Religion vs. Crime: Wisconsin

Location: Wisconsin

Parents prayed as their daughter died of a completely treatable illness because the parents believed that prayer and God would save their daughter. The parents, according to reports, truly believed that she would not die.

Now, I believe that God provided us with smart and capable people to invent and prescribe medicines to ease pain and remedy illness. These folks obviously do not.

Were these parents seeking to harm their child? Were these parents depriving the child of care? Did they think that the pray was care? These questions will be up to a jury.

Should this girl have died? No. I am not endorsing this behavior. But, I am not quite ready to condemn it, either.

Circumstances like this, if the parents truly believe their prayers were helping the child, test our religious freedoms. A jury will have to make that ultimate determination. But, please, do not revert to the knee-jerk reaction that these people are wrong. Keep an open mind.



Filed under Crime and Punishment, News, Religion

4 responses to “Religion vs. Crime: Wisconsin

  1. John Warner

    God has not provided us with anything. Religion is merely a very sad outcome of our need to group together. Belief in a god or gods is merely the suspension of reason and that suspension KILLED the little girl in question. These “parents” should be punished for manslaghter.

  2. salmonandgrits

    Regardless of anyone’s personal religious or lack of religious beliefs, the law must be objective. Did these people intend to kill their child? Was their behavior malicious? Again, that’s for a jury and I’m thankful that it won’t be me.

  3. You wrote: “Circumstances like this, if the parents truly believe their prayers were helping the child, test our religious freedoms.”

    Unfortunately, your position is unreasonable. After all, a sincerely held belief can be sincerely wrong. There are limits to religious freedom and what most people don’t understand is that religious freedom includes both freedom OF religion and freedom FROM religion. Do you really believe that parents are legally, morally or spiritually justified to withhold medical care fro their children as long as they claim sincere religious beliefs? Or do you think we should also allow adults to marry children, to give just one example of a sincerely held belief by some Christians?

    Religious freedom only applies to religious beliefs not to religious actions that violate the rights of others. In other words, you are free to believe any crazy thing you want, but you are not completely free to act on that belief. The U.S. Supreme Court has held, for example, that parents may have the right to make martyrs of themselves, but they don’t have the right to make martyrs of their children.

    I find it quite hypocritical that the same people who fight to uphold the religious rights of adults completely disregard the religious rights of children, which include the right to be free of religion. Parents do not own their children, and indoctrinating them with religious dogma denies them both of their rights as children and future rights they will have as adults.

    Unfortunately, because most Christian moderates completely misunderstand the concept and believe parental rights trump children’s rights, they tend to not speak out in protest at Christian extremists who get away with child abuse and murder in some U.S. states by hiding under the banner of “religious freedom”.

    I can’t think of any other reason why you would hesitate to strongly condemn any parent who put their child in harms way, no matter how sincere their belief is. It seems to me that your priorities are misplaced.

    See my website
    for many more examples of children suffering and dying because of the religious beliefs of adults.

  4. salmonandgrits

    Unfortunately, our laws relating to religion are inconsistent. That’s the reason I wrote the blog. As a country we have decided that parents control religious choices for themselves and their children. Children are unfortunately mistreated by parents in many ways and under many circumstances all of which are unnecessary and uncalled for.

    Parents decision making in many instances can be challenged, questioned. Often times, these horrible choices have nothing to do with religion. All parents choose for their children most choose well but others choose poorly.

    No child should suffer at the hands of their parents, relatives or the government. Certainly, identifying problems is a big step, resolving these problems is quite another.

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