After “Faith-Healing” Death of Girl, a Pastor is Being Charged with Failure to Report Child Abuse

A month ago, we posted about two-year-old Ella Grace Foster, who died of pneumonia in November, even though it could have been fixed with the proper antibiotics. Unfortunately, her parents Jonathan and Grace Foster chose to leave her health in their imaginary God’s hands. The only reason anyone found out about what they did is because the funeral home they contacted after Ella Grace’s death informed police about the situation since it was unusual to see a dead toddler.

That sort of mandated reporting is what the Fosters’ pastor at Faith Tabernacle church in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania did not do, and he’s now being charged with failure to report child abuse.

Grace and Jonathan Foster

Grace and Jonathan Foster

District Attorney John Adams has argued that, as a pastor, [Pastor Rowland Foster] is what’s called a “mandated reporter” and under Pennsylvania law must report incidents of child endangerment even when his religion doesn’t allow modern medical care.

“So he was well aware of the physical condition of this child and he was well aware that this child did not receive any medical care,” Adams said, according to the arrest affidavit.

Good. The more people who are punished for this senseless crime, the better. It’s about time a pastor got punished for a death that he encouraged through prayer — and it may be the best way to show the congregation that appeals to God alone aren’t going to save anybody. Medicine and doctors and science are their best bet.

(Thanks to Kyle 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.