Faith kills again


It’s a failure to be reasonable when a parent prays while their child dies of a curable condition. But murdering the child in the name of faith?

A six-week-old baby was killed by her bipolar mother after she stuffed pages from the Bible into the infant’s mouth…..Christian fundamentalist Julia Lovemore, 41, killed daughter Faith by stuffing her mouth with paper then dousing her in white spirit and jumping up and down on her body.

This is not a role model.

There’s a lot of room for blame in this tragedy. The lady has a history of religious fanaticism, and the NHS missed signs. But faith was clearly a major component.

Lovemore’s aunt had reported her to authorities after becoming concerned over her ‘religious fervour’, saying she had distanced herself from her family, branding them ‘heathens’.

The NHS does get some blame, the mother has some history.

It was ruled that too much time was spent on determining whether the family’s extreme religious views were a sign of mental illness rather than looking at the risk they posed to the children.


I’ll save the NHS some taxpayer money; Extreme religious views are a sign of mental illness. People who claim to hear voices are in clear need of assistance from a mental health professional. People who hear voice and claim those voices are God should get no exception.

These kids didn’t deserve to die at the faith of their parents.



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  • iknklast

    Faith trumps everything. NHS probably doesn’t dare do much on these cases. My sister had three adopted children die because she tied them down in their bed and didn’t check on them until late in the afternoon the next day. Two of them died by vomiting in their sleep, and choking on it.

    Child Welfare took the remaining kids away. My sister showed up in court, halo polished and shining, a good Christian woman who took in handicapped kids out of love of God and children, and the judge actually scolded the Child Welfare for taking the kids away – in spite of the fact that the number of complaints lodged against her over the years numbered in the hundreds, and there was good evidence to suggest the complaints were legitimate (at least two of them were mine). They were “tormenting” a good Christian woman. After he returned the children, two more died. Child Welfare never touched her again.

    • Art Vandelay

      I hear something like that and I almost think the judge needs to be thrown in jail.

      Faith as a virtue is probably the most dangerous idea that we humans have ever come up with.

    • Baal

      My condolences Ikn. That’s a horrible situation to have to deal with.

    • Nate Frein

      I’d have mailed pictures of the dead children to the judge.

    • Nate Frein

      Wish I could edit this. After I posted it I realised how callous it sounded towards you.

      I have every sympathy for you. It must have been very frustrating to see that happen.

      • iknklast

        Thanks, everyone, for putting the kids first. In Oklahoma, the judges almost always put God first (the laywer told me I could have visitation stripped from my ex because he was – gasp – gay – I saw no reason to take my son away from a good father who loved him – but they won’t take kids away from a lousy mother who is clearly unfit). I myself was brought up in a “good” Christian household, where I was beaten, sexually molested, and otherwise made miserable, all in the name of God. I lived through it, but I felt totally helpless to do anything for these kids in the face of beauracratic piety.

    • Envy Burger

      I’m speechless over this. I honestly can’t believe something this horrendous could possibly happen, not only to be dismissed, but to be protected. That is devastating. Is there any legal way you could gather some information and put out a petition about this? I don’t understand the law about this stuff. Can he be tried in any way? Can anything be reopened on her? This judge deserves to be in prison as much as your sister does, fi not more.

  • g

    I don’t think I disagree with anything DrB says about this particular case, but a word of warning: the Daily Mail is *not* in any useful sense a reliable source. It’s full of scaremongering, thinly veiled racism, homophobia, stupidity, errors, exaggerations, and outright lies.

    In this case, I think the main agenda they’re pushing is an anti-NHS and anti-social-services one — the Mail is distinctly right-wing, and these are favourite targets — and what they say about the religious aspects of the case isn’t particularly distorted by that, so far as I can tell. But in general I would strongly advise against trusting anything the Daily Mail says, ever.

    • icecreamassassin

      ^^^This. I’d wait for a corroborating news story from a more reputable publication or journalist before making any real conclusions here.

      • g

        For the avoidance of doubt, I should say that the basic story is certainly correct even though the Daily Mail reported it. David and Julia Lovemore are real people, they really had two children, Julia really did kill one of them, and deranged religiosity really did have something to do with it. (I can vouch personally for some of this, albeit only the less excitingly-lurid parts. And no, I am not going to give any further details.)

  • Kodie

    When someone has a severe mental illness, it can heighten their religious beliefs toward the extreme. Is that different than what you said? I don’t tend to look at it as a case of “faith kills” but mental illness can make a person who has just had a psychotic break may rely on historical-ish dramas as instructional guides. I had one ex-boyfriend who had a psychotic break and suddenly believed himself to be the second coming of Jesus, even though he was non-religious before (although raised Catholic). Before I could figure out what was happening, he told me he’d brought a box knife to meet his father in case he got into a battle with him over his mother. I mean prepared to slit his own father’s throat. Threatened to eat my cats. That’s not really got a religious basis, sometimes the actions or intentions just come out that way or Greek tragedies, whatever. On medication, he was not like that at all, but he was never like before either. I had another ex-boyfriend who was bipolar and in extreme manic states, called me a Satanist because I didn’t want to send our hypothetical children to Catholic school. When he was level, he didn’t have any problem with my atheism and his faith was vague agnostic luck/maybe-kinda, and when he was manic again, it was extremely important for us to get married in his childhood Greek Orthodox church. When he was level, he didn’t exactly out me to his mom but deflected her assumptions that I’d had a faith to begin with, which I thought was nice of him.

    I find it somewhat difficult to comprehend a health agency overlooking patterns of serious mental issues involving extreme religiosity. It doesn’t mean they are actually extremely religious, and it doesn’t mean we lock up all the extremely religious as if they are legit ill. I don’t understand how this could ever be a case of religious freedoms if someone needs care and their children need safety and stability.

  • Mark

    Atheists demand scientific evidence from Christians but use tabloids to build their own case.

    • Cubist

      Mark, it’s worth noting that quite a few cases of death-by-faith-healing have been reported by mainstream news outlets, that presumably are a good deal less fanciful than tabloids. Can you cite any evidence that the particular report in question actually is bullshit… or are you content to raise an implicit ad hominem argument and leave it at that?

      • Mark

        I’m no logician, but I thought that the burden of proof is on the one asserting the event took place. I’m not saying it didn’t happen, or that similar instances haven’t previously taken place, but I have a right to remain unconvinced until the evidence appeases my standard of proof. More than anything, I am pointing out that Dr. Burger’s standard of proof, and perhaps that of his readers, appears to stop at a tabloid, at least for this story.

        • Cubist

          Fuck off, Mark. Had you actually been more interested in determining the veracity of the report in question than in sneering at atheists, you could have googled for “julia lovemore” and—in less time than it took you to compose your two little condescension-heavy atheists suck at burden of proof comments—discovered that yes, in point of fact, the events in question did occur. So you can take your “standard of proof”, fold it into a sharp-cornered package, and shove up your lower gastrointestinal tract until you can taste it.

          • Mark

            Cubist, I you commended for taking the step to corroborate with an additional source and not stopping at the first one that said what you wanted to hear. That is a hallmark of true skepticism.

  • RuQu

    In all fairness, the Daily Mail is a UK tabloid, so an American might not know any better. Sort of like the Iranian government getting fooled by The Onion. The Daily Mail is a pretty well known one, even over here, though.

    The description of the death is pretty outlandish as well. If you are going to use the Daily Mail, I’d make sure you have a second source…and then use that instead.

  • Art Vandelay

    Gee if only there was a way to verify the story on your own through a more reputable source. Why don’t these darn interwebs have search engines?

    • RuQu

      1) That link is awesome.
      2) That leads to my final statement: if you see something in the Daily Mail, make sure you find a second source…and then cite that one instead.
      3) Did I mention that lmgtfy is awesome? Never seen that before.

      • Nate Frein

        I love lmgtfy. It channels snark very nicely.

      • Art Vandelay

        For the record RuQu, my snark wasn’t directed at you. I was talking to “burden of proof” boy up there.

        And yes…lmgtfy is awesome.