When a child dies, faith is no defense

Ken Morgan

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"Suffer little children to come to me." So begins one of the most cited passages in the Bible. Yet, in cases involving the deaths of children in faith-healing families, the second half of Jesus's admonition from Luke 18:16 is at the heart of legal controversy: ". . . and forbid them not."


In the past 25 years, hundreds of children are believed to have died in the United States after faith-healing parents forbade medical attention to end their sickness or protect their lives. When minors die from a lack of parental care, it is usually a matter of criminal neglect and is often tried as murder. However, when parents say the neglect was an article of faith, courts routinely hand down lighter sentences. Faithful neglect has not been used as a criminal defense, but the claim is surprisingly effective in achieving more lenient sentencing, in which judges appear to render less unto Caesar and more unto God.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/13/AR2009111302220.html


So why is there a double standard? Is it simply because courts view those who practice faith healing as less malicious?

To me, I don't care if you worship Oak trees, a god, a horde or gods, or are an atheist, if your actions or lack of actions hurt or kill a child, or anybody for that matter, you will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
 

Omar B

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Yet another thread calling out for an atheist! Personally, I don't care what or who you worship, but a child not getting all the care humanly possible is child abuse in my eyes. An adult's belief system should not come to the detriment of a child.
 

arnisador

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The article draws a great comparison between the two cases--six months and keep your kids for the superstitiously ignorant and 15 years and lose your kids for the merely ignorant. It's preposterous.
 

MA-Caver

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Yet another thread calling out for an atheist! Personally, I don't care what or who you worship, but a child not getting all the care humanly possible is child abuse in my eyes. An adult's belief system should not come to the detriment of a child.
I agree strongly with this... God-fearing/loving parents SHOULD pray over their child and hope their faith is adequate enough to render God's will... BUT!!! HOWEVER!! They should let modern medical science and medicine do the WORK.
A lot of these so called laying of hands type faith healers keep forgetting the words "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God!" (Matt 4:7 ) meaning that you don't put God to the test... you put your Faith to the test in believing that when the child is healed via medicine/science (or not) that it was God's will... if you believe in that sort of thing.
Lots of people have distorted view points about what God can and will NOT do (not cannot do). Being arrogant enough to think that the power of God will go through your hands when you lay them upon your child to heal them from whatever affliction they are suffering from without proper authority/faith is asking for it. Ergo ignoring what medical services the child needs is indeed abuse and the parents need to be prosecuted to the fullest of the law.
 

Omar B

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When your faith comes at the price of someone else's well being I think it crosses over into a demonstration of "Look at me, look how pious I am! The whole world disagrees, but I don't care, I've got my piety!"
 

arnisador

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A lot of these so called laying of hands type faith healers keep forgetting the words "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God!" (Matt 4:7 ) meaning that you don't put God to the test...

Well, where medicine is concerned, all sorts of gods have been put to the test and they have a failure rate that is not statistically different from 100%. Modern medicine, though, has an excellent success rate in the kinds of problems mentioned in the article. One can believe that up is down if one wants, but can't harm others because of that belief. Those who let their children die are acting in biblical fashion by sacrificing their children but not themselves to appear more pious. It's out-and-out murder (or at least manslaughter).
 

David43515

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MA Caver hit the nail right on the head. The wonders of modern medicine are a blessing from God. The fact that he`s sent us to places where these talented doctors are should be proof that he wants us to take advantage of all that knowledge. When Jesus told the parable of the good Samaritan he didn`t say that the Samaritan prayed with the man who`d been beaten or that he cheered him on. It says that he took the man to get the best care available at the time, and everyone else should be doing the same.
 

arnisador

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The wonders of modern medicine are a blessing from God. The fact that he`s sent us to places where these talented doctors are should be proof that he wants us to take advantage of all that knowledge.

And the fact that much of Africa, say, has grossly substandard medical care is evidence that he wants them to die in pain and agony?
 

Omar B

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MA Caver hit the nail right on the head. The wonders of modern medicine are a blessing from God. The fact that he`s sent us to places where these talented doctors are should be proof that he wants us to take advantage of all that knowledge. When Jesus told the parable of the good Samaritan he didn`t say that the Samaritan prayed with the man who`d been beaten or that he cheered him on. It says that he took the man to get the best care available at the time, and everyone else should be doing the same.

Scientific achievement as a proof of god, now that's funny to me.
 
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