Police: Family Prayed Instead of Getting Medical Aid for Girl Who Died

The harms of faith exhibited before our eyes. It can kill you! Here's the Link. Below is the text:

Associated Press — 3/26/2008 9:35 am

WESTON -- An 11-year-old girl died after her parents prayed for healing rather than seek medical help for a treatable form of diabetes, police said Tuesday.

Everest Metro Police Chief Dan Vergin said Madeline Neumann died Sunday.

"She got sicker and sicker until she was dead," he said.

Vergin said an autopsy determined the girl died from diabetic ketoacidosis, an ailment that left her with too little insulin in her body, and she had probably been ill for about 30 days, suffering symptoms like nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst, loss of appetite and weakness.

The girl's parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, attributed the death to "apparently they didn't have enough faith," the police chief said.

They believed the key to healing "was it was better to keep praying. Call more people to help pray," he said.

The mother believes the girl could still be resurrected, the police chief said.

Telephone messages left at the Neumann home by The Associated Press were not immediately returned.

The family does not attend an organized church or participate in an organized religion, Vergin said. "They have a little Bible study of a few people."

The parents told investigators their daughter last saw a doctor when she was 3 to get some shots, Vergin said. The girl had attended public school during the first semester but didn't return for the second semester.

Officers went to the home after one of the girl's relatives in California called police to check on her, Vergin said. She was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The relative was fearful the girl was "extremely ill, dire," Vergin said.

The girl has three siblings, ranging in age from 13 to 16, the police chief said.

"They are still in the home," he said. "There is no reason to remove them. There is no abuse or signs of abuse that we can see."

The girl's death remains under investigation and the findings will be forwarded to the district attorney to review for possible charges, the chief said.

The family operates a coffee shop in Weston, which is a suburb of Wausau, Vergin said.

Thanks to Shygetz for this.

63 comments:

Evan said...

This was happening WHEN I posted my comment 2 days ago.

How anyone can defend this practice is beyond me.

Remember -- these people were doing exactly what their book says to do. They thought they had faith that could literally move mountains.

Knock yourself out on this one apologists.

Evan said...

Thinking about this is making me seethe with anger.

This is wicked. Anybody who defends what these parents did is partaking in this wickedness.

Yet these parents are simply following the Bible when it tells them literally that God will heal the sick if they have enough faith.

If anyone still wonders what my post on 3/26 means, please please please look up this article at the link provided.

This is unimaginably wicked. Abraham found a ram, where was the God who pulled back his hand when this 11 year old innocent child was dying?

bart willruth said...

Faith based murder. Perhaps a few prosecutions for voluntary manslaughter would discourage this sort of thing. But of course in our politically correct society, we will just say that this is part of their belief system, ans as such is just as valid as any other. The same accommodations allow Muslim men to beat their wives, Somali immigrants to mutilate the genitals of young girls, or Saudi ex-pats to keep slaves.

Is there any force on earth more destructive, more evil, than faith?

bart willruth said...

Here's a suggestion. Every Bible publisher must place a prominent warning on the front cover:

"WARNING: Contains dangerous and toxic concepts. Taken in literal doses may lead to permanent injury or death."

John W. Loftus said...

God let this family down in a big way even when telling them that if they have faith enough it will move mountains. So now the mother believes the child will be resurrected, eh? One failed hope after another. The utter stupidity of these parents will be if they explain it away as if they didn't have enough faith, or they had sin in their lives, or that God answered our prayers by saying "no."

The rational response would be to just say "no" to God.

This reminds me of Antony Flew's "Parable of the Invisible Gardner." There is no evidence that there is an invisible gardener after several tests. Then Flew asks, "What would have to occur or to have occurred to constitute for you a disproof of the love of, or of the existence of, God?"

Well? What? If this isn't it, then nothing would do it, and if nothing would do it, such a belief is unfalsifiable.

Bruce said...

The girl has three siblings, ranging in age from 13 to 16, the police chief said.

"They are still in the home," he said. "There is no reason to remove them. There is no abuse or signs of abuse that we can see."


Wow. Just Wow. I guess the body of an 11-year old girl who has died from neglect doesn't count?

Jason said...

Very tragic indeed.

A Skeptic said...

bart:

like this one.

lee said...

"Faith Movement" preachers should be held responsible in the same way other industries are when their product causes harm. If any other industry operated as recklessly and had as many bodies lying about as a result of their delusional rhetoric as people like Copeland, Hagan, Hinn, Hickey, Tilton, Roberts just to name a few, the industry would be banned from doing business in this country. These people are predators who live well at the expense and misery of uneducated, fearful and gullible people who in many cases spend the remainder of their days ridden either with guilt for not "having enough faith," or blindly trusting in ignorant clergy.

Evan said...

Lee that's what is so awful about this case. Responsible clergy know that prayer doesn't work as well as insulin, so they would never have had this problem if they had a clergyman. But these people distrusted organized religion, so they only had faith in God and in the Bible.

Sadly, this is what that faith leads to.

We can only mourn the loss of this 11 year old who would have been saved had her parents been exposed to adequate scientific education and not constantly told that science was some devilish plot by evilutionist Darwinists who made the Nazis kill the Jews (I wish I were caricaturing the argument -- but the new movie Expelled has that as its argument).

lee said...

Evan,

I'm still processing through, "responsible clergy." Just kidding! I know that not all clergy are like the ones that I dealt with, but based purely on my personal experience from a fundamentalist background they were pretty sleezy.
I do not believe religious freedom should provide a license to faith marketers to prey on unwitting, people who trust in religious people, simply because they present themselves to be religious people. Religion and those marketing it have been given a license to steal, kill and destroy in the name of Jesus for way too long.

M. Tully said...

Evan said:

“Knock yourself out on this one apologists.”

But alas, they wont.

My biggest problem with Christians or adherents to religion in general, is that they do not police their own. I’m not talking about litmus tests, certainly they have those, but when egregious violations of human morality happen, where is the Christian vocal condemnation? It’s not there.

I never really cared much about what other people believed until religious fundamentalism raised its head in America. Before that I honestly thought that actions like the parents in this case would receive universal condemnation no matter what anyone’s “revelation of the divine” might have been. But, since then I have learned that it is just not so. They will attempt to justify anything to not have their belief system threatened. On this blog, I have seen apologists attempt to justify genocide.

Do I think apologists will attempt to justify this reckless homicide here? No, I don’t, the death or potential death of a contemporary child is too emotionally stirring to humanity for that to happen. But, do I expect them to be silent about it? Absolutely!

No, they wont defend it. But, will they condemn it? Not a chance. Hypocrisy, thy name is religion.

Rotten Arsenal said...

Hi!

This isn't specifically about this post, more of just a general greeting. Found the blog a few days ago and I'm hooked. I've been atheist officially for about 5 years (thanks Douglas Adams!), although I don't think I ever believed this stuff. My parents met in seminary, my mother is an ordained minister, my family is full of Baptist church leaders, and I'm named after a fairly well known Baptist turned Episcopalian priest (he was also my "godfather").
I'm currently 2/3 of the way through "The God Delusion" and just picked up "God's Problem" this afternoon (I've been a fan of Ehrman since picking up "Misquoting Jesus" a few years ago and have actually had a couple of brief email conversations with him... nice guy)

Anyway, just wanted to say thanks to ya'll... you seem like a fairly level headed group and I'm enjoying the blog.

Evan said...

RA, thanks for the kind words.

Dana said...

As a Christian, I am deeply saddened by the loss of this child. Unfortunately, it was just her time to leave this world regardless of the prayers of her family. Imagine if all Christians could stave off death in all those around them simply by the strength of their faith. What sting would the punishment of death proclaimed in Genesis hold for people like these?

What would have been the consensus here if they would have taken her to the hospital, got her medicine, and looked toward science and the sensibilities of men to hold the reaper at bay? Would you all join together and say that science and reason failed her and her family? Would you proclaim that the many books written on human anatomy and the drugs that were scanned and analyzed by hundreds of learned men were laughable and clumsily formulated?

What about the millions around the world that die still clutching their medicine bottles or on operating tables? Does your disdain extend to their physicians and their innability to save their patients?

Trou said...

The parents were not doing what they thought was the best for the child, they were doing what was best for their souls. I mean, they placed their own salvation above the life of their child. They didn't want to anger God. If they loved her they could not possibly have watched her suffer the month or so while she slowly died. They chose to suck up to God for their own benefit at the expense of their daughter's life. I could not have done that. I have more compassion than that. I would have taken her to a doctor then asked for forgiveness later.
Believe me; I have personal experience in my family with this kind of crap. I lost my mom and grandfather to faith healing.

Evan said...

Dana I think this is your first post on this board so I don't know what you do or don't know, so I will assume you just don't know and will try to let you understand the situation.

You say:

As a Christian, I am deeply saddened by the loss of this child. Unfortunately, it was just her time to leave this world regardless of the prayers of her family.

And in this, you could not be more wrong. The child had type I diabetes. This is a disease that is caused by the immune system attacking cells in the body that produce insulin. Before the isolation of insulin by Banting and Best, it was usually fatal when it happened, killing children within years in the best treatment centers.

Since 1923
it has been possible to treat children who get this disease with insulin, and they can live long, happy lives.

I have type I diabetic patients who are in their 60s after being diagnosed at age 12 or 14. So yes, if you think that God doesn't want children to use insulin, it was her time, luckily modern people don't think that and their children go on to have their own children.

You continue:

Imagine if all Christians could stave off death in all those around them simply by the strength of their faith. What sting would the punishment of death proclaimed in Genesis hold for people like these?

Well yes, the Bible tells them they can. Jesus says in the gospels that if they have enough faith, nothing will be denied to them.

Yet people still die all the time.

At least some people die when nothing else can be done for them by modern medicine. Other's die because they are seriously ill with hard to treat diseases. And some people take their own lives due to psychic pain. Other people have their lives taken by harm or neglect. This child's life was taken by faith in God and distrust of scientific medicine as surely as if her parents starved her.

Hamilcar said...

Dana,

There's a big difference. You seem to be equating the situations of

1) blaming God when someone dies despite prayer

and

2) blaming Science when someone dies despite medical intervention.

In medical science, we're aware that we don't know everything, and can't solve every problem -- yet we're confident that we can apply those things we do know and achieve good results.

Case in point: my Dad was in exactly this same situation when he was 11 years old. He, too, would have died... but he was given insulin. He's injected himself twice a day with that life-saving hormone for the last 40 years. If he'd been born a few decades earlier, he wouldn't have had a chance: the insulin wouldn't have been available.

It wasn't my Dad's "time to leave this world" then, and it wasn't little Madeline's "time" on Sunday, either. The reason it wasn't my Dad's time is that his parents, and his doctors, decided to apply a tested, rational treatment to his disease. The reason it wasn't little Madeline's "time" a few days ago is that she could have been saved had someone made a rational choice to use medicine. She could easily be alive today. She could have had children. She could have lived to see a cure for diabetes, which may not be so far away.

Human beings using reason and science to discover ways of helping each other, healing the sick, and relieving suffering -- that's what medicine is about. The modalities that we use to treat disease are tested. We use them because they've been verified, validated, and confirmed to work by the most objective empirical standards we can come up with. In those cases when mistakes are made, or our knowledge is incomplete and our treatments insufficient -- well, we're human. We're not omniscient, nor omnipotent.

We rage against the seeming injustice of seeing loved ones suffer and die because our doctors may not yet be capable of saving them, but no, we don't blame the doctors. It's part of the human condition to be imperfect. Yet, we cannot allow this to be an excuse for incompetence. So we have lawyers, and malpractice suits, quackwatch websites, etc.

What do we have with the Christian God? An entity of: omnipotence, omniscience, and omnibenevolence. An entity capable of hearing all prayers, and capable of answering all of them. An entity who supposedly tells us that, if only we believe hard enough, he'll grant our wishes and favor us with his infinite power.

We know there are diseases we can't yet cure. But you know there's nothing your God can't cure, not even death itself. We know that our doctors can make costly errors. But you know that your God can never make a mistake. We know that our doctors are bound by ethical principles to do no harm, and to treat every patient they encounter to the best of their ability. But you know that your God is bound to help no-one -- that he may help some while allowing others to suffer horrific torture -- all to satisfy his own inscrutable "mysterious ways", or for some undefinable "greater good".

These are very different situations. When can we bring the malpractice suit against God?

Lee Randolph said...

Dana,
you are ignoring qualifiers.
you are comparing prayer to medicine. Medicine has been empirically shown to produce successful outcomes. Prayer has not. In fact there is more data to support the inefficacy of prayer than there is to support the inefficacy of medicine for Diabetes.

you should apply the same reasoning schemes and principles that you use day to day to pay the bills and hold your job to your religion.

I'll bet you don't apply your religious reasoning schemes to help pay the bills do you?

Lee Randolph said...

These seem like they were trying to be true first century christians. Seems like they were successful.
Congrats to them.

Are these the 'true christians' that 'other christians' try to be?

Christians who don't give up everything and preach the good news from town to town and let god take care of them the way he takes care of the flowers are going to go to hell like the rest of us. Simple as that. If christians don't commit to doing what Jesus did, I don't see how they can have a hope of salvation. Anything less is weak faith. Come on guys, who are you fooling? He knows your hearts.

Harry McCall said...

This deeply angers me. If an adult wants to die praying to god, fine. They are at the legal age to make that choice, but to force a child of eleven into a coma and finally death is totally wicked. Some times I get sooo tied of these Christians who try so hard and make God and the Bible live via apologetics that I sometimes go into a rant like I did with Jason on my last post:

“Jason, what would I have to do to provoke God to wrath? Cruse Him in public? Burn down churches? Brake every legal code in the Old Testament? Defile the name of Christ?

Jason, just how do you get this symbolic God of your to function; I mean just like in the Old Testament? Oh, I’m sorry! These stories are ancient myths.”

So if the 11 year old parent’s faith is so strong that they “Cast all their cares upon Jesus” just as the New Testament and their church requires and their child still dies (as an innocent victim in this family of zealous faith) and I, on the negative side, can smack the Biblical hornets nest of the wrath of God right in the old “wazoo” and, in both occasions, NOTHING HAPPENS; hey it’s time to face reality: Ladies and Gentleman: Elvis (God) has left the building. It time to go home; the mythical story time is now over! (And all God’s children said: Amen!!!)

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Lee Randolph, Evan, John ~ As I said when I first started posting here, "this sort of GARBAGE is wrong and I'll stand with you any day to fight against it." These parents are murders so far as I'm concerned. STUPIDITY, is the problem here, not faith. They should have better understood the relationship of God to their situation and their medical condition. This is a travesty.

Ooh, by the way...I guess I'm just one of those RESPONSIBLE MINISTERS that some don't think exist.(LOL)

John Murphy said...

This act was "wicked." You are "outraged." It makes you "seethe with anger." But why? Given the assumption of evolution, by what standard do you all judge these people? Prove to me that their actions were "immoral" and "wicked." You can't because if we evolved there is no absolute standard by which to call something immoral and wicked.

Nietzsche understood this and at least worked out the implications. You guys don't understand it and are happy to hold a double standard. Claiming that there is no absolute Moral Law all the while living (and demonstrating perfectly) as if there is one and as if we are all subject to it. Thanks. Couldn't have argued it better myself!

Lee Randolph said...

Hi John,
you are right, there is no absolute moral, and i am fully aware of the implications thank you very much but you are overlooking good old fashioned common sense and reasoning to mitigate harm.

If we all work together to mitigate harm, then we effectively had Decent moral standard.

This is why we are outraged because it don't make sense.

nice try with the absolute moral thing though.

Hamilcar said...

John Murhpy,

I think we need objective ethics, by which I mean ethics that are derived in a rational way, from the best facts and knowledge we have. I've had issues with the way Christians use the word "objective", however, so you might call it "rational ethics" or "reason and fact-based morality".

I don't see any reason why we can't have this kind of morality given the truth and implications of evolution. As mammals -- and primates -- we have a number of powerful emotions and inclinations towards empathy, fairness, and togetherness. As cognitive, conceptual beings, we take those evolutionarily-produced proto-ethics and we conceptualize and codify them, fitting them into a rational framework that includes principles such as Individual Rights and the Golden Rule.

However, I'm not sure what you mean by calling for an "absolute" standard or absolute morality. Perhaps you can define this, show where it comes from, and give us some examples?

Shygetz said...

John Murphy has been challenged on his assumption of a universal moral law, and has never responded. Until he does, why should anyone respond to him with anything other than "What universal moral law?"

lee said...

The universal moral law that does not condemn slavery"? Or the misogynistic law that calls a non-jewish woman a "dog"? Or the law that says that non-virgin women should be stoned on their fathers doorstep? Or children who talk back to parents should be stoned to death? Or working on the sabbath requires the death penalty? That moral law?

Harry McCall said...

John Murphy stated: “Nietzsche understood this and at least worked out the implications. You guys don't understand it and are happy to hold a double standard. Claiming that there is no absolute Moral Law all the while living (and demonstrating perfectly) as if there is one and as if we are all subject to it. Thanks. Couldn't have argued it better myself!”

John, if you do not think the Hebrew Bible with its God Yahweh is part of the evolution from polytheistic religion to monotheistic religion, than you MUST attend a conservative or fundamentalist church / denomination that’s been out of reality for quit a while.

Do you honestly believe evolution only took place ONLY in biology? Do you anti-evolution Christians EVER engage in current critical Biblical scholarship as published by the Society of Biblical Literature? Apparently not.

The reason the child is dead today, is that many of you people of faith base your claims on things that just are not there…gost in the sky.

You want morals and ethics; well a so-called loving deity who can not function is a “pipe dream” for you Christian religionist!

John, just how do you get your God to function? Fact: He is stalled out on the highway of life. Evolution has LONG since past by this stalled out ancient myth called "God"!

Do you Christian apologists really believe you can keep “jump starting” some religious concept called “God” via rhetoric and claim that this proves you have a functioning absolute in morals and ethics? Give me a break!!!

Evan said...

John Murphy you say:

This act was "wicked." You are "outraged." It makes you "seethe with anger." But why? Given the assumption of evolution, by what standard do you all judge these people? Prove to me that their actions were "immoral" and "wicked." You can't because if we evolved there is no absolute standard by which to call something immoral and wicked.

I want to ask you something. When you read about this story, do you calmly and patiently reason out why you think it was wrong? Or does it provoke an emotional response?

Rotten Arsenal said...

While there may not be an actual "absolute Moral Law" laid down by some being somewhere, there is "natural Moral Law" that developed in a similar way that biological evolution works.
We can see this because the human race has survived as long as it has. We can see this in the animal kingdon because of the large variety of species that populate the Earth. "Natural Moral Law" is simply the "rules" needed for the continuation of a species. If there was no law at all, then we would most likely die out. We can agree that murder is bad because if murder was acceptable, we would threaten the continuation of the species. Likewise, we understand that letting children die for stupid reasons is "bad" because now that child cannot grow up to become an adult that participates in reproduction.

Beautiful Feet said...

Is it "faith" to pray for a specific result and if unsuccessful, then confess a lack of it? That is presumption and an abuse of grace. It is honest and truthful to check one's own lack of faith first and pray accordingly. In scripture, when some in a crowd responded to Y'shua's words, their request was not for material manifestations, but that their faith would increase. Y'shua's encouragement to continue praying was for the purpose to receive the Holy Spirit.

JUSTIN said...

Call me a believer, theist, apologist, moron, duped, whatever you like.

I'm a type-1 diabetic, the father of a type-1 diabetic. I've seen these symptoms twice now in a very personal way. Any sane parent will take their child to a doctor when the symptoms worsen.

No sane reading of the bible condones what these parents did--or did not do, as it were. They should do serious time in the slammer. But I doubt they do.

Evan said...

BF you say:

In scripture, when some in a crowd responded to Y'shua's words, their request was not for material manifestations, but that their faith would increase.

Except when it wasn't.

Luke 7:

A certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and at the point of death.
When he heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews,
asking him to come and save his servant.


Luke 4:

He rose up from the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house.
Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a great fever,
and they begged him for her


Matthew 17:

When they came to the multitude, a man came to him, kneeling down to him, saying,
"Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is epileptic, and suffers grievously;
for he often falls into the fire, and often into the water.
So I brought him to your disciples, and they could not cure him."


I could go on ...

Evan said...

Justin you say:

No sane reading of the bible condones what these parents did--or did not do, as it were. They should do serious time in the slammer. But I doubt they do.

Where do people go to get a reliably sane reading of the Bible? When you believe the Bible -- which shows prophets calling down fire from heaven, Jesus healing the sick left and right, talking snakes, talking donkeys, ghosts appearing to prophets, wild apocalyptic descriptions of hell and heaven and people being raised from the dead -- how are you supposed to know it's all to be taken seriously, but not that seriously?

JUSTIN said...

Evan, you asked:
Where do people go to get a reliably sane reading of the Bible? When you believe the Bible [snip] how are you supposed to know it's all to be taken seriously, but not that seriously?

The bible is like any other book, you get what you want out of it. If you read it for its qualities of good literature, that's what you'll find. If you read it to find answers to life's questions, you will find answers. If you're looking for justification for pillage, rape, and murder, you can still find it in the bible.

Your approach to reading the bible matters. If your former fundamentalist church pastor told you to read it a certain way—i.e. literally or foundationally–you get the fundamentalist interpretation. But that's not the only way to approach reading the bible. The field of biblical hermeneutics is why seminaries exist; there are infinite ways to interpret.

I can't tell you which one is right or correct. The professional clergy is based on the lie that they can tell you which one is right.

We all to some extent let others tell us how the bible is supposed to be read. Is there a “correct” way, I don't know. All I know is how I have read it in the past, and how I continue to read it (which is continually changing). One “problem” I see is that many of the former-theists-become-atheists have not changed how they approach and read the bible from their foundationalist days in the church. Thus, they rightly assert that interpretation of the text to be bullshit, but they fail to see other believers' actions and interpretations outside the fundy-literal lens. Not all believers are psycho-fundies who'd just as soon let their children die rather than take advantage of evil, secular scientific medicines and the doctors who know how to help.

I'm not telling anyone what to do, but maybe taking another approach to the bible is in order. Presuppositions and preconceptions cut both ways.

Evan said...

Justin I just have to say that you may believe we are farther apart than we really are.

If you are willing to say:

The bible is like any other book, you get what you want out of it.

Then I think that any freethinker on this site will agree with you and while they may not agree with you on every subsequent point, that really is the starting point for discussion.

If the Bible is like any other book, then it can be read as such. Just as we feel a visceral hatred for Agamemnon for sacrificing Iphigenia, we can feel a visceral hatred for Jepthah. Just as we laugh at the priests of Baal, we can laugh at modern-day Elijahs who have the same results as the priests of Baal did then.

The key point is that the Bible is like any other book. Yet people regard it as NOT like any other book.

Remember 47% of American adults believe the earth is less than 10,000 years old. Why do they believe this if they think the Bible is like any other book?

JUSTIN said...

Evan said:
The key point is that the Bible is like any other book. Yet people regard it as NOT like any other book.

People regard Dawkins' books as not like any other books, too.

Remember 47% of American adults believe the earth is less than 10,000 years old. Why do they believe this if they think the Bible is like any other book?

They DON'T believe the bible is just like any other book. They (generally speaking) approach the bible a certain way, some may even idolize it. That in turn leads to their responses, beliefs, and reactions.

Even so, no one forces that view on any one of those people.

Further, so what? You do the same thing. You may like Dawkins or Martin or Sagan. Their words and ideas have affected you and in turn lead you to the beliefs and responses you show. No one has forced you toward those views.

None of us live in a vacuum. None of us is capable of reading Ehrman, Loftus, or Shermer—or the bible for that matter—with pure objectivity and/or without pretense or expectations. Our “baggage” is what we bring to the marketplace of ideas, and it colors who/what we choose to read and how we react to what is written.

That girl's parents made the decision. You cannot blame Christianity, or the bible, or some crazy, snake-handlin' preacher.

Nobody held a gun to the parents' heads and forced them to pray instead of seek medical help. The bible does not hold supernatural sway on them, absolving them of their responsibilities. Neither does any pastor or atheist talking-head force anyone to believe as they do. Neither does science, or logic, or reason compel anyone to believe anything.

It's up to you, and you alone, to figure it out (what ever “it” may be) and to be wise in finding others people who you can trust not to lead you astray.

goprairie said...

are you aware that you can get your child exempted from required immunizations on religious grounds in Illinois schools today? You need only fill out a paper that says that you object due to religious reasons.

However, if you have scientific reasons or your own reasons for not wanting you child immunized, you cannot be exempted and your child will not be allowed to attend school, at which point truancy laws start to enter into the picture.

When my kids were in elementary school, there was a study linking immunizations to autism and other side effects and death. I looked into exempting them and was told that I could not use that science as my reason why. I almost considered faking a religion to keep my kids safe, as it seemed to me the risk of the side effects was greater than the risk of the nearly non-existent disease. But another study came out negating the links to autism so i gave up and let them be immunized.
But it seemed wrong that i could get out of it for being religious and not for being smart and well-read.
This is all part of how this country bend over backwards to be tolerant of religions, any religions, as long as they are loosely christian.

Rotten Arsenal said...

goprarie:

This is all part of how this country bend over backwards to be tolerant of religions, any religions, as long as they are loosely christian.

Yeah, unless you live in Texas, where I am. I'd have to lie to hold public office in this state.

Texas Constitution, Article 1 (Bill of Rights), Section 4 (Religious Tests):

No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.
(emphasis added)

Evan said...

Justin, I agree with you that people bring their own personal biases to anything they encounter. However are you really suggesting there is an equivalence between the Bible and a group of polemical writers of the 21st century?

Nobody has a TV network that runs 24 hours a day discussing Dawkins or Dennett. There aren't buildings in every city dedicated to the study of Dawkins and Dennett. People don't erect huge symbols that refer to Dawkins and Dennett, and the president of the United States doesn't ask Harris and Hitchens to bless the republic at the end of every speech.

If you want to create this kind of false equivalence, I suggest you compare the Bible to the only actually comparable things, the Mhabarata, or the Koran, or the Hebrew Bible, or the Buddhist Sutras.

In that respect, the Bible comes somewhere in the middle of the pack, and I can see true believers of any religious type doing something this stupid, but there's no such thing as someone who is praying to Richard Dawkins, and if anybody did do it they'd piss him off for doing it.

Nobody suggests that God is pissed off because people are praying to him. He is rumored to love it.

JUSTIN said...

Evan wrote:

However are you really suggesting there is an equivalence between the Bible and a group of polemical writers of the 21st century?

Yup.

Nobody has a TV network that runs 24 hours a day [snip] to bless the republic at the end of every speech.

Yet, that is exactly what the marxists did in the early 1900's. The USSR erected statues and shrines to Lenin and Stalin; China has done the same with Chairman Mao. A whole societal system was dedicated to the classless worker and the spirit of a united Motherland. The Bolsheviks bought into Karl Marx the way baptists buy into MacArthur or Piper. How many statues and shrines to Saddam Hussein were destroyed in the Iraq War?

A critical look at the architecture of Washington D.C. will show the worship Americans have given various Founding Fathers (Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington, etc.) I'm quite sure, no matter how pissed off Dawkins might be about it, if the number of people who “followed” his writings multiplied in this country, eventually he would become a type of god, like the the Roman Caesars. It's happened over the centuries, and will continue to do so. Atheism is not immune to religious fervor.

If you want to create this kind of false equivalence...

But it's not false equivalence. Nitchke (sp?) and Marx simply wrote books on their beliefs and philosophies. The bible is merely a compilation of many, varied writings by many, varied authors. The Apostle Paul simply wrote letters to groups of people in certain towns in Asia Minor. Luke was simply a doctor writing a couple of essays to a student/friend defending what he believed. The Pentateuch was not written by Moses, but was an oral tradition handed down through the Hebrew priests over centuries, until it was finally written down hundreds of years after.

There is no power in the writings in and of themselves. The only contain the power the reader gives them.

...I can see true believers of any religious type doing something this stupid...

You seem irritated that the bible has been given, by its readers, an inordinate amount of influence and power over their lives and societies.

Why do you think that is?

goprairie said...

"provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being."
Apparently I'd have to lie about my gender as well to hold office in Texas. Strange. Doesn't that violate the US Constitution?

bart willruth said...

Harvey said

Lee Randolph, Evan, John ~ As I said when I first started posting here, "this sort of GARBAGE is wrong and I'll stand with you any day to fight against it." These parents are murders so far as I'm concerned. STUPIDITY, is the problem here, not faith. They should have better understood the relationship of God to their situation and their medical condition. This is a travesty.

Ooh, by the way...I guess I'm just one of those RESPONSIBLE MINISTERS that some don't think exist.(LOL)

Harvey, I'm glad to see that you disavow giving credence to such statements as "ask anything in my name and I will give it to you", or "with faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to a mountain, 'go over there." I guess you aren't such a literalist and a believer in inerrancy and acceptance of the plain meaning of the text by faith after all.

Bart

JUSTIN said...

Evan, one more to chew on:

Nobody suggests that God is pissed off because people are praying to him. He is rumored to love it.

Isaiah 1:11
"What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?" Says the LORD. "I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle;And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats."

An alternative reading suggests He may not like it all that much, after all.

Evan said...

Justin I sense some sort of "pox on both your houses" sentiment from you. You seem to stand aloof, above it all. You are no sort of fundamentalist and you rail against communism (which is really a Christian heresy with a soteriology, eschatology, dogmas and most of the other trappings of religion within a political framework), but you don't take a stand supporting anything.

You ask me:

You seem irritated that the bible has been given, by its readers, an inordinate amount of influence and power over their lives and societies.

I am not so above it all that the needless death of an 11 year old girl can't still effect me emotionally. Perhaps you are a buddhist or a gnostic and see the outlines of the Matrix behind it all so you aren't emotional about anything, but I doubt I will ever achieve that level of detachment.

Beautiful Feet said...

Evan wrote: Except when it wasn't.

Luke 7:

A certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and at the point of death.
When he heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews,
asking him to come and save his servant.

Luke 4:

He rose up from the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house.
Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a great fever,
and they begged him for her

Matthew 17:

When they came to the multitude, a man came to him, kneeling down to him, saying,
"Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is epileptic, and suffers grievously;
for he often falls into the fire, and often into the water.
So I brought him to your disciples, and they could not cure him."


Those referenced above had faith in Y'shua's ability to heal - they were not making an appeal based on presumption. Presumption is often revealed in the after-words of, "I guess I didn't have enough faith".

Obviously, there were also those people who didn't approach Y'shua -

Lady through the Looking Glass said...

Presently, there's a lady in my church who has breast cancer, I think. She has chosen to treat it naturally, using alternative medicines and prayer. I gather that she rationalises that prescription medication isn't necessary and its use shows a lack of faith in God.

Before I started questioning my faith and embarked on my present new journey, I had hopes that God would heal her, although I wondered why she was so adamant about resisting traditional medicine. I believed that God used doctors and other medical practitioners to help the sick and suffering. Then, I realised that it boiled down to her choice, her prerogative. So, in my mind, I left the matter alone. I was already struggling with questions I had suppressed over the years about why God healed some people, and not others.

Her faith is strong. I hope she'll get better.

Yet I won't be surprised if and when her death is announced in church.

JUSTIN said...

Evan wrote: Justin I sense some sort of "pox on both your houses" sentiment from you. You seem to stand aloof, above it all. You are no sort of fundamentalist and you rail against communism [snip], but you don't take a stand supporting anything.

I stand in support of love, seeking other's benefit and interest above my own. I support love within whatever context or framework we find ourselves in. The Chinese peasant under communist rule can love his neighbor. The Sudanese militant in the middle of civil war and atrocities can still love his captives instead of torture them. Iranian man can still love his wife and not mistreat or mutilate her. The midwestern, fundamentalist Christian parent can still love her child, and get her the damned help she needs instead of making a stand for her own faith.

I am not so above it all that the needless death of an 11 year old girl can't still effect me emotionally.

I'm sorry not to show it here on the blog, but my blood boils over this, simply because my son and I are both type-1 diabetic, and we both showed the same symptoms prior to being diagnosed and getting treatment. All that man and woman had to do was talk to a doctor and he could diagnose it over the phone, and that girl would still be alive, today. They chose their own misguided “faith” over their child's welfare. They loved themselves and their own asses (spiritually speaking) over their daughter. That little girl had no choice in the matter. That, Evan, is bullshit. I ask, where was the love for her? Who was looking out for her?

No “faith” is worth that. My reading of the bible does not require the sacrifice of my child to be acceptable to God. I'll say it again, NO SANE READING DOES!

Perhaps you are a buddhist or a gnostic and see the outlines of the Matrix behind it all so you aren't emotional about anything, but I doubt I will ever achieve that level of detachment.

I'm not detached at all. Neither am I a buddhist or gnostic. I've never seen the Matrix movies, so I have no idea. But I'd rather have a rational conversation about this than spew my emotional venom over the whole deal, and come across as an ass.

Perhaps it's too late for that...

Stan, the Half-Truth Teller said...

I must say I'm a bit annoyed that no one has yet asked the question begging to be asked in this case:

Do the parents have the right to withhold non-experimental medicine (including the practice thereof) from their minor children based on religious freedom?

The question is just lingering out there, but hasn't yet been spoken. Well, here it is.

Before you answer, I'll lay out the dilemma of doing so:

1) Say yes, and you become complicit in this little girl's voluntary manslaughter.

2) Say no, and you deny, even a little bit, that religious freedom is something to be protected.

You see (and I realize it to be unnecessary to spell out to you all, but forgive me as I do anyway), it doesn't really matter in the long run that this girl died due to her parents' forced prevention of modern medicine. Yes, it's tragic, and we can all bemoan the fact that it happened. Sure, we'll all distance ourselves (especially the Christians) from the deluded parents, and condemn their [in]action.

Really, though, this unfortunate event serves to highlight the extreme of religious freedom in America (and elsewhere, where applicable).

Hitchens especially is quick to denounce religion in all forms, and Dawkins is fond of separating the religion from the child (he wants us to say "child of [insert religion here] parents" rather than "[insert religion here] child").

The non-believers among us are sure to agree, but when something like this incident occurs, even the "believers" must admit that the power of religious freedom can easily be misused, and if society fails to diligently monitor the uses of religious freedom, then we are all complicit in this little girl's death.

I am a married man, with two children of my own, and while I love my family and would fight to keep it, I also (to my wife's chagrin) recognize that a) monogamy and b) children as possession are both relics of the past which are niether necessary nor particularly helpful today.

In fact, they may not truly be relics of the past, and instead may merely be rules placed by the religions themselves...

At any rate, society has an obligation to prevent its children from being abused, neglected, and allowed to die (as in this case), and the removal of some of the key parental rights we [parents] hold so dear is the only way to truly make any headway.

(The problems of monogamy are a topic for another discussion, but it fosters jealousy and deceit, and too closely resembles slavery)

So as I have asked...

Do the parents have the right to withhold non-experimental medicine (including the practice thereof) from their minor children based on religious freedom?

Restricting religious freedom is clearly a dangerous path to take, but cases such as this (as clearly an extreme example) make the issue something which clearly needs consideration.

--
Stan

Stan, the Half-Truth Teller said...

{-----------

Oh, and to those questioning the apparent requirement in Texas to acknowledge a "Supreme Being"...

A state's statutes are always superceded by the federal statute, where one exists, to include the rights guaranteed in the Constitution. While Texas may have the as-yet unchallenged law requiring that one recognize a "Supreme Being's" existence, it cannot require that one make any other claims regarding this alleged being.

That is, you can either say explicitly that "Jessica Alba" is a "Supreme Being", or you may just as well plead the Fifth Amendment -- both are legally acceptable answers, and if either is challenged by the State of Texas, then a free trip to Washington, D.C., is in order as plaintiff.

In my case, I have refused to remove my baseball cap (which, in the two example cases to date, was red with the word "Canada" embroidered across its front) in a U.S. courtroom (once as potential juror, once as defendant in traffic court). In the first case, the bailiff quietly reminded me that I should remove my hat, to which I replied, "No, thank you, I wear it as a matter of religious expression".

His response was quite unexpected -- he immediately said, "Oh, that's perfectly fine then", and informed the judge, who had me confirm this fact to the entire court. Personally, I was looking forward to the lawsuit...

Anyway, "religion", legally speaking, is incredibly poorly defined, and as long as you don't make any overt claims as to the specifics of your personal religion, and so long as your claimed religious activity in no way violates any other statutes, you are in the clear. Make an overt claim, however, and you may be found out and charged with perjury, among other possible charges.

Anyway, using "religion", however loosely defined, is well within your own rights, as well.

--
Stan

---------}

Hamilcar said...

Stan,

Do the parents have the right to withhold non-experimental medicine (including the practice thereof) from their minor children based on religious freedom?

I'll bite. I don't know if I have all the answers, but I'll take a stab at it.

On this question, I have to come down on number two. We don't own our children. They're not ours to do with as we wish, in an absolute sense. They're free human beings with rights of their own, and until they're considered legally mature enough to exercise those rights, the rights are entrusted to the parents. This is a civil trust enforced by secular authority. If the parents are grossly negligent when it comes to protecting their child's rights -- or are actively violating those rights themselves -- the government must step in to protect the child. One of the primary roles of any government is to safeguard the rights of those it governs.

Resolving apparent conflicts between the rights of one person and the rights of another can sometimes be a difficult task, but in this case, I don't think it's that hard. The right of a person to "freely exercise" their religion cannot supercede the more basic rights of another person to life or liberty, for example. One set of rights is properly, and rationally more important, or more primary, than the other.

Evan said...

Do the parents have the right to withhold non-experimental medicine (including the practice thereof) from their minor children based on religious freedom?

I think parents have the right to withhold medication in many conditions that may be self-limited or of minor importance, regardless of their religion.

I think no parent should be allowed to withhold potentially lifesaving treatment from a child for religious reasons, however I do think parents should be able to withhold any treatment that they feel is futile as long as 2 independent physicians agree with this assessment, regardless of their religion.

I also believe that parents choosing not to vaccinate their kids should be required to attend a 5-hour course on vaccine science. If after attending that course they still choose not to vaccinate, I think that should be allowed (but religion should play no part in it).

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Bart~ you said this ~ "Harvey, I'm glad to see that you disavow giving credence to such statements as "ask anything in my name and I will give it to you", or "with faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to a mountain, 'go over there." I guess you aren't such a literalist and a believer in inerrancy and acceptance of the plain meaning of the text by faith after all."

I can say that I don't "disavow" scripture, but I do "Rightly Divide" scripture. It's like this...That old story about the man at sea, lost on an sandbar. (Other situations fit) Nevertheless he was praying for God to deliver him...A helicopter came, he didn't go, another boat came, he didn't go, Yet someone else tried to rescue him and he refused to go.

He died and went to heaven. The first question he asked was "God, why didn't YOU deliver me off that sandbar?"

God said, "I sent a helicopter, boat and another rescurer and you FAILED to recognize me either time...What more could I do?"

These people had the answer to their prayer through sound medical advice. They refused to hear it and became selfish assuming that God was going to answer them like THEY wanted him to. That's why this is wrong.

FYI- I've seen and received MEDICALLY verifiable healings and have experienced the same myself. I've seen and been a part of the dead raising. In fact if you want to confirm something, do a Google on Bishop Darryll Hines Milwaukee, WI. He was DEAD. Struck by lightning on the job at an airport...Dr. Said it was over for him. Confirmed him dead. An HOUR later, A Praying woman of God laid hands on him and called him back to LIFE. Dr.'s said it was a medical miracle etc....but facts are that prayer was offered, and Jesus name was called on and the fella lives today to confirm with MEDICAL reports, news paper articles and all...

The lesson is CONTEXT. This family misapplied the context of God's word because they didn't do what at least you're encourging the people of God to do (Whether you know it or not) and that's examine thw WORD to see what it really says. Everytime I examine it, I'm more strengthened.

Anyway, Bart I see you're at it again...I'll be over there as soon as I've read your Marcion article. This oughta be interesting to say the least.

Thanks.

Stan, the Half-Truth Teller said...

With all due respect to Harvey and his apparent belief that he's witnessed or "seen and been a part of the dead raising", my first reaction was an audible "Bullshit".

However, I decided to attempt the search suggested, and, after a few failed attempts due to an apparent misspelling, I found exactly two Google results (in the first three pages) having anything whatsoever to do with this alleged resurrection, when using "lightning milwaukee hines 1981" as my search string.

Now, if I say so myself, I'm quite adept at the use of search engines, and for even these results I had to attempt a few different variations of the theme.

At any rate, of the two results provided, one is currently under construction -- its the referenced page does not exist (the cached page is available, but even its links are either outdated or defunct) -- and the other was actually from a different search string ("struck by lightning milwaukee hines"), and was a site for "Streaming Faith", and it only referenced Pamela Hines from the search string, despite a listing also for Darrell...

At any rate, the two sites in question are hardly worthy of consideration as unbiased, independent verification of a bona fide miracle. Granted, I'm sure the event garnered plenty of attention when it occurred, but it seems just a bit more likely that there is a reasonably non-religious explanation, involving an unregistered but existent pulse, and a doctor (or group of doctors) who are neither experts in neuro-science nor free from the occasional mistake -- which in this case could very easily have cost a man his life.

Lucky for him, he's now a multi-millionaire evangelist instead...

I'm curious, though, as to how Harvey would answer my question:

Do the parents have the right to withhold non-experimental medicine (including the practice thereof) from their minor children based on religious freedom?

You seem to suggest that the parents in this case were merely blinded to the "hand of god" that was an insulin shot, but in many cases -- indeed, most assuredly in this case as well -- the parents' dogma expressely forbids the "hand of god" in certain forms.

Considering the othewise benign nature (with regard to religion -- certainly not benign with regard to medicinal value) of standard medical practice, should we or shouldn't we restrict the right of the parent to deny (or, in other similar cases, require) specific procedures based on religious preference?

Remember, this means any religion, any standard medical procedure, or any sufficiently disproven homeopathic or mystical "medicine".

Also, bear in mind that there are already limitations imposed -- Orthodox Jews, for instance, require burial within 24 hours of death, but in the case of a [suspected] wrongful death, an autopsy, and subsequent delay of burial rites, can be mandated.

--
Stan

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Stan~ I'll try to find a better link to the Hines story for this forum. I've seen the newspaper reports and Dr.'s report personally some years ago. This event was probably over 15 to 20 years ago. It wasn't a big thing that he was struck by lightning, the big thing was that he was confirmed dead.

Anyway, I agree with the general premise stated here. People should follow sound medical advice.

Miracles are NOT meant to be wholesale and are not normative, although as I said I've been a personal witness that they do occur.

Stan, the Half-Truth Teller said...

Harvey says:

Anyway, I agree with the general premise stated here. People should follow sound medical advice.

Miracles are NOT meant to be wholesale and are not normative, although as I said I've been a personal witness that they do occur.


I'll ignore the implications regarding miracles for now, and instead ask that you clarify your first statement with regard to my question, which I'll paraphrase now so as to avoid the ambiguity your answer provides:

Do the parents have the right to withhold non-experimental medicine (including the practice thereof) from their minor children based on religious freedom?

Should parents in general be required by legislation to follow sound medical advice from bona fide medical professionals (read: M.D. or better)?

Don't worry about the Hines article (it was 1981) -- it isn't really that relevant. I suppose I'm a bit curious to see what evidence of a miracle you can produce, but I'm sure you're aware of my skepticism.

Please, though, answer this question, and qualify your answer. Bear in mind the implications of either side -- either you become complicit in deaths such as the one this topic describes, or you deny at least partially religious freedom.

--
Stan

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Stan ~ You asked me this :"Do the parents have the right to withhold non-experimental medicine (including the practice thereof) from their minor children based on religious freedom?

Should parents in general be required by legislation to follow sound medical advice from bona fide medical professionals (read: M.D. or better)?"

I'll answer this the best I can based on my current experience...Number one, with all due respect to medical professionals, they don't have all the answers. An old Bishop I trained under used to say that they were in a medical "practice" for a reason...Where this really hits home for me is that currently there is a debate over the link between certain REQUIRED vaccines and autism.

This is a problem for any parent wanting to protect their children. Will the vaccine actually produce a greater or equally as problematic situation in some children?

What did I do? I PRAYED and asked the Lord to protect my children even if the advice was bad. I would not have subjected my children or myself if I knew it was wrong no matter what the Dr. said.

Some years ago, I was seeing the Dr. about a certain treatment. During the process the news had reported problems and adverse long terms effects with the medication that the Dr. was going to recommend. I asked the Dr. about it...She told me, "Would the company put this out if they knew something was wrong with it?"

As you can see, she made the most BONEHEAD statement in her life...She was a Dr....I NEVER took the medication and I recovered quite well.

You talk about legislation and making or requiring people to do things...That doesn't sit well with me. The State and Feds require a lot of things and in m opinion I still can view the phrase "govt-assistance" as anything other than a joke.

So what I do...I simply TRUST God with these things. As I said, this was a NO BRAINER in my opinion and the medicine wasn't either experimental and the long term prognosis would have been good under the currently prescribed treatments...This, in my opinion, was MURDER.

To me this has little to do with faith and MUCH to do with ignorance and stupidity as I said before...

Sorry, I didn't get all pious, theological and deep on ya, but as Hanna M. sings "we're all in this together" (LOL)

Thanks

Hamilcar said...

District Supt.,

I'm not calling you out on this, but I need to get some information into the discussion, now that the Autism/Vaccines issue has been raised.

There has never been any credible scientific link between autism and vaccinations, despite a lot of press and media on the idea. This remains true today, and has only become more clear over time.

The big WHY of the story is the rise in autism diagnosis over the last few decades. There has been a huge increase in the number of autism cases found. Autism rates greatly increased. Obviously, this cries out for an explanation.

People began looking for anything that might correlate with the rise in autism incidence, and some of those people latched on to various ideas, including the hypothesis that autism is caused by mercury poisoning. The best explanation for the rise in autism diagnoses remains the simplest one: autism is better understood and better described than it used to be, and as awareness rises, so do the rates of recognition of the condition. This parallels a great many other diseases and conditions that we know of now: in the past, people simply suffered and died inexplicably, but now we are able to detect what they're suffering from, and give it a name.

The mercury connection to vaccines was through a preservative called Thimerosal, which contains small amounts of mercury. Thimerosal has been used to keep vaccines clear dangerous bacteria and fungi since the 1930s, and has a very long and clear safety record. It's never been shown to be harmful to people, and has never been credibly linked to any condition, including autism.

This was the case throughout the '80s and '90s, as the vaccine hysteria was building. Despite the lack of evidence, the decision was made to remove thimerosal from all children's vaccines about 6 years ago, "just to be on the safe side". If the autism/vaccine hypothesis was correct, we should now see a dramatic reduction in new cases of autism.

It hasn't happened. The rates are the same, despite NO children receiving any thimerosal vaccines in this country for 6 years. The hypothesis fails. (It had already been heavily discredited by other studies showing a convincing lack of correlation between autism and vaccines).

Healthy skepticism is always prudent. We know about drugs and medical procedures that don't receive enough scrutiny and wind up having to be withdrawn from the public after harming people. In any and all such cases, the only solution is to look at all of the available evidence and make the most informed decision.

Full disclosure: I have a son who is autistic. With most autism, the cause remains unknown. We're lucky in this case that we know the cause: a genetic abnormality called Fragile X Syndrome. It's the biggest known cause of autism.

Shygetz said...

hamilcar is right (again) and should be listened too. The only debate is between scientists on one side and, on the other, devestated parents looking for answers who have been widely exploited by unethical people who have made an awful lot of money pushing pseudoscience and conjecture as truth. All of the people now suffering from the resurgence in measles can thank these people.

Tom said...

The Bible supports the use of medicine for illnesses.

1 Timothy 5:23

Stop drinking only water and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.

The Bible supports medicine and faith.

Evan said...

Tom,

First what evidence do you have that wine is good for the stomach. I do think wine is good for the heart -- but it tends to promote stomach upset. So the Bible's one case of "recommending medicine" seems a bit off for a God-inspired book.

Secondly, are you saying that the Bible does NOT promote prayer because this text doesn't mention prayer?

Tom said...

It was probably to help digestion and remove the disorders which might attend it. Also the text says that it was used for other infirmities. I'm sure prayer was used along with it.

Kelley said...

my mom,a devout Christian, always says "prayer works, but God gave us sense enough to go to a doctor." Dana, i used to be a Christian(i'm now Wiccan),and i have to ask, if prayer works in and of itsself, why would we have the knowledge that we do about medical science? why not just set up "prayer healing centers" all over the nation?i'll tell u why. because,as Bill Maher said "prayer is as good as 'hoping it 'twere so'". i believe in prayer, but i also believe that medical science is here for a reason. and the poster who said that Hinn and all the others should be ashamed of themselves is absolutely right. i also think that Oral Roberts should be prosecuted for telling that poor boy's family a few yrs back not to give him his insulin bc God had "cured" him. i believe in prayer,but i also believe in medical science,and common sense. those parents should have their remaining children taken from them, and be prosecuted for child neglect, child endangerment,and negligent homicide. i only wish that a Murder 1 charge was an option in this case.