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
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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. Over 40,000 sects of insanity

    When incidents like the subject of this article come to light, many Christians are only too ready to try explain how another Christian's interpretation of ancient "scripture" is not quite right.

    There was a sect in Chile, South America late last year (November) who sacrificed a baby to a bonfire. The sect leader of this group comprised of mostly professionals had convinced the mother of the baby that the baby was an antichrist. They wrapped the baby up and slid it down a plank into a raging bonfire.

    One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one (over 4,000,000 members) in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage. One sect, the Westboro Baptist Church believes Americans are being killed at war because America is too kind to "fags". Many of these sects are equally divergent on the roles of women in society.

    One sect believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri. Some believe the Pope is the Antichrist. Some believe Obama is the Antichrist.

    Some believe that celibacy is the only option for certain people, or for people in certain positions. Many of the people from these same institutions advocate against abortion, but pretend not to understand the realistic benefit of the morning after pill or even basic contraception; their unrealistic wishful thinking is causing the death of many at the hands of disease.

    Conflicted right from the start, Christianity continues to splinter, creating more and more extreme divisions, with each division trying to assert itself as some true messenger of the word of the Christian God.

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    (Thomas Jefferson, from Notes on the State of Virginia, 1785)

    May 27, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Troy

      Couldn't have said it better. I'm a Christian, and I do believe in God and accept Jesus as the savior, but as you pointed out, for whatever reason, Christianity has become a measuring contest. I also think that people have it wrong, as well. As I've said below, I think God has provided science as a tool to help man. So many Christians want to condemn science as a tool of the Devil, but has anyone ever stop to think: What if God enabled the primordial soup to come together and hit it with a lightning bolt to get things going? Would that be out of his power? Or maybe God enabled evolution as a way to create things, and Moses told the creation story the only way he knew how to explain it? Just a thought.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • faith

      Couldn't have said it better. I'm a Christian, and I do believe in God and accept Jesus as the savior, but as you pointed out, for whatever reason, Christianity has become a measuring contest. I also think that people have it wrong, as well. As I've said below, I think God has provided science as a tool to help man. So many Christians want to condemn science as a tool of the Devil, but has anyone ever stop to think: What if God enabled the primordial soup to come together and hit it with a lightning bolt to get things going? Would that be out of his power? Or maybe God enabled evolution as a way to create things, and Moses told the creation story the only way he knew how to explain it? Just a thought.

      i'm a budhist and i believe in cows

      May 27, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • oOo

      You sound like someone about midway between the current Pope and a modern Deist, Troy.

      May 27, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Troy

      Ha. About right. Divine Providence with exceptions – for the most part, I think God set the universe in motion, and lets us be, but there are some things that just escape explanation and boggle the mind, in a good way. Unexplained cases of people that recover from terminal cancer. Animals sensing death and comforting the person. Interbreeds of animals caring for the young (Dogs lactating for newborn kittens that lost the mother). People recovering from severe illness inexplicably. Etc., etc. Things that seem like they should have a scientific explanation but hasn't been found as of yet.

      May 27, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • oOo

      Than I can assume, Troy, that you have no trouble advising an ill person to seek medical help if they have a serious issue?

      May 27, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
  2. Troy

    Fred from below,

    You need to understand the principle that God helps those who helps themselves. God isn't a reason to be lazy or stupid. God has given you the tools and the know-how to help you in any situation you encounter. That goes for anyone in this world, at least that's my believe. God empowers us to get off our ass and help ourselves. If you want to improve your situation in this world, I encourage you to pray about it. And, every time, an answer will be provided – but you need to know what kind of answer is coming. It's not an angel falling from the heavens to answer to your beck and call. It's more a path for you to follow – a path out of debt and to make your sitaution better through a job opportunity; a path to the hospital to get medical attention; a path to mend a broekn friendship and / or relationship by having to power to be a bigger person and enter into an open-minded conversation to resolve things; etc., etc., etc. God helps us to see our path out of misery; it's up to an individual to take it, and not be lazy or claim "God isn't helping me." You're just too misguided by the religious fanactics who probably wouldn't know God if he walked right up to their face. Open your mind and try to see the way things are for real.

    May 27, 2013 at 3:46 pm |

    • too vague
      (another snake-oil salesman?)

      May 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Troy

      No snake-oil here. I just believe God works through empowerment rather than directly. "Help me help you", etc.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • mary

      Troy, if you are having to do all the lifting, then a reasonable conclusion is that there's no god there. At least open your mind to that possibility.

      May 27, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • fintastic

      "God has given you the tools and the know-how to help you in any situation you encounter."

      And you know this how?

      May 28, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • G to the T

      "You need to understand the principle that God helps those who helps themselves. "
      Actually – this is a fairly modern saying and is completely at odds with what the early christians believed...

      May 28, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
  3. Ron

    Blessed be the Name of the Lord. I'm so happy that God hears my prayers. He answers them according to His will, not according to mine. I know that He not only hears and answers, but that all the answers He gives are for my own good. I have His peace with me always ever since I received Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was younger. Thank You Lord for always hearing my prayers and answering them in the way that is best for me. PTL

    May 27, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Athy

      That post ought to give a big boost to atheism. Thank you, Ron. Keep up the good work.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:43 pm |

    • (perfect example of someone who is released from having to think courtesy of your neighborhood religion)

      May 27, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Ron

      athy, Thank You, I do intend to keep glorifying God. Those who are of God receive it, those who are not will continue in their folly. It seems you prefer darkness to light. Unless you repent, you will get your wish for eternity.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Gee, that's great Ron.

      Personally, I'm really happy that I looked objectively at what I believed and why, and had the intelligence to realize that gods are human constructs, created to help understand and appeal to the unknown. It's great that as a species humanity has reached the point where at least some of us can understand and explore the unknown, instead of calling it god and worshiping it.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Athy

      Utter baloney. You have to be totally nuts to believe that bullshit.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      If Hitler, your brother in Christ, repented in his final moments, A distinct possiblility, he would then enter heaven. I want nothing to do with a god that would allow that. You call others beliefs folly but you believe in a book that has been proven wrong in many places, and has more holes in it than a sieve...that's rich.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Ron

      Richard, I have recomendation for you my friend. Ask God to help you understand who He Is. Draw near to Him. You may be surprised what happens.

      May 27, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Stuff it in a sack. I have studied your god for decades. Many others as well. They are all contstructs of men, imaginations answer to men's own ignorance. The bible has been proven wrong in so many places, and I am not wrong about Hitler either, that the whole thing is more odiferous than a pile of manure next to the rotting corpses of a hundred bison on a hundred degree day.
      I could not study the bible any further than I have and come up with anything other than pure BS. You are better off trying to make a case for the Silmarilion.
      Your are the one to be pitied. The righteous never are.

      May 27, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Richard Cranium

      Don't you just love the patronizing tone that christians get when they assume that you've never read the bible or other religious texts?

      I think it's because they are intellectually lazy and don't bother to investigate whether their religious teachers and texts are true. They assume the falsehood of other beliefs because they've been told they are untrue, but most have not really even read the bible, much less the canonical texts of other belief systems. They assume that everyone is as lazy as they are and that you just haven't heard the "good news" yet.

      May 27, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Part of it is what is built into the bible...that you'll go to hell if you don't believe and accept, that you have to have faith to feel the real power, and everyone else just isn't rying hard enough, the whole pearls befoer swine ( I say better swine than sheep....swine are intelligent, sheep are the dumbest animals I have ever seen)...there is so much of the self affirming crap in the bible, that you feel you can't afford to doubt it.
      All classic brainwashing techniques.

      May 27, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ RC

      Oh, I know. I was raised in a devoutly RCC home, went to parochial school, became a fundie, spent years studying the bible.

      I'm just glad to be out of it. I don't feel like I was born bad anymore. Life is so much better without the burden of having to shut off big parts of my brain so that I could swallow the bullshit.

      It's great to be happy and fulfilled with this life, instead of putting it on hold in hopes of another one.

      May 27, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • mary

      Ron, does your god know everything? Or is yours one of those lesser gods?

      May 27, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • Ben

      Ron ran away. His security blanket tooth fairy got challenged and he can't defend it.

      May 27, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • The real Tom

      No, mary, only Chard and Mark the Piddler know everything. They'll tell you so whether you ask them or not.

      May 27, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • jchastn

      I believe in a God that gave us miraculous brains, and expects us to use them. To stand and ignore scientific medical knowledge that God gave us the brains to figure out, and just pray over, not one, but 2 dying children is beyond criminal, it is blasphemy and not using the knowledge that God gave us.

      May 27, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • Athy

      God has nothing to do with it. No god needed. It was science, chemists, doctors, etc that did it. God didn't give them their brains; they developed over millions of years of evolution. Thinking god is involved is stone age thinking. You should know better.

      May 27, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • lionlylamb


      Brains? They evolved? One's brain evolved over millions of years? Who owns the original schematics for our brain yards then? Who keeps one's brain yard in good measure? We are as physiological summations of cosmologically atomic indulgences' creativity in bimolecular synergies compiled into a conglomeration in cellular submissiveness.

      May 27, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • fintastic

      "Unless you repent, you will get your wish for eternity."

      More empty threats from the deluded.....

      May 28, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • fintastic

      Lambchops..... "atomic indulgences"............ oh my, sounds like some good acid this time lambchop.

      May 28, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • fintastic

      "I believe in a God that gave us miraculous brains, and expects us to use them. To stand and ignore scientific medical knowledge that God gave us the brains to figure out,"

      This is a good example of religious backpedaling, a constant attempt to make religion compatible with modern science.

      May 28, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
  4. pHumer

    Yea, I verily pray to thy God, let no more innocent infants and children die from their parents' supersti-tious ignorance.
    And it shall come to pass, and history serves as our guide, that, lo, this wish shall not become reality.

    May 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      "Pray one for compassion for we are all ill-responders be it of the Word or be it of the world's ways".

      May 27, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
  5. Colin

    It's a little hypocritical of the state, if you think about it. They put "In God We Trust" on our money, but when somebody does, in circ.umstances where the trust can really be tested, the state will criminally prosecute them when their prayers (inevitably) fail. It's a bit like saying, "look you idiots, it looks good on a coin, but it's not as though this God stuff actually works!"

    May 27, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Al

      I think most politicians and judges claim to be religious to appease the masses. There are way more atheists in this country than the numbers show.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Well, they are actually correct. It does look good on a coin, and it really doesn't work.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Athy

      Hopefully, like the gay athletes sho've recently "come out", atheists will start to follow suit. Many religious people I know have already privately admitted doubt of their faith, but are prevented by peer pressure from openly admitting they don't believe. They continue to attend church "just in case". I think we'll begin to see this change over the next few years as the stigma of being an atheist softens and the utter foolishness of religion becomes more obvious.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • fred

      Give onto Caesar what is Caesar's. Interesting how even the atheist unknowingly obeys God. You work like slaves for money that is currency of a material way of life while bankrupt in the currency of God.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • oOo

      fred that was lame, even for you. go back to your nap.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  6. Jojo

    Nothing fails like prayer.

    May 27, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
  7. Steve

    This is called, "Learning the hard way." If this isn't proof that there is no God, I don't know what could be. I'm still waiting for proof from the other side. If God punished sinners, my daughter would have been dead long ago, but I take her to the doctor. She has healed every time, without a prayer ever being uttered or a foot ever having been set in church.

    I once did a furniture installation at a Baptist college. My uncle worked with me, and I hired some of the students. My uncle was very sick. One student sat down next to my uncle, but his arm around him, and said, "You know, God can cure that cold." My uncle pulled out his prescription bottle and replied, "Not as fast as the antibiotics."

    May 27, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Troy

      You know, I'm a Christian. That being said, I'm not dumb enough to eschew medical help when it's called for.

      My belief is that God exists, but I believe he exists in conjunction with science. In this case, I believe God has provided the tools for man to learn medicine, through higher learning and materials to make antibiotics, thus enabling us to help ourselves.

      These types of Christians just don't get it. Someone needs to tell them the story of "The Man and the Flood". Basic outline – man is trapped on the roof of his house during a flood, and prays for God to save him. 15 min later, a boat comes along, and tries to help the man. The man passes, saying God will save him. An hour later, an even bigger boat comes along, but still the man passes. An hour after that, the flood waters are almost to a point where the man will be swept away. Suddenly, a helicopter comes and throws a rope down to him, but the man still passes. A few minutes later, the man is swept away and killed. After death, at the gates to Heaven, the man asks God, "why didn't you save me?" God replies, "I enabled two boats and a helicopter to search and assist people. They found you. What more do you want?"

      May 27, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Ron

      Steve, you have a lot to learn about God and life. I hope you don't have to find out the hard way, when its too late.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Steve, I like your uncle.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Matt

      Respectfully, I would just point out that the antibiotics don't do much for a cold. Colds are viral, and antibiotics only treat bacterial infections.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Oh, and Ron? Threats like that only work if you can back them up. No one yet has provided a shred of evidence to support the existence of any god, devil, heaven or hell. It seems that you are the one who has a lot to learn.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Ron

      Tallaluh, keep playing your "no evidence for God" card, You may be able to decieve yourself if you keep saying it often enough. You do have a little problem though, when you stand before God on Judgment day, do you think He will buy it?

      May 27, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • Athy

      Stand before god on judgment day? How absurd can you get? People that believe this fable are biblewashed beyond saving.

      May 27, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • fintastic

      "Oh, and Ron? Threats like that only work if you can back them up. No one yet has provided a shred of evidence to support the existence of any god, devil, heaven or hell. It seems that you are the one who has a lot to learn."


      May 28, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  8. MilitaryAF

    2 kids dead because of their religious beliefs. Lock them up & have them fixed so they can't have more kids.

    May 27, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
  9. Over 40,000 sects of insanity

    Bill Moyers recently interviewed Daniel Dennett, an American philosopher, writer and cognitive scientist whose research centers on the philosophy of mind, science & biology. He is the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University.

    Dennett says that not for all, but for many, the dangerous thing about religion is that "it gives people a gold-plated excuse to stop thinking."


    May 27, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Colin

      I have seen a similarly themed, but slightly more provocative bumper sticker, "Science too Hard For You? Try Religion."

      May 27, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • ldean50

      Thank you for your post. Well said and excellent point. Sad, so very sad, because we are hopeless to change their minds.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • fred

      Interesting enough that works for the atheist also. Given an atheist will read the Bible and actually fall for the 10,000 year old deception of the talking serpent. That serpent first caused the women to doubt God perfect creation "Really, did God really say you not eat any of it?"
      The serpent then said the word of God was a lie and that you will not die, your eyes will be open, it will make you wise.

      So, just like man 10,000 years ago you think your wise because you see and taste the fruit of creation. Yet, you too missed the warning and fell for the delusion. The delusion is that you think the way of the world is still better than the way the truth and light. Everything atheists do is locked in the way of the world and they cannot see any other way.

      Again the atheist cannot even understand a simple story of Noah who was building an ark while all others were mocking God and having a big old party..........Perhaps we should change the story to Bill Moyers still cannot see it is he who is the dancing fool stuck in the ways of Cain 10,000 years ago.

      While you laugh at the Word of God it is your blindness that is revealed. You hang onto a core or materialism yet quantum theory has rendered it meaningless as the reality of substance and matter without mass is revealed. Yes, reality includes that which for lack of a better description is spiritual in nature.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      fred, when are you going to learn to leave references to science out of your rants?

      Please provide a reference to a published scholarly paper that concludes The Babble provides the best explanation of quantum physics.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • fred

      "Then came our Quantum theory, which totally transformed our image of matter. The old assumption that the microscopic world of atoms was simply a scaled-down version of the everyday world had to be abandoned. Newton's deterministic machine was replaced by a shadowy and paradoxical conjunction of waves and particles, governed by the laws of chance, rather than the rigid rules of causality. An extension of the quantum theory goes beyond even this; it paints a picture in which solid matter dissolves away, to be replaced by weird excitations and vibrations of invisible field energy. Quantum physics undermines materialism because it reveals that matter has far less 'substance' than we might believe. But another development goes even further by demolishing Newton's image of matter as inert lumps. This development is the theory of chaos, which has recently gained widespread attention.

      — Paul Davies and John Gribbin, 'The Matter Myth', Chapter 1"

      "As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.

      — Max Planck, 'Das Wesen der Materie', 1944"

      May 27, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Wow, fred. That's one of the stupidest things I've ever read.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • oOo

      (think of fred as sort of a Rumpelstiltskin who just woke up, but like a preacher type)

      May 27, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      fred, Why do you feel so threatened when someone challenges your delusions? If you had proof you would simply provide it, not try to pick at a thread in the fabric of science in the hope that it will disintegrate or is that why you feel so threatened? Science destroys the fabric of the bible.
      If I told you that I could fly unaided, I doubt you would believe me – it contradicts all you know and is easily proven; why believe the bible with all of its contradictions and with no evidence independent of the bible.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Atoms have not been characterized as "minute solar systems" for several decades, so your second reference lacks credibility, and your first reference does not address your claim that spiritually provides a better description of quantum mechanics than science.

      fred, are you aware that Einsten spent much of his latter years arguing about and against quantum physics, and was proven to be wrong? While you do not appear to be arguing against quantum physics (although it would not surprise me if you tried), you are no Einstein.

      Again, I strongly suggest you confie your insanity to your cult's religious beliefs – every time you bring religion into your delusions, you just look sillier and sillier.

      May 27, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • fred

      tallulah13 – Even I could not never write something so brilliant, they happen to be famous quotes

      In Santa We Trust -The atheist delusion has no more evidence than the Christian delusion when it comes to our awareness of existence in time and space. You have chosen one based on naturalism which is founded in materialism. The vast majority of Christians fully understand the physical part of the world they live in also. The big difference is that like 98% of the worlds population our basic instinct is that this is not all there is.
      That is where we part ways because you think existence is limited by what you see and can know (which goes against all reason and science). Christians are given a perspective of the vast possibilities that exist in the presence of God. Other faiths also tap into this instinct and construct an existence according to their faith that fills the void.
      When an atheist fills that void (which he or she must) they fill it with their delusions limited to the material or created things of this world.

      May 27, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I wasn't talking about the quotes, fred. I was talking about your first comment, about atheists being fooled by your silly book.

      But I commend you for actually citing your sources. Your fellow believer Chad has a habit of forgetting to credit those who wrote the words he likes to think are his own.

      May 27, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • fred

      That silly book has a Divine way about it is what I was attempting to get across. When you read it seeking Gods purpose for you today and down the road it shines the way Jesus was speaking of when He said "I am the way the truth and the life". When a non believer reads that silly book Divine reveals the heart of the non believer and sends him or her back on the path to darkness they were on.
      In short the serpent was the symbol of deception in the early days of the Hebrew and the deception was that this people could do better in life their way rather than Gods way. That deception has not changed.
      The flood is the story of redemption where Noah looked like the fool in a desert for 120 years building a boat (ark) when it never rained. Noah and his family were redeemed from a wicked fallen world where terrible things happen and storms sweep over all people in this fallen world. Noah is in the presence of God as was Adam and Eve before the deception. Noah and his family made it through the storm because of Gods mercy and grace.

      Non believers on this site and in the world are doing what non believers did back then. Nothing changes even though we pat ourselves on the back with our science and wisdom.

      May 27, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • fintastic

      @fred.... "Non believers on this site and in the world are doing what non believers did back then. Nothing changes even though we pat ourselves on the back with our science and wisdom."

      You are correct fred, yes, non-believers are doing the same as they "did back then"... and why do you think that is? could it be that there is no evidence of any god or gods? Correct again! "nothing changes" still no god...

      Hint...... the book of "this means that" is not evidence. .... and no talking snake either... .......

      May 28, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
  10. Theo

    Strike one million for Religion

    May 27, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
  11. ReligionIsRidiculous

    How ironic that this incident is so Darwinian and the incident an example of natural selection in action. Religious faith is willful ignorance and certainly nothing to be admired, but rather condemned as the maladaptive trait that it is.

    May 27, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Theo

      Well said

      May 27, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  12. Milton Platt

    When religion includes child abuse it's time to draw the line. These people are either deluded or insane....maybe a little of both. What could their argument in court be? That their god wanted their child to suffer and die? Or that heir faith wasn't good enough even though it was strong enough for them to watch their child sicken and die before their eyes?

    May 27, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
  13. Greg

    I've often wondered if those who believe as this couple does water their gardens when it doesn't rain.

    May 27, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
  14. Preachers"R"Us

    Yes we tell you that anything is possible through prayer. It says it in the Bible which we tell you is the devine word of God and is infallible. When we say that, we don't mean it literally. We all know that when you pray, you are really only talking to yourself. As a mature adult, you should know this, and therefore all preachers in this great nation are exempt from criminal charges in a case like this. Come on. You all should know this.

    May 27, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Theo

      You could have just said praying doesnt do anything, instead of writing a book

      May 27, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Preachers"R"Us


      I can't tell you how many times I've heard that after one of my sermons.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
  15. modizzle18


    May 27, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  16. pkfops

    Religion is a mental illness.

    May 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
  17. susanbellnc

    They're charged with 3rd-degree murder? Shouldn't it be 1st?

    May 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Milton Platt

      I think first degree requires you to intend for he victim to die. They intended for the victim to be made well by an invisible man in the sky.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • susanbellnc

      They should add that intent to 1st-degree. Pure craziness.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Athy

      They should cop an insanity plea. Anybody that stupid almost has to be insane by definition.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  18. Colin

    Actually, one thing I will say for these poor simpletons is that they are one of the few couples in America who can honestloy say "In God We Trust." Normally, when a person says they trust in God, it is accompanied by doing exactly what the doctor ordered. They might also pray, as a harmless way of "doubling down," but that renders the inevitable failure of the prayers irrelevant.

    Doing what they did is trusting in God in a real sense. And, of course, the outcome is exactly what we would expect, given that there is no God.

    May 27, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Sue

      Exactly, Colin. Well put, and I have to say, as usual.

      May 27, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Colin

      Thanks sue. I would be more impressed if it was their own lives that they bet on the existence of this most improbable of beings, but by all accounts they are loving parents. I have deep sympathy for them.

      Many and varied are the victims of this primitive superst.ition.

      May 27, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  19. Linda

    obviously the suffering and agony of their dying child could not have meant anything to them.
    they had to be right instead of good parents.
    faith allows for doctors; faith allows that the Lord they supposedly believe it gives doctors knowledge and grace to help their patients.
    I would vote for the death penalty if that were allowable but it would be the easy way for this couple. if not the death penalty, then sterilization and permanent exile from any child.

    May 27, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      During a flood, two people huddle together on their roof top and began to pray.
      A man in a rubber raft paddled over and offered to get them out, they refused saying the lord will help....they continued to pray.
      As the flood waters rose, a man in a larger motorized boat threw them a line, they threw it back saying the lord will save them.
      A rescue helicopter appeared just as the water level was about to take their house and them with it, they waved it off...the lord will save us.
      They drowned, and when they met god in heaven they asked. Lord why did you not save us?
      God replied...I tried...I sent you two boats and a helicopter.

      May 27, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  20. Getaclue

    for letting their 2nd child die......for the same reasons.

    May 27, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
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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.