Madeline Kara Neumann was the 11-year-old girl killed by her parents because they prayed for her when she was deadly sick instead of taking her to a doctor.
In May, her mother, Leilani Neumann, was found guilty of second-degree reckless homicide. She will be sentenced in October and could face up to 25 years in prison. I hope she receives the full penalty.
Now, it’s the dad’s turn. Dale Neumann faces the same second-degree reckless homicide charge.
His wife testified on his behalf and what she said was just appalling. To begin with, she thought her daughter’s sickness was just God testing her faith.
Leilani Neumann also said that she did not realize her daughter was seriously ill until the day before her death, when the girl was weak and pale and had trouble speaking.
“I asked her if she loved Jesus,” the mother testified. “She might have said yes. I know for sure she was acknowledging it. What sounds came out, I don’t remember. She was making noises. … My focus definitely was to pray.”
She said she never once believed the girl would die.
“We thought even the lifelessness was something that she would come out of,” the mother said. “Everything for us is about faith. It is about trusting in God. We either believe in God’s word or we don’t.”
What’s really sad about all this is that there are people out there who want parents like this to avoid getting punished. They want religious exemptions for failed faith-healers.
They don’t deserve it. If you kill yourself because of your religious beliefs, so be it. If you take someone else’s life because of your irrational beliefs, you should get the harshest penalty possible.
I say this with the knowledge that the parents didn’t desire to kill their daughter. They really believed God would heal her. But they’re adults who should have known better than to avoid a doctor.
(Thanks to Jeff for the link!)