinking like that leads me to believe that they really weren’t aware of the deficiency of their choice.

                • TheBlackCat13

                  If they think that God is going to fix things, and the child still doesn’t improve, they either choose to ignore the clear facts in front of them, or they believe that God wants the child to die. Either way, they are responsible.

          • Bitter Lizard

            I don’t think we should discount that religion fucks up people’s brains. Alcohol fucks with our brains, too, and it’s illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol even when you don’t wind up killing a child. As adults, we are accountable for what we believe or don’t believe–nobody else is. Killing somebody for terrible reasons is worse than killing someone for good reasons. But by making excuses for someone who kills because they did it out of religious conviction, you are effectively making the opposite argument.

  • pagansister

    What else can be said that hasn’t been said? It is tragic and that is a mild word for the whole situation. As a parent (and even if I wasn’t) I have never understood HOW anyone who claims to love their child can just watch them die and DO NOTHING!! Didn’t their “god” allow people to be doctors? I don’t know—some people should never reproduce!

  • kaydenpat

    Can’t they rationalize that their God gave the doctors the wisdom to heal their son instead of acting as if doctors are their enemy?

  • Guest

    Fuck these people. Fucking lunatics.
    It doesn’t say DON’T LET YOUR CHILD HAVE MEDICATION it only says let the elders pray over them, why can’t they have prayer and medication?
    What a sensless waste of life.

  • ecolt

    When I was not a Christian, but rather too young to completely call b.s. on the adults around me, I was taught that god had the ultimate say in our health and lives. However, part of that was that god gave humans the intelligence and resources to treat and cure diseases. I grew up with the teaching that doctors and medical professionals did god’s work because they used those gifts to help others. Our healthcare system has a lot of problems and there are a lot of aspects of it that I don’t support. But I also have three stepkids and I would rather die a thousand times over than watch them suffer knowing that I could help. I can’t imagine what type of twisted mind it takes to be willing to watch your child die because of one sentence in a book.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that this God fellow exists and is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. And he’s in in charge of, like, everything and everyone.

    Wouldn’t it follow, then, that God made doctors?

    If so, denying medical care to your child would then go against God’s plan or will, right?

  • Guest

    Sirach 38, 1-15
    Hold the physician in honor, for he is essential to you, and God it was who established his profession. From God the doctor has his wisdom, and the king provides for his sustenance. His knowledge makes the doctor distinguished, and gives him access to those in authority. God makes the earth yield healing herbs which the prudent man should not neglect; was not the water sweetened by a twig that men might learn his power? He endows men with the knowledge to glory in his mighty works, through which the doctor eases pain and the druggist prepares his medicines; thus God’s creative work continues without cease in its efficacy on the surface of the earth. My son, when you are ill, delay not, but pray to God, who will heal you: Flee wickedness; let your hands be just, cleanse your heart of every sin; offer your sweet-smelling oblation and petition, a rich offering according to your means. Then give the doctor his place lest he leave, for you need him too. There are times that give him an advantage, and he too beseeches God that his diagnosis may be correct and his treatment bring about a cure. He who is a sinner toward his Maker will be defiant toward the doctor.

  • Abigail Meirs

    and yet another example of toxic religion

  • John

    There is a non-profit organization which has been getting laws changed in various states so that these parents can be prosecuted for murder. May laws have religious exemption laws on the books when it comes to murdering children by lack of care on religious grounds. It is called Childrens Healthcare Is a Legal Duty (C.H.I.L.D.) and is a great organization with a great cause.

  • Without Malice

    Jesus H. Christ almighty! I would ask how anyone could be so damn stupid but then I look around and see that most of the world believes in this horse crap and all I can do is shake my head in disgust.

  • Samuel Needleman

    yeah….but the immortal souls of these martyred kids shine in holy glory–ennobled by the unshatterable faith of their parents– from a better place, at home with Jesus, not polluted with any trace of earthly unholiness.

    (and yeah…i’m shittin ya)

  • innerspaced

    i am beyond belief that not only did the parents get away with this relatively lightly, but the church and minister of this church was not hauled before a judge and complicit in the manslaughter of these children.SHAME on you and your non existent belief system that causes such death and destruction.

  • R. Reid

    I gotta hand it to holytape.. I inadvertently barked a really loud little laugh in church… excellent comment man…

    • R. Reid

      Pretty sure think my pastor thinks I have tourettes now, thanks for that – lol

  • Riro M

    Another White couple let off the hook for killing their children with prayer. You kill, you’re white, you go free! This is the land of the free for White people! Lucky them.


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