Log on to the Web site set up by defense attorneys for the Followers of Christ couple being prosecuted for the faith-healing death of their 15-month-old daughter and you'll find information on religious freedom and several articles on the miracles of faith healing. At www.worthingtondefense.info, you also can meet the lawyers who are nudging Carl and Raylene Worthington toward a long court battle, one the lawyers know will be expensive for their clients. They hope others will donate toward protecting parents' right to do nothing other than pray as they watch their children die.
Right...and whatever happened to a just and compassionate God, one who expected that his followers would nurture and protect the youngest and most vulnerable among us? What you're not going to find, no matter how hard you might look throughout worthingdefense.info, is anything about the unconscionable, inhuman suffering caused by the self-centered, inflexible religious beliefs of their parents.
I understand that freedom of religion means that some people will hold believes that I personally find abhorrent. When you're talking about child abuse, though- and what else can this possibly be considered?- it goes far beyond abhorrent religious beliefs. At that point, you've entered the realm of the criminally negligent- in which parents justify willfully neglecting the welfare of their children by citing their "freedom of religion". Sorry, y'all, but if you're willing to stand idly by while your child slowly dies from a horribly painful and yet thoroughly treatable ailment, the "freedom of religion" train ain't stopping at your station. Not today. Not EVER.
Here's a question that no one seems willing to ask the child abusers masquerading as uber-Fundamentalist Christians: "If you believe so strong in God and His great gifts, why is modern medicine not viewed as a gift from God? And in your criminal ignorance, aren't you in fact turning a blind eye to the very gift from God that just might save your child's life?"
I get a little worked up over this sort of thing, as you might have already noticed. I can live with rampant, willful ignorance masquerading as Christianity. If you as an adult want to deny yourself appropriate medical, that's your call- and frankly, as far as I'm concerned, one could argue that this represents the triumph of natural selection. Your life. Your right to lose it. That right does NOT, however, extend to a parent's dominion over their children.
The Followers of Christ and their criminal disregard for the well-being of their children is hardly a new phenomenon here in Oregon. These folks have been notorious for this sort of criminality for years...and law enforcement has been terrified of prosecuting them for child abuse because of "freedom of religion". So, yes, our state government has in theory and in fact complicit in this abuse of children. J'accuse! It wouldn't hurt if it wasn't true.
Look, if you want to get down on your knees and pray to God that your terminal disease will disappear and be cured if only you believe fervently enough...hey, knock yourself out, kimosabe. If you're going to do the same thing when the health and well-being of a child is involved, you're both a fool AND guilty of child abuse, you have NO business being allowed within 500' ft. of a child, and you ought to being doing hard time in Oregon's correctional system. Yesterday.
The "Devil" is not responsible for the illness and suffering of your child. If you're denying your children the medical care necessary to ease their pain and suffering and perhaps even save their life, then YOU are the "Devil"...and frankly, I hope that you'll be granted the privilege of roasting slowly over an open flame in your own personal Hell for the remainder of Eternity. You deserve nothing less. And you children deserve far better.