Faith Healing or Child Abuse?

A Wisconsin mother who believes in “divine healing” was convicted Friday of reckless homicide for allowing her 11-year-old daughter Madeline … Continued

A Wisconsin mother who believes in “divine healing” was convicted Friday of reckless homicide for allowing her 11-year-old daughter Madeline to die of untreated diabetes by praying for her instead of seeking medical treatment. She awaits sentencing.

Meanwhile, a Minnesota mother and her cancer-stricken 13-year-old son Daniel have gone into hiding, trying to evade court-ordered chemotherapy which the boy says conflicts with his stated preference for “natural healing” methods favored by a Missouri-based religious group. (UPDATE: Colleen and Daniel Hauser returned to their Minnesota home early Monday.)

How far should a mother go to protect her child’s religious beliefs, or her own? Does any parent have a right to put a child’s health at risk for religious convictions? Does any child have that right? Should the government intervene in those cases?

These two mothers are clear in their convictions.

Neumann, the Wisconsin woman on trial, said in a videotaped interview played Wednesday at her trial that the Lord was going to take care of her daughter and all she needed was prayer. “It did scare me with her being cold,” Neumann said. “I just believed the Lord is going to heal her. I never thought she was close to death . . . “I just felt that, you know, my faith was being tested. I never went through an experience like that before in my life and I just thought, man, this is the ultimate test. We just started praying and praying and praying over her.”

Colleen Hauser, the Minnesota mom, is facing felony arrest for fleeing the state with her son after a judge found Daniel Hauser has been “medically neglected” by his parents and needed the state’s protection. In court, Hauser testified that she was trying to “starve” his cancer with a diet and that their belief in the Nemenhah principle of “do no harm” leads her to believe that chemotherapy is poison, contrary to God’s intention for the natural healing of disease.

“All of these recent cases are complex because they require the legal system to reconcile a variety of interests,” Shawn Francis Peters, religion teacher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of “When Prayer Fails: Faith Healing, Children and the Law,” wrote in an On Faith guest column last year.

“Treasuring religious liberty, most Americans recoil at infringements on the faith-based practices that help to define our religious lives. And, too, we generally believe that parents should have wide latitude in directing the upbringing of their children. But those sentiments are challenged when the physical and emotional welfare of children – the most vulnerable members of our society – is at risk.”

The U.S. Supreme Court seems clear about how these conflicts should be resolved. As Georgetown/On Faith blogger and professor Michael Kessler explains elsewhere on this site, U.S. law clearly allows adults to make similar religious-based decisions for themselves — but not for their children. Kessler quotes the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1944 ruling in Prince v. Massachusetts:

“The right to practice religion freely does not include the right to expose the community or the child to communicable disease or the latter to ill-health or death . . . Parents may be free to become martyrs themselves. But it does not follow they are free, in identical circumstances, to make martyrs of their children before they have reached the age of full and legal discretion when they can make that choice for themselves.”

But as Kessler points out, many states have exemptions for religious grounds from child abuse statutes. In those states, a parent can’t be charged with neglect for withholding medical treatment. The American Academy of Pediatrics and other groups have criticized of these laws.

As a parent and person of faith, I can’t imagine choosing to put my own religious beliefs ahead of my child’s physical health and safety. I surely can’t imagine allowing a young teenager to make that call. If a parent won’t protect a child, someone has to step in and do it, right?

These children needed medical attention, not spiritual hocus pocus. Pray for your children and with your children. Encourage them to believe in the power of faith. But don’t deny them the miraculous and healing powers of modern medicine.

—————

UPDATE: The Neumanns were sentenced to six months in jail and 10 years probation.

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  • CCNL

    According to the US Supreme Court the “mothers” of these children have the “right” to choose.

  • Paganplace

    Or in briefer terms: When a child is sick, it’s not about proving your ‘faith.’ It’s about you’re looking at a sick child. Any God don’t like that, has some explaining to do. Later.

  • jln1215

    women according to the goverment have the “right” to abort,the child is born now the goverment has the “right” to tell you what or how to raise or cure the child.

  • RogerWDavis

    From what I read the criminal mother of the 13 year old, who says he doesn’t want to defy his faith with chemotherapy, was having him treated with a ancient indian remedy which has shown recent success. Somewhere it was mentioned that the criminal mother and her son are not native Americans and to hell with the two way street our 1st Amendment adresses.A judgment against a religious practice is just as damning as a law that says it’s ok if you hoot-n-holler around a campfire.Even with potential errors every parent commits, I somehow despise a people who put the interests of a child into the loving hands of a half-wit judge who has a better idea than the one he is sworn to uphold.

  • persiflage

    Cults are typically based on emotionally needy and sometimes desparate followers, and a solitary charismatic leader with a ‘message’. These are not harmless affiliations. As we know, the fate of these groups and their followers is often unpleasant, and sometimes much worse. If the child didn’t have a half-wit mother, there would be no need for a half-wit judge to intervene. The law is clear here. Religious beliefs and parental rights are trumped by the state’s right to intervene on behalf of the child and the child’s welfare, when necessary.Alternative/holistic medical options can be practiced in conjunction with standard medical care – in that case, there wouldn’t be a problem. It would help to know a great deal more about the parents, their educational backgrounds, and their child-rearing practices prior to this incident. Here the child has a highly curable form of cancer when following prescribed treatments. This is not the same situation presented to patients with a terminal diagnosis, and where alternative therapies become a last resort.

  • persiflage

    We see on another thread here that the 13 year old child in question is unable to read and knows little about the religious cult that his mother is taking her cues from – and make no mistake, this organization meets the description of a cult – and an internet-based cult at that.

  • B2O2

    Chalk up another casualty for the American Taliban and their Bronze Age religious scrolls. What millenium is it again?

  • drzimmern1

    This case brings back memories of the Terry Shiavo case. Battle between relatives, unwarranted intrusion by public officials, and medical confusion. Because she has broken N0 law if this mother is arrested, she will have a magnificent legal case against those meddlers who have their nose stuck deep into her family’s personal business, giving opinions about her. The doctors seem rather bullying and badgering in this case. The child must have some say in the matter, not to be dismissed. Everyone knows that chemotherapy is poisonous, painful and uncertain. Sometimes it saves lives. But

  • readerny

    The problem with this discussion is that it overlooks the fact that Colleen Hauser is Catholic, which certainly does not advocate the actions she has taken. The beliefs that she cites in order to avoid chemotherapy are in addition to her religious beliefs, so it’s not a matter of saying that this is a strictly religious issue. In my child’s school, a Catholic family won religious exemptions to avoid having their children vaccinated (the only exemption allowed in New York). That family’s children started a whooping cough outbreak in the school. Their claims of religious exemption were bogus. Catholicism has nothing against vaccination.

  • chrisfox8

    Absolutely we should intervene. To allow psychotic parents to deny a child proper medical care for nutty religious reasons is tantamount to accepting maiming and murder. We are Americans, not rural Indians.

  • chrisfox8

    Leave it to the goober knucklewalkers to try to hijack another thread to get in thsie eye-rolling BS about abortion. This is not about fetuses, this is about children. What the HELL is the matter with these people?

  • dougd1

    Yes, of course the government should intervene in these cases. Parents who employ these belief systems are clearly delusional, and the young child has no freedom of choice in their treatment. There is absolutely no way the child should suffer and die because of the parents’ delusions.

  • colonelpanic

    Really, it should not be up to the parents or government or the churches. It should be up to the insurance companies.Time and again the Supreme Court of the United States has held that the insurance companies have a right to make a profit. And in this country, time and again profit is more important than God. So if it is profitable to stop or withhold treatment then that is the right choice.

  • Alex511

    fr robertwdavis:>…Even with potential errors every parent commits, I somehow despise a people who put the interests of a child into the loving hands of a half-wit judge who has a better idea than the one he is sworn to uphold.WRONG. The “mother” deserves to be arrested, her child put into foster care so he can get REAL medical care, not from some half-baked “medicine man” trash.

  • Doug_White

    Freedom of religion, in this country, is practiced with the same restrictions by which we are all governed in our private lives. We may not, for instance, commit murder, nor can religions in this country engage in human sacrifice. Both violate constitutional laws that extend to BORN humans the RIGHT to life.Parents engaged in a religious practice that denies life-saving medical therapy to a minor child should, if the child dies, be prosecuted for denying that child his constitutionally guaranteed right to life. If that same child, reaching the lawful age of majority, decides to terminate his own life, he is taking responsibility for himself, and making a decision about his willingness to participate in life that is certainly his to make.

  • RedBird27

    I respect the views of different faiths regarding this issue. But, in the case of the 13 y/o boy with lymphoma a Judge interviewed him and decided that the boy didn’t have an understanding of the faith involved. In fact, the media reports that the boy came to this “faith” after his diagnosis. To go down this path I think your faith must be sincere and understood. Since this boy appears to be developmentally disabled, or perhaps illiterate (since he can’t read at age 13) I think the Judge was correct in determining that his parents were neglectful. Most relgions have a confirmation period for teens, usually at about this age. If a child had choosen his faith and confirmed that with his own informed consent I would reconsider.

  • cloudyone

    I am not religious at all. But get this folks, PEOPLE DIE! Yes, EVERYONE will die eventually. No doctor ‘saves’ anyone’s life; they just EXTEND people’s lives (or even shorten it). Let’s say the doctor treats a girl’s disease and extends her life and she lives to reproduce. What happens when her offspring inherit the very same disease? Do we charge the doctor with a crime? The doctor just gets more job security!

  • MissRed

    I belong to a religion that believes in miracles. I remember having food poisoning and throwing up every 15 minutes. After a blessing I felt fine enough to sleep off the rest of the sickness. I have also seen people with little odds of survival healed by a blessing. However, unlike either of the parents in the two examples, if life was threatened medical help was sought. The only life saving miracles I have witnessed in my faith happened at hospitals with the doctors as witnesses. I know that God can heal, but it is not always his will to use miracles. He did give us medicine for a reason!

  • Chops2

    Nuemann said:She’s right. The ultimate test being if there is a god or not who intervenes in daily life which she was willing to risk her childs life over. Sadly for her poor child, the answer is clear. There isn’t one.

  • sevenstones1000

    “In my child’s school, a Catholic family won religious exemptions to avoid having their children vaccinated (the only exemption allowed in New York). That family’s children started a whooping cough outbreak in the school.”Yes, but ReaderNY, the outbreak would be confined only to those children who also hadn’t been vaccinated, so what do you care? Your kids – if you vaccinated – were completely safe. Right?

  • LilaM

    When it comes to Faith Healing, I’m reminded of the joke about the guy caught in a flood. As the water rises, he climbs on his roof and 3 different people come by to help and each time he declines their assistance claiming, “God will save me.” After he drowns in the flood waters, he says to God, Why didn’t you save me?”. God responds, “I sent a firetruck, a boat and a helicopter! What more did you want?”Pray to God, if that gives you comfort, but trust in the medical professionals s/he has provided.

  • sevenstones1000

    Here is a question no one seems willing to address: How exactly do you force chemotherapy on an unwilling patient? Will this poor boy be strapped down to a gurney? Will his head immobilized so he can’t bite, and a gag put in his mouth so he can’t scream? This begins to sound like waterboarding or some other form of torture, doesn’t it?

  • Rationalista

    As usual, folks like David Waters want it both ways: believe in superstition, and have faith that religion has some claim to truth AND count on science to come to rescue when you really need its benefits. As Waters says, “Pray for your children and with your children. Encourage them to believe in the power of faith.” BUT! At the same time: “But don’t deny them the miraculous and healing powers of modern medicine.” Waters knows medical science is based on demonstrable and testable fact, and that it can be trusted to benefit humans far more than the witch-doctor “hocus-pocus” these religious mothers believe in. But, you know, Waters says, keep the bronze-age religious hooey in there, too. What’s clear is that it’s the religious mothers who are being far more consistent than Waters. As wrong as I believe they are, at least they’re not insisting on having their cake and eating it, too.

  • TRACIETHEDOLPHIN

    Religion is the biggest scam ever perpetrated on humans by other humans. Any mother or father that lets their child die because of religious conviction, or in plain language, belief in the unprovable, then they should be held accountable just like any other person that causes or helps cause a childs death. If the child had died because of not being in a child seat in an accident, we would not be having this discussion.

  • jimmyc16

    A parent should be able to decide what medical treatments are appropriate. One thing the oncologists and the AMA do not want you to know is that chemotherapy prematurely kills as many patients as the cancers do if allowed to proceed. The stuff is poison, weaking the immune system, and attacking healthy tissue and organs. Sometime it is successful in slowing the disease, but there are very few cases of total remission by chemo. There are other choices.

  • LookingFromOutside

    “Miracle” cures happen to atheists and believers. When a believer is “cured” they talk endlessly about it…no doubt impressing the gullible and the stupid all the more.Society needs to act in the best interests of the weak, those who cannot legally consent and most vulnerable ie the children in any way it can when they are threatened. Not only should the parents be charged, so should the ferrari-driving preachers who promote such self-sustaining practices as faith healing.

  • raduodogi

    By saying it’s “religious freedom” for a parent to decide if their child is treated with medicine or left to die, that leaves a wide door to go through. How about the “Children of God” cult where incest with young children was encouraged as a religious practice? Does that mean that a father has the right to have intercourse with his seven year old daughter because his religion tells him to do it?

  • ToniKamau

    Well, for a scientifically educated person, whose first prioeity is the survival of the individual- the answer is quite clear; take them away from the parents and give them proper treatment.But, when we set our targets higher, beyond the life of an individual the decission can be more difficult.The genetical health of the society would rather profit from the behavior of these half-wit parets and on the long-run its the best way to prevent future diseases.When we look to Europe where such discussions are much rarer coz the state will always interfere for the sake of the life of the child- you can also see the consequences of this “Individual first approach”: the indegenous European populations is either dimishing or slowly replaced by people from countries where natural selection has still the say due to poverty.

  • lufrank1

    Posted by: CCNL ‘According to the US Supreme Court the “mothers” of these children have the “right” to choose.’Dear CCNL,

  • nunivek

    I find these two articles to be somewhat fascinating as they reveal the strong bias our society has against natural death. We literally waste tens of thousands of dollars on treatments that extend lives for months to be spent in excruciating pain and strapped to machines and isolated from the world around us. It is a deep reflection of the pathetic and selfish hyper-individualism of our society. How in the world is Chemo treatment, something that may be accessible to what less than 5 percent of the world population, a necessary treatment to insure that you are not neglecting your children? Tell that to the families who just cannot afford it. We are not able or willing to treat the world and it would just be silly to try. So to equate not extending chemotherapy with something like not feeding your children or abandoning them, is ridiculous! Its no surprise that in our society we are headed towards 50 percent of our GDP being spent on healthcare, we pretend that healthcare allows us to be immortal and we could care less that the gains that we receive are minuscule compared to the societal, economic, and relational costs.

  • TalkingHead1

    All I can say is that I feel sorry for the kid because he cannot get the treatment he needs due to his parents’ religious beliefs.

  • chrisfox8

    Freedom of religion is a constitutional right and nobody should interfere with our practice. The parents have the God-given right to do what is right and the best for our children.== I hope you don’t drive like you write.You certainly are free to practice whatever snake-handling and chanting and standing-and-kneeling practice that inspires the emotions you need to keep going, and yes for some reason our Bill of Rights guarantees you this (or at least it prohibits the state from endorsing one standing-and-kneeling practice over another), but when you abuse your child’s responsibility by denying him the medical care he needs to survive and to be healthy, you are no practicing freedom of religion, you are no different from the sadist who locks his child in a closet without food or water as punishment. Anyone who so abuses a child should be put into prison right alongside the one who starves his child.Maybe your “God” will spring you.

  • CCNL

    Lufrank,There are 35 million dead babies who have no say in the matter as per the US Supreme Court.

  • chrisfox8

    nd in this country, time and again profit is more important than God. == Uh, anything actually real is more important than God, because God is just a popular fantasy.I’m no fan of corporate profits and I think a lot of corporations should be broken up and their executives jailed, but there is not the smallest speck of evidence of God’s existence. Note that I am not holding out for “proof,” merely “evidence, but there isn’t any.

  • chrisfox8

    There are 35 million dead babies who have no say in the matter as per the US Supreme Court.Posted by: CCNL== Dead babies? Thirty-five million? Where is this incredible infanticide taking place?My guess is this is some snide BS about abortion again. Sorry but those aren’t “babies,” they are fetuses, and the great majority of abortions take place before the fetus has so much as a functioning nervous system. To call what is for all intents and purposes a parasite with human DNA a “baby” is laughable hyperbole. If you need to exaggerate to such an extent to get attention it can only mean that reality won’t do it for you, and you don’t really have a point at all.

  • infantry11b4faus

    but murdering babies via abortion – well that is not child abuse it choice.

  • crannogman

    There have been several accounts in this thread of “someone I know” having a traumatic chemotherapy experience. That is simply not convincing. Without studies, statistics, and repeatability, personal accounts or anecdotes are not acceptable as creditable evaluations of therapies.Science is often treated as an enemy of humanity. Yet is no more than the pursuit of knowledge, without bias. Science is what lets us look at an event and figure out what has happened, not what we might hope or fear has happened.The courts did the right thing in protecting children from parents who refused to safeguard their future. The parents did the wrong thing by subjecting their offspring to unproven (and untested, and perhaps untestable) therapies instead of proven therapies that were available. God provides with moral guidelines to help us to secure eternal life. However, we are also admonished no to put God to the test. Therefore, God’s intervention cannot be relied upon, and we are left to our own potent devices in this life.

  • chrisfox8

    a 12 year old is old enough to decide to murder the life growing inside of her== Uh, if a 12-year-old girl is pregnant then abortion is the least of all worries. Something is deadly wrong with pregnancy at so young an age and anyone who would even contemplate denying an abortion to that girl for whatever reason deserves to be put in the pillory and horsewhipped down to the bone

  • andygrossman

    Amid all the rhetoric about right and wrong one aspect of the debate is missing: what should be done with parents who firmly believe God will look after us all, including our children?Everyone is in a hurry to throw these parents in jail. We ought to pause and ask if they have committed a crime? Were they acting as responsible parents? Or did they so disregard the needs of their children and succumb to their own egos?Perhaps before we punish these people we might remember they lost children who were precious to them. These are true believers. They really think God heals all souls. They truly believe if their children die it is because God has another mission for these kids and has called them “home.”In addition to putting them in prison for some period of time I think our legal system ought to put them in a room with a biologist, or doctor who can explain to them that no matter what God’s “plan” is these idiots are responsible for the deaths of their loved ones by actively withholding from them the assistance that could have saved them.Maybe if these deeply religious people are brought to the realization that they may have thwarted God’s plan they will shrivel up with self disgust and finally get it!

  • JUSTACOMMENT

    Unscrupulous doctors can skew information but not at the level of saying that you can expect 90% cure rate of radiation and combination chemo for Hodgkin’s disease. For those that think that religious magic healers is a valid alternative to traditional medicine based on scientific facts, and also believe that chemo doesn’t work and even can kill the patient with Hodgkin lymphoma, please read this:FROM WIKIPEDIA> …”Hodgkin lymphoma was one of the first cancers which could be cured using radiation therapy and, later, it was one of the first to be cured by combination chemotherapy.The disease occurrence shows two peaks: the first in young adulthood (age 15–35) and the second in those over 55 years old. The survival rate is generally 90% or higher when the disease is detected during early stages, making it one of the more curable forms of cancer.[2] Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of the handful of cancers that, even in its later stages, has a very high cure rate, in the 90’s.[3]Most patients who are able to be successfully treated (and thus enter remission) generally go on and live long and normal lives, due to a remission success rate of 90% to 95%.”,With this information still would you negate your son chemo?Just consider, the ones that became ill because of chemo, the ones that kill themselves because of depression caused by chemo and the ones that simple die because the radiation and chemo didn’t work ONLY make a mere 10% of all treated. Wouldn’t you want to be on the 90% side for your son?

  • sevenstones1000

    “Hodgkin Lymphoma is a success story in the struggle against cancer: a disease that would be fatal 9 out of 10 times can now be cured (not just treated) 9 out of 10 times.”Crannogman – you do understand that “cured” to an oncologist means “you have a pulse at 5 years plus 1 day”, don’t you? Oncologists do not follow their patients once the chemo is done, nor do they care about the quality of life these folks are left with. Getting to the magic 5 year mark is all they care about. Whether you also have a ruined heart, mental deficiencies, a secondary cancer or crippling depression is not their department. Also, what statistics do you have to show that post-chemotherapy, Hodgkins patients have a normal life span of “decades”?

  • khote14

    What’s the difference between a religious “person of faith” and a religious nut?Would the religious nut be a nut without the religion? Without the faith? Are they simply nuts with a label, or did the faith make them a nut?Let’s describe a spectrum of nutuity, the tendency to faith-based insanity.If you don’t have any religious faith, you don’t appear in this spectrum.If you have a little, then you do. If you have more, then you tend more towards insanity than someone who has less.Is it any wonder that we the faithless look upon religious belief as a form of insanity? Just where in this spectrum do you belong?

  • sevenstones1000

    Justacomment – when Hodgkins patients die from the effects of radiation and chemo treatments, their cause of death is NOT listed as Hodgkins. It is listed as suicide, heart failure, bone cancer, lung cancer, leukemia, etc. Their deaths would be in addition to the 10%. Just so you know.

  • katavo

    There’s something very malthusian going on here, shouldn’t we let the nuts kill their children?Each religious generation infects their children with the faith disease, if they begin killing off their own children they lose the ability to promote the faith disease into the future … how does our species lose?Leave them to their god, let them die off together.

  • colonelpanic

    In any case where there is a religious claim to avoid the law, then the parents must face a test of faith from their own holy book.In this case I refer to the Holy Bible, Chapter 3 in the Book of Daniel, “The test of the fiery furnace.” If this test was good enough for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, then it ought to be good enough for today’s faithful.Seems to me, the “literal interpretation of the Bible” crowd only goes far enough to be annoying. Gone are the days when real saints would burn for their faith. I think we need to bring those days back.Put Mom in a fiery furnace. After all, it’s her bible. If she lives then she can heal her kid. If she doesn’t, the the estate pays for firing up the furnace and the kid’s doctor bills.Look, the fundamentalists either believe this stuff or they don’t. I don’t think there is a middle ground for people dealing with absolutes.

  • crannogman

    In re Sevenstones1000,Creditable claims cannot be made about events without a test being performed. Scientists have done large studies that accurately estimate survival in the total population. If one would dispute that the quality of life is better in treated individuals than in non-treated individuals, one would have to cite the results of such a study to be believed.

  • MisterJ8

    Very simple.1 – If a god is so great and powerful and nice he would not make a child (or anyone) suffer – either by the ravages of a horrible disease or by brainwashed retards that have guardianship over him, and,2 – There should be a “Common Sense” clause in the Constitution that prevents things like this from happening. How many people does it really take to resolve this? I mean, really?

  • infantry11b4faus

    every person on this board was once a fetus.

  • bpai_99

    If they let those religious fanatics get away with denying their children needed medical care, then what’s to stop someone who wants their child to die from converting quickly to an appropriate religion and using that as justification to deny them care?

  • katavo

    MisterJ8:”Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?– Epicurus BC 341-270Watch how they dance around this one.

  • crannogman

    In re Infantry11b4fausChoice is not being born a woman, nor is it being raped or abused into unwillingly becoming pregnant.

  • bucinka8

    Topics like these always set off a thermonuclear flame war. So, without reading every single comment (I saw a few) and without making a snide remark about thinning the herd, let me just say it seems to me some people have misplaced the function of God in their lives. They seem to think that God is an active particpant in physical laws. (I worked with someone once who sincerely thought God was going to make her sales calls for her.) Belief in God is not a blank check to sit back and be lazy. The great medieval scientific thinkers who were people of faith still worked hard to arrive at their conclusions.In today’s society, one can say that God has given Homo sapiens the INTELLIGENCE and the TOOLS to help other living creatures…men and animals both. It’s too bad that some folks (not all) neglect the possibility that God acts THROUGH doctors and medicines, not IN PLACE of them. (Sorry for the caps, but since this board doesn’t support HTML this is th ebest I can do to emphasize.) There is no reason why God and science/medicine cannot coexist. The rational, problem-solving mind is one of God’s great gifts to Homo sapiens. Use it!

  • g_higgs

    This is what happens when people live according to the rules of a cruel and ignorant intitutionalized superstition; they sacrifice their children to prove their faith. Of course it is child abuse to refuse medical treatment, and of course the charlatans who pitch this medieval superstition are guilty as well. I worry about the state of ethics in our society because this is a topic of controversy, and I despair over the state of education in our country because there are adults can believe such patent hogwash.

  • asoders22

    To Daniel’s mother:If you read this – provide medical treatment for him immediately. If not, you will kill him. But make a great fuss to get him proper painkillers as well.

  • jandcgall1

    When religious belief brings about actions that bring harm to another, then the person must be held accountable for his/her actions in accordance with the law.When a parent decides to use prayer in lieu of medical care for a life threatening disease or disorder, ethically speaking, it would be no different than if a religious sect sacrificed one of its member’s children to assure their salvation. Both are simply practicing their religious beliefs in order to secure their salvation—why should the parents using faith healers be excused, but not the parents of the sacrificed child? In the end, both children are dead because the parents’ religious beliefs are allowed to supersede the interests of the children—and ultimately, the interests of society as a whole.Despite our support for freedom of religion, we must recognize that we cannot allow religious beliefs to do harm, to supersede the right of a child to live, or supersede our laws against murder. If we are to succeed and thrive as a society, we must be willing to limit religious practices when harm to innocent minors is at stake.Consider too that children often abandon their parents’ religious beliefs as young adolescents or young adults. My grandfather stopped practicing Catholicism as a young man; only two of my siblings practice my mother’s Zen Buddhist religion; my husband and his siblings abandon their Catholic religion in their twenties, yet their mother and her sister continue to practice faithfully. The irony of a parent killing a child in the name of religious dogma that the child may freely reject if allowed to live and choose in the future is too much to bear.

  • SoinFool21

    I am a Christian and I believe that God can Heal and he does provide miracles. However, I also believe that we have a certain amount of responsibility to take care of ourselves. Sitting around and wringing our hands doesn’t cut it. When I was told I was diabetic, I prayed for healing, but at the same time, I didn’t throw away my medicine and ignore the diet that the doctors gave me. If I had stuffed myself with cake and cookies instead, I think that God would have thought, “Why should I help, she isn’t even trying to help her self”. God works in many ways, the bible tells of many times when he directed another person here on earth to do something to answer another person’s prayers. One of the best things I read on this subject was in a novel. The character did not allow his wife to go the Mayo clinic to be treated for a curable problem. He said that they would pray for healing instead. When the healing didn’t happen and he was questioning why God forsook him, the detective investigating her death said did you ever think that god’s answer was Maybe these mothers,need to listen to what God is really saying, not what some religious figurehead is telling them he is saying.

  • mcleangirl

    I guarantee you 100 percent that this Minnesota woman has been told by her pastor that if her son dies it will because her faith was not strong enough. I was fed that line when I was young and gullible. Thank God I was raised with a good dose of skepticism by my Catholic father. I left those people to the flies buzzing in their stagnant brains.

  • mcleangirl

    It’s illegal is most states to assist suicide, which is what this woman will have done when her son dies, but is there a law against the attempted suicide assistance? Arrest her now and put her son where most people who attempt suicide go, into the hospital.

  • stephenrhymer

    you can’t have it both ways. there’s either freedom of religion or there isn’t.

  • bucinka8

    “…Despite our support for freedom of religion, we must recognize that we cannot allow religious beliefs to do harm,…”

  • James10

    you can’t have it both ways. there’s either freedom of religion or there isn’t.Posted by: stephenrhymer | May 24, 2009 7:17 AM You mind if I start a religion where I can offer you up to my god as a human sacrifice?

  • solsticebelle

    Both of these women are not just guilty of child abuse but of murder and attempted murder.What kind of mother wouldn’t do anything possible to save her child?”Freedom of religion” my a$$.

  • mac7

    I think that God chooses who receives the miracle and not us humans.If God has a purpose for us before we are born then who and if and when one receives a miracle is up to God. It may be ones purpose to be on this earth 1-10-30 years or long life but is it because God choose this for us before we are born? I think so. Its like the saying not my time yet.The mistake we can make is determining what God wants and fullfill that ourself and then we are not under God or any religious freedom–instead we are playing God and greatly deceived.Doing all you can for your child is not withholding medical care but receiving medical care plus practice your faith.

  • Chagasman

    Religion must die so mankind can live. These people who deny their children modern medical care are insane. They are no more than savages dancing naked around a campfire, invoking the spirits. They are incapable of living in the modern world. The real problem is not even religion, it is that most humans are still living in a world that no longer exists, a world of spirits and ghosts, tribalism, fanatical religions, and fear. Grow up, humans, or perish. God gave you the intelligence to figure out how to split the atom and use it for good or evil. You have the means to destroy yourselves many times over. The real test God is putting you through is whether you will use it to destroy yourself or escape the self-destructive urge and progress to a higher level of intelligence and behavior.Sadly enough, this article and its responses lead me to believe that we will not be up to the challegene. Excusing the abuse of children by invoking religion is only one step on the road to total annilihation.

  • flipper49

    Nuemann said:Sadly for her poor child, the answer is clear. There isn’t one.”Pardon me, but that’s as ignorant a statement I’ve read among this drivel so far. You have to remember that most of today’s “Christian” church is NOT. Most of it has become so-called “mega-churches” which no more worship God than Satan himself does. This dumb mother got caught up in relying upon another dumb human rather than God Himself, and the result HAD to be disastrous.

  • loulor

    Waters writes: “These two mothers are clear in their convictions.”So what? They can have all the convictions they want and stay just as delusional as they want.The fact remains they are inflicting harm on their children with their beliefs.I fail to see much difference between a parent who denies medical care to a child based on a belief in God’s intervention, and the parent who leaves a child on the railroad tracks believing God will somehow intervene to stop the train.

  • chrisfox8

    Amid all the rhetoric about right and wrong one aspect of the debate is missing: what should be done with parents who firmly believe God will look after us all, including our children?Everyone is in a hurry to throw these parents in jail. We ought to pause and ask if they have committed a crime? Were they acting as responsible parents? Or did they so disregard the needs of their children and succumb to their own egos?Perhaps before we punish these people we might remember they lost children who were precious to them. These are true believers. They really think God heals all souls. They truly believe if their children die it is because God has another mission for these kids and has called them “home.”== My response: who cares what they believe?You are describing a euphoric stupor. If people want to believe a load of illogical crap because it inspires enjoyable emotions in them, by all means let them. Let them, while in the grip of their ecstatic transport, throw themselves under the wheels of a train and let God decide if now is the time to “call them home.” When it’s their own alleged lives that are at stake, and no others, let their faith rule their lives.But unless someone can show that this affliction is genetically transmitted to offspring and that it is a dominant gene, they have no right whatever to make such a decision for anyone else, and to do so should be treated as a criminal act.But it’s not child abuse, it’s criminal neglect.

  • baba264

    It just never fails to amaze me how as soon as a discussion involves faith it suddenly becomes biased in all kind of strange ways.

  • moebius22

    I have a problem with the government or any individual outside of the family unit telling them what is good or bad for their children. The idea that the state can force a family to have their child undergo chemo because they say it is better for the child-to me seems to go against the spirit of the Constitution. Problem is all the laws in this country for have long allowed the government to intervene in your life so much that this is now a mute point.I had a brother who had Hodgkin Lymphoma as a child…and he now tells me as a young adult that if he had the power to have a say he would have decided not to go through with the treatment, because of the pain and lack of quality of life throughout that whole episode. He also said if the cancer came back, he would forgo treatment. He holds no ill will against my mother because he knows she was thinking of the child she loves. Now we have the government making such decisions because it’s love and decision making ability is more correct than the individual. The funny part is, the government didn’t give birth to you, did’t help raise you, doesn’t love you, and doesn’t do a better job of taking care of children than the average individual; children who end up under government supervision are widely known to be abused in the government’s care.Someone brought up abortion and I find it funny that the government can’t tell a woman what to do with her body(because women have special reproductive rights)but it can decide if I’m a bad parent, what to do with my child, my property, and(barring abortion)my body…regardless of whether it harms society.

  • sparkthatbled

    Well, any anti-medical group, religious or not, given time, will die off or at the least remain a very small minority as a result of the refusal to be involved in any medical practices. Conversely, perhaps we all should do the same; It would reduce overpopulation, which is an enormous problem (pun intended).

  • BrettPaatsch1

    If Madeline DIED the question Faith HEALING or Child Abuse seems a little stupid doesn’t it?

  • sed81650

    Religious belief should have nothing to do with healing your child as quickly and effectively as possible. I believe not healing your child is criminal.

  • zaphod71828

    Religion should never be consulted or invoked for ANY purpose.

  • familynet

    As we debate this topic, states such as California are looking to withdraw health care funds for needy children and obama/Congress have still not put forward a health care plan for the U.S. Meanwhile the doctors lobby is gearing up to defeat any universal health care plan. In Maryland a couple of years ago, a young boy died because the state did not allow dental treatment for his infection.So, we argue that a parent doesn’t have the right to deny medical treatment for a child on religious grounds, BUT the government allows the denial of medical treatment for many more children on economic grounds!Let me ask you people hopping up and down wanting these parents’ heads on a platter, Where do you fall on the issue of universal health care?!

  • chrisfox8

    Abortion boils down to one simple question, when does human life begin?== The question is nonsense. The legal answer is “at birth.” That is the one you are going to have to live with. That is the compromise. My own criterion would be based on the dawning of self-awareness, the point after which an infant (well after birth, obviously, hence my choice of words) graduates from aq mere collection of primitive drives — thirst, hunger, comfort — into something that recognizes its own existence. Since this determination is difficult and the moment varies broadly, be content with setting the moment legal protections begin at birth.The fact that you specify “human” and dismiss the idea that nonhuman life, however intelligent, however self-aware, are also worthy of protection identifies you and you ilk as nothing more than bigots.

  • moebius22

    I take issue with the government or any individual outside of the family unit telling them what is good or bad for their children. The idea that the state can force a family to have their child undergo chemo because they say it is better for the child-to me seems to go against the spirit of the Constitution. The laws in this country have long allowed the government to intervene in your life so much that this is now a mute point.I had a brother who had Hodgkin Lymphoma as a child…and he now tells me as a young adult that if he had the power to have a say he would have decided not to go through with the treatment, because of the pain and lack of quality of life throughout that whole episode. He also said if the cancer came back, he would forgo treatment. He holds no ill will against my mother because he knows she was thinking of the child she loves. Now we have the government making such decisions because it’s love and decision making ability is more correct than the individual. The problem is…the government didn’t give birth to you, didn’t raise you, doesn’t love you, and doesn’t do a better job of taking care of children than the average individual; children who end up under government supervision are widely known to be abused in the government’s care.Someone brought up abortion and I find it funny that the government can’t tell a woman what to do with her body(because women have special reproductive rights)but it can decide if I’m a bad parent, what to do with my child, my property, and(barring abortion)my body…regardless of whether it harms society.

  • moebius22

    Sorry for the reposts…the lag for posts seems to be about 10 minutes or so.

  • Persistence62

    The government has a lot of nerve to stick their nose everywhere. For decades,they have been telling us how to raise our families and look at the results. They have, successfully, torn the family apart with the “no fault” divorces and in the process, taking our precious children away from us.Now, they are telling a caring and loving parents what’s good for their children? 180.000 people die every year as a result of “medical malpractice” and no one says anything aboutit. They are better ways, naturally, to treat our children, than the poison prescribe by those “quacks”, in order to satisfy the greedy and corrupt Pharmaceutical Companies. Freedom of religion is a constitutional right and nobody should interfere with our practice. The parents have the God-given right to do what is right and the best for our children. The Government must buzz off.This is still the United States of America and not Russia or China.

  • mobedda

    A person has a right to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Similarly, a person has no right to their own laws.Here in America, we do not leave the outcome of criminal punishment, national security, home security, financial security, automotive security, hygiene, construction, farming, exercise, haberdashery, or, as it happens, medical emergencies, entirely up to God.Why? Because if you’re too obdurate to use the tools He has allowed us to have, then your child is going to die while you pray.

  • dotellen

    The government should not interfere. Next they will make flu shots mandatory. Furthermore, staying alive should not be the ultimate goal, salvation is the goal for some religious folks. Of course, for the Terri Schaivo types, life is more important than anything else.

  • Bluestategirl

    Freedom of religion does not include the “freedom” to deny proper medical care to children. Think about it! Have you ever heard of a criminal defense to murder as “freedom of religion”? Of course not.

  • Bluestategirl

    Freedom of religion does not include the “freedom” to deny proper medical care to children. Think about it! Have you ever heard of a criminal defense to murder as “freedom of religion”? Of course not.

  • kaylancor

    The case of Daniel doesn’t seem entirely based on faith issues. They are using alternate medicine in hopes of healing. I also think the mother (and son) are tired of suffering so much with the chemo. I don’t agree with their decision, as I would give chemo to my child. But unless your in that situation, watching your child throw up constantly and be in pain due to the chemo, you don’t really know what you would do. The mother has other children and she left them in order to help her older child. She must really feel strongly about her decision to sacrifice being with her whole family. From a reader standpoint, it is really hard to judge. I don’t think we can.

  • wardropper

    This question wouldn’t even arise if medical care wasn’t so appallingly expensive in America.

  • chunkylimey

    It’s pretty simple really. Religion is a mental disorder where someone takes moral advice from their imaginary friend. Since many people suffering from this disorder inflict this on their children and don’t believe in birth control it is an unfortunate natural side effect that their idiocy and lunacy will result in them killing their own children. Many people think they are religious but are actually too sane for it; they are more akin to those people who say they are mad but are not.Fortunately as the world becomes more informed of the dangers of this mental illness that has crippled humanity for so long we can move on from it; hopefully we can also save more children from the torture of this disorder.

  • burntnorton

    Whoa, Moebius, let me get this straight. You HAD a brother (past tense) who NOW tells you that he would rather not have undergone treatment because of how hard it was? Leaving aside the tense problems, I have a hard time believing that your brother who was cured by chemo would rather have suffered from the Hodgkins (not a fun disease) and died than have suffered through chemo, been cured, and lived for many years afterwards. Sounds like your “brother” is/was/will be suicidal (seriously, is he dead?) and you should try to get him some help.This isn’t a hard case. The cure rate with conventional treatment is 90%; without, the cure rate is 10%. The boy is 13 and apparently has significant cognitive deficits. His parents’ lawyers have claimed that HE has made a faith-based decision to forego real treatment in favor of a regimen of magic water and vitamins made up by his mother and some kook who founded a fake, pay-to-play “Indian” religion after being prosecuted for fraud for selling the exact same remedies as non-religious “natural” cures. However, at the trial, it became clear that the boy is cognitively disabled and couldn’t even answer basic questions about his alleged religion (the family also identifies as Catholic, so draw your own conclusions), his alleged status as an “elder”, his disease, the “religious” treatment protocol, or standard treatment. When his mother and the random looney tune from the “tribe” took him to the doctor for the chest x-ray that showed his tumor had grown back, they whisked him away from the doctor’s office before he could explain the disease to the 13 year-old “elder”, ensuring that he will be kept in ignorance. There is no ancient Indian cure here, much less one that has shown recent success (who came up with that lie?). The boy has no sincerely held religious beliefs driving him to make this decision, has not made an even quasi-informed decision about the risks and benefits of treatment, and has in fact been prevented from gaining information by his mother. There is also evidence that his mother isn’t making a decision based on sincerely held religious beliefs (remember, up till now she’s identified as Catholic, practiced Catholicism, and apparently sought out standard treatment for her family), but based on fear stemming from her sister’s death 8 years ago while receiving chemo. Sad, but nevertheless stupid and irrational. Also, criminal. She should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law when she is caught.

  • persiflage

    Society in general and Western societies in particular take a protective role toward their citizens, and minor children in particular – through rule of law. This is what’s at issue in this case, nothing more or less. Withholding prescribed (life sustaining) medical treatment on religious or any other grounds is viewed legally as criminal negligence on the part of the parent or parents responsible – where minor children are involved. The court has no choice but to uphold the law as it is written. Hodgkins Lymphoma is typically a childhood disease that has high cure rate with no return – although other kinds of cancer can always appear later on in life. Should that occur, any adult can make the decision to forego conventional treatment, or seek alternate options – or combine the two. Most will opt for some kind of treatment, until all hope is exhausted. The will to live is a powerful force when tested. It is unfortunate that so little effort is spent in researching non-conventional treatment modalities – admittedly, there is a certain collusion to be seen between the triad of the healthcare industry, and the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. Huge amounts of money are involved here, and altruism, compassion and optimum patient care are not necessarily among the top 3 considerations when making business decisions – although they should be. The healthcare culture and medical practitioners in general view holistic and homeopathic remedies with a skewed/negative perspective that is conditioned from the first day in medical school, although with some justification. However, there are more than a few board-certified quacks among the ranks of the AMA as well! If we want to carry our image of a conspiracy further, they are aided and abetted by the very legislators that we send to Washington. All in all, a vast topic worth discussing -but in this case, the life of one 13 year-old boy can be saved by conventional means, and the treatment should be implemented immediately. On a side note, I was pleased to see Washington State implement a Death With Dignity law that’s been on the books in Oregon since 1997. Physician-assisted suicide, end of life considerations and terminal illness are allied topics that will hopefully be covered here On Faith in the near future. Needless so say, self-administered, physician-prescribed medications utilized in ‘suicide under the law’ is not something that the medical industry in general and the AMA in particular support, much less the overtly religious among us.A big issue that promises to grow exponentially in the next few years…..

  • mrclemrn

    Until a child has reached the age of 18 & is able to make a choice as an adult, no parent can claim the right to choose unproven medical treatment. That’s not interfering in a citizen’s right by big government, that’s the responsibility of government doing its job to protect those unable to protect themselves.

  • lolyla

    There is no issue. These parents are criminally neglecting their children. All the other issues muddying the water are doing just that.

  • tomkat1

    Jesus said “if you have faith as big as a mustard seed, you can move mountains”. I say leave them alone, in the end all of us will stand before our maker.

  • JoStalin

    We allow children to die all of the time because there isn’t sufficient medical care available to them. In fact, we pay the taxes that fund the military operations that wind up killing children. And we justify it by calling it “collateral damage”.So, this mother has decided that she wants to follow another path for treating her child. I wish that she would follow the route of modern medicine. However, if she chooses a different route, well then, I wish them luck. I can only say that if the child dies, she better not turn to me for sympathy.

  • tigers1

    Not complicated. Suppose a pair of atheist parents refused to allow medical care for a sick child, who subsequently died. Nothing to do with religion–they simply don’t like doctors and they believe that children should be allowed to get well on their own. Yes or no? Are they guilty of a crime for their child’s death? Yes, of course they are. But they have rights as parents, don’t they? Not unlimited rights, not the right to withhold medical care for their sick child. So why is it any different if the parents do the same thing out of religious fervor? To say that religion versus non-religion makes these cases difference is to say that religious people are, at least to some degree, exempted from the laws that apply to everyone else–and that is absolutely unconstitutional.

  • ravensfan20008

    This may sound harsh, but I say let the parent go ahead with it – unless the child wants to try something else, like chemo, which is more established. If they really want to put their faith in the hands of a treatment which isn’t proven to work, then hey, it has nothing to do with me, so go for it. And if the child dies, well, that’s on you.

  • swanieaz

    Concerning the 13-year-old who has cancer:If he is alive in two years -fine.If he is dead because he did not receive available medical care – charge the mother with child abuse AND murder.Parents should be the first line for their kids, but it should be obvious to a REASONABLE person when they are not.That poor kid, who according to reports CANNOT READ, will be dead. That is the really sad part..

  • ceflynline

    “The government should not interfere. Next they will make flu shots mandatory. Posted by: dotellen “They already make Polio shots, MMR, DPT, and other communicable disease shots mandatory, since they thus keep epidemic disease under control. Should it become necessary to inoculate large sections of the population to prevent or control any of several pandemic capable flus from getting going, the government has every right, and every obligation to do it. Mandatory smallpox inoculation has essentially eradicated the disease from the world, but there were many places, especially India where Religious belief demanded that small pox not be stopped because it was the mark of their deity. You probably have the right to kill yourself by refusing a blood transfusion that would certainly save your life, but only if that is your free, informed choice.It is not the informed choice of a child to die in a diabetic coma that could be reversed by normal medical care. For that child’s parent to decide that they can demand that God work a miracle, when insulin, or glucose solution, whichever is appropriate, will have the desired effect isn’t demonstration of faith, it is attempting to force God to do man’s will.In 70 AD the zealot faction decided that they could force God to destroy the Romans for violating their Temple. History points out that God did not oblige.Again, the parents, and also the preacher, are guilty of some degree of murder.

  • holocaustgaza

    I read an incredible story about the military which stated that 85% of the soldiers are Evangelicals….scary!The authorities should take the child away.

  • Alex511

    fr persistence62:>…The parents have the God-given right to do what is right and the best for our children. The Government must buzz off….If you had it your way, there would be no CPS or DFS to protect children from abusive situations. Sheesh.Daniel needs to be removed from his “mother’s” care and put into foster care so he can get REAL medical care. IMMEDIATELY. If he dies before then, she needs to be charged with first degree MURDER.

  • sevenstones1000

    The whole flap about religious beliefs seems to me to be beside the point. Medical statistics are frequently “spun” to make chemotherapy look like a no-brainer, but the reality is that chemotherapy and the accompanying radiation is a hideous experience to endure, and that the “survivors” very frequently have a limited quality of life – they are generally stunted both physically and mentally, they have severe health problems for the rest of whatever life span they may have, and a large number of them suffer from depression and ultimately commit suicide. But to oncologists, anyone who still has a pulse after 5 years is hailed as having “survived”, no matter how torn up they are. Maybe the kid just doesn’t want to go through that.

  • chrisfox8

    What about those parents who raise their kids on Pepsi and potato chips? If they can find some “faith” that demands this, are they off the hook when their kid dies of rickets?

  • Zelwyn

    So, if the precepts of my religion required me to sacrifice a sick child (like the followers of the Greek religious tradition on Sparta did, for example..), and I did so, would we be having this conversation?Of course not. But what makes that mythology any “better” or “worse” than the Christian mythology of zombie worship (for what was Jesus if not a zombie, since he died, was buried, and then crawled out of his grave…)?These children should NOT be forced to die (which they WILL, inevitably, since there is exactly ZERO evidence that “faith healing” works.. for substantiation of that assertion, see

  • chrisfox8

    Uh just one minor point .. many posts refer to this poor kid as having “religious” parents. This is inaccurate. They are fundamentalists, which has only a trivial point of intersection with religion. Fundamentalism is our “sanctioned psychosis.”

  • chrisfox8

    “o say that religion versus non-religion makes these cases difference is to say that religious people are, at least to some degree, exempted from the laws that apply to everyone else”== Best post in this section

  • stopthewar

    2 thinks can harm the people 1- fundamentalism of relagion and 2- fundamentalism of freedom

  • scruffy1

    There’s a great line in one of the terrible Exorcist re-makes of late that has a priest saying something like “In times like these all we have is our faith.” Another former- priest replies, “It’s a lot like having nothing, isn’t it?”These parents should be charged to the full extent of the law. If a child was bleeding to death and the parent refused to tie a tourniquet because they believed God would stop the bleeding, how would the court view that? I don’t see how the cases in the article are any more “complex” than this. A child needed medicial attention, the parent refused it, so the parent is responsible for that child’s death. Simple. Relying on “faith” instead of medicine to heal the sick is relying on wishful thinking. It goes to show you how religion really does poison everything. Now that these parents have lost their children to negligence and, it would seem, an uncaring God, I wonder how much faith they have left. I wonder if it’s a lot like having nothing.

  • jhsin23

    competing religions had aways promoted large families to ‘win’ via the number’s game. with the current global population crisis, it’s sickening to see the various regimes to continue the same policies. i’d like to see this as god’s way of exercising a little birth control.

  • rollzone

    hello. a parent decides everything until the child is of legal determination. the parent must be declared unfit by the state before their decisions can be overruled. as for the miraculous healing powers of science- only God grants miracles. they are unexplainable and unaffected by science. many natural cures through proper diets of nutrition and exercise are misinterpretted as miracles, when they are simply the course of nature, that modern medicine only wishes to embellish; in many instances. parents know what is best for their own child, and if an illness is the vehicle God uses to end a life, the parent is not responsible; but must suffer the consequence of the loss. God gives medicine to save lives, but in some circumstances it only prolongs the inevitable will of God. parents need to be true to themselves. government needs to respect parental rights to determine the welfare of future judges, representatives, legislators, lawyers, and doctors.

  • mikestefanek

    This is one of the many real dangers of religion. In addition to teaching people to believe in superstition and magic, providing parents the right to kill their children is beyond belief. As John Lennon noted “imagine no religion”……

  • JKJ88

    As a person of deep faith I would like to add that the actions of these two mothers is not only completely backward, archaic, and completely irresponsible but downright criminal. Here are two clear cases of how religion can poison the mind of the weak. Very sad.

  • ockfener

    If it’s something that positivist, empirical science has found a reasonably effective treatment or cure for, such as the WI case seems to be, then the parents should be legally liable for willful ignorance.If it’s something terminal or a case where the best med science has is a low percentage, then there could be some more latitude involved.

  • Fate1

    Waters asks: “How far should a mother go to protect her child’s religious beliefs, or her own?”It is the state which protects us all from those who would harm us, knowingly or not. If a doctor used methods which were based on religious belief and not proven to heal a deadly disease, the doctor would loose their license. A parent who chooses to put their child in harms way, by leaving them in a hot car or malnourished at home should have the state intervene to protect the child, possibly removing the child from the parent. Its the child’s interests which should prevail, and the child themself cannot make those decisions until of age. But each case would be unique and would need to be reviewed on its own merits.CCNL wrote: “According to the US Supreme Court the “mothers” of these children have the “right” to choose.”Well CCNL, now you know that there is a difference between a “child” and the “unborn”. Does everything in your world boil down to the abortion rights argument?

  • scruffy1

    There’s a troubling paragraph at the end of the article that states, “These children needed medical attention, not spiritual hocus pocus.” Well, what is religion if not spritual hocus pocus? And if that’s all it is, what good does it do anyone under any circumstances? The authors are clearly people of faith, yet they state that faith is useless compared to “the modern miracles of medicine.” Then what good is faith? Why have any at all? Why teach your children to believe in the power of prayer when you just toss it all out the window when it’s clear they need some penicillin? Again we see people “of faith” being in short supply of it when the chips are down. They’ll deny others the right to stem cell research, assisted suicide, etc, but when it’s clear that God isn’t going to send their cancer into remission, then their faith is just “spiritual hocus pocus,” and they discover a doctor might be the better choice over a priest.God did not invent medicine, man did. Just like man invented God. The only miracle we have is that a large swath of people would rather bury their head in the sand and pretend the opposite is true.

  • marcolius

    I’m sorry for the kids, but not that the genes are being selected out of the pool….

  • rclab

    “If God has a purpose for us before we are born then who and if and when one receives a miracle is up to God. It may be ones purpose to be on this earth 1-10-30 years or long life but is it because God choose this for us before we are born? I think so. Its like the saying not my time yet.”Wow! God, the master puppeteer, controls our lives from prior to our birth until our death. He apparently chooses fetuses to be still born, mothers to die in child birth, people to be tortured and people to be torturers. Is this the same God to knew that all of those people and animals He created before the big flood would all be drowned, except for two? Did He simply make a mistake? But then He can make no mistakes. So this was a part of his plan. Wow!

  • jhadv

    I don’t know how religion gets dragged into this. Suppose I was an agnostic and just didn’t want to have a kid undergo chemotherapy? While I am older I wouldn’t accept it for myself after witnessing first hand the side effects. For example even people with no history of depression suffer severe depressive episodes after chemo. For many if not most the condition is chronic. When you ask the doctor about it after the fact they respond that it is, “a well documented side-effect.” Anyway how the State has this much power is the problem not some partents that are willing to risk death for their own children. People die and all the laws in the World will never change that. At least there used to be some dignity in the process. Now we strap you down and pump poison into your veins to help you.

  • Draesop

    Faith is based on belief. Medical therapy is usually based on facts, some of which are known to change with time. Unfortunately some therapy done by medical sources is based on making money and nothing else. The news is full of stories about greedy healthcare entities who do damage to patients while pursuing the almighty dollar. This boy’s sickness has hterapeutic possibilities with a significant rate of cure. Non treatment of Hodgkin’s Disease is not an option. This kid needs to be taken from the control of the parents and given a reasonable chance of survival. It is when we can be caretakers of these children like this that we will be able to provide reasonable alternatives to those which currently exist for unwanted pregnancies. Unfortunately many so called Christain religious sects are ignorant beyond belief.

  • ceflynline

    Holding the parents liable for failing to treat their children for life threatening conditions that cost the children their lives is not enough. The self proclaimed religious leaders who make this stuff up to strengthen their holds on their congregations are coequal co conspirators in the deaths. The declare themselves God’s messengers, with no justification but their own claims. They then invent outrageous doctrine and pass it to their gullible flocks, and when that doctrine costs the eminently savable lives of their children announce it as God’s will. They should also be indicted, tried, convicted and jailed. They are more culpable than the parents.

  • debraf66

    I believe in healing by faith. I have seen it work. I also believe that God gives people knowledge that enriches the lives of others. Doctors fall into this category. God gave these Doctors the knowledge to heal. If someone prays for healing and is then refered to a specialist, God heard and answered that prayer. I also believe in the ultimate healing, which is death. When a person is beyond help here on earth, they die, they move on to a place where there is no pain, no suffering. God would not have given Doctors the knowledge to heal if he didn’t want us to use them. IMO.

  • HeathenChemist

    “I’m sorry for the kids, but not that the genes are being selected out of the pool….”Marcolius stated my case much better than I could with that quote, but I was going to say just one word….Darwin.

  • chrisfox8

    hey “spidermean2” you sound like you need a psychiatrist. Run, don’t walk, and don’t plan on coming home anytime soon.

  • katavo

    yeah, I was going to say let’s hope spidey never has any brats to abuse like this … but then, I don’t think the requisite other human is ever going to appear on the scene.that is, unless the subject of this story walks through his front door

  • GWGOLDB

    There is not, and can not, be any right to place your personal beliefs or opinion above the considered, expert judgment of the medical and scientific community, not when your child’s life is at stake. Period

  • Instructor5

    Child abuse law should not be used in these cases. Child abuse and neglect not only involve certain actions, but actions done in a certain way, such as role reversal when a parent manipulates a child to care for the parent. For example, this can be seen when a parent sickens their child so that the parent can have a sense of self-importance by coordinating the child’s medical treatment.Also abusive parents often have poor social skills and are cold towards their children. And they have unreasonably high expectations of their children.Starving a child for misbehavior is abuse. Expecting a child to take care of their own illness as an adult would could be abuse in denying care.But these two cases don’t involve these elements. They also are two different cases. As Freesky pointed out, one case involves refusing a minimum of 3 years of debilitating chemotherapy. A 16 year old boy refused chemo, used alternative medicine, and recovered.The problem is we don’t know enough about the relation between the 13 year old boy and his mother. She could be foisting the refusal of chemo on him. But I think she may be concerned that the price is not worth an uncertain outcome.And if the boy really doesn’t want the treatment, then forcing it on him could be very painful for him and the caregivers. It could be a form of “child abuse” in the loose meaning of that term.The case of the Wisconsin mother praying for her child sounds like misguided religious faith to me, and the laws that deal with religious belief and medical care of children should apply there. I have not read information suggesting that her prayers for her child were part of a pattern of child abuse, as is understood in social work, psychological, and medical literature.

  • WiseOldWoman

    According to research of a few years ago, nearly 200,000 people die each year in hospitals due to medical error. Other research has indicated that by far, most medical expenses accrue in the last year of a person’s life. Much of this money is spent to gain an extra few months of life, regardless of the quality of that life and regardless of most people’s wishes to die at home with their loved ones, rather than in a hospital strapped to tubes and monitors and apart from their families.In this particular case, the boy apparently has mental deficits that suggest he will never, under any circumstances, be able to live a normal life. Leaving religion out of it, how much money should be spent for this one boy, with advanced cancer, as opposed to using that money for individuals with a better prognosis for a full, happy life?Medical treatment does not guarantee a thing, doesn’t guarantee he will be cured, doesn’t guarantee him a long healthy life afterward. This boy and his mother are perfectly within their rights to refuse medical treatment. One should not be obligated to have medical treatment with such an uncertain prognosis, as in this case.

  • persiflage

    Another internet fiction – Spidermean is not a sincere person with a real point of view, as those of us know who have posted here for awhile – this individual has never proposed an alternative to the Darwinian evolution that he/she disputes, as the primal cause for the emergence of the life forms we see today, nor does he/she even understand the fundamental mechanisms of evolution. Spidermean’s incessantly pejorative posts evince about as much appeal as a fart in the wind. By self-proclamation, an engineer of high quality farts – is what we seem to have here. A methane expert of the first degree…….not a small consideration where landfills are concerned, but of no value otherwise. Nevertheless, this poster spouts biblical nonsense that fails to register with anyone conversant with the bible – an allegorical text by virtually all academic and scholastic standards.So then, what ulterior purpose does Spidermean hope to serve with such mendacious idiocy?? Peculiar times indeed……

  • persiflage

    Wiseoldwoman is not suffused with all that much wisdom afterall – Hodgins lymphoma is among the most curable of cancers, and is often contracted by juvenile patients that are permanently cured via conventional medical treatment protocols. We all die – but why die at 13 if you have options?? I have one thing to say – if you personally are diagnosed with cancer, investigate your options, and proceed with as much faith as you can muster. Abnegating conventional cancer treatments for ‘alternative’ options can and will cost you your life………on the other hand, spontaneous remissions do occur – the miracles we hear so much about.Please don’t be stupidly resistant to conventional cancer treatments….On the other hand, if your cancer has a terminal prognosis – do your damndest to survive.

  • persiflage

    Wiseoldwoman is not suffused with all that much wisdom afterall – Hodgins lymphoma is among the most curable of cancers, and is often contracted by juvenile patients that are permanently cured via conventional medical treatment protocols. We all die – but why die at 13 if you have options?? I have one thing to say – if you personally are diagnosed with cancer, investigate your options, and proceed with as much faith as you can muster. Abnegating conventional cancer treatments for ‘alternative’ options can and will cost you your life………on the other hand, spontaneous remissions do occur – the miracles we hear so much about.Please don’t be stupidly resistant to conventional cancer treatments….On the other hand, if your cancer has a terminal prognosis – do your damndest to survive.

  • fan1

    Since it reduces the gene pool for people who believe in fantasy, I can see no problem with allowing “faith healing.”

  • hyjanks

    I mean, why not faith healing, folks? We live in a country where the majority of its citizens believe that dinosaurs and humans existed together and that the age of the earth closely approximates the actual date that ancient Assyrians were making beer out of wild hops.

  • dollyq

    Has this incredibly pompous windbag “person of faith” read the article about the teenage suicide that may have been precipitated by a Zoloft prescripton?

  • spidermean2

    hyjanks, FALSE RELIGIONS do exist. Should I remind you also that along with Islam, liberal Protestantism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism, ATHEISM is the DUMBEST false religion?An atheist country (North Korea) just tested some nukes in the hope of sending it sometime in the future to atheists here in America. NO sanction can work because two ATHEIST countries (China and Russia) blocks them.As I always say, STUPIDITY is self destructive. Doomsday could be a time where idiots battle it out for supremacy and both end up destroyed.You can’t do anything about it coz that is the law of nature : that STUPIDITY WILL SELF-DESTRUCT.

  • persiflage

    Spidermean – building a bridge allows for no mistakes whereas building a human body via the DNA code unfortunately incorporates lots of potential errors – But then again, bad concrete causes suspension bridges to collapse, and glitches in the genetic code causes fatal cancers to occur…..geneticists and civil engineers aren’t very much different when push comes to shove.I’ve known plenty of ‘engineers’ that can’t drive a nail straight, and can’t pour a sidewalk – so then, what the hell are they worth, anyway?? Your ‘engineer’ symbology is a red herring – and apparently your metaphor for God, the ultimate engineer – get a grip, little buddy….. S*itt happens – bridges collapes, and bodies fail……all by themselves. That is really the deeper (much deeper) mystery.

  • aredant

    DollyQ, that is an incredibly arrogant and spiteful comment. Is your logic really like “lets do away with pills and pray instead because pills aren’t perfect?” Pathetic.Funny how ignorance and mental illness suddenly gets respect when someone calls it “religion” or “alternative medicine”. The Sciences are about doing what works. If one chooses to reject them, then they risk suffering the disease, starvation, and poverty that modern society has largely eliminated. Yet society attempts to prevent individuals from going off the deep end into a fantasy world where they are a harm to themselves and their children because we all belong to a community that thrives because of science which must be preserved for the good of all. Superstition has increasingly less value to humanity today.

  • spidermean2

    Persiflage wrote “S*itt happens – bridges collapes, and bodies fail……all by themselves.”Wrong. NOT all by themselves.One reason why bridges collapse is because of WRONG speculations and not because of wrong science. Also they don’t break all by themselves. Some engineers, in the intent of saving money or stealing money do speculate and undermine their work. Also, there is what we call as “MAXIMUM allowance”. Engineers only design buildings and bridges fit to withstand an intensity 7 earthquake. Any building collapsing at 7.01 or above that intensity, the engineers are not held accountable.There is always a reason or science for everything and unless evolutionists can’t demonstrate their science in the lab, it’s ALL SPECULATION and very sadly PRONE TO STUPIDITY.Now the idiots think that bacteria and monkeys are their long lost relatives. I’d like to ask, which bacteria? The good bacteria or the bad?

  • dollyq

    Aredant,You are the ignorant boob. You totally misread my comment and no where in my comment did I reference prayer. I am referring to the article regarding a child who committed suicide while taking psychotrophic medication.

  • charlievanchocstraw

    These situations are fraught with complications that may not do well when seen in terms of taking a side. We’ve got a bereavement, a tragedy, a confused believer of a mom. We’ve got an emotionally-charged and fearful community responding to mom’s devastating personal choice. This country believes that crossing lines into other people’s choices is supported when we march into someone else’s land and demand they improve their human rights tenets. We believe in standing up for the oppressed, however we all personally define who the oppressed are. This is a grieving mom, a grieving community, a child lost to either failed prayer, mental illness, who knows. Maybe it’s prime time for compassion and discussion. Judging mom harshly sets us in a position we may have to dig ourselves out of when we find a situation that requires more complexity and subtlety of thought, along with greater empathy mixed in with our outrage.

  • Bios

    Is it that wrong to let people take care of their own children?

  • mcleangirl

    It’s time to start charging priests and pastors with aiding and abetting murders and child abuse. Too often the poor deluded, frightened, cowed church member is blamed. Let’s go to the top, Special Prosecutor. Let’s open a people’s forum to report criminal behavior in pastors and priests. Here’s an informative blog:

  • Freesky

    It appears to me that the case evolving Daniel is not as much about “faith” or “religion” as it is about the choice (or, more precisely, lack of choice) between natural and conventional treatments.

  • spidermean2

    Doctors don’t have all the facts. They believe in STUPID DARWINIAN EVOLUTION and yet you let these guys decide how your child be treated? I had a friend who could had lived longer if not for a stupid doctor insisting that my friend undergo chemo-therapy. It does NOT always work and if the child dies after chemo-therapy, all these concerned doctors and judges should be JAILED FOR LIFE.America has truly become dumb. Doomsday is coming to extiguish the growing stupidity here. Forget about the stupidity in Iran or North Korea coz there are a lot of stupid people in our own backyard. CURE these people first then you can cure the world.

  • spidermean2

    Doctors can only suggest but NOT DECIDE. If they want to have that kind of authority, they should also be willing to go to jail if their decision happens to be erroneous.According to a survey, more than 50% of doctors make WRONG treatments and undermine the health of their patients.It’s time we make some laws to jail these doctors for their hidden crimes.

  • bevjims1

    bigbrother1 wrote: “But you see my point about responding to Spidermean…”I understand the point. My strategy is to keep asking the same questions, which spidey ignores or makes something totally silly, so that eventualy s/he will realize the question will not go away. How did the kangaroos get to Australia from the ark? Why did God design man with an appendix? Etc… When he appears so will these questions. bigbrother1 wrote: “Except for this topic, there is no dialog or need for one. Even most die-hard religious fanatics agree that you don’t sacrifice kids to faith. Only the truly insane disagree. But now they’ve expanded this “controversy” to a huge, multi-columnist panel discussion. How thrilling.”Well, I sort of agree, but I could imagine a society where killing and eating your enemies, not unknown to humanity’s past, would be considered normal and they could not understand why we don’t teach our children the same and feel we are harming them. This mother obviously cares for her child in her own way and I feel for her misery. But in the end it is the child’s welfare that needs to be protected, at least until the child can make up their own mind. Parents make medical decisions for their children all the time and many are based on religious belief. This one however involved a fatal disease that could be treated, and so it is in the papers.

  • Chops2

    Spidermean, seriously:Darwin acts as if he knows everything? This coming from a person who has stated, that he knows when the next war will be, knows in no uncertain terms (cause he is an engineer) that evolution is incorrect (more certainty than Darwin exhibited), that the bible is completely and utterly true in every word, that his religion is true and all else false, that the Israeli Palestinian conflict is caused by athiesm and evolutionists, I could go on.The point being that u seem to know all but slag off Darwin for putting together a cogent theory that has survived years of scrutiny and, as you pointed out, enourmous scientific advances such as DNA that appear to verify his early studies.If your rantings could withstand such scrutiny, we my be talking about you in glowing visionary terms rather than with the total derision u deserve.

  • katavo

    spidey is typical of the insane believer. The mistake assertions for facts, premises for conclusions, and in this case science for engineering.Look up the two words, spideyboy, they are not the same. Understand the difference between concept and implementation, theory and application, design and architecture.Being a sanitation engineer does not make you an engineer.Can you imagine working with this guy at the next desk?

  • bevjims1

    “Is it that wrong to let people take care of their own children?”I think the issue here is that people are not taking care of their own child, and in that case the state must intervene. I find it ironic that the mother spurns chemotherapy for her child as “poison” yet when the state is ready to intervene jumps in a modern metal box on wheels that burns petrochemicals causing thousands of mini-explosions per minute resulting in carbon-monoxide and carbon dioxide production, to propel herself and her child into hiding. You can’t claim to live in the dark ages when you obviously do not.

  • persiflage

    Spidermean – as usual, your science is impeccable. Thanks for puking that up, to use your own analogy. If not for the course of evolution, natural selection, and a common ancestor a few million years back, how would we explain both man and chimp (and all other life forms) to young, inquiring modern minds?? We no longer use the bible as a textbook, so we’re forced to use biology textbooks that are required by law to be free of creation mythology – not that Georgia hasn’t tried an end run around the law a few times…… What is it that you don’t like about the science of biology again??

  • bevjims1

    spidermean2 wrote: “Now the idiots think that bacteria and monkeys are their long lost relatives. I’d like to ask, which bacteria? The good bacteria or the bad?”What defines good or bad bacteria? I guess how the bacteria treat you. Is that how good and bad are defined? Relative to you? Did the flu that use to only affect swine decide to infect people, did God make that happen, or did the swine flu evolve?And while I’m asking simple questions and you know the bible and God so well, how did the kangaroos get off the ark and hop to Australia? How did the kiwis, a flightless bird, walk from the ark to New Zealand? An engineer who bases reality on the bible should know the answer to this for us stupid people.

  • spidermean2

    Persiflage, I repeat. A WRONG answer is worse than a NO answer. Keep on searching and don’t make hasty and erroneous conclusions. That kind of attitude pulls down science and NOT uplift it.All true science can be TESTED. Theoretically, the Big Bang theory can be mathematically proven. On the other hand, evolution has no mathematical, chemical, or biological proof.As an engineer I would embrace it if they can provide some PROOFS – a scientific understanding that is USABLE just like all the sciences that engineers are immersed to.The key word is USABLE and not MAGICAL.

  • bigbrother1

    Bevjims1: Spidermean2 is either a troll or is truly mentally ill. Either way, there’s no point in arguing with him. He isn’t capable of reading, much less reasoned discourse.But surely the folks at “On Faith” can do better than this? There’s no debate here because there isn’t a sane defense of either of the mothers mentioned. Both should be charged with murder or child-neglect as necessary. It just doesn’t get more clear-cut than this.

  • spidermean2

    Engineers study almost all kinds of sciences. All sciences are based on NATURAL LAWS. We study the law of nature and make sciences out of it like Chemistry, Physics, Hydraulics, Electricity, Electronics, Mechanics, Mathematics, etc. Having said that, science means INTELLIGENCE GATHERING. And where does the intelligence come from? Of course it’s from nature. Where else? Being a DUMB kind of science, Darwinian Evolution does not see that intelligence. For how can STUPIDITY appreciate INTELLIGENCE? It is beyond their grasp to know or even perceive intelligence.Science deals with PROCESSES. We study how a system works by analyzing the process or processes within it.Try to ask an evolutionist what are the processes involved in evolution. What is the process that a monkey’s brain can transform into a human brain? Do they understand how the brain works? Does Darwin know? Darwin only have a 4 year course in Theology. Yes, a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology. No wonder he’s not capable of asking the right questions when dealing with pure sciences. He’s a trained philosopher, not a true scientist or an engineer.I can ask a thousand questions concerning evolution and sure to get NO answers from these idiots.Also the Bible is NOT a science book. It’s a collection of stories or events. Some wrapped in VERY DEEP METAPHORS. It’s a work of a SUPREMELY INTELLIGENT MIND. Why do evolutionist can’t understand the Bible? Of course they can’t. They are IDIOTS. STUPIDITY and INTELLIGENCE don’t mix. A bacteria has no brain. Just imagine what wealth of information we have if these idiotic evolutionist has cracked the process how these bacteria were able to create a human brain. This would involve a series of complicated procedures. Ok guys, give us the initial procedure.Step 1 please? NONEIDIOTS.

  • persiflage

    Spidermean – the truth is, when every theory is exhausted, we still don’t know know what theories are designed to explain – the fundamental nature of reality. All anyone knows in the end, is something about how that reality works – reduced to bits and pieces. And this knowledge is always subject to change….. The Big Bang theory can’t be tested, nor can black holes be investigated. And superstrings will never be seen, nor will their existence ever be empirically established (strings being literally billions of billions of times smaller than atoms) – and yet, people spend lifetimes studying how all of these theoretical speculations fit together in order to unite the very large and the very small in one grand theory. Is there one universe, or many parallel universes? People do the math, but they still haven’t answered the big questions. We still have to be impressed with what is known, however. The science of genetics and the study of DNA has established the truth of evolutionary theory to at least the same degree as the truth of the Big Bang and inflation theory have been established in the field of cosmology – in fact, there are many more unanswered questions regarding the origin of the universe and the nature of physical reality, when compared to the unaswered questions pertaining to the processes of biological evolution. And I’m willing to bet that you wouldn’t find a single astrophysicist anywhere that didn’t fully accept the truth of evolutionary theory in the same way they accept the existence of black holes. You can’t see one, but all the evidence points to their existence…..and you never will see a black hole. Curiously, we may owe our existence to mysterious black holes, given that galaxies (100 billion and counting) somehow seem to be held together by a behemoth black hole at their epicenter.Watching evolution at work is like waiting for water to boil – but of course in the lab, we can see microbal mutations occuring virtually as we watch, and get a real sense of how evolution works in the macro-world.In my view, science and religion can both be entertaining and rewarding, but they serve very different purposes.

  • ScottChallenger

    It’s astonishing just how ignorant people are. Some evidently love their faith more than their child, how utterly pathetic. Good job moral minority! Here we are in 2009 and people actually believe your religion will heal real sickness. Rush, Hannity, and Beck must have said so. Might as well “bleed” the ill like they did a few hundred years ago. And the earth is still flat, right guys?

  • spidermean2

    Evolutionists do have minds similar to kids. It’s not farfetched that these people would someday conclude that maybe pigs evolved from a swine flu virus. For me it’s impossible but for them, nothing is impossible. For me, it’s impossible that bacteria can evolve into humans but for them, nothing is impossible.Do these people have a mind of a bacteria. That I can say is not possible but for them, nothing is impossible. Who can argue with idiots?

  • spidermean2

    ScottChallenger wrote “And the earth is still flat, right guys? “Christians like the crew in Apollo 9 read verses in the Bible while in space. We’ve gone to the moon while you idiots are still pondering with ape bones. Yes, humans come from bacteria and the world is flat. Isn’t that your kind of science?

  • bevjims1

    With apologies to bigbrother1, I can’t resist…spidermean2 wrote: “…science means INTELLIGENCE GATHERING. And where does the intelligence come from? Of course it’s from nature. Where else?”So do fossils. Scientists find them and study them. They are natural. The radioactive dating of them is scientific and intelligence gathered from nature. The earth is billions of years old as is life based on science and nature. Fossil evidence alone shows life changed over time and from simple to complex forms. The natural evidence and supporting scientific evidence is overwhelming. You’d need to close your eyes and cover your ears to not see it.spidermean2 wrote: “Science deals with PROCESSES. We study how a system works by analyzing the process or processes within it. Try to ask an evolutionist what are the processes involved in evolution. What is the process that a monkey’s brain can transform into a human brain? Do they understand how the brain works?”Monkey brains do not “transform” into human brains. That sort of magic is for the religious who believe water can change to wine, than a man can walk on water, etc.I see, so only trained engineers can say what is in front of them? Then how can you propose God exists with no evidence based on ‘intelligence gathering’?spidermean2 wrote: “I can ask a thousand questions concerning evolution and sure to get NO answers from these idiots.”And I can one question, how kangaroos got from the ark to Australia, and get no answer from you.spidermean2 wrote: “It’s a collection of stories or events. Some wrapped in VERY DEEP METAPHORS. It’s a work of a SUPREMELY INTELLIGENT MIND.”Then why are there so many complete contradictions?Who said bacteria created brains. Your strawmen are weak and silly. But maybe you can explain how a human gene can work inside a bacteria if there is no relationship?spidermean2 wrote: “This would involve a series of complicated procedures. Ok guys, give us the initial procedure.”Please spidey, read a book, go back to school, stop deriding what you have no knowledge about. Evolution is as much a fact based on gathered intelligence as gravity is. The mothods of each are not completely understood, but evolution’s methods are better understood than gravity. Does that mean gravity does not exist?

  • spidermean2

    The Big ang Theory has become plausible because of Einstein’s equation E=MC^2. The formula is being used by some engineers and it was used as a basis to create the nuclear bomb. USABLE.With Evolution, nothing has come out of it but pure stupidity that there is no God and humans were monkeys or bacteria if you look further. It’s pure stupidity at work. It also helped in establishing communist states which by the way will play a major role towards Doomsday.Darwinian evolution should be crushed or else majority of humanity will be DOOMED.Right now, that is just wishful thinking coz the process has become irreversible. Evolution has sanked its teeth deep in society and the mind frame of millions of people. There is NO way out but destruction coz as I’ve always say, STUPIDITY AND DESTRUCTION are co-existent to each other.The Jews have no idea that they being big supporters of evolution have made a monster that will destroy their State. Im saying that because I know you are a Jew and Karl Marx is a Jew.

  • spidermean2

    Persiflage wrote “we can see microbal mutations occuring virtually as we watch, and get a real sense of how evolution works in the macro-world.”For as long as bacteria remain as bacteria and not form into another creature, it is called MUTATION and NOT evolution. Monkeys and dogs will forever be monkeys and dogs. They can only change their color and coats but can never tranform into humans or cats. What evolutionist really need is PROPER DEFINITION OF TERMS. It’s even impossible for chimps to tranform into baboons. How much more into humans? JUST PLAIN STUPIDITY AT WORK.

  • spidermean2

    Bevjims, I’ve discussed with you before. You are an ignorant person. Sorry but I have no time with you.How many times would I have to say that we don’t understand creation and that’s the reason why we don’t know how kangaroos existed. You guys are very quick in jumping to conclusions. Give us the steps how kangaroos evolved. Show us the process and avoid using MAGIC WORDS like they evolved. There is so much magic in that word. PROCESS PLEASE. Evolve from what? From bacteria? How did bateria evolved? Their DNA, how did it formed. Why can’t humans win against infectious bacteria if they are DUMB and no INTELLIGENCE is present?What is the science in evolution that engineers use? NOTHING COZ there is no usable science in it. Just lots of MAGIC and MAGIC WORDS.There are two kinds of evolution. One is the evolution of the universe which is plausible and the other is the Darwinian evolution which is IDIOTIC AND MAGICAL.A degree in Theology (Darwin) surely does know how kangaroos evolved. Magical indeed.Give me the step by step process how the kangaroo brain evolved. PROCESS PLEASE. NO magical words. Was it the brain which formed those hind legs or vice versa? Did software (brain) formed first then the hardware (legs) or is it simultaneous? Is simultaneous formation possible? Can software and hardware exist at the same time? There are millions of questions inside those MAGICAL WORDS (evolution), idiot.

  • spidermean2

    I should say “Can software and hardware FORM at the same time?

  • spidermean2

    The answer is YES if there is a MASTERPLAN. Creation all points to a masterplanner. And NO if it’s a godless theory like idiotic Dawinian evolution. You guys endanger this world because of SEVERE STUPIDITY. Doomsday is truly coming.Be ready for the fire here on earth and the next life. IDIOTS.

  • bevjims1

    spidermean2 wrote: “How many times would I have to say that we don’t understand creation and that’s the reason why we don’t know how kangaroos existed.”I didn’t ask you how they were created, I asked you how they hoped from the ark to Australia. You do believe all kangaroos are decended from the two on the ark, no?spidermean2 wrote: “You guys are very quick in jumping to conclusions. Give us the steps how kangaroos evolved. Show us the process and avoid using MAGIC WORDS like they evolved. There is so much magic in that word. PROCESS PLEASE.”Do you understand artificial selection? If so then you understand natural selection, whereby nature, instead of a farmer, creates selective pressures on a species to favor, or disfavor, characteristics and traits. That is the process. You can see it on any farm, unless you think domestic sheep and cows are identical to those found in the wild. As for how that process evolved kangaroos, please read: spidermean2 wrote: “Was it the brain which formed those hind legs or vice versa? Did software (brain) formed first then the hardware (legs) or is it simultaneous? Is simultaneous formation possible? Can software and hardware exist at the same time?”You seem to think life works like computers, that in order to have a new ability one must build new hardware, and software to use the new hardware, all at the same time, and presumably by some intelligence, like you local NASA contractor. Comparing life to computers is a pretty poor comparison. For example, a NASA contractor would never build an appendix in a human. Bad design flaw that can cause the unit to fail. But, in a horse, the contractor would build an appendix, and a big one too, since its needed to digest grass. Now why did the intelligence you think designed man build in an appendix, and a non-functioning one at that, which seems to only have the purpose of causing death? Did our designer make a mistake? Would a NASA contractor build a small propeller on a space shuttle which could cause reentry problems and say that the propellor was needed because its part of the general design of all aircraft? Would that designer be considered intelligent?

  • bigbrother1

    Bevjims1: Well, it’s a free country and your dime ;-)But you see my point about responding to Spidermean (or CCNL or any other of the local nutjobs). It’s fun and easy to take them apart point by point. They’re certifiable, so of course it’s easy.But in the end it just gives them more fodder to riff on and clogs up what little dialog is left. Except for this topic, there is no dialog or need for one. Even most die-hard religious fanatics agree that you don’t sacrifice kids to faith. Only the truly insane disagree. But now they’ve expanded this “controversy” to a huge, multi-columnist panel discussion. How thrilling.

  • Bios

    Bev and GW,Maybe if the state does not play big father some people will become more responsible. For those that don’t, let them live with it. Is it that wrong?

  • spidermean2

    Persiflage, you should learn to distinguish what is fictional and what is not by learning pure science. It will help.One basic science is the fact that a dumb object cannot transform into an intelligent object by itself. Think that over again and again. Also when you make fictional stories, make it believable. Man hatching from a big egg shell sounds more plausible than coming from a bacteria.Snakes came from eggs as do birds, crocs, fishes, etc. so why not the first man and woman coming from an egg?Evolution comes from a person with no scientific background and zero logical talent. B.S in Theology. You are duped. Evolution is a religion, a false one.

  • persiflage

    Spidermean sez:’Snakes came from eggs as do birds, crocs, fishes, etc. so why not the first man and woman coming from an egg?’They did – we call that fertilized egg a zygote.Reading over your posts from the past and the present, you have one basic recurring problem – you never make a lick of sense to other intelligent life forms…….How is it possible to be so consistently incomprehensible?? A conundrum beyond the ken of biology for sure….