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Prosecutor: Parents' belief in faith healing led to infant's death
May 24th, 2013
05:22 PM ET

Prosecutor: Parents' belief in faith healing led to infant's death

By Sarah Hoye, CNN

Philadelphia (CNN)–When Brandon Schaible got a rash, his parents prayed.

When the 7-month-old became irritable with diarrhea and lost his appetite, his parents, Catherine and Herbert Schaible, prayed again.

When Brandon had trouble breathing and gasped for air, his parents called a pastor - this, in spite of the fact that a judge had ordered them to call a doctor.

Brandon Schaible died on April 18 from bacterial pneumonia, dehydration and strep, according to the district attorney’s office – all treatable with antibiotics.

On Wednesday his parents were charged with third-degree murder.

The Schaibles are lifelong members of the First Century Gospel Church in Philadelphia, one of several religious groups in the U.S. that relies on faith, and eschews most medical care.

Founded in 1925, the First Century Gospel Church is an offshoot of Faith Tabernacle Congregation, also in Philadelphia. Both churches believe that God - and God alone - heals the sick.

“Herbert’s a father like anyone else. He’s hurt and he’s mourning the death of his son,” said Bobby Hoof, Herbert Schaible’s attorney. “He’s not snubbing his nose at the court. He’s incarcerated because of his faith.”

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams says the Schaibles’ failure to seek medical attention resulted in the death of their son.

“Instead of caring and nurturing him,” Williams said, “they ultimately caused his death by praying over his body instead of taking him to the doctor.”

The Schaibles are also charged with involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy and endangering the welfare of a child. In April, the couple admitted to police that their son had exhibited symptoms for several days before he died.

On Friday, Court of Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner ordered the Schaibles held without bail out of fear they were a flight risk.

“When this happened the first time around, the Schaibles had every reason to believe that, because of their faith, they had done nothing wrong,” Lerner said. “I know they’re not ‘sophisticated criminals’ … but the circumstances have changed.”

The Schaibles are already on probation for the 2009 death of another son, Kent, who died from bacterial pneumonia. A jury convicted the couple of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced them to 10 years probation.

Lerner said he was concerned that pastors and members in “churches like the Schaibles” would harbor them.

In a media interview last month, Pastor Nelson Clark of the First Century Gospel Church, said the Brandon and Ken Schaible died because of their parents’ “spiritual lack.”

Mythri Jayaraman, Catherine Schaible's attorney, called her a "completely devoted mother."

“The charges suggest a level of callousness that doesn’t fit who Catherine is,” Jayaraman said.

In addition to Pennsylvania, faith healing deaths have been prosecuted in Michigan, Indiana and Massachusetts.

According to Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty (CHILD), a nonprofit child advocacy group, at least 30 children have died since 1971 in Pennsylvania as a result of a parent's refusal to seek medical treatment because of their belief in faith healing.

Among the 30 are six children who died in 1991 from a measles outbreak in Philadelphia, all whom were born into families that belonged to either First Century Gospel Church or Faith Tabernacle.

“It’s a terrible conflict for these parents. They love their children and can see their child suffering,” said Rita Swan, president of CHILD. “If the laws were clearer, many of these parents would be relived of the pressure. As for the Schaibles, they are remarkably stubborn and extreme.”

Swan began advocating for the removal of religious exemptions from immunizations and parental legal requirements after her son Matthew died in 1977 from bacterial meningitis. She and her husband had relied on Christian Science practitioners to heal him.

“The poor child couldn’t lift an arm,” Swan said. “We prayed, we went to the practitioner. We trusted them.”

For members of faith-healing sects, it is common to believe that sickness is a result of unresolved sin or lack of faith, said Anthea Butler, a professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Faith-healing sects often interpret the Bible literally, citing, for example, Psalm 103: “Bless the Lord, O my soul … Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases.”

First Century Gospel Church’s website reinforces that theme, citing the New Testament’s Book of Acts, “By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name, and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.”

Other religious groups believe that God can heal the sick, and many believers pray to be delivered from illness. The difference is that they, unlike the Schaibles, often seek medical attention in addition to prayer, Butler said.

First Assistant District Attorney Edward McCann says the Schaibles’ actions, not beliefs, are the problem.

“How many kids have to die before it becomes an extreme indifference to the value of human life?” McCann asked. “They killed one child already.”

If convicted of third-degree murder in Brandon’s death, the Schaibles could face a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison, Lerner said. They also face an additional 7 to 14 years if a judge decides to revoke their probation in Kent’s death.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christian Science • Christianity • Crime • Culture & Science • Faith & Health

soundoff (2,002 Responses)
  1. CommonSensed

    "The Schaibles are already on probation for the 2009 death of another son, Kent, who died from bacterial pneumonia."

    Wow. Wonder if they'll procreate again and send another innocent child to an early grave?

    Like rapists, these people should be neutered.

    May 28, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • sam stone

      their god must not care about their prayers.....or maybe it doesn't exist

      May 28, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • fintastic

      "or maybe it doesn't exist"..................... say it ain't so Sam!!!

      May 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Like rapists, these people

      nSensed

      May 28, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
  2. Knights Who Say...

    ARTHUR: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!
    WOMAN: Order, eh - who does he think he is?
    ARTHUR: I am your king!
    WOMAN: Well, I didn't vote for you.
    ARTHUR: You don't vote for kings.
    WOMAN: Well, 'ow did you become king then?
    ARTHUR: The Lady of the Lake,
    [angels sing]
    her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur
    from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I,
    Arthur, was to carry Excalibur.
    [singing stops]
    That is why I am your king!
    DENNIS: Listen - strange women lying in ponds distributing swords
    is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power
    derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical
    aquatic ceremony.
    ARTHUR: Be quiet!
    DENNIS: Well you can't expect to wield supreme executive power
    just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!
    ARTHUR: Shut up!
    DENNIS: I mean, if I went around sayin' I was an empereror just
    because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me they'd
    put me away!
    ARTHUR: Shut up! Will you shut up!
    DENNIS: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.
    ARTHUR: Shut up!
    DENNIS: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system!
    HELP! HELP! I'm being repressed!
    ARTHUR: Bloody peasant!
    DENNIS: Oh, what a give away. Did you here that, did you here that,
    eh? That's what I'm on about - did you see him repressing me,
    you saw it didn't you?

    May 28, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
  3. Bootyfunk

    that people still take a 2K year old book written by ignorant sheep herders that thought the earth was flat is hard to believe. the bible has unicorns, dragons and satyrs in it. talking donkeys and talking snakes. it's not to be taken seriously. it's a book of fairy tales.

    May 28, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      The Bible is actually younger than 2,000 years, though many parts are well over 2,000 years old.
      How is it that being old is instantly incorrect? Do we not still study Plato, Socrates and others?

      Ignorance is relative. Sure those people didn't know advanced math or science, but was the book trying to teach that stuff? No, of course not. Maybe you should be critical of Plato for not writing about a heliocentric solar system.

      And what's your point about dragons and unicorns? Guess you are not familiar with the concept of poetry.

      "satyr"? I suggest you go back to the original hebrew and expand your mind beyond the KJV. Though some atheists are quite shallow when it comes to thinking.

      Correction, you do not take it seriously. Your bias opinion on it does not mean that others should not take it seriously. You are simply not that much of an authority to dictate what should or should not be taken seriously beyond your own life.

      May 28, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • science

      Chomp on the foot print ...............Bigem foot from Texas ..............teach that.

      Discovery Channel Mega Beasts – Great American Predator

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/05/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority/

      May 28, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  4. John Stemberger

    fromt heir church................Every type of financial insurance protection is purchased today, because Satan has convinced the unbelieving world that no one should be without some kind of financial protection.

    May 28, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Khloe

      Satan didn't convince me to get insurance, and God isn't paying my medical bills, is He? As a matter of fact, God doesn't provide anything at all, financial-wise, and I go by that old adage, "don't depend on anyone except yourself."

      Get real.

      May 28, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      John Stemberger,

      Insurance is but a financial racketeers' game in which the many pay in but only a very few receive the insurable bounties of the financially wealthy who scam with nakedness all the nation's people.

      Khloe wrote, "I go by that old adage, don't depend on anyone except yourself".

      Does one not depend upon others for work and an income to be so had? If so, then one is a dependent. How many folks are truly independently orientated and how many are orientated as being dependently driven? Who therefore owns who and whose dependencies dare occupies the status quo?

      May 28, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • The real Tom

      LLOSER, you're collecting social security, aren't you? So is your brother, right? Why are you bilking the system that we are all paying for?

      May 28, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Doesn't your insurance cover the cost of your mental health treatment, LL?

      May 28, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
  5. Thoth

    So where's the outcry from all the prolifer's? Conflict of interest? There is soooo much evidence in the world that prayer does not produce results. There is even more evidence that science (medical science in this case) does. As tragic as this is for the infants, it's just evolution at work. Stupid is as stupid does....eventually stupid gets phased out.

    May 28, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • WASP

      @THOTH: you're missing one vital piece of the equation:
      the human factor.
      as long as stupid out breeds the smart, then stupid will always remain dragging the rest of us down with them.

      May 28, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • science

      Hello Thoth hopefully sooner than later !

      Peace

      May 28, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      We can only hope, "....eventually stupid gets phased out"

      May 28, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Joe Bauers

      Heh. Watch the movie "Idiocracy" sometime. Hilarious, but also terrifying!

      May 28, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @WASP – The stupid outbreed the smart, e.g. the movie Idiocracy...

      May 28, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Science

      And a big part of the equation that = stupid !

      Vatican: Pope didn't perform exorcism.............................Never has been evil like the red horn-y devil !

      By Dan Merica, CNN

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/21/vatican-pope-didnt-perform-exorcism/#comments

      May 28, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  6. bostontola

    Bill Deacon,
    "Women have the right of conscious to make their own determination as to whether to abort the life of their unborn children. Can you explain to me why that right should not be extended to people whose conscious keeps them from using medical assistance?"

    Bill, it concerns me deeply that a person of conscience would hide behind abortion to justify the negligent death of children. Many Christians oppose abortion on the grounds that it kills a child. How can you then say killing a child is OK because abortion is legal? A consistent moral position would say abortion is wrong and this church/parents are wrong. What the state makes legal is a different subject.

    I'll ask again: Does anyone on this blog think what these parents did was right?

    May 28, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • God 101

      If it was God's will, then it was right.

      May 28, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Akira

      Boston, I think the silence from our regular Christians gives you your answer.
      They will not come out and say it, but their lack of denouncement speaks volumes, IMHO.
      And yes, the deflection by the abortion issue being brought up is what I have seen here again and again...and I agree completely with your answer to BD.

      May 28, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • WASP

      @bill: "Can you explain to me why that right should not be extended to people whose conscious keeps them from using medical assistance?"

      1) abortion within the first trimester is removal of a clump of cells, about like a large tumor removal. it can't breath, or function outside the womb.
      2) after the child is born and functions on it's own then it's a life and according to our laws taking that life or refusing to render aid to a child is a crime.

      one is murder because the child can live on it's own, the other isn't a life because without the mother's body it would die.
      if your child was being attacked by a dog and i just sat and watched, praying that god made the dog stop and your child died then you would want be brought up on charges of neglecting my duty as a person to save that child's life.

      May 28, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Boston, to clarify, I am not supporting what these parents did. I am taking up the argument, on their behalf that if we allow the right of conscience (thank you for the correction) in cases of abortion, why would we not allow the same in the case of medical treatment. The answer I have been given is that the state, arbitrarily in my opinion, sets the rights of personhood at something like 22 weeks of gestation. If you make it to 22 weeks, then the state has your back. What I have not been able to verify is the scientific rationale for the line being set at 22 weeks. That seems a pure political compromise. To further the argument for the parents, i would say that any line that is constructed out of political compromised can be moved by the same vehicle. So, if the right to privacy is what ultimately creates the right to set the line at 22 weeks, why should it not be moveable out further, say all the way out as it was in the Terry Schiavo case? It seems our application of state interest versus privacy in the well being of others is kind of arbitrary, doesn't it?

      May 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Wasp, I don't think you understand the basis of the right to abortion. It isn't based on the viability of the fetus, it is based on the right of conscience of the mother. It is a freedom of religion issue and a privacy protection, not a life science question. I am simply wondering why the same legal protection of privacy and conscience does not extend to people with other health decisions besides abortion.

      May 28, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • science

      Or Bill make it simple ...............the switch use to be in place .....................long ago ...........spare the rod and spoil the child ?

      well bill the rod is child abuse !

      May 28, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Catechism

      So we have Bill Deacon taking any and every story to advance his idea of how all others in the world should behave. Obedience to the views of Bill. Of course the caveat from Bill, I am not supporting what these parents did, but would you support these irresponsible people from having more children that may not be provided the necessities of life or terminate the pregnancy?

      May 28, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • mama k

      I think I understand most of your point, Bill, but why would you think 22 weeks was arrived at arbitrarily?

      May 28, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      "If you make it to 22 weeks, then the state has your back. What I have not been able to verify is the scientific rationale for the line being set at 22 weeks. "

      22 weeks, I think, is the accepted point of viability.

      "It isn't based on the viability of the fetus, it is based on the right of conscience of the mother. "

      A fetus is considered part of the body of the women until the fetus is viable outside said body. The woman has a right to privacy of her own body and the medical procedure done to it. After viability, personhood gives that person equal protection under the law, e.g. receiving simple, available, life-saving medication.

      May 28, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Catechism

      Error. irresponsible people from having, should read, irresponsible people having.

      May 28, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • mama k

      Bill: " If you make it to 22 weeks, then the state has your back. What I have not been able to verify is the scientific rationale for the line being set at 22 weeks. " Then later, you mention that the right to abortion has nothing to do with viability and then describe the 22 week cut-off as "arbitrary".

      Wouldn't the scientific rationale be the viability of the fetus? That before 22 weeks there is less than a 50% chance of survival outside the uterus (viability)?

      May 28, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      22 weeks is the point of viability where the child could live outside the womb without the mother and is still considered the consensus in the medical field though there have been cases of children surviving (though never unassisted) as early as 20 weeks. This is not an arbitrary line drawn in the sand but has long legal precedent which takes both parties into consideration.

      If you want to lobby congress to change it from 22 weeks be my guest, but if you plan on going straight from 22 weeks all the way back to conception, be prepared to lose again and again. If you went for 20 weeks i'd say you might just have a chance, but then that would be compromise wouldn't it and that smells worse than defeat to a Christian.

      May 28, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • WASP

      @bill: agreed the mother chooses wether or not to bring the fetus to term, as mama k pointed out it's only her choice to a certain point in the development of that "child". after that point it's considered a "human life" and is protected under the law as such.
      parents religious or otherwise sitting back and watching their child die is Negligence.
      again if i was your baby/childsitter and due to my beliefs did not seek help if your child had an asthma attack and died then what should be done to me?
      nothing according to you. due to my religious faith in "god" your child is now dead and you should be ok with that, correct?

      May 28, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Catechism

      Bill how do you jump to it being a freedom of religion, what does a woman who choses abortion and has no religious beliefs have to do with freedom of religion? You obviously and constantly reject a woman's decision about almost anything from abortion to participating as leaders in your delusion the RCC. You are basically anti women in all your thinking Bill, again with the be obedient and silent.

      May 28, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Roe v Wade

      "The Court later rejected Roe's trimester framework, while affirming Roe's central holding that a person has a right to abortion until viability. The Roe decision defined "viable" as being "potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid", adding that viability "is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks." – wiki

      May 28, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Akira

      Bill's argument is comparing apples to oranges but I do give him props for being the first Christian I have seen here to state he does not condone what these parents did....even if he made it while throwing in abortion, which is as unrelated to this story as motorcycle helmet safety is.

      May 28, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Akira, I'm not using abortion as a red herring. I'm using it as a departure for a conversation about privacy rights and freedom of religion, which conversely implies freedom from religion to answer one posters question. From what I can tell, the 24-28 week viability standard was set in place by the court at the time R v W was judged and may become a different time frame as technology advances. Do any pro-choice advocates foresee a time in which technology renders viability a moot point? The answer is of course that date may appear. At which point abortion rights will still be affirmed on the basis of freedom of conscience. Since that freedom of conscience is the foundational argument, I still do not see why these parents should not be afforded that freedom. We may decry their choice, as pro-life advocates do every abortion performed but isn't it still their choice to accept or reject modern medicine? Aren't their children still theirs to bring up within the value system they have chosen? Do we really want laws in place that say the state can prescribe medical procedures for us against our will?

      May 28, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " Do we really want laws in place that say the state can prescribe medical procedures for us against our will? "
      Another red herring. No one is forcing an adult to have medical procedures against their will, nor suggesting it. In THIS case, these people had a doc/umented history which required oversight, because they had proven incapable of providing reasonable care for their children. Next.

      May 28, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Catechism

      Bill Deacon
      That is truly one of the ugliest posts I have seen on this blog. No wonder you have little problem with the RCC chid abuse and cover ups by the hierarchy. They are children or women, we will do what we want with them, is that your message Bill? Remembering your responses to women in the clergy or the Nun's on the bus stories and your wretched personal history it is pretty obvious you have no respect(hate) women.

      May 28, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      There are no women in the Catholic clergy. It has nothing to do with whether or not they are respected. It has to with the theology of Christ and His bride.

      I think it's funny when people talk to me about respecting women who advocate for a system which allows for the abortion of 30 million girls since 1975. But you throw a fit when one misguided couple loses their children through ignorance and use that as a launching pd for diatribes against religion.

      Admit it. You're not really pro-choice at all are you? You're only "pro-choices I agree with".

      May 28, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • midwest rail

      "... loses their children through ignorance..."
      No. they didn't "lose" them. They killed them with neglect.

      May 28, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      "Do any pro-choice advocates foresee a time in which technology renders viability a moot point?"

      I am all for a healthy debate among educated medical professionals on viability and technology would of course be taken into consideration.

      "We may decry their choice, as pro-life advocates do every abortion performed but isn't it still their choice to accept or reject modern medicine?" At age 18 you are considered for all intents and purposes an adult with the ability to choose for yourself to enter binding contracts and have complete say over what medical needs you want or don't want. You can become a Christian Scientists at that point and deny all medical aid (if able to deny), that is your choice.

      "Aren't their children still theirs to bring up within the value system they have chosen?" No, they are not your's to do with as you see fit, after viability they are in your care, but you a responsibility to that child of food, shelter, clothing, education and health care. If you discard any of your responsibilities the State can and will take your kids away as they should and put them with parents who will meet those basic needs until that child reaches 18 and can make those choices for themselves.

      "Do we really want laws in place that say the state can prescribe medical procedures for us against our will?" Not if you are over 18 and the State has been assured you are denying medical care of your own free will and are of sound mind. Otherwise, yes, that is exactly what the State is there to do, to be a protection for those who are unable to make those sound choices on their own. To treat a person for a head wound even when they are saying "No No, i'm fine" while drunkenly staggering around the ER. It is not there to force a blood transfusion on an adult Jehovah Witness or to force an adult cancer patient to try another round of chemo if they have decided they don't want further treatment.

      The line is clear in the law and no amount of attempted obfuscation can foggy the responsibility of the parent or that of the State.

      Here is a question BD, should religious parents who are members of the Rastafarian Church be allowed to get their 7 month old high? It's part of their faith right?

      May 28, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Catechism

      But Bill you are enforcing your will and the will of your belief system on those that do not believe as you do, that is tyranny dressed up in religious belief something you will never admit. Since you started this, how about modern medicine that can determine if a fetus is going to be born with a horrible deformity, a defective heart or brain, a fatal disease or addiction inherited from the mother. Is it better to let that fetus develop and suffer in its short life time or prevent that birth. This decision is made every day by devout catholic doctors for the betterment of the mother, get over yourself Bill.

      May 28, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      Marijuana for Rastafarian babies?

      "Admit it. You're not really pro-choice at all are you? You're only "pro-choices I agree with".

      Admit it. You're not really pro-faith at all are you? You're only "pro-faith I agree with".

      May 28, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Marijuana for Rastafarian babies

      ola

      May 28, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • I am all for

      Happy Atheist

      May 28, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Dear Dill Doe, a child once born has rights. It's that simple. Idiot.

      May 28, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
  7. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    I just double-checked to make sure it wasn't the 1800s... Why do we still allow these ridiculous and archaic supersti.tions to continue to exist? How can reasonably educated adults allow their children to die, knowing full well that routine medical care will save their child? Especially, since they outright killed their first child from neglect. These 'people' should not be allowed to breed any further, they are a cancer that should be excised from our species.

    May 28, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin I just

      Oklahoma atheist

      May 28, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  8. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Sadly this case is tracking the way it has in other states where parents refuse to seek medical help for their sick children.

    With the first fatality they get a rap on the knuckles from the courts – in this case, probation. With the second fatality, (and there is so often a second fatality with such delusional behavior) the courts will try to throw the book at them.

    Unfortunately this is where child services needs to step in. Their children need to be taken away. Leaving children with these parents is a dice roll with death. Arguably prison is not the right place for these parents, but it is what our society deems is the proper punishment for crime and their behavior is criminal negligence.

    May 28, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Many humanisms trump along with opened feebleness minds and hardly do they ever take things/issues with engrained salability. Emotionally thoughtless and mentally abnormal personalized people of proprietorially misshapen grandness never rightly prioritize their minded conflagrations into being and becoming honorable mainstays of superlative righteousness. I am one's own worst enemy and tempter of other's fascinations upon Godly adorations in pleasant configurable analogies.

      May 28, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Many humanisms trump along with opened feebleness minds and hardly do they ever take things/issues with engrained salability. Emotionally thoughtless and mentally abnormal personalized people of proprietorially misshapen grandness never rightly prioritize their minded conflagrations into being and becoming honorable mainstays of superlative righteousness. I am one's own worst enemy and tempter of other's fascinations upon Godly adorations in pleasant configurable analogies.

      May 28, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • psych ward staff

      Now look what you've done, dear. You can't even keep one helping of word salad down, and now you've ordered two helpings and just look at this mess.

      May 28, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      I know, so sorry for doubling down I am! This is what one gets waiting to be inhaled,,, 👿

      May 28, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  9. lionlylamb

    http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=&oq=supercalifragilisticexpialidocious&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4MXGB_enUS510US511&q=supercalifragilisticexpialidocious+definition&gs_l=hp..3.0l5.0.0.4.73692315...........0.eQnY7nQ0GQg

    May 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Brits claim Americans know what it means:

      http://oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

      May 28, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The online OED (subscription required) has the following definition:

      supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, adj.

      A nonsense word, originally used esp. by children, and typically expressing excited approbation: fantastic, fabulous. See also supercalifragilistic adj.

      Made popular by the Walt Disney film ‘Mary Poppins’ in 1964. The song containing the word was the subject of a copyright infringement suit brought in 1965 against the makers of the film by Life Music Co. and two songwriters: cf. quots. 1949, 1951. In view of earlier oral uses of the word sworn to in affidavits and dissimilarity between the songs the judge ruled against the plaintiffs.

      So, yes, it is in 'the' dictionary. It should of course only be spoken in a ghastly attempt at a Cockney accent, or worse, sung.

      May 28, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

      What a soundtrack:

      Feed the Birds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHrRxQVUFN4

      Chim Chiminee: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGCmVDl46rY

      Let's Go Fly a Kite: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2FVLQrvUik

      Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThBhL-R58UI

      A Spoonful of Sugar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7aUAHOW6Ss

      May 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
  10. Hal A. Looya

    Some people are just plain dumb. What a shock, prayers get answered about 50% of the time. Seems to match up with pure chance I'd say. The US should try to be more like the Swiss. Morality predates christianity by at least a hundred thousand years. You don't need to believe in angels and ghosts to be able to take care of each other. Just a bunch of mindless lemmings. Can I get an Amen !!

    May 28, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      NO, prayers dont get answered 50% of the time. Have everyone that you know pray for all amputees to regrow a lost limb. If 50% of all amputees, or any ONE amputee regrows a lost limb then I will believe in your god.

      May 28, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • John Stemberger

      God hates amputees

      May 28, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Athy

      Where did you get the 50% number? Depends on what people pray for. Ususally it's for something that never gets answered.

      May 28, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
  11. lionlylamb

    fantastic.

    Then do you actually "believe" atheists truly believe in their "lacking belief in the Gods" deeming to be said as an unbelievable believability? God forbid such believable ineptness!

    May 28, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • mama k

      Oh, for crying out loud – here:

      antidisestablishmentarianism

      put that in your mouth, LL and choke on it in as your last wish ecstasy.

      May 28, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Science

      mama k

      Ok the monster squirted trough the nose on that on !

      May 28, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious to you too!

      May 28, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Science

      Oops ...........one.

      May 28, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • Chad

      I'm not finding supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in a recent Merriam-Webster dictionary.

      May 28, 2013 at 12:21 pm |

    • Ha! Chad tried to look it up!

      May 28, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Rachel

      Me neither. 🙂

      May 28, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      One can honestly see who are young and who are aged by writing about supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, a word brought about in a Mary Poppins Chitty Chitty Bang Bang theatrical novella brought to the 'silver screen'.

      May 28, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Akira

      Mary Poppins.

      May 28, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Mary Poppins was such a lame movie... insipid and boring as sin...

      May 28, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • mama k

      It was not! It was a wonderful movie.

      Ugg. OK, touché, LL.

      May 28, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      The term is belief or disbelief. Those are the two sides to the same coin. One is "I believe in this" and the other is "I do not believe in this". There is no "I believe I do not believe in this".

      What all this comes down to is semantics.

      May 28, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Science

      The BEST of Chad and Rachel ...........Below !

      Rachel

      I cannot help get sick of Chad from time to time as you all do, but if I tell him to go fvcck himself it comes back on me , what a life.

      May 25, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse

      Science

      Chad do not g seek the dentist then when you have a hot tooth...............it could kill you

      May 25, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |

      Science

      Rachel.............Thanks

      May 25, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/24/prosecutor-parents-refusal-to-seek-medical-attention-led-to-infants-death/comment-page-3/#comment-2373148

      May 28, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • fintastic

      @happy.... "Happy Atheist The term is belief or disbelief. Those are the two sides to the same coin. One is "I believe in this" and the other is "I do not believe in this". There is no "I believe I do not believe in this".....

      Exactly..........What a joke......... lambchops, who can't even use the "reply" button correctly let alone make a coherent post.

      May 28, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  12. bostontola

    As in any legal case, there are differing opinions on how to prosecute and punish/rehabilitate, that is understandable.

    But is there anyone on this blog that thinks that these parents are in the right to allow 2 children to die by stubbornly holding to faith healing?

    May 28, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Akira

      Bostontola, the biggest response of outrage I have seen in these comments are all from the known atheists/agnostics. The Christian faction have been noticeably silent, as if these parents get a free pass from their crime by mere virtue of them being Christian.

      I think this is reprehensible.

      May 28, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • mama k

      I agree, Akira.

      May 28, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      boston, I rather clumsily laid out an argument for that below but I will try to restate it here. In this country, we allow women the right to abortion as a privacy matter. Women have the right of conscious to make their own determination as to whether to abort the life of their unborn children. Can you explain to me why that right should not be extended to people whose conscious keeps them from using medical assistance? In other words when does the state have an obligation to protect someone from another person's conscious choice?

      May 28, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Science

      Bill this might help you if you bookmark IT

      http://legalnews.findlaw.com/article/0bj7cdy2zIcqA?q=law+OR+lawsuit+OR+legal+OR+%28court+AND+law%29

      Still wait on who the hell is WE .............the RCC ?

      May 28, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      BiilyD, from a legal perspective, this is well trod territory. While not all states use the same standard, each has set limits on abortion. Once the child is born, all reasonable, as determined by medical doctors not religious shamans, should (must!) be used to treat a child's ailments.

      That being said, if believers really wanted to stop abortions, they could make a good start by stopping having them. If religious cult members merely followed their own cult's rules, there would be about 700,000 fewer abortions per year in the USA, with no changes to any laws required. Why aren't your god and your beliefs strong enough to stop abortion within your cult? Why do people feel the need to change the laws about abortion for everyone?

      May 28, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Science

      Oops see you posted an answer good for you Bill

      Still bookmark the link.

      May 28, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I think you mean "conscience", not "conscious", Bill Deacon. The State has an obligation to protect people who are not competent to look after themselves from the consequences of their actions, inasmuch as we've agreed that it does have that obligation. Certainly the children of people who are not competent to look after them are to be protected, even to the extent that the parents should lose custody of them.

      May 28, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      @Bill Deacon – " In this country, we allow women the right to abortion as a privacy matter." – True

      "Women have the right of conscious to make their own determination as to whether to abort the life of their unborn children." False. Women have the right of conscience to make their own determination as to whether to abort their fetus prior to 22 weeks gestation, after that their right to an abortion is removed and will only take place if th doctor deems it medically necessary.

      "Can you explain to me why that right should not be extended to people whose conscious keeps them from using medical assistance? In other words when does the state have an obligation to protect someone from another person's conscious choice?" The when is at 22 weeks. Before that it is considered part of the womans body by federal law. An adult female who doesn't want to go to the hospital because of her religious beliefs is able to deny medical care. So between 22 weeks and 18 years both the State and the parents share a concern for the wellfare of a child. That is the law. The law says you must care for that child, provide food, clothing, shelter and education and to do everything in your power including rushing them to the emergency room to keep that child safe. Anything else is at best child endangerment and neglect.

      May 28, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Akira

      And inevitably, someone will bring up abortion, which is an entirely different subject.
      This isn't an abortion issue, unless one can term murder retroactive abortion.
      I understand that one will try and deflect hizzer tacit approval for what these parents did by bringing up an entirely different issue, rather than to state plainly that because these parents were Christian, that somehow makes the crime they committed permissible.
      Never mind that 83% of women getting abortions are Christian, or that the father in this instance let two of his children, ages 7 months and 2 years, die.
      Fuck 'em once they're born, eh?

      Reprehensible.

      May 28, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Akira

      Not to mention that these two "parents" were convicted once before on similar charges in the case of the 2 year old's death; they promised to abide by the terms of probation, which included mandatory medical treatment and well-baby checkups.
      Obviously, they lied.

      At some point, these people need to realize that their beliefs do NOT trump their child's well-being.

      So far, I have not seen one of our Christian regulars denounce the actions of these parents. Not one.

      May 28, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
  13. Honey Badger Don't Care

    They need to be sterilized. I just wish that they were in Washington where idiots like this can’t get away with this type of temporary insanity.

    May 28, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • No Turning Back Now...

      Don't worry, the sterilization process is already underway. The plan was to increase fat and salt content while decreasing cost at fast food restaraunts which are on every corner throughout the overextended bible belt. Once we got the massive group of white evangelical red staters hooked on our fast and fatty diet within a few decades they wouldn't be able to see their toes let alone their baby making junk which will begin the snowball or lardball effect and soon we will have entire red states turning into ghost towns from the low birth rates and high diabetes rates, and guess what yall? It's already working!! Just look at the list of the 10 fattest States! #1 Mississippi with nearly 35% obese, #2 Alabama with 32%, then West Virginia, Tennessee, Louisianna, Kentucky, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Arkanasas all above 30% obese.

      It's almost as if evangelicals not only treat the planet poorly because they think their God is just going to come and fix everything anyway, they treat themselves poorly because they imagine God will fix what they don't like about themselves as well. The problem is it's not God that has to deal with taking out a wall to remove their 600 lb corpse with a fork lift when they pass away from heart disease, it's the fit and healthy EMT who spends his days helping others with medical needs instead of preying things get better.

      May 28, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  14. AverageJoe76

    Veering off subject; I was on YouTube and see that there are a number of atheist who believe agnosticism is a cowardly position. Like.... what's the deal with that?? I'm agnostic, and I think it's the most logical position to take. I am basically on the fence on whether there IS or ISN'T a god. I don't see a problem with that. IN FACT, I actually have problem with how we've driven ourselves silly over the concept of God. I've just let go of the burden of even trying to answer whether there IS or ISN'T. At this point in my life, I can't see how we'll ever be satisfied with the answer. Humans will always have more questions beyond the answers we obtain. And our burning desire to know everything, will never be fulfilled. There is always something unknown. And in that 'unknown' rests the God-concept.

    May 28, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • Science

      And............Biggest JOKE under the SUN.................NO heaven or horn-y red devil..........never has been !

      Heaven for atheists? Pope sparks debate

      By Dan Merica, CNN

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/23/heaven-for-atheists-pope-sparks-debate/comment-page-43/#comment-2372761

      PS Do a simple search for Prof. Higgs.............the church hates that = True Comedy Gold !

      May 28, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Madtown

      I'm agnostic, and I think it's the most logical position to take
      -------
      Good post, I agree completely. I'll take it a step further, everyone is agnostic, despite what they label themselves. From the most passionate theist to the most passionate atheist, NO ONE really knows the answers to these questions conclusively. So, we're all really agnostic.

      May 28, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • JWT

      Its exactly the same we were are agonstic about the pink and purple leprchauns that live in the sun and make it glow.

      May 28, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      @JWT – Ahhh, but one day my friend, man will be amongst the heavens... traveling the cosmos. And who knows, we may obtain enough power to crack open suns and reveal the creamy centers. Then we'll drag out those pink and purple leprechauns and force them to urinate in a cup. For I must drink of the nectar of a solar leprechaun in order to grow the hyperion weed from my epidermis. Amen.

      May 28, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • JWT

      The leprechauns are infiintely more likely than any god,.

      May 28, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • LinCA

      @AverageJoe76

      You said, "I'm agnostic, and I think it's the most logical position to take."
      Agreed, since there is no evidence for any god, there is no knowledge about whether they exist.

      You said, "I am basically on the fence on whether there IS or ISN'T a god. I don't see a problem with that."
      Being "on the fence" implies that you put the odds of there being (or not being) a god at somewhere around 50%, give or take 49%. That is not a logical position to take.

      Without evidence for any gods, they are no more likely to exist than other imaginary creatures.

      You said, "IN FACT, I actually have problem with how we've driven ourselves silly over the concept of God. I've just let go of the burden of even trying to answer whether there IS or ISN'T. At this point in my life, I can't see how we'll ever be satisfied with the answer."

      We don't know with 100% certainty that there aren't any, but given the current state of the evidence, they are highly unlikely, is a perfectly satisfying answer to me.

      You said, "Humans will always have more questions beyond the answers we obtain. And our burning desire to know everything, will never be fulfilled. There is always something unknown. And in that 'unknown' rests the God-concept."
      Assigning everything we don't know (yet) to gods, is how we ended up in this mess in the first place. In and of itself, this practice may not be very harmful, even beneficial to alleviate the anguish of simple minds, but if it becomes dogmatic, it is detrimental to society. Clinging to "goddidit" in spite of evidence to the contrary impedes progress.

      It appears that the more human a believer's god is, the more dogmatic his/her religious beliefs are. The more dogmatic the beliefs, the less flexible and the more detrimental they are for a civilized society. The followers of these gods will readily accept destruction of the Earth because they believe the end-times are here, or fly airplanes into buildings because they are symbols of believers in a different god.

      Belief in gods is a cancer, and while yours may be benign, if left untreated, may very well become malignant.

      May 28, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Science Assistant

      Out of buttermilk for your homemade pancakes? Some people say use milk soured with a little vinegar instead.
      But mama k says if you have little sour cream on hand, that works well too.

      OK, now what I saw that was interesting was this:

      Quantum Magnetism Observed For First Time, Physicists Say:
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/26/quantum-magnetism-first-time-physicists_n_3339243.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

      May 28, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • illusive

      Agnosticism and atheism are not mutually exclusive,
      Agnosticism is a claim of knowledge ( "I don't know")
      Atheism is claim of belief ("I believe god does not exist"), or a rejection of theist claims (atheism does not say "god does not exist" that would be a gnostic atheist and is shifting the burden of proof)
      The true default position (or null hypothesis) is agnostic atheist ("I don't believe, but I don't know for sure")

      May 28, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Science

      Science Assistant..............Cool article...............and that is probably why a chondrite has 2 separate poles and a compass

      or GPS does not work .

      Peace

      May 28, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • fintastic

      Illlusi......... "Atheism is claim of belief..."

      Wrong....... Atheism is a LACK OF BELIEF IN GOD..... nothing more........ that's it.

      May 28, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Illusive

      fintastic: Yes, atheism is a lack of belief in a god, but it is still a claim, "I don't believe" is a claim...look up the word "claim" if you don't believe me. ("To assert in the face of possible contradiction")

      May 28, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • michelledrhea

      AverageJoe76, if you cannot honestly say, "I believe there is a god", you are, in fact, literally an "atheist". You are without a belief in any deities, which is all an atheist is. You are also agnostic. Agnostic is not a stand-alone term, and there is no fence between believing and not believing. One can not know and not believe: "agnostic atheist", or one can not know and believe: "agnostic theist". Those who say they "know" there is or is not a god are "gnostic". There are gnostic theists and gnostic atheists.

      May 28, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Illusive

      michelledrhea is absolutely correct

      May 28, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Hal A. Looya

      I think Richard Dawkins explains the agnostic distinction quite well. He said: 'On a scale of seven, where one means I know he exists, and seven I know he doesn't, I call myself a six.'

      Professor Dawkins went on to say he believed was a '6.9', stating: 'That doesn't mean I'm absolutely confident, that I absolutely know, because I don't.'

      May 28, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @LinCA; In response to, "Assigning everything we don't know (yet) to gods, is how we ended up in this mess in the first place. In and of itself, this practice may not be very harmful, even beneficial to alleviate the anguish of simple minds, but if it becomes dogmatic, it is detrimental to society. Clinging to "goddidit" in spite of evidence to the contrary impedes progress." - I totally get where your coming from, BUT I believe intelligent beings (humans) must entertain this concept of God. It would be impossible to rid humanity of the god-concept altogether. No matter what, some culture will pop-up with the "goddidit" at some point in time. The god-concept may be interwoven into our creative thinking simply because "we don't know". Man should ATTEMPT to follow the breadcrumbs (data) the universe has left to figure out the grand design. Mankind's problem has been "we need the entire story". The story of us, and all that has ever been, will only be given to us in pieces. So although I don't believe in man's interpretations of God, I'm open to maybe there being one. And if there isn't, I'm fine with just being apart of the universe. That's my 50%, 'sitting on the fence' explanation of my agnosticism.

      May 28, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • fintastic

      @Illusive........ wrong again. Atheism is a statement of disbelief, not a "claim".

      state·ment
      1. The act of stating or declaring.
      2. Something stated; a declaration.

      Claim;

      "State or assert that something is the case, typically without providing evidence or proof."

      Religion makes the "claim" that god exists "without providing evidence or proof" and of course, you can't prove a negative.

      Prove that unicorns don't exist.....

      May 28, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • LinCA

      @AverageJoe76

      You said, "I totally get where your coming from, BUT I believe intelligent beings (humans) must entertain this concept of God."
      Why? Why must we? It actually seems that the more intelligent humans are, the less likely they feel this is necessary.

      You said, "It would be impossible to rid humanity of the god-concept altogether. No matter what, some culture will pop-up with the "goddidit" at some point in time."
      It is true that, for all of recorded history, humans have done that. But simply because they tend to do that, doesn't mean it is a valid reason to do so.

      You said, "The god-concept may be interwoven into our creative thinking simply because "we don't know"."
      I have no problem with simpler minds assigning everything they don't know to some supernatural force. I object to them expecting me to do it, too. I object to it being passed off as being a reasonable explanation for natural phenomena. It is no more reasonable than claiming that the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny "did it".

      You said, "Man should ATTEMPT to follow the breadcrumbs (data) the universe has left to figure out the grand design."
      Yup, and inserting an unsupported claim about supernatural agents stifles that endeavor.

      You said, "Mankind's problem has been "we need the entire story"."
      Only the simpler minds among us need "the entire story". The more someone knows, the more he/she realizes he/she will never know the entire story. Making up shit to claim to complete the story does nothing to get to the truth.

      You said, "The story of us, and all that has ever been, will only be given to us in pieces."
      True, but filling in the blanks with utter bullshit, adds nothing.

      You said, "So although I don't believe in man's interpretations of God, I'm open to maybe there being one."
      The fact that you capitalize the word seems to indicate you have a specific one in mind. This seems counter to the claim of not believing man's interpretation.

      How much of the notion of your "God" is shaped by the notions of your parents and community? Do you give equal weight to Odin, Ra, Allah, Mithra, Yahweh and Zeus, and thousands of others? Do you allow for more than one?

      I'm interested to know how much of man's interpretation you accept, and how much you doubt or dismiss.

      You said, "And if there isn't, I'm fine with just being apart of the universe. That's my 50%, 'sitting on the fence' explanation of my agnosticism."
      I get where you are coming from, but I fail to see how, given the complete lack of support in evidence, you could get anywhere close to 1%, let alone 50%.

      May 29, 2013 at 10:22 am |
  15. Brother Maynard

    Prayer changes things ...

    It kills 7 month olds

    May 28, 2013 at 9:28 am |
  16. leadsharp

    I agree with Bootyfunk, a knee jerk reaction is to say "The parents are evil and should be put away for life" when in fact it's the church that's in the wrong.

    Sterilise the parents (that or fifty years on your tax dollar) no more harm to kids. If the parents ever get sick let natural selection take it's course.

    Take the church leaders to court charge them with as much as you can.

    Set up a free health service so people can have more options than joining a church that will kill your kids.

    Desperation, the breeding ground of religion.

    May 28, 2013 at 6:43 am |
    • Bostontola

      I prefer a system based on personal responsibility.

      May 28, 2013 at 7:23 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      I'm not sure incarcerating them would be the right thing to do in order to get them the help they require. Both these people seem to be so deeply ingrained in the church that they obviously failed to see the potential consequences of their actions, even after having another child die. This is probably all they know in life, so jail is likely not the answer but instead institutionalizing them and ensuring they get help to overcome the psychosis/brainwashing. The pastor should also be held accountable here.
      The following article has some greater details and speaks of the 7 other children these people have.

      http://www.news.com.au/world-news/faith-healing-parents-herbert-and-catherine-schaible-still-believers/story-fndir2ev-1226650609199

      May 28, 2013 at 7:27 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Yes it's most definitely the church's fault. Faith healing doesn't work. Faith healers are scam artists. All those scenes you've seen where church leaders who claim to be able to heal are seen putting on this big stage show. People hobble up and then claim they can now walk or see are after the priest lays hands on them. It's all a staged act. And all the gullible followers empty their pocket to fund these crooks.
      Think about it. If there was even a shred of truth to their healing powers then hospital administrators would be climbing over each other to gain access to them. Why are these "healers" putting on a stage show instead of working with doctors to help save really sick and injured people? Because it's total baloney...and there isn't a collection plate at the hospital...that's why.

      May 28, 2013 at 7:37 am |
    • Bostontola

      We have a legal system based on laws. Try them, if guilty lock them up. I wouldn't oppose offering detox therapy. Maybe the example could jolt others in the cult to reconsider. Remember, these parents are repeat offenders and 2 children are dead directly from their decisions/actions.

      May 28, 2013 at 7:38 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Bostonola: Indefinite time in an institution would probably work better than jail. Jail doesn't tend to offer much help to the mentally ill. It doesn't seem like these two comprehended the seriousness of the first crime.
      From the other article I previously mentioned:
      " "These are people who have been brought up in these communities; their beliefs are reinforced every day," Mr Peters said. "They're not trained intellectually to question these doctrines, where the rest of us might engage in critical inquiry, weighing the benefits of medicine versus the benefits of prayer."

      A handful of families, including one in western Pennsylvania, have lost two children after attempts at faith healing, according to Mr Peters, who wrote "When Prayer Fails: Faith Healing, Children and the Law."

      Mr Peters isn't sure that courts have the means to prevent the problem, since such people don't fear legal punishment, only Judgment Day. Some believe death "is a good outcome," given their belief in the afterlife, he said.

      "They don't want to harm their children. They're just in this particularly narrow – and very, very dangerous – way misguided about the potential of medical science," he said."

      So what course of action can be taken to prevent other children from this church from suffering the same? Does Children's Services go in and demand to see medical records and if those can't be provided, remove the children? Something has to be done to prevent this from happening again.

      May 28, 2013 at 7:57 am |
    • Bostontola

      They should have gotten rehab after the first death. Wanton disregard for court rulings should be punished even in the case of brainwashing. There may be church responsibility as well, but the adults must also be held responsible if found guilty.

      May 28, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • Dan

      "People hobble up and then claim they can now walk or see are after the priest lays hands on them. It's all a staged act. And all the gullible followers empty their pocket to fund these crooks."

      They are people who know how to make a buck off of the placebo effect. You don't need a cure, you just need to tell people they are cured and you will start getting results.

      May 28, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • Brother Maynard

      Ok I'm going to say something that most here will probably feel is inappropriate if not totally wrong
      I think there could be an arguement for acquittal for this couple on the arguement of separation of Church and State.
      These people are dedicated to their church and are actually demonstrating total 'FAITH' ...
      Should the State infringe on that right?

      May 28, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • Dan

      "These people are dedicated to their church and are actually demonstrating total 'FAITH' ...
      Should the State infringe on that right?"

      Um, yes. Without a doubt. Once the State recognizes that child as a human with human rights at 22 weeks it is no longer just the parents who are the caretakers of that life but the human community at large. The religious want the government to step in and stop some women from having an abortion before 22 weeks and yet they don't want the State to step in and medically save the child from ignorant parents who think that they can pray away child diseases after 22 weeks. You cannot have it both ways.

      May 28, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • Brother Maynard

      Dan sez:
      "You cannot have it both ways"
      No disrepect intended ( really )
      But cannot the arguement be made that there are individuals in the state that are fighting to allow abortions at anytime during pregnancy as well? AND that these people make their arguement on the premise of "separation of church and state"?
      That sword slices both ways.

      May 28, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • ME II

      @Brother Maynard,
      All freedoms have limits and harming others is one of those limits. The law does not allow someone to harm another based on religious freedom.

      May 28, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Brother Maynard

      Here really is my point, IF the intent is to stop religion and religious practices ( which I am all for )
      Then by prosecuting them, they ( and members of their church ) will see that as persecution– persecution of their faith. This may strengthen it more by them seeing themselves as martyrs.

      May 28, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • ME II

      @Brother Maynard,
      I don't think the intent, especially of the law, is to stop religious practices, but to protect all equally.

      May 28, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • bostontola

      Brother,
      What if a religion had human sacrifice as a tenet, would that be protected?

      May 28, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Brother Maynard

      Bostonola sez:
      "What if a religion had human sacrifice as a tenet, would that be protected?"
      EXCELENT point .. AND I think you are making my point.
      How many parishoners / members would there be in this religion?
      I'm thinking '0' therefore the religion would not exist.

      May 28, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Secular humanism protects the rights of human sacrifice. We call it women's health. At issue is not whether the fetus in question is human or even alive. What ultimately grants the right to abortion is the rights of the mother trump the rights of the unborn. Sematicists will argue about when life begins etc but ultimately the only for abortion rights deteriorates into an argument for rights of personhood and we do not grant those to unborn humans. So Maynard's argument has grounds. If we allow mothers to terminate the life of their unborn children as a right o privacy matter, why then should we not allow people to refuse medical assistance based on the same criteria. Put another way, why does the state have interest in preserving the life of a five year old but not a five week old fetus?

      May 28, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Science

      Bill who the hell is WE .................the RCC ?

      May 28, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • mama k

      Well they arrested that group in Chile this year who sacrificed a baby to a bonfire last November thinking that the baby was an antichrist. The AP article also said most of the sect was comprised of professionals – a veterinarian, a draftsman – they said everyone in the sect had a university degree.

      May 28, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • mama k

      Well – that's Chilean law, but so much for the possibility of that type of case not existing.

      May 28, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      In all such cases people are driven to do what they do by accepting completely that what God wills is right. Once they feel they have arrived at what God wills, there is amazing reinforcement at work that sees them through to the end – such that any influence outside of God's will must be rejected absolutely, including anything their own reason might tell them.

      May 28, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Really-O?

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsFEV35tWsg&w=640&h=360]

      May 28, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      we = us= the people= society

      May 28, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • midwest rail

      So all of society agrees that abortion = human sacrifice ? Really ? I missed that poll.

      May 28, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      "Secular humanism protects the rights of human sacrifice."

      "human sacrifice, the offering of the life of a human being to a deity. " (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/275881/human-sacrifice)

      That seems directly counter to secular humanism.

      "If we allow mothers to terminate the life of their unborn children as a right o privacy matter, why then should we not allow people to refuse medical assistance based on the same criteria."

      I think you answered your own question, the "rights of personhood and we do not grant those to unborn humans." Although your use of the phrase "unborn humans" might be viewed as a "Sematicists" argument, the difference is that a five week old fetus, is not considered a person.

      May 28, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
  17. faith

    CNN is being sued for hate-speech and promoting terrorism. Individual posters will be defendants as well.

    May 28, 2013 at 1:19 am |
    • Bostontola

      Does your faith condone intentional lies like the ones above?

      May 28, 2013 at 1:22 am |

    • Do you need my address?

      May 28, 2013 at 1:22 am |
    • faith

      faith

      CNN is being sued for hate-speech and promoting terrorism. Individual posters will be defendants as well.

      May 28, 2013 at 1:24 am |

    • Weren't you the one trying to cast out demons earlier? The blood of Jesus didn't work for you, then?

      May 28, 2013 at 1:26 am |
    • Bostontola

      I couldn't find any suit against CNN for hate speech, can you provide the source? If not, how do you explain your assertion?

      May 28, 2013 at 1:28 am |
    • Athy

      Fellas, you're dealing with an adolescent. Or at least an adolescent mind. Best to simply ignore him. Let him rant. He's only promoting atheism.

      May 28, 2013 at 1:34 am |
    • Mirosal

      The best rants are from Dennis Miller, at least he uses logic and a valid argument for the basis of his rants, and they make sense. That's something "faith" just cannot do.

      May 28, 2013 at 2:20 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      An empty lawsuit that does nothing. Kind of like faith. How ironic.

      May 28, 2013 at 5:15 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      oh faithy, is your medication needing an adjustment again?

      May 28, 2013 at 6:06 am |
    • Science

      Fait does NOT like the ............

      GOOD NEWS...............faith the peachy one......chad too.......you know all creationists too......... story = truth !

      http://www.ibtimes.com/atheists-fight-gideon-bibles-books-christopher-hitchens-richard-dawkins-georgia-state-parks-
      1271125

      Science books and education TRUMPS the 666 beast and the red horn-y devil !

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/05/when-christians-become-a-hated-minority/

      Have a great life.

      Peace

      PS...........by the way there has NEVER been a red horn-y devil.

      Do a simple search for Prof. Higgs .............the church hates that .

      May 28, 2013 at 6:15 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Where do I sign up to be a witness for the defense?

      May 28, 2013 at 6:53 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      "sued for hate-speech and promoting terrorism"

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ...oh my sides are aching...ha ha ha ha what a moron.

      May 28, 2013 at 7:17 am |
    • Mirosal

      Shouldn't churches be sued in federal court, for promoting hate speech and terrorism? They seem to excel at those things. And then they should lose all tax-exempt status because they are constantly entering the political circles.

      May 28, 2013 at 7:25 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      I'd just like to know where there is an act of terrorism in anything said. Faithy comes here and dishes it out but yet is incapable of taking it back. Sounds like a classic case of Borderline Personality Disorder, treatable by medication. I'd like to be a fly on the wall the day she files the lawsuit, just to hear the lawyer laugh his/her ass off at the hypocrisy.
      Remember faithy, there is just as much to prove you're culpability as there is for anyone else.
      If you can't stand the heat, get away from the fire.

      May 28, 2013 at 7:33 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      before the grammar gestapo come out to play..."you're culpability" should be "your culpability"

      May 28, 2013 at 7:48 am |
    • Colonel Hans Braunwort, Grammar Gestapo

      We have ways of making you talk properly, fraulein. As you can see, we do not even need to be here.
      You are already under our control. Excellent.

      May 28, 2013 at 9:34 am |
    • Dan

      Hey faith, if you need an attorney i'm available for hire but it's going to take a lot of cash for the retainer. Once you pay up i'll submit the lawsuit for you. I won't be showing up to any of the court appearances of course, i'll just use the power of prayer to win. I'll sit at home and pray and pray that mean people who say mean things to you on the internet will disappear...

      May 28, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • sam stone

      Come and get us, pen-day-ho

      May 28, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • The real Tom

      Gee, faith, when are they coming? It's after 10 and I have yet to hear a word.

      Would you like my address and phone number as well?

      May 28, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • Akira

      Isn't faith breaking the 9th Commandment?
      Hypocrite. Liar.
      Hush, now. You're babbling, dear. Get some rest.

      May 28, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      faith, you're one of the stupidest human beings on earth. really.

      May 28, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  18. Bostontola

    Pretty incredible that these same parents had an earlier child die due to stubborn adherence to faith healing. They were on probation for that death when this child died. Religion is the antidote for learning. How many of their own children would have to die for them to realize their belief is false? As a society, we can't let them run that experiment. They them, if guilty, lock them up.

    May 28, 2013 at 1:18 am |
    • Bostontola

      Try them.

      May 28, 2013 at 1:20 am |
  19. Bootyfunk

    "With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."
    - Steven Weinburg

    in this case, a more accurate interpretation:
    With or without it you would have educated people doing competent things and uneducated people doing ignorant things. But for educated people to do ignorant things, that takes religion.

    May 28, 2013 at 1:08 am |
    • Bostontola

      Booty,
      I'd say letting your child die by refusing routine medical attention qualifies as evil.

      May 28, 2013 at 1:11 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      knowingly, yes. but like others in their cult, they *think* they're doing the right thing. it shows how evil cult brainwashing is, and how strong. evil? i'm not sure they are. their beliefs cause evil though. church leaders that tell people not to take their child to the doctor, that god will heal them - they should be charged, too.

      May 28, 2013 at 1:16 am |
    • Bostontola

      Good people doing evil things... Hits the mark for me.

      May 28, 2013 at 1:23 am |
  20. USMC1371

    Why is it only third degree murder? These two religious retards had time to act. They clearly decided to put their childs life into the hands of a fairytale instead of a doctor that could have saved him. That is clear pre-meditation and should be prosecuted as such. They should face the death penalty like the one they forced on that poor child.

    May 28, 2013 at 12:34 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It has to do with the type of malice involved: "Reckless indifference to an unjustifiably high risk to human life (sometimes described as an "abandoned and malignant heart") ... the killing must result from defendant's conduct involving a reckless indifference to human life and a conscious disregard of an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily injury."

      May 28, 2013 at 12:39 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      "a reckless indifference to human life and a conscious disregard of an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily injury."

      sounds like they're guilty then.

      May 28, 2013 at 1:13 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.