Faith Healing Parents Watch Their Child Die… but Won’t Be Getting Jail Time for It June 11, 2012

Faith Healing Parents Watch Their Child Die… but Won’t Be Getting Jail Time for It

Imagine this scenario: A father and mother take their child to a park and the child falls into a lake. The parents can swim, but their child cannot. Despite this, they do nothing and watch the child drown.

What should happen to the parents? Immediate arrest? Removal of all their other children? Jail time for manslaughter? Some combination of those options?

How about letting them take advantage of a law that allows them to let their children die and a plea deal that allows them to avoid prison?

Insane? Yes.

Immoral? Absolutely.

But this is what can happen if the parents happen to be faith-healers.

Zachery Swezey, dead from parental neglect or 'religious freedom'... whichever you prefer (via The Wenatchee World)

Zachery Swezey was a 17 year-old high school junior when he got appendicitis. Unpleasant, but millions of people go through it without incident. Unfortunately for Zachery, his parents believed in the power of prayer over the wisdom of medical experts. So, instead of going to the hospital, his parents stood over him, doubtlessly watching him writhe in unspeakable agony, while they prayed for him to get better. Meanwhile, actual help was a phone call away, but that was irrelevant to them. Zachery died while his parents watched. His death was totally preventable and lacked even the mercy of painkillers.

His parents, Greg and JaLea Swezey, were already acquitted of second degree murder and the jury was deadlocked on the second degree manslaughter charge. JaLea has pled guilty to third-degree criminal mistreatment and Greg has now agreed to plead guilty to the same crime on the condition that he not commit a felony in the next two years. As part of the deal, the parents also have to call Child Protective Services if any of their other children get sick in the future.

Still, the terms “Scot” and “free” come to mind.

Washington state has a law RCW 9A.42.005, that renders criminal neglect A-OK for Christian Scientists:

The legislature finds that there is a significant need to protect children and dependent persons, including frail elder and vulnerable adults, from abuse and neglect by their parents, by persons entrusted with their physical custody, or by persons employed to provide them with the basic necessities of life. The legislature further finds that such abuse and neglect often takes the forms of either withholding from them the basic necessities of life, including food, water, shelter, clothing, and health care, or abandoning them, or both. Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature that criminal penalties be imposed on those guilty of such abuse or neglect. It is the intent of the legislature that a person who, in good faith, is furnished Christian Science treatment by a duly accredited Christian Science practitioner in lieu of medical care is not considered deprived of medically necessary health care or abandoned. Prosecutions under this chapter shall be consistent with the rules of evidence, including hearsay, under law.

Note how the language distinguishes between medical care and “Christian Science treatment.” It’s acknowledged that Christian Science does not offer actual medical treatment, but they get to neglect children because… well just because. Even other Christians aren’t allowed this Get Out of Jail Free card. If a Catholic faith healer, or a Baptist one, is called instead of a doctor, the parents can be prosecuted. Being a Christian Science practitioner has other perks as well, like not being on the list of people mandated to report suspected abuse or neglect — unlike real doctors.

The Swezeys are not Christian Scientists, but they said that the spirit of this exemption still applied to them, so the case should be dismissed.

The judge in this case declined to dismiss the case based on the law and prosecuted the Swezeys anyway. Legally it seems their mistake was praying over their dying son themselves, instead of calling in a “professional.” Their lawyer says the law is “begging” to be changed. He means that it should be made clear that the regular faithful should be legally allowed to let their children die in agony using their faith as a shield, not just so-called “practitioners.” I agree the law should be changed, but in the other direction.

This monstrous carve-out must be wiped out. Religious exemptions are bad. Religious exemptions that cost children their lives are an outrage to human decency.

***Update***: An earlier version of this posting said the parents were Christian Scientists. In fact, they are members of the Church of the First Born. Both groups believe in the power of prayer to overcome illnesses instead of visiting medical professionals.

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  • Glasofruix

    And people wonder why we consider religion as nuisible…

  • Great IAM

    Oh no western religion isn’t like the rest of them, they don’t harm others. Just let them be. How many times have you heard that before? How many inocent children have to die to these monsters in desguise?

  • Of course, most mainline Christians don’t consider groups like Christian Scientists and Jehovah’s Witnesses to be real Christians anyway, so they don’t count.  Or something.

    It is so utterly incomprehensible to me that somebody could let their own child die in agony before their eyes and not lift a finger to prevent it.  I don’t even have children, and the thought tears through me.  I can’t imagine how those of you who are parents feel when you read about things like this.

  • Lee Miller

    Why does Christian Science get special treatment under the law?  Number-wise it’s a tiny sect.  Seems to me like there should be protection for any and all faith-based groups, or none.   

  • Lee Miller

    PS–the parents aren’t Christian Scientists.  They’re members of a group call The Church of the First Born, according to the news articles about the case.  And they did call in the “elders” of this group to pray.  That makes it even more mysterious how they got off so easy.

  • To clarify, the Swezeys are not members of the Church of Christ, Scientist. They’re members of the Church of the First Born, a cult that has had a number of run-ins with the law over the neglect and deaths of members’ children. They were trying to claim (not without reason) that they were being unfairly discriminated against because Christian Scientists are allowed an exemption and nobody else is. 

    Christian Science is, fortunately, in decline, but there are still probably around a thousand practitioners in the U.S., and about 900 active congregations. Incredibly, practitioners are allowed to practice in all fifty states and their ‘care’ is even covered by Medicare, according to Quackwatch. Google ‘Rita Swan’ for more information. Swan is a former Christian Scientist who became an activist for children’s welfare after her child died under the care of a Christian Science practitioner. 

  • Thanks for bringing this to our attention–unfortunately only the latest in many, many cases. The Christian Science church lobbied long and hard in Massachusetts (its headquarters are in Boston) with the help of Ted Kennedy to change the laws back in the ’60’s and ’70’s. The CS’s are a persuasive bunch even though they base their “healing record” on anecdotal evidence.

    I was a casualty of that Massachusetts law. In 1975 I contracted a bone disease that kept me in bed a year, out of school two years and destroyed my left knee. Not only was there no medical intervention (though my friend’s parents talked to a lawyer) there was no investigation by my public school–even though the school nurse made a curious visit while I was bedridden.

    This is the hands-off attitude Christian Science has carefully cultivated. The laws have been over turned in some states but 38 states STILL have legal defenses to child medical neglect–or worse.  And Christian Scientists aren’t the only offenders.

    Children’s Healthcare Is A Legal Duty, Inc is a non-profit that has worked wonders in overturning some of these laws. Check the website:

    Also Sean Faircloth (of the Richard Dawkins Foundation) is a vocal opponent against this hidden religious extremism in our country today.

    We’ve got to spread the word and end this barbaric practice.

  • Pinaldo55

    This just makes me furious…

  • ctcss

    Clarification:  The care that is covered by Medicare is the practical nursing care offered in a Christian Science  nursing facility. Spiritual treatment through prayer by a practitioner is not covered. In other words, government funds are not being used to support the religious portion of treatment but rather the practical sick room nursing care such as cleaning and bandaging wounds, bathing, feeding, bathroom functions, etc.

  • And in some macabre irony, how much do you want to bet these “parents” are also against abortion because its “killing babies” or some such nonsense?

  • ctcss

     It should be noted that the exemption offered to Christian Scientists under many state laws was not granted “just because”.  State legislators had to be convinced by the various members of the local Christian Science communities that the care they sought to provide both for themselves and for their children through Christian Science treatment was a reasonable course of action to allow for under the law.  As you note, a tiny sect is not likely to have undue influence on the members of state legislatures. And indeed, if Christian Scientists have not been found to be acting as responsible citizens, they would and should expect the provisions in law granted to them to be revoked. But on the other hand, if they can provide sufficient evidence to the state legislatures that the care they provide is effective, then their exemptions should continue. (The first amendment allows for petitioning the government for redress of grievances, thus, the exemptions in state law for Christian Science practice are a natural outcome of such a provision. And note that petitioning  does not mean an automatic grant of a petition. A valid case for any such petition has to be made in order for this to occur.)

    It should also be noted that the various diatribes against Christian Science here and elsewhere are usually based entirely on reactions to cases with a negative outcome. It is impossible for anyone to reach a fair and balanced conclusion about any subject matter if all of the evidence being considered is only positive or only negative. Christian Scientists have been practicing this form of care for over 130 years and there were often many legal challenges to the practice of Christian Science during its early years. But as those early cases were adjudicated, the conclusions reached were often that Christian Science care was a reasonable approach for its adherents to take, and gradually provisions in state laws were granted to allow for its practice. It should be further noted that Christian Scientists, as a group, are law abiding, and if any state law has requirements that that there are no exemptions for, Christian Scientists will obey such laws.

  • ctcss

     It should be noted that the exemption offered to Christian Scientists under many state laws was not granted “just because”.  State legislators had to be convinced by the various members of the local Christian Science communities that the care they sought to provide both for themselves and for their children through Christian Science treatment was a reasonable course of action to allow for under the law.  As you note, a tiny sect is not likely to have undue influence on the members of state legislatures. And indeed, if Christian Scientists have not been found to be acting as responsible citizens, they would and should expect the provisions in law granted to them to be revoked. But on the other hand, if they can provide sufficient evidence to the state legislatures that the care they provide is effective, then their exemptions should continue. (The first amendment allows for petitioning the government for redress of grievances, thus, the exemptions in state law for Christian Science practice are a natural outcome of such a provision. And note that petitioning  does not mean an automatic grant of a petition. A valid case for any such petition has to be made in order for this to occur.)

    It should also be noted that the various diatribes against Christian Science here and elsewhere are usually based entirely on reactions to cases with a negative outcome. It is impossible for anyone to reach a fair and balanced conclusion about any subject matter if all of the evidence being considered is only positive or only negative. Christian Scientists have been practicing this form of care for over 130 years and there were often many legal challenges to the practice of Christian Science during its early years. But as those early cases were adjudicated, the conclusions reached were often that Christian Science care was a reasonable approach for its adherents to take, and gradually provisions in state laws were granted to allow for its practice. It should be further noted that Christian Scientists, as a group, are law abiding, and if any state law has requirements that that there are no exemptions for, Christian Scientists will obey such laws.

  • Gosh, just imagine if Christian Scientist employers could dictate the  insurance that their employees had. At least it would be cheap.

  • Muggin15

    Isn’t the term Christian Science kind of an oxymoron? 

  • Patterrssonn

    Frig, what a nightmare that must be. I bet grand guignol doesn’t even cover it.

  • Fsq

    Like sodomy laws, these archane and immoral laws need to be stricken from the books STAT.

    This is disgusting, foul, vile and a deliberate act of evil.


  • Riel Aquino Gonzales

    And people hate potheads who use faith as a shield when there are far worse monsters to vanquish! Ai, caramba!

  • Economist

     Yep, the people in this article are horrible… but that’s how you can tell that they aren’t “true” christians, because christianity is perfect and so no “true” christian would ever do anything that makes christianity look bad.

  • Jharrison

    Some kind of moron….

  • Gus Snarp

    This is just plain evil. A friend of mine watched his father die while his Christian Science family prayed over him. It has to stop.

    When we know that medical science can save a life very easily, then there ought to be no religious exemption. If you’re a competent (questionable if you elect to be prayed over, but let’s be generous on the definition of competent) adult, then you can choose not to be treated, but a minor, or an adult of diminished capacity, should not be prevented from receiving adequate medical care by those responsible for them. Reasonable exceptions can of course be made for living will type situations. I believe a decent lawyer could craft a law making clear what should and shouldn’t be legal, and letting appendicitis kill your kid because you choose prayer alone over medical intervention should be illegal, no matter who does the actual praying. I hope this kid’s parents at least realize how foolish they were and feel the appropriate guilt.

  • Whrath

    I’m pretty sure the poster above didn’t mean Christians were perfect, so I’m not sure why you attacked them about it. 

  • The Other Tom

    Find a parent convicted of murder for neglecting to care for their child. Get them a lawyer to sue the state under the equal protection clause. Watch the media feeding frenzy.

  • Mattincinci

    sounds like state sanctioned murder to me

  • Disgusting

  • Bryan B

    This is why I fight.

  • I’m not clear on what’s actually happening in legal terms.  The judge prosecuted the parents?  Surely not? Judges surely don’t make that decision in that jurisdiction . . . do they?  
    Did the judge void the plea bargain, maybe?  It’s hard to tell.  If so, is that an earlier plea, or the one described in this post?  The post first reads like the plea is a done deal, then mentions the judge declining the plea . . . but maybe that’s an earlier plea?

    In any case, from my layman’s point of view, it looks like unless the parents are “accredited” (putting aside the validity of that accreditation, which must certainly be based on very stringent standards of . . . . Christian science?) they’re not entitled to a defense based on that exception.

  • Ucofresh

    Because they need something to happen. You never hear of a non believer watching their children die and believing some magic sky man will heal them. It’s sick. Something needs done.

  • Patterrssonn

    Not very famil

  • Andymuckler

    So if I understand this, I can shoot someone and be charged with a crime, but if I pray over them while they’re dying the charge can’t be murder? Is George Zimmerman aware of thus loophole?

  • AGraphicArtist

    “Christian” scientists are not Christians nor do they practice the teachings of Jesus.  Jesus said, bring the sick and infirm to me.  He healed them in a time when medical science was basically unknown beyond bleeding the sickness out of them.  There is no science to a Christian Scientist.  It’s another bullshit religion like Mormonism.  Sorry if I sound bigoted in this but it’s appalling for any parent to allow their child to die without proper medical intervention.  How many would be alive today if they had a doctor available to them?

  • Sexmachine29

    People are stupid.

  • Believing some all powerful force / being,  somewhere in the heavens, is going to pay attention to a dying child and whammy some magic out of thin air to cure them is a sign of mental illness to begin with.  I have no issues whatsoever with faith and belief in any religion, as long as it pertains to the preservation and protection of life, love, peace, and harmony.  I’m a big believer in medieval justice.  Bury them up to their heads in the sand during low tide on a beach and let them pray their way out.  More people have died in the name of some god, than every world war put together.  Allowing them to skirt the law due to some antiquated backwater, bible thumping state statute should be at the least criminal neglect, and at best – Murder.   All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing,  Thinking thoughts directed at some invisible deity and calling that treatment is like me praying to hit a home run while playing football.  It makes no sense.  These people are criminals and should be treated as such.

  • rhodent

    Nah, they oppose abortion because it’s a medical procedure.  Whether it kills babies or not is clearly irrelevant to them.

  • Even most fundies think the faith-healing crowd are bug-nutty. I may oppose fundies in most things, but they by and large aren’t any more into human sacrifice than I am.

    ETA: The old joke about God, two boats and a helicopter applies. In spades.

  • Patterrssonn

    I think Economist is being sarcastic, riffing on Kevin’s ‘no true scotsman’ post.

  • Going easy on “faith healing” parents because they have lost a child is like giving a lighter sentence to someone who shoots their parents because they are an orphan.

  • Nic Iraci

    No true scotsman either!

  • While the death is a tragedy for the family, I take solace in the fact that today the human gene pool is just a little bit cleaner than it was before. I fear the kid was headed in the same deluded direction as his parents. At 17, he was old enough to get help for himself- appendicitis isn’t instantly debilitating. He was pretty clearly operating in cooperation with his parents. Were he just a few months older, there would have been no criminal charges brought at all.

  • Brad Koch
  • Miko

    I think that our current laws are correct in the scenario you mention at the start: if a child drowns in a public swimming place, those who happen to be standing near by would be charged with nothing.  And this makes sense of course: the parents would already be grieving over the death of their child; trying to pin criminal penalties on them solely because you believe in some stupid version of the just world fallacy would only make things worse.  Hopefully laws regarding medicine can catch up to this standard and realize that punishing parents when their child dies there is just as stupid and counterproductive.

  • It’s another bullshit religion like Mormonism.

    All religion is bullshit.

  • Although you can spend time in jail if you let your five and eight year old kids walk a block and a half to the park.

    Not sure how I managed to spend the entire day alone downtown on my bicycle in the 70s.

  • Siggi

    Let’s not forget….hundreds of thousands of babies have their genitals mutilated every for idiotic religious reasons. Different degrees of the same bullshit.

  • Siggi

    …every YEAR, that is

  • Glasofruix

    “He healed them in a time when medical science was basically unknown beyond bleeding the sickness out of them”

    Uh, no, sorry to break it to you but medical science in roman empire was far from unknown.

  • Onimaru

    I think praying is the healing of the spirit. not of the body. When one is spiritually wounded ,praying is proper but when one is bodily wounded medical treatment is necessary.

  • Skmescobar

    How is it a Christian “science “? Don’t they hate science? It should be called “medieval behavior fabricated to make people feel like they have fictional character’s powers “. Which by the way would be blasphemy because according to the Bible only God and Jesus can heal the sick and perform miracles and then Jesus ‘ apostles were granted such “ability ” but I’ve never seen a priest pulling out anything that I could call “miraculous ” …. well I’ll take that back they can rape children, take your money, and keep the pyramid scam going without being questioned or even punished for such crimes.
    Anyway these people should definitely go to jail for the rest of their lives … since their child will not be able to get his back

  • Patterrssonn

    I completely disagree with you. In a situation like that a person can easily lose years of intellectual/emotional maturity. Who knows what would have happened if he’d been out in public when it happened, someone had called an ambulance and his parents hadn’t been around. It’s very likely he didn’t know he was facing possible death.

  • Computer Scientist

    These Christians are extremists. So sad they are the way they are.

  • Patterrssonn

    What’s the joke, and what does it have to with a Basque separatist terrorist movement?

  • Patterrssonn

    Of course they’re Christians, any religion that calls itself Christian is Christian. Outside of the Christianities there really is no other definition.

  • Patterrssonn

    I don’t know how I survived either, I walked to school alone with my younger brother at age 7. Completely normal in the 60’s and 70’s.

  • Patterrssonn

    I think this case is more akin to not feeding your child and letting it starve to death. Definitely a case for criminal charges. After all if your child was unable to eat for a medical reason, you would be letting your child starve to death if you didn’t get them medical attention.

  • If Jesus said “bring the sick and infirm to me” I don’t see how they’re going against (in their minds) what Jesus said because (in their minds) that is exactly what they were doing.

    Of course it’s horrifying, and they need to be punished, but despite your objections and unwillingness to be associated with them, they are indeed Christians following their interpretation of the scripture.

  • HelenRainier

    Whether you consider them as “true” Christians doesn’t matter. They think they are. Most points of view/beliefs have some sense of “reality” in them and what’s more important is what THEY believed themselves to be — not you.

  • Even if the kid wasn’t as cracked as his adults, we’re still better off without those genes contaminating our species. Survival of the fittest is hard on those who are less fit.

  • Glasofruix

     “He healed them in a time when medical science was basically unknown beyond bleeding the sickness out of them”

    Uh, no, sorry to break it to you but medical science in roman empire was far from unknown. It was during the christian domination we call the dark ages that it was at the lowest.

  • Flood waters are rising, but a man refuses to leave his home when the sheriff arrives in his SUV.  “The Lord will provide!”

    Waters keep rising, and some neighbors come by in a boat.  Man calls down from 2nd story window “No thanks!  The Lord will provide!”

    Man is now on the roof and a helicopter tries to drop a ladder.  “No, the Lord will provide!”

    Waters are about to engulf the man, and he cries out “Lord, why hath thou forsaken me?!”

    “I sent an SUV, a boat, and a helicopter!  What more do you want?!”

    (I had an aunt who suffered severe epileptic seizures.  She refused any treatment, because if she did, she would not know when God had answered her prayers and saved her.  That is, it would be giving into the Devil’s temptation.) 

  • Glasofruix

    Uh, sharp and nearly unbearable pain in the abdomen area ===> call a flipping ambulance or drag yourself to a doctor.

  • Ray

    So you support the deaths of victims of indoctrination? Sick. 

  • Bobbietwin2

    faith is fine but how about some common sense along with it; God did give us brains too.

  • Faith kills… lives and minds.

  • It’s neither Christian nor Science.  It’s just another example of blatant lies being able to self-perpetuate.

  • The Other Weirdo

     But he wants us to never use them. That’s what most sins boil down to, punishments for following the nature he supposedly gave us.

  • The Other Weirdo

     What effect on a wounded spirit(what’s that mean, anyway?) would prayer have? Like a physical injury, wouldn’t you seek help from real people? Friends, relatives, councilors, prostitutes?

  • Sabeaniebaby

    Family pressures can be severe and debilitating.  I would not, however, think this be a genetic result, rather a result of the home environment.

  • Fargofan1

    Yes, that really is a heartless response. I just don’t see any Darwinian silver lining in this preventable tragedy.

  • By singling out one religious group specifically, this law violates the constitution of the United States of America and is therefore invalid.  To follow this legislature is to break the law of the land.  Those sorry murderers need to be treated as such.

  • What is the difference between parents who sit idly by and watch their children die in the supposed name of God (nothing Godly about this kind of neglect) and those parents who can’t do anything to help or save their children because of selfish addictions?  Not a single thing.

  • I do not support anybody’s death, not even murderers. But I also recognize that there are deaths, which when they occur, leave us better off as a species, and I’ll not mourn those. Nature will find ways to weed out the unfit.

  • Mark

    You missed the sarcasm in Economist’s post

  • It was even normal in the early ’90s in my town. Somehow I’m still here too.

  • steven

    i would have called the medics myself if that were me, i had appendectemy last year and that was the most painful experience. absolutely apalling that the parents would not give him medical attention….. seems like some parts of our society want to move backwards!!

  • Ultimately those with faith always have my lack of confidence because it can always revert to this kind of insanity at a moments notice.

  • Patterrssonn

    I had a pt once, a devout Catholic, who refused all pain control. She was convinced, despite last rights that she was going to hell and that opiates would just send her there faster. She literally sat bolt upright in bed screaming for hours on end but infortunately remained conscious enough to continue denying pain control. As an RN I’ve seen suffering but that was the worst thing I’ve ever seen.

  • Johnsullivan

    what a shame that this poor kid had to die. Being so closed minded to one way no matter what it is, is just stupid and dangerous. they totally should have taken him to the hospital. however, to think we arent able to cure or even help our situation at times through the focus of our own minds is stupidity as well.

  • Our Guardian Angels must have been working overtime.

  • Patterrssonn

    People are often not rational when it comes to pain. Plenty of men will ignore massive chest pain, especially if going to the hospital will interfere with their plans. I knew one guy who went swimming while he was having a heart attack, another who decided to ‘walk off’ his chest pain and could quite possibly have died if he hadnt collapsed on the sidewalk and someone called an ambulance. While stupid such behaviour isn’t really that abnormal and definitely not confined to the religious.

  • BeeBee

     You may say the gene pool was improved, but how do you know this young man wouldn’t have gone on to reject his parents’ faith, had he lived in spite of their inaction, and become a fine freethinker?

  • Angela

    How is a 17 year old supposed to seek his own medical treatment as a minor? Not possible where I live; a parent has to accompany you or be contacted. If your parents don’t believe in medical treatment, you probably don’t have medical insurance or a primary care doctor, etc. So he’s supposed to call 911 with minor abdominal pain? Because many people don’t know what the underlying cause of the pain is–at 17, you don’t assume it’s fatal. And when the pain gets severe, the sick person cannot think rationally. By then, you hope you die so it will end. Give me a break, please. This is in no way the victim’s fault.

  • Angela

    So I wonder if these parents continue to be as supportive to faith healing, now that they have clear evidence it didn’t work?

  • You don’t really “get” evolution, do you? 

    Even if you were correct, evolution is not a moral imperative. And for you to say such a callous thing about an innocent teen who’d been brainwashed all his life is wrong. 

  • Glasofruix

     “minor abdominal pain”

    You never had appendicitis, right?

  • No, they have clear evidence that they didn’t pray hard enough.

  • Like I said, on the individual level, the death is a tragedy. But I’ll not mourn this loss.

    And I do get evolutionary theory very well.

  • I don’t. But neither do I know that he wouldn’t have gone on to become the next cannibalistic serial killer. There’s no point in speculating what might have been.

  • Pwbue

    I hate it when Christians pray for divine intervention when God’s hand is readily available in the material world.
    Doctors are an integral and necessary part of any community including the Christian community. It is miraculous that there are those who can dedicate their life on how to troubleshoot human biology. To deny their services is to deny God’s work through them.
    I am a follower of Christ, and I am ashamed that people like the Swezeys are giving Christians a bad reputation. My hope is that Christians of the 21st century should all be able to think logically and be a functional part of the modern community.

  • The only phrase that I might respect that includes the words “Christian science” has the word “monitor” at the end. Seriously in what universe does faith healing substitue for medical treatment? It’s the height of absurdity…

  • Luke

    Negative. You are unfamiliar with the Hippocratic Oath. In a life-threatening emergency, doctors don’t always have time to hear approval from parents.

  • Yes, you pick up the phone and call 911. If a 17-year old can’t manage that, something is seriously wrong. With appendicitis, the pain gets worse and worse, but it takes a long time to become septic and delirious. And long before that happens, you know you are really sick.

    There’s no suggestion in the story as presented that the parents prevented their son from using the phone, or locked him in his room. Everything here suggests that the kid was going along with his parents’ deluded approach to “treatment”. He made a bad choice… terminally bad. And while he probably didn’t have the maturity and intellectual skills we’d expect an adult to have, neither was he a “child”.

    The parents’ actions were criminal, and it’s a travesty they aren’t being held more accountable. The son’s actions were foolish… and he paid the price for that- as teenagers sometimes do when they use bad judgment.

  • no sheep

     They shouldn’t be given insurance.  Why would they need it?  They shouldn’t need sick days, either.

  • Patterrssonn

    Of course it’s Christian, blatantly christian.

  • How can they do this to a child though. If they want to ignore logic thats fine, but their kid died of neglect…

  • randomly

    There was an old man sitting on his porch watching the rain fall. Pretty soon the water was coming over the porch and into the house.

    The old man was still sitting there when a rescue boat came and the people on board said, “You can’t stay here you have to come with us.” 

    The old man replied, “No, God will save me.” So the boat left. A little while later the water was up to the second floor, and another rescue boat came, and again told the old man he had to come with them. 

    The old man again replied, “God will save me.” So the boat left him again. 

    An hour later the water was up to the roof and a third rescue boat approached the old man, and tried to get him to come with them. 

    Again the old man refused to leave stating that, “God will save him.” So the boat left him again. 

    Soon after, the man drowns and goes to heaven, and when he sees God he asks him, “Why didn’t you save me?” 

    God replied, “You dummy! I tried. I sent three boats after you!!”

  • Patterrssonn

    Or better yet another Spalding Grey

  • Kristjan

    It seems that religous freedom equals parental neglect in some cases.

  • Guest

    It should be the parents that were weeded out.

  • Mar

    just thinking that this kind of shit happens in a developed country blows my mind

  • Patterrssonn

    Good on you Pw for not denying that they’re Christians.

  • JenS

    Absolutely. You cannot dismiss the power of brainwashing. This 17-year-old was likely so shielded from society, that he simply did not know better than to fully trust his parents. Sadly, it is that very blind trust that resulted in his death. Disguising brainwashing with religious freedom is a very dangerous practice, and a slippery slope indeed.

  • Tom

    The law does indeed acknowledge that faith healing is not real medicine by differentiating between them, but then states that giving the former in lieu of the latter is not considered to be taking away the latter.

    This is worse than asinine; this is literal nonsense.  It should be added to the list of things you say to a hostile robot to make its head explode.

  •  If there’s “no point in speculating what might have been”, then why do you state that we are “better off” without him in this world? Religion is not genetic, by the way…so to state that we would be “evolutionarily better off without him polluting this world” is very ignorant and hateful (both distasteful qualities of the religious teachings that you seem to dislike).

  • Wow, this pisses me off to no end! This happened to my brother when we were young. We were at a park for a (Christian) church picnic and he fell off the top of the slide. His head had a hole and was spurting blood! They poured water on it and prayed. Luckily he was okay but it was pure dumb luck. I refuse to put my child in the hands of someone I can’t see.
     I love my child too much to do that. I want to be able to blame someone in person when something goes wrong.. That’s why I am now an atheist among other reasons.

  • Patterrssonn

    Perhaps if your third eye developed cataracts.

  • Public John Q

    Sounds like the definition of christian to me.

  • Public John Q

    Let’s take a look inside the medicine cabinet at the parents home.  Any aspirin?  Cold medicine?  Toothpaste (after all if the mighty-invisible-personal-relationship-having-sky-wizard wanted you to have fresh breath It would provide fresh breath for you)  Yes to any of these?  Then they are guilty of neglect and the death that came about because of it.

  • Glasofruix

    That makes the survival of the fittest even more relevant…

  • Glasofruix


  • caringhuman

    I think the world could do a whole lot better if people like you weren’t here!!

  • Cscanby

    We see how that is working out – Death is a cure – I am praying for the parents ant the legislators who signed this – I pray they get the same result

  • Metallica32392

    Ya know I agree. If it was his time it was his time. God is real and is glorious. Its not up to anyone else to decide if someone should escape their death with meds. However prayer and the use of natural minerals such as water natural methods of healing such as time and the body’s way to work bacteria out are. The only righteous. Ways of healing. That’s not for all pol just those which condone it. Don’t deny God or he will deny you.those parents maybe wrong in society but are loyal in the eyes of the lord. This is the sales society that beleives in Kim kardashian. The same that worships Jewelery, desighners, and who rather have sex then go to church. This world is hell .. he’s in a perfect place now.

  • Tom Sullivan

    Sorry, but that’s about as scientific as the crazy beliefs of this poor guy’s parents.  Lots of atheists and agnostics are the children of religious zealots.  I should know, I am one.

  • Idiotbox62

    Perhaps , it’s your genes we could do without. God created “all” genes ,and He doesn’t make mistakes .You are no exception!!!!  When you stand in line at the “Judgement seat” , I hope you can “Justify” your statement . If you don’t believe in God , “YOU” Will change your mind ,but it will be too late .By seeking HIM today ,you could avoid “HELL”.

  • Tammyemling

    May GOD just provides knowledge and the ability to make your breathe fresh.

  • Tom Sullivan

    Who are you to say that this individual was unfit? How do you know for sure that if he was taken away from the suffocating environment of his parents’ extreme fundamentalist beliefs he would not become a totally different person?

  • He was 17, plenty old enough to decide this issue for himself. My only question is did he choose to die or did his parents choose to ignore his pleas for help? And yes, that distinction does matter. The former means he lived and died as he preferred. The latter means he was murdered by his parents. Unfortunately, we’ll never KNOW if Zachery asked his parents to call a doctor or if he was so brainwashed into his parents’ religion that he chose to die, but based on their willingness to accept a plea bargain I have to say they know he didn’t want to die. They should have their appendices ripped out without anesthesia and left in a room with only a faith healer for company as they die.

  • The world would be better of without wimps like you.

  • This is crazy.  Just as crazy as abortion.  Killing at any age is still killing. And standing by and doing nothing when you can easily save a life is killing.  Thou sahlt not kill.  Simple.

  • You are heartless. How can you reduce a human’s life down to a subjective genetic value? Did his genes made him this way, or was it his environment? He was a victim in every way. Had he not been indoctrinated, he may have been your friend or colleague.

  • Patterrssonn

    Not looking good for the human race then if bouts of irrationality make a creature unfit for survival.

  • seek help.

  • Patterrssonn

    You’re poeing it aren’t you

  • Christian

    It’s just like the story of the guy stranded on his roof during a flood. He prayed God would come save him. Soon a rowboat came by and offed him help. His reply was “No thanks, God will save me.” As the waters got higher, a helicopter flew by and dropped a rope down to him. Again his reply was “No thanks, God will save me.” Soon the waters washed him away and he drown. When he met God in Heaven he asked “God, why didn’t you save me?” God’s reply: “I sent a rowboat and a helicopter! What more do you want?”

  • Maybe the law should be changed to read that any parent who takes a child to a medical doctor and does not enlist the help of a Christian Science Practitioner and the child dies should be prosecuted for manslaughter?  What’s good for the goose is good for the gander is it not?

  • guest


  • The goofiness of Christian Science is no worse than the goofiness of other religions. Jesus is the son of God and his mother was a virgin? Ya right.
    Jews are God’s “chosen” people and the rest of humanity has to throw itself on its sword and put Israel’s interests before those of all other nations.  How stupid it that?
    So if you want to get your panties in a bunch over silly religious BS, then forget the isolated deaths of the children of Christian Scientists and concentrate on the million Iraqis that were murdered by our invasion of Iraq to protect Israel.
    Focus on Fukushima and how its control systems did not shut down the reactors because they were infected by the Stuxnet worm created by Israel. Think about the 5-10 million Japanese people who will die of cancer because of Israel’s virus. Think about how if the cooling pond at reactor #4 collapses how the entire northern hemisphere of the earth will become uninhabitable, all in the name of ensuring that Israel can continue to occupy Palestine.
    Get some perspective folks.

  • i_trrehater

    this enrages me.

  • Tchillers

    Christians: It is time to get your facts right. Jesus was not his name (joshua bin joseph) and Christianity is premised on violence and murder. The cross was merely equipment on which people would suffer more when murdered and Christ is merely Greek for ‘one who is anointed’ Anyone who takes the bible as anything more than a book created by HUMANS and/or literally is truly psychotic.

  • matt

    God is glorious?  Did you read the same bible I did? 

    Looks like you know more about the workings of god then I do so tell me what happens to all the Christians that DO save their own lives by getting medical assistance – Do they get a less heavenly heaven?

    And in this situation why even pray for the person to get better?  Wouldn’t that be asking for him/her/it to change the master plan?

    If prayer and mineral water (I think that’s what you meant) are the only “righteous” way to be healed then hallelujah, Christians don’t need health insurance anymore. Praise Jeezus!

  • The parents should most definitely be charged….directly or indirectly, they refused to get him medical attention. He had fucking appendicitis! Easily treated in a hospital, when has ‘faith’ ever healed anything but a broken spirit? These people are moronic, and a perfect example of why religion is useless. It gives people false hope, so much so that they’re willing to let their own 17 year old son die for their ‘faith’. America makes me sick. I despise this country in its’ entirety.

  • Adisharr

    Tie cement blocks around their feet and throw them in the river.  They can pray for the sudden ability to breath underwater. I have faith.

  • Adisharr

    So heaven has a line? God would certainly be able to process more than one person at a time. I think you’re going to hell for insinuating God has limits.

  • Brandon Blevins

    Agreed. I was raised religious, studied science and philosophy once I left for college, and am now an atheist. People who rant about “cleaning the gene pool” and natural selection are nihilistic morons.

  • give me liberty or give me “HELL”

  • Brandon Blevins

    Look out! We’ve got ourselves a bad ass here!

  • Unbelievable. 

  •  Wow, why don’t you preach.  Maybe, if instead of looking for imaginary gods — people took time to learn more about the world and science, we wouldn’t have idiotic posts like this for you to preach your fairytales on.

  • Cory Penno

    You realize that you’re representing eugenics and not necessarily evolutionary theories, right?

  •  Because he was already 17?  I’m sorry, at 17, if my mother would have tried to keep me in bed to pray over me while I was dying of appendicitis, she would have had to hold me down while she did it.   If, by 17 — he didn’t know of the concepts “doctor” and “hospital” then there really WAS no hope for him.  At 17 years old, you’re definitely old enough to get medical treatment if you aren’t an idiot — NO MATTER your home situation.

  • Mentally_ill_films

    hahaha Idiotbox is appropriate. God doesn’t make mistakes with genes? What about Downs Syndrome? Or any other of the multitudes of genetic DISORDERS that exist. You don’t think a kid born with cerebral palsy would prefer to have better genes that allowed him to control his body properly? Stupid religious fool> there’s a redundancy there. Religious fool. Its like saying dumb stupid

  •  Absolutely false.  No Emergency Room would turn away a person in death throes from appendicitis — sorry.

  • Cavemanben

    Faith healing is not very common,  but I guess this article is just here to aid it’s readers in feeling smarter than everyone else, not that you all really need any help in that department.

    And the comments about how we are somehow better off as a society because an innocent kid is dead, who most likely went through pain that most of you can’t even conceive while his parents, who despite their foolishness and missinterpretation of God’s word, loved him just as much as anyone else loves their children, are pathetic. Hitler was that smug about his own superiority, we all know how that turned out.

  • The messed up part is, their faith would be justifiable if there were ever one instance they could cite, where prayer healed a ruptured appendix or grew back an amputated arm…something. But they don’t, which means that by idly standing by and watching someone dies of an otherwise completely curable ailment is nothing more than criminal neglect. These people should definitely go to jail and send a message to all of the other morons who think like them. 

  •  Yah, God doesn’t make mistakes. Except for creating appendix that are worthless while functioning normally, but then can fail and kill you at completely random moments.

  •  ‘missinterpretation of God’s word”.  Of course.  Seems to be a common theme that runs right through christinaity, especially that peculiar, bent American version of christianity.

  •  You can’t tell me that you “love” your children, when you are willing to watch them die one of the most agonizing deaths possible to appease the whim of an imaginary creature in the sky.  Give me a break, pal… you zealots and your nonsense need to get all the laws protecting you shattered and this kind of idiocy mocked on a daily basis.  It has ZERO to do with superiority, it has everything to do with living in reality.

  • Pavi Grenzgang

    too bad an innocent had to pay for this backward stupidity.

    but social evolution undeviatingly weeds out the offspring of individuals “badly adapted” to reality.

  •  If there was really one deity, and he really had his word out in a book to the humans, why didn’t everyone get the same book?  It is absolutely disgraceful that an intelligent society has allowed man-made literature to persist as “law” to some people for like 1700 years… especially when most of the book’s stories are direct rip-offs of prior fables… (Horus is the classic example)

  • Meuch3

    Yeah god is one helluva character isn’t he? Lets the kid die but the asshole parents he keeps around.

  • Anon

    I’ve had appendicitis. I was seven and to this day (over a decade later) I can remember that day with absolute clarity because of the amount of pain I was in. By the evening of the day it started hurting I was in so much pain all I could do was curl up into a ball and cry.

    My appendix wasn’t even close to rupturing.

    I’m not a parent but I don’t see how anybody who has an inch of compassion could sit there and watch somebody be in that much pain and not help them. Because I doubt Zachery went peacefully. Judging from my own experience he probably spent his last few hours screaming and crying in agony.

    That’s not something I could allow to happen to somebody I hated. Let alone my hypothetical child.

    How deeply into this fairytale do you have to be to not do anything as your child dies in a horrific and easily preventable way? How narrow minded do you have to be not to once question your faith when your god doesn’t respond even to ‘could you make his death a little less painless? How could you live with yourself, worshiping the same god, after your faith caused the death of your child?

    It boggles the mind.

  • Yes, there’s nothing stopping the child of theists from becoming an atheist. But that doesn’t change my point in the least. Every death that occurs before breeding is a point of selection, and a few negative traits were selected against in this case.

    You’re very much mistaking me if you think I was suggesting there is some sort of theism gene that needs to be culled.

  • In medicine, if a child is a minor, as this 17 year old was, he cannot choose to martyr himself. It takes the “logic” and “intelligence” only an adult possesses to decline life-saving treatment such as blood transfusions. How, oh how, can this not be the same thing? I am sure no one would choose a death in this manner, regardless of age.

  • I’m not at all convinced that religion isn’t genetic. It seems very likely that it’s tied to our brain function. The cultural aspects appear to have biological underpinnings. Personally, I have little doubt that if the reproductive success were significantly less for the religious than for the nonreligious, religion would die out over time.

    I see the family as expressing certain negative traits, and the removal of negative traits from the gene pool is generally beneficial. Harsh, but true.

  • I certainly am not. I’m not advocating any sort of action against people like that at all. What I’m saying is that some negative traits were removed from the gene pool. That is purely an issue of natural selection.

  • ProAudio

    Rofl!!!! So by your own chtistian theories you zealots keep saying if we dont believe when we meet out maker were going to hell, however thats quite contradictory of your own religion, god forgives all in theory, so when u meet the maker as long as your man enough to admit being wrong amd appologize than god would forgive. Zealots want everyone condemed when thats the most hypocritical thing for there “beliefs”

  • He might have been. And I did not reduce his life to a genetic value. I said that, on balance, I think the gene pool was improved by what happened. That doesn’t make the situation any less tragic for the individual, or his family and friends. They have their own values that they place on him.

  • Kimberlymeza

    Wow, how selfish do u have to b. God gives us the ability to heal our bodies with good medical care and they presumed to know better. Their arrogance didn’t cost them any thing like it cost their son. Heartless if u ask me.

  • Personally, I think pro sports is evidence of a genetic disposition to religious belief.

  • You’re right–I didn’t read the article until after I posted before. They’re Church of the First Born. But as you can see, the Christian Scientists had the money and influence to lobby exemptions into the law. They get a lot of good press around the Christian Science Monitor. But it’s all a house of cards.

  • Kimberlymeza

    Me being a mother if I told my boys some thing of course their gonna believe me and will comply, their kids. It is my responsibility to make sure they get help cause they depend on me to know what to do,doesn’t mean they agree to it cause they have a choice. The blame is totally the parents, if u see ur child suffering like that how do u refuse him help and call urself a loving parent. I would sell my soul if it ment sparing my children any pain. Thankfully God does not have us so desperate, he has given us the means to heal our bodies through medicine and medical care. Why would anyone be arrogant enough to think making another suffer needlessly and resulting in a childs death and call it Gods will when he gave us the ability to heal and end needless suffering.

  • As an ex-Christian Scientist who lost the use of one knee as a kid because of this treatment (and the whole leg, later), I have to disagree. Christian Scientists are Christians. They are some of the kindest, most charitable people you will meet, at least on the surface. They take (some parts of) the bible very seriously, just like other Christians. But prayer, straight-up, can kill. 

    I think it’s funny how hard Christians are on each other about “who’s a REAL Christian…” What are the rules? Is Christianity like alcohol?–in certain quantities, applied certain ways, it has many uses? But if you use too much, or to the exclusion of anything else, it’s fatal?

    At this point, forget prayer. I’ll take the alcohol.

  • This is a terrific, brief (6 min) TED talk by a former Moonie who explains how cults rewire the thought process.

  • Goldengal

    I think they should have to do time and a long time    the judice system is screwed up when you can committ a murder and get away with it but you be a drugie and your sentenced for life

  • And at least we recovered children-of-theists tend to renounce all religions & not pick & choose at the dogma buffet.

  • You’re blaming the victim again. You’re completely missing the power of the cult mindset. A religion that teaches you are only healed when you commit yourself to prayer indoctrinates a kid (whether 3 or 13 or 23 or 93) to fear medical treatment.

    This fear can be stronger than the fear of death. It can last a lifetime.

  • Fsq

    Sure, and if a frog had wings it could be a bat…..coulda shoulda woulda….we could play the future game ad infinitem and come up with millions of scenarios about what may have been, but alas, the kid died. All your prognostication is moot.

    C Peterson and I don’t often agree (on anything) but in this case, I thkink she is right. I agree that the death if this kid, while horrific and sad, is nothing that is going to make a lick shit of difference in my life.

    Sometimes there are deaths that help humanity. I didn’t know the kid, so I cannot make a judgement, but I can say that I do not mourn his passing.

  • AidenSeanachaidh

    Actually I don’t really have a huge problem with this.  There is  definitely a nurture aspect to this kind of belief, and there could very well be a nature (genetic) aspect to it as well.  It is a form of natural selection that those who, for whatever reason, are less likely to have offspring that survive to breeding age.  These kinds of problems generally take care of themselves.  As science (not “Christian Science”) advances, the superstitions and beliefs  that have these opposed medical and technological advances are finally beginning to breakdown.  Yes, it is a tragedy that this child died, but it also is one less potential person who will continue this “belief”.  Evolution being demonstrated right before our eyes. 

  • Entityfree

    Everyone has, or should have, the right to refuse medical treatment.  People need more protection from medical abuses.

  • Ray

    Warning: sociopath detected. 

  • Let’s try looking at this from a different indoctrination perspective.  I’ve volunteered with domestic abuse recovery, and am eternally frustrated with “She must have wanted it because she stayed with him” kind of bullshit.

    You cannot presume to know how an abused brain works unless you’ve been there.  They don’t think the same way.  They. Just. Don’t.

    You have to toss all your presumptions out the window about options and maturity and anything else.

    And don’t apply the example of one person to another.  Some people see through it and make it, others don’t.

    (Obviously I don’t mean this to Liz directly, but to the discussion in general, but Disqus is putting me here)

  • I’m not overlooking the cult mindset at all. I’m suggesting that those who fall into that mindset have traits such that society benefits when they aren’t passed on. I’m not blaming anybody for anything. I’m only making an observation about a single point of genetic selection that occurred as a result of this incident. Nature doesn’t blame, nature doesn’t judge.

  • If you’ve been a good parent, I’d expect that your children, at age 17, would be quite adult in many of their decision making abilities. There’s plenty of evidence in this and similar forums of freethinking teenagers- and they don’t all have freethinking parents.

  • AidenSeanachaidh

    Actually I don’t really have a huge problem with this.  There is  definitely a nurture aspect to this kind of belief, and there could very well be a nature (genetic) aspect to it as well.  It is a form of natural selection that those who, for whatever reason, are less likely to have offspring that survive to breeding age.  These kinds of problems generally take care of themselves.  As science (not “Christian Science”) advances, the superstitions and beliefs  that oppose medical and technological advances are finally beginning to breakdown.  Yes, it is a tragedy that this child died, but it also is one less potential person who will continue this “belief”.  Evolution being demonstrated right before our eyes. 

  • Donconte

    Check this one out. A baby is conceived but it will inconvenience the mother. So they decide to remove it from the mother and throw it in the garbage.

  • Seriouslyidiots

    It’s all part of evolution.  I’m glad their son is dead–one fewer moron on the planet.

  • Redonthehead

    Is this being protested? Is there someone we can write to on behalf of this poor child to get this law changed? “Faith healing” of any kind is not medicine. It’s just like god: a figment of your imagination. The legislators who voted that into law should be charged as accessories to murder since that’s exactly what was committed here.

  • thevoiceofreason

    oh just shut the fuck up. you lost your fucking leg and yet you still defend these morons using an oxymoron to describe themselves. who believe in essentially

    -cue Russell Howard voice-


  • Soviettelecast

    its kooky and backward and i wouldnt do it but 1) Zachery Swezey was 17, more than old enough to get help from a child advocate, emancipate himself, call cps on his parents etc. 2) parental rights are obviously important to y’all otherwise you probably wouldnt post it, so how would you feel if a medical procedure which you did not agree with or consent to performed on your child? this issue looks like a no brainer with a life saving procedure like an appendectomy, but what about cosmetic surgery or an elective abortion? many people even doubt or question the safety of chemotherapy and vaccines. its easy to gawk and shame these fundamentalists, but the issue is more complicated and frankly, ones i’d rather make for my own kid than have someone make for me. and 3) a sympathetic jury may (and did) not convict despite the facts and laws on the books. I wouldnt exactly call a dead child, having to call the cps for any other medical decisions and a manslaughter trial “scott free”misinformed? backward? negligent? yes. criminal? possibly.worthy of a legal precedent with countless unintended consequences that would limit YOUR parental rights?..additionally, i would consider myself an athiest, but “Claudia”‘s moralizing and smug tone is as bad as any fundamentalist, especially since she did not consider any of the consequental issues in this case and instead just mocked and gawked.

  • Eulogy1337

    Yes, because Christianity implies dogma, and science requires the lack of it.

  • Rev Zan T

    You can believe what ever you want but your behavior is what is in question here.  I have been a “healer” for nine years now and doing nothing is beyond stupid.  Prosecute please!!!  There is a place for ALL forms of medicine in this world and that is what God has given us  This boy clearly needed attention other than a religious belief, because at the end of the day “religion IS man made.  God wanted this?  Please.   For the love of God snap out of it.  No 101 classes for parenting, but people need a license to fish, WT….

  •  Had to look up “nuisible”.

  • In my opinion I think the parents are a victim as much as the 17 year old. the real crime here is religion 
    particular Christianity, it’s disgusting, it teaches ignorance, intolerance,  hatred, bigotry, misogyny. it’s a backwards,
    anti-scientific Thought and outdated morality based on Fictitious characters
    from the Iron age. And needs to be treated
    with ridicule, & hatred, &
    contempt. Religion poisons everything. I do think the parents loved their child, I have no real proof other wise, because they truly thought that jesus would save their child, well <– that is the proof that Christian religion is horrid & disgusting & needs to be smashed.

  • That’s because the filthy hippie potheads are a danger to society or something.

    Tell you what, you’re never gonna hear, “hey, hold the bong and WATCH THIS!”

  •  I’ll just leave this here…

  • Liz 
    prayer doesn’t kill anyone or heal anyone. “Prayer” does nothing! prayer helps no one, there is no proof of that ever happening. There are good people who believe in terrible ideas, and base their lives on stupid things like the religion.

  • Shit, if we hadn’t had ~1,000 years of enforced ignorance, we’d be waaay more advanced than we are!

  •  Cerebral Palsy isn’t genetic — it’s a form of brain damage acquired shortly before, during, or shortly after birth, often due to a lack of oxygen.

    /I has it

  • This is one of the reasons why there is separation between church and state.   Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. This is part of the first amendment.   These parents killed their kid through medical neglect and they got off because an unethical law was made that went against the constitution.  Not only were they wilfully stupid but now their other kids face a similar danger in the future.  An atheist won’t just talk to themselves (pray), they will call a doctor.

  • I think the gods call their own, and that some people, for whatever reason, are called to atheism.

    For me, it’s Bast. She didn’t so much “call”, it was more like “smite me with a cosmic clue-by-four and continue poking at me with pointy-ends until I got the hint.” (Yes, it all comes back to the kitties around me.)

  •  Yup. Went in for just that kind of pain twice in one week. It turned out to be a pinched nerve in my back, but I’d rather have gone in for nothing than tried to stick it out and end up dying.

  • Pain can also MAKE you irrational.

  • Guest

    To bad you weren’t selected against…the world would be a much happier, smarter place.  But alas, you exist…too bad your mother didn’t have the balls to abort you.  I guess something must have made her feel you were important.  Since you are so evolution gungho, riddle me this…what do you feel about all the scientific advancements that are basically reversing survival of the fittest and just letting everyone survive?  You have your precious science to thank for that.  If you think about it, religion was the only way to insure survival of the fittest.  O well….

  • Guys come on….Faith Healers have their PHD’s too….in bullshit.

  • Melissa Joanna

    “Hitler was that smug about his own superiority, we all know how that turned out.”'s_law

  •  THIS.

    Speaking as a survivor, it is extremely difficult to rebuild your sense of self, your confidence in yourself, because your abuser just… came in and shattered them, and some pieces end up missing, and you’re still stuck in that mindset of “I deserve this pain/abuse/misery.”

    I can’t tell you why I kept going back. I don’t know why, just that I’d become so dependent on him for a sense of self that I believed I couldn’t live without him.

    Looking back, it’s stupid. I mean, really fucking stupid of me to keep going back to the douchebag who thought he had every right to 100% control me, up to and including “rights” to control and use my bodily orifices. (Yes, I’m implying what you think I’m implying.)

    And after all that? After being beaten down to a point where even death is too good for this miserable worm? You can rebuild, you can move on, you can get healthy… but you will NEVER. Be. The same. Again. Ever.

  • Patterrssonn

    Absolutely, and at the risk of being labelled a ‘misandrist’ again being a man can make you even more irrational when it comes to pain.

  •  *cough*”herbal” remedies*cough*

  •  Oh, like a Logic Bomb.

  • Eulogy1337

    I don’t doubt that they were entirely convinced that prayer would save him. It is neglect and neglect, legally and by definition, does not discriminate over intent.

    I honestly can’t think of a non-theistic reason for neglect to that extent without motive or reasonable accountability, that doesn’t involve complete, understandable ignorance of the ailment or need for care (an invisible disease that isn’t easily detected, for example).

    Even if I compared it to alcohol or drug abuse, alcoholics and drug abusers know that their lifestyles are dangerous to themselves and to their dependents, they are just apathetic and/or helpless to their addiction.

    In the case of faith healing, the perpetrators show intent to care, act upon it, and believe they are offering aid. While it is despicable to me, I’m not entirely sure how ethics should play into it.

    To be honest, I feel a little sick for sticking up for them, however so slightly, but I’m trying as hard as I can to think about this rationally and without bias.

    The source of this tragedy is the parents having a closed system of thought that rejects and twists otherwise conflicting evidence and ignores fact-based reasoning. The problem of guilt is that religious people are victims of indoctrination, tradition, and/or fear.

    Are they entirely to blame, or is it understandable how misconceptions, even in this age of information, can take hold of our thoughts through certain methods? Is a brainwashed individual guilty of his crimes, or is the guilty one the person who committed the brainwashing?

  •  Starting to understand PZ’s hatred of that particular joke. It’s… I’ve seen it at least three times in this discussion alone!

  • Smorg Smorg

     How anyone could possibly have ‘liked’ this comment is beyond me… It doesn’t display any improvement in humanity from that displayed by Greg and JaLea Swezey. If anything, at least the deluded Swezey meant to help their kid (through a mean that is so totally idiotic that most 10 yrs old would know that it wouldn’t work)… They can at least claim some good intention. C Peterson’s comment, however, is utterly devoid of any humanity or even any sense of decency. Boo to you, and to your admirers, too. 

  • PraiseHim

    Thanks for proving that atheists are immoral.

  • Viscant

    “Every death that occurs before breeding is a point of selection, and a few negative traits were selected against in this case.”

    Even so, it’s nothing to celebrate you fuck.

  • PraiseHim

    You’re not just making a positive statement. You’re making a normative one by saying that the removal of traits from the gene pool was a good thing. Which is disgusting.

  • PraiseHim

    ” I said that, on balance, I think the gene pool was improved by what happened.”

    Except you went further than that and said that it was a good thing (or at least implied it.) 

  • Eulogy1337

    This is fantastic, and it perceives the religious as victims of their religion, while suggesting we admit that ideologies which threaten critical thought are a problem that needs solving.  I had already come to these conclusions myself, but the way they’re presented in that talk is very powerful.

  • Uhh, right, because laws against child abuse (and neglect) are SOOO totally stripping away people’s rights…


    That child had the RIGHT to proper medical care.

    His so-called “parents” withheld that care due to their delusions.

    He died.

    He died, because his parents put more trust in their imaginary friend than in real, tangible, evidence-based medicine.

    I believe these “parents” are unfit, and their other children should be removed, and placed with families that WILL provide for their needs — including the medical care to which EVERY PERSON is entitled.

  •  Piled Higher and Deeper…

  • JD929

    It doesn’t make sense that any group is specifically named in legal code. I thought that kind of thing was very strongly discouraged in US legal precedence.

  •  Not well enough to realize he had siblings, and thus the genes likely survived…

  • Smorg Smorg

     Oh, great. So one idiot sociopathic atheist with the I’ll-never-admit-to-being-wrong mental complex is now representative of all atheists now, is he? Great… does that mean that I can equate all Christians with Hitler, and all Muslims with the suicide bombers, and all socialists with Stalins, etc, etc?

  •  LOL, I know! Men can be such babies when it comes to pain!

  •  Pffft, “medical abuses”. Bollocks.

  • Albaoni

    It has nothing to do with Christianity.  I’ve never run across a TRUE Christian in my life that would think it’s okay to sit back and watch your child die without taking any kind of action.  Having a spiritual walk with God and being religious are not the same thing.  These parents were religious, but they definitely were NOT Christian.

  • What d

  • Miss_Beara

    It wasn’t his fault that his parents thought prayer would heal his appendix rather than medicine. The parents continue to live and be ignorant while their teenage son, with a cureable condition, dies. 

  • Rhodgelaw

    I will never understand the anger of some atheists. It almost always shows, and it is often rude and tacky, if not downright vulgar. Many don’t believe in a deity, yet many troll forums just to post a belittling or insulting comment. What’s it to you if most people have faith in God? Yet some of you refer to God as an “imaginary creature,” or to the Bible as a Bronze Age work of fiction. Those are nicer examples.
    It has been my experience that God does not force Himself on people. He neither needs nor craves our approval. I believe because I have felt. I have sought, and found. I believe because I have seen redemption. If it wasn’t God, and was nothing but religious emotionalism, I’ll never know. I won’t wake up.
    I don’t share the specific faith of this family. It isn’t my place to judge them. I am sorry for them. They believed it was the right thing to do. Don’t blame God for this, especially if you don’t believe there is a God.

  • Miss_Beara

    “Medical abuses” like life saving operations to fix a curable condition? If the parents want to refuse medical treatment, fine. Refusing treatment for their teenage son which resulted in his death, is not. 

  • Miss_Beara

    I wonder if they are saying “GOD wanted him home. It was his time to go.” I bet they can live with themselves just fine, especially since the law sided with them.

    I feel bad for their other kids. 

  • I will never understand the anger of some atheists.

    To quote Greta Christina, we’re not angry because there’s something wrong with us, we’re angry because there’s something right with us.  If injustice such as this doesn’t make you angry, then there’s something wrong with you.

    He neither needs nor craves our approval.

    That doesn’t seem to be supported by scripture.  Perhaps not ‘approval’ but he does seem to want his ass kissed.

    Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

    (just a pretty much random selection)

    It isn’t my place to judge them.

    Fortunately a court of law did see fit to judge them.  I may not agree with the punishment (or relative lack thereof), but at least they were found guilty of a crime.

  • Miss_Beara

    This is heartless. What is even more disconcerting is that this comment has 19 likes. 

  • Miss_Beara

    OMG all atheists are immoral! SEE! This one guy said he is glad this guy died, therefore all atheists are immoral! 

    Oh please. 

  • Fsq

    Little girl, you, YOU of all people make that statement. How dare you after all your feminist/misogynist bullshit.

    Oh, and toots, anytime you want to try anf follow me up a 21,000 foot mountain at 64 degrees North Latitude and not whine, bitch, complain or get cramps, you just go ahead and sign up.

    You are a nypocrtical piece of shit. And anytime sweetheart. Anyplace on the planet. You think you have a bteer pain threshold or the ability to follow along in my footsteps, you just raise your delicate little hand. The first whine oir moan out of youy when in the field, and I will have a dozen cameras on you and make sure the world knows what a whimpy little hypocrite you are.


  • Fsq

    Where do you get your fucking rhetoric and bullshit? CPeterson is as far from a sociopath atheist as Dawkins. SHe made a very valid point, but you dinks don’t even take the time to look at it without emotional knee-jerkl stupidity. And I thought atheists treasured free thought and the pursuit of truth, knowledge or gains in the cranium.

    Your accustaion is 100x worse than anything CPeterson said.

  • Selection still works when there are multiple offspring.

  • Patterrssonn

    Oh.for fuck sakes relax F.

  • The removal of traits from the gene pool is what made us human. It continues to this day, as our own evolution continues. Nothing could be more natural. There’s nothing disgusting about it, and I fail to see what is wrong with pointing out an instance of it when we observe it.

  • When the gene pool is improved, that is a good thing for our species. That does not mean it’s a good thing for the individual that was culled. I did not say I was happy he was dead, I said I took consolation in the incremental improvement of our species.

  • When the gene pool is improved, that is a good thing for our species. That does not mean it’s a good thing for the individual that was culled. I did not say I was happy he was dead, I said I took consolation in the incremental improvement of our species.

  • I believe my morals toe closely to the ideal most humanists strive for.

  • Please do not misquote me. I did not say I was glad that anybody died.

  • so basically we are allowing people who make the lifestyle CHOICE  of religious beliefs that are neither rooted in science, fact, or logic, to get away with murder.  I know we have done this in the past when they kill gays, but what is next, are we going to allow them to kill their daughters for having sex outside of marriage or burning a witch????  The protection of people of a faith is carried over from the old days to protect their power and money this needs to stop.  a child never chooses or is able to understand the complex beliefs that their own parents dont fully understand or follow.

  • Little girl, you, YOU of all people make that statement. How dare you after all your feminist/misogynist bullshit.

    Oh, and toots, anytime you want to try anf follow me up a 21,000 foot
    mountain at 64 degrees North Latitude and not whine, bitch, complain or
    get cramps, you just go ahead and sign up.

    You are a nypocrtical piece of shit. And anytime sweetheart. Anyplace
    on the planet. You think you have a bteer pain threshold or the ability
    to follow along in my footsteps, you just raise your delicate little
    hand. The first whine oir moan out of youy when in the field, and I will
    have a dozen cameras on you and make sure the world knows what a whimpy
    little hypocrite you are.


    Fuck you.

    Don’t call me “toots”.

    I’m disabled, and CAN’T follow you up a mountain of ANY size.


    Meow meow, fuckstain.

  • *snort* sorry, I do that if I laugh too hard. ;D

  • Smorg Smorg

     You failing to see anything wrong with it is how others rightfully recognized you as a sociopath. Some self-examination is in order here.

  • dandeline

    talk about religion –  you @!@@!   DO WHAT THOU WILL IS THE WHOLE OF THE LAW!!!!!!!!!!     Unless you are a polition making laws against parents parenenting!!!!!!

  • I’m sorry, but what sick crap are you on about here? A parent that loves their child would watch them suffer? BS. I don’t even have kids, but I’d drag myself through broken glass if it meant getting my niece the medical care she needed if she were in pain. It’s sick to even pretend that these psychotics loved their son. That’s not love, it’s mental illness.

  • I have to admit, now that I’m used to it, I find it kind of endearing when he takes his dick out and waves it around.

  • Bonni

    I’m sure they have already reasoned that “God’s will was done.”   If their faith was so strong that prayer would heal their son, how could they not have faith that God had other plans for their son.  Sad

  • Yes, go towards the light…. and give the rest of us a friggin’ break from this crap.

  • Yazatas

     Because No True Scotsman would ever do such a thing!!!

    You don’t get to decide who are and who are not christians. 

  • Dandeline

    who is anybody to tell anybody how to raise their kids and until then fuc********** off you orginized religin bastards. love it or leave it you holy rollers!  You voted – deal with it fuc2ERS

  • guy

    Sure it’s stupid, but they have the right to believe anything they want and you really shouldn’t put them down for it

  • There once was a man with great faith in god and thought that god would save him from anything. One day, there was a flood and the man was caught in a great rush of water and washed into the sea. Another man soon came by in a raft and attempted to rescue the man. But the man said “NO! God will save me!”. So the other man left. Someone came by later in a boat and tried to rescue the man. The man again refused, saying “No! God will save@facebook-1059360979:disqus 
    me!” and the boat went away. Not long after, a helicopter came by. They threw down a rope to the man, but he refused again saying “No! God will save me”. The helicopter went away and the man drowned. The man got to heaven and said to God “Why didn’t you save me?” God looked at him in disgust and anger. “What do you mean?” God said. “I sent a raft, a boat and a helicopter!”

  • Patterrssonn

    I’m pretty sure no one’s blaming god, what with god being imaginary, but religion, which while being based on human imagination, actually exists.

    As far as he angry posts you’ve come across, you may not have noticed this before, perhaps you haven’t had previous experience with the Internet, but this is often how people communicate on this medium, and is certainly not in any way unique to atheists.

    While it may not be your place to judge them, you probably follow one of those bizarre, arbitrary moral codes demanded by religion it certainly is mine.

  • I would also state that this is against the 1st amendment as it give special priveledge to one religious group over another.

  • Have you ever had appedicitus (sp?)? You’re not doing much besides curling up in agony from the onset. How, pray tell, was he to call cps, emancipate himself, or contact an advocate when he was in that kind of shape? Sorry, but I’d wager that you’d be hard pressed to achieve those goals while in that amount of pain too.

  • hu

    This decision was obviously stupid, but in total there are more deaths caused by blind trust of the medical establishment than are caused by blind mistrust or blind faith in the supernatural.

    Your brain and google are the best resources when confronted with medical dilemmas.

  • Dandeline

    only the POPE and his followers can say who lives and dies without sin – Right? Or do you have experience of the afterlife to say any knowledge of life after death if there is such a thing and if there is proov it. YOU WILL MAKE HISTORY .  LOVE UNDER WILL IS THE WHOLE OF THE LAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Did you have a stroke in mid-thought or…? Seriously, are you ok?

  •  @Rich Wilson — Yeah, it’s a pretty little thing, innit? Any smaller and you’d need a scanning electron microscope to see it…

  • Dandeline

    Sounds  like something Mittens Rommey could answer. Or how about the one he worships.

  •  Looks like a case of “Cat on Keyboard Disease”.

  •  Yes, they have the right to believe whatever they want.

    UNTIL their beliefs HARM OTHERS.

    In this case, their beliefs resulted in the death of a child, due to an easily-treated condition. (Well, as “easy” as abdominal surgery ever is, really — it’s no picnic.)

  • And yet the “medical establishment” (my gods, that sounds like a conspiracy buzzword, dunnit?) has the tools and training to heal people, not to mention a far better track record than healing via supernatural means.

  • Hey, they’re only stupid christies. So, let them kill themselves off for their ridiculous sky fairy. I, a rational Atheist, will survive!

    Darwin is my Homeboy!

  • Dandeline

    You are sweet Julie Harmon tell me more. I need a education like yours. you said a lot ina little amount of space – thank you kid. SMILES

  • HughInAz

    “Blatant lies being able to self-perpetuate”… isn’t that the definition of religion?

  • HughInAz

    Foolish atheist, don’t you know that the right to life begins at conception and ends at birth? (sarcasm)

  • HughInAz

    Yes, it’s remarkable how convenient faith-based “morality” is. It sort of reminds me of William Lame Craig lecturing that it was ok for the Israelites to massacre the Canaanite children because they would go to Heaven, and it was ok to massacre the Canaanite adults because they would go to Hell. So either way, massacre is A-ok.

  •  “If you’re pre-born, you’re okay. If you’re pre-school, you’re FUCKED.” — George Carlin.

  • Queenforce

    they aren’t rip offs, perhaps they are the same stories or similar because it is  ALL REAL. geez. 

  • Queenforce

    such nonsense, abortion IS KILLING BABIES. What the hell do you think it is?  Life begins at conception my friend, know that and I don’t need science or religion to tell me that. THAT IS FING COMMON SENSE RIGH TTHERE.   They say life hasnt’ begun cus of no heart beat or some crap like that to make it seem less human or alive to ease the conscience of the murderous mother and so her and her baby killer doctor won’t go to prison for it.   It’s what they did to justify slavery and the treatment they deliverd upon them.  Make them seem less human. That’s all th ey did to those poor babies, made them appear lifeless.

  • Patterrssonn

    Thanks for the troll, please come again.

  • Patterrssonn

    Oh no it’s huge, he drives it to work in the morning. He’s leaving it to the Smihsonian but they’re worried they might not have the space.

  • Dandeline

    sounds like you have had more time on your hands-HAHAHA-to go mountain climbing than most of us . do you want to be told how to run your life or are you one of those who bitch and complain remember – fool me once – shame on you   WMD KITTY fool me twice shame on me! it is not my turn wmdkitty. Did you hold up the podium and if so -just what were you doing under the podium kitty.   now days everybody tries to tell everybody what to do when they cannot do or explain for themselves.  figure it out. it is really not that  hard wmdkitty. you suck like a hoover.

  •  *snrk*

  • Wh- what the fuck are you smoking?

    I haven’t said a single damn thing to you, Dandeline, what is your problem with me?

  • Dandeline

    is it medical malpractice or parental neglect.  who is playing god out there.  are the parents going to be blamed for their kids nerological head injurises playing football, etc.                                ther is no roller like a holyroller is there kitty?

  • I first read this story at another site that wasn’t as clear on the details.  Reading this version a couple of times, it is unfortunate that they plead out. 

    I’m not so sure of Webber’s position. 

    “They never wanted to be the poster child for changing the law in Washington, even though the law begs to be changed,”

    Does sound like he’s arguing that the law shouldn’t just apply to Christian Scientists.

    But then

    “It’s a bizarre thing that that law is out there,” 

    Makes me thing perhaps he was just working for his clients, but really didn’t agree with the law even existing.


    another article

    [2nd defense attorney] Korte said despite the media attention and what he said was the misconception that the case was about a couple’s right to decline medical attention based on their faith, there was not a connection between the Swezeys’ faith in God’s healing powers and their decision not to call a doctor. They really thought their son had the flu, and could not be helped by a doctor, he said.

    “I suggest the assumption has always been that there’s a nexus between the two, but there was no evidence there ever was,” he said.

    [district attorney] Sloan agreed that the case was not about faith healing, but rather whether a reasonable person in their situation would have called a doctor.

    It seems like the defense was a mix of “they didn’t think he had anything more than a flu” and “you’d let the Christian Scientists get away with it”

  •  *backs away slowly*


  • Youareretarded

    Yeah… Life begins at conception. Life is also around when a guy jacks off into a sock. KILLING INNOCENT LIFE!!!!! OMGGG. When a girl has her period and releases the egg? MURDER!!!! When most abortions are performed, the ‘baby’ IS NOT A HUMAN. It is a fetus!!! A human can survive without being inside of another human, feeding off of its energy and whatnot. A fetus cannot speak for itself because it literally is part of the woman carrying it, if the woman doesn’t want the little sack of cells, she doesn’t have to let it grow and contribute to the 7 billion+ people on the earth. 

  • Peter White

     Your ‘common sense’ is really nonsense. Life does not begin at conception or at any other time, life is continuous and has been since it appeared on Earth. Eggs and sperm are alive, so are the people who produce the eggs and sperm, as were their parents and all their ancestors. If you believe that a single cell can be a human being then I guess you must think an acorn is really a tree or a speck of pollen is a flower.

  • Eulogy1337

    Did you know there are about 54 billion dead bacteria, per gram of human feces? How can you know this and live with yourself?

    Is it because bacteria is insignificant?

    Can you tell me a few differences between the cells in the bacteria in your poop, and cells in a zygote? Do either of them feel pain, or deserve empathy?

    I didn’t think you’d know, but your ignorance isn’t really proper evidence. What is proper evidence, is your apathy towards killing insignificant “life”. Without (unfounded) belief in human souls, there is absolutely nothing wrong with killing a few cells that are unable to facilitate the feeling of pain, much less experience it. Up until a much later point in a pregnancy, a zygote is more the parent than it is itself – it has virtually no individuality. I say ‘it’ because it doesn’t have a gender until it is given the proper equipment. Calling it anything else only serves  to humanize something that isn’t any more ‘human’ than in the sense that the dandruff from my head is ‘human’.

    Furthermore, what is the difference between a man blasting off a few billion knuckle babies in the privacy of his parents’ home, alone, and an abortion?  One kills many more potential lives, yet you’ve got some special knowledge that would rock the scientific community – you have proof that fetuses, incapable of feeling pain, are deserving of our empathy, because we should feel bad for causing damage to something that doesn’t feel pain, like rocks for example. You also have special knowledge that proves that killing a single zygote is way more immoral than killing a few quadrillion sperm over a weekend when mom’s not home and the porn channel’s unblocked.

    Your stance is founded on none other than ignorant emotion, which is fine if you’re deciding for yourself. However, you have no right to decide that it isn’t okay for somebody who makes a different decision.

  • Johnstamos

    There is no reason to cause so much hatred towards weak human beings.

  • Arrest both parents immediately.  Remove  all their other children from them, and deny any contact .  Then,  jail them for manslaughter for an indefinite amount of years, and let them reflect on their religious stupidity. However, judging by their behavior as written in the article, they won’t abandon their infantile, immoral and demonstrably dangerous beliefs.

    As for these (c)christian (s)cience practitioners, have them receive the same punishment. If they’re still at large, deluding and endangering people, arrest them ASAP. If they have children, keep them FAR away from them, though the damage to their minds has already been done. And imprison them for indefinite amount if time.

    There is no rehabilitation for these kind of people, not rehabilitation as we know it. Their obvious crimes against humanity, their own family and that of others stem from their deeply held religious/cultural upbringing and as such they are unlikely to abandon those beliefs, or stop their practice (as they are obligated by their own faith to “help” people). Upon release, they are likely to continue their “mission”  somewhere else. Unless they develop some moral and intellectual courage and actually educate themselves in order to help them abandon such beliefs, their destructive religion.

  •  You’re a douchebag. That kid didn’t deserve to die because of the stupidity of his parents. I was raised a Christian, but eventually learned better. Maybe he would’ve done the same thing later in life, asshole.

  • PraiseHim

    So just because something’s natural it’s not disgusting? Guess that means rape sprees for every male then; gotta spread that seed!

  • PraiseHim

    It got an awful lot of likes. Just saying. 

  • PraiseHim

    The whole natural = good thing is a theme I see with atheists often. The large number of likes C Peterson’s social darwinist comment got seems to confirm this asinine “morality” atheists have. 

  • PraiseHim

    So do you support culling of genetically handicapped individuals? 

  • PraiseHim

    And yet you don’t think it’s a bad thing either. I think that speaks volumes. 

  • PraiseHim

    Humanists care about people, even the ones who are not as useful to society. Your views are closer to Herbert Spencer. Not humanist at all.

  • PraiseHim

    Killing off a couple billion could also help humanity by putting less strain on resources. Is that what you atheists are advocating now? Mass murder of “undesirables?” Christ. 

  • Ray

    “Nothing could be more natural. There’s nothing disgusting about it”

    Naturalistic fallacy (as PraiseHim pointed out). Are you seriously saying that the death is fine because things die in nature? Is it fine if I murder a twelve year old then?

  • Matt

    Hate to say it but it was written by an atheist. So I am of the opinion there is a huge bias in this article. Don’t get me wrong that what they did was wrong but it isn’t like this in 99% of the cases. The parents were obvious insane as they were already convicted of other crimes. Maybe if anything could been seen from this is how broken the law is that it can’t protect people from their parent’s ignorance to a problem. If there was a life-threatening problem that science had the answer to you should take it.

  • Tyler

    I’m not so sure you are aware of the severity of pain included with a rupturing appendix, and even the hours before it, but I assure you, you would completely rethink your statement if you were. When simple tasks such as sitting up and turning to grab a glass cause you agony, you seek medical attention. If you don’t, you’re either a moron or you’re being held captive by terrorists. Or both.

  • Great IAM

    Put jesus on trial! Along with Muhammad and all the other prosperous nut bags!

  • Ray

    Almost all deaths improve our species by freeing up resources while the individual lost was probably not vital to society (exceptions would be the President, famous scientists, etc.) Are seriously saying, then, that virtually any death that doesn’t effect you personally is acceptable? Do you think we should make any effort to save the average citizen at all?

  • Dart


  • Glasofruix

    Of course not. He meant that the death of an idividual, however tragic it is, does not make a difference, you’re just putting words in his mouth.

    An btw, usually idiots weed out themselves.

  • Glasofruix

    Morality is a relative concept that varies depending on place and time, there’s no “superior” morality.

  • Charmsisters

    Since when did you ‘select’ yourself as God -_-

  • RosieNP

    Obviously if most of us knew how… we’d block your idiotic responses… just leave and take your Natural Selection rants with you..

  • RosieNP

    This is unforgivable and the comments made by C Peterson make me want to vomit… its people like him/her that make me want to take up target practice … this poor kid 🙁 such a tragedy

  • Glasofruix

    The thing is that you religious sheeps have the tendency to try and force your little fantasy on everyone else.

  • Glasofruix

    Tried to google some symptoms once, found that i had uterus cancer, the thing is, i’m a man…

  • RosieNP

    Okay lets see you writhe in pain and pick up a phone when you can barely breathe because they pain is so horrible … guess we’d just tell your family not to worry about it, after all… natural selection oh wait, guess they wouldn’t care seeing as you get your genes from them. You truly are an insensitive prick

  • RosieNP

    Doesn’t mean all athiests feel that way :/

  •  Uh, yes we do. A rapist in the new s where  I live just so happens to be atheist. Does this mean all atheists are rapists. Of course not. Being raised in the south I can attest to the fact that I’ve never seen this type of behavior in any church I’ve been to. Don’t generalize an entire group for a few misguided retards. I find that as insulting as these people who got away with killing their child. I have a firm belief in the lord above, but would never let this happen to my children. Its just human compassion to seek out all possible medical help for when your child is suffering. It sickens me that this happened and Christianity as a whole is blamed, not the people directly involved. As in all things; its the retarded few that cast a sour light on any good done by any group, religious or other wise. God bless and may swift justice find these parents.

  • RosieNP

    Best comment in the whole forum

  • ctcss

     Please tell me how a very, very small sect can cause a state legislature to consider their request “politically expedient”. Christian Scientists are in no position to be able politically threaten anyone (nowhere near enough votes in any particular state to put someone into or out of office), they don’t support their legislative requests by offering campaign contributions to key politicians, and they have nothing to hold over anyone. They simply make their request known and back it up with letters from the local Christian Science community explaining why they would very much appreciate political support by their state representative for a change in law supporting their form of treatment.

    And this post proves nothing pro or con about the effectiveness of Christian Science care since the couple were not Christian Scientists.

  • ctcss

     As in my post to Patterrssonn above, I respectfully disagree. The local Christian Science community in no way has financial or political influence over their local state legislatures. They simply make specific requests for legislative accommodation and ask for the representative’s support of that accommodation. The Christian Science Monitor is well respected, that is true, but it is a national newspaper (as opposed to a local one) and is therefore in no position (on a local level) to somehow sway legislators or voters in a particular state to support a particular measure coming up for a vote.

  • ctcss

     I am guessing you have never even visited a Christian Science nursing facility so how is it possible for you to make such an observation without any specific evidence to back up that kind of cynical comment?

  • Glasofruix

    And the kid had never had a flu before to notice that the symptoms don’t match?

  • ctcss

    Thank you!  You actually looked for and quoted from a more informative article. You seem to be  the only one here who thinks that doing a little research before commenting  is a good idea!

    That being the case, why didn’t you also point out the following sentence?

    “[Defense attorney] Webber said it wasn’t until after Dr. Bradley Craig — a physician who testified for the prosecutor — described how a healthy 17-year-old boy could mask his illness due to his strength, that JaLea Swezey understood why they didn’t know Zachery’s condition was life-threatening.”

    Think of it. The prosecution (not the defense) brought up a point from an expert witness that helped shed a bit more light (rather than heat) on the case. If what Dr. Craig said is accurate, it makes the Swezey’s claim a bit more understandable. And based on that and some other comments here about the nature of this ailment that it might actually take time for the more serious symptoms to show up (at which time it might be too late), it makes a little more sense for the Swezey’s claims of ignorance in this particular instance a bit more understandable.

    Why is it that most posters here haven’t done more simple research before jumping to their often angry conclusions? Anyone can mouth off without thinking. It takes a bit more effort to come up with a balanced and reflective response.

    I would suggest that most here (including Claudia, the original poster) would benefit from reading the article that Rich Wilson cited. Real life is a lot more complex and deserves much more careful thinking than the “Hang them!” attitudes on display here would indicate.

  • Seemingly this is a case of child throw away. So,  their faith didn’t work for the parents either; with this in mind, they must be sinners and prosecuted.  The idea of God loving those that help themselves should stand out, even more clearly. 

  • ctcss

     You should also note that that same First amendment which keeps government from establishing a state religion or prohibiting other religions from existing, also gives people and groups the right to petition for redress of grievances. Thus it allows for corrections to  state and national laws that might infringe on the rights of people and groups, including religions.

    Since the law being cited (prior to its amending) could easily have been used against Christian Scientists who rely on their very specific approach to healthcare (and who apparently made a convincing case regarding the utility of their approach to the state legislators so that they would consider the request for an amendment to be a reasonable one), it only makes sense for that specific Christian Science approach to be cited as an exception.

    In other words, if other groups wish to make their own convincing cases for their methods to be considered as safe practices, then they should do so. Then, if it appears that each of these different methods (Christian Science and any other groups who have made their own convincing cases) actually share a great deal in common, perhaps a more generally stated exception could be crafted. But until those other convincing cases have been made, it would be better for the exemption that was allowed for and passed by the state legislature (and the specific conditions under which it is to be used) to remain standing as it was written.

    If Christian Scientists asked for the exemption and the specific conditions under which it is to be used, and continue to be able to provide a convincing case to the state that what they are doing is reasonable and safe, the exemption should continue. If not, and the state considers this to be a danger, then the state may find reason to have the exemption altered or removed. But simply citing Christian Scientists by name in the statute does nothing to establish their religion by the state, it simply recognizes the right of Christian Scientists to practice in their own unique way without interference by the state, which is obviously very much in keeping with the intent of the first amendment.

  • Fsq

    Put up or shut up kitten. You just made one of the most sexist and misandronist comments one could make, yet you toots, routinely deride and bitch at anyone who does the same. HYPOCRITE.

    And instead of rallying around your little pals (which is a very common reaction in people without conviction or guts) you could put up or shut up.

    You are a coward, hypocrite and vile little piece of pussy-shit.

    So again little bitchy girl, what is it going to be?

    Tell you what, I’ll even go off on email with you and we can chat about all this.

  • Fsq

    it shows

  • Fsq

    you know what Shakes?

    George Carlin would have derided you and called you out on your hypocrisy and stupidity. You love to quote Carlin, yet you fail to see that George would have thought you to be an incredibly stupid hypocrite.

    Shakes, I tell you, you are a really iditotic person.

  •  Eat me.

  • You’re a douchebag.

  •  Oh, how brave and MANLY of you to belittle someone for being disabled.


    You wouldn’t last one day in my life, and you know it.

  • Fsq

    So, have you ever said – post the death of a child or loved one – “___ is with God now. It was God’s will”?

    You just made a judgement, and if you believe that heaven is a better place, then you MUST believe that the world is a better place for the death of ___ and that ____ death was a good thing.

    Just because we are honest enough to simply say “it was a death” does not make us evil. If anything it is the opposite. You sit there and wish for end times, and celebrate a dead kid being “with Godf” – almost wishing for it.

    You are a hypocrite and just kinda, well, dumb.

  • Art_emisia

    Common human decency and rationality should trumps religious brainwashing and magical thinking every time.

  • Fsq

    Wait, WHAT!!!??? You believe is some mythological dipshit called “Bast”? The Egyptian ‘goddess’ of cats! And you want people to take you seriously!?

    Oh that is rich!!!

    Shakes, the more you talk, the dumber you become.

  • Fsq

    whhahwhhah////evve….***evveevver…***///IIiia canna babbbbabeerrrallallyyy ttyyyppeppe

  • Fsq

    how is the “Bast” worship working out for you, you hypocrite?

    Come on kitten, put up or shut up.

  • Fsq

    at least I have one and am not ashamed of it.

    Rich,,,psssst….no chick likes the sensitive guy….

  • Fsq

    Wait, what?! You just got done deriding men for being pain-wimps, and that you are tougher than nails, yet here you say you go to the ER for a boo-boo?


    What, didn’t Bast take care of you?

  • Fsq

    And history shows that those who “PraiseHim” are some of the most violent, dangerous and vile people on the planet, not to mentiomn untrustworthy.

  • Fsq

    Why should she? Why should Peterson mourn or feel it is a bad thing?

    Do you feel that when a person dies, if they adhered to your flavor of myth, they get the Golden Ticket into Valhalla or whatever it is you call it? If you do, then it follows that is is a wonderful thing the person died, because they now are in a “better place”.

    So actually, you show tremedous hypocrisy….cry crocodile tears for someone who died and then wave your arms up in a group “Halleluah” because the person is now enjoying evening cocktails seated next to God at the VIP room in Club 54.

  • Fsq

    Shocker there.

  • Fsq

    Wait, you make a statement about pain and how you are some tough little motherfucker, then deride men for not being able to handle pain and try to pull THIS shit.

    Kitten, you are the true definition of sympathy grabbing hypocrite.

    I have been called all sorts of shit by you, BEFORE I EVER CALLED YOU A NAME. You crawled up my rectum so far you could have checked me for polyps, and then you want to play the indignant game? SOrry sugar, that is weak-fucking-sauce.

    And I don’t give a lick shit that you are “disabled”. I am treating you the same way I would treat anyone who pulls this shit; I am calling you out as a coward, hypocrite and sadsack.

    I thought you were tough, as you said so, so what is the big deal about your “chronic pain, day in, day out”?

    Ask Bast, your cat goddess, to help you out.

  • Fsq

    Some Italian lawyer tried putting God and Jesus on trial about three years ago. Seriously. I forget the actual case, but the purpose was to try and devalue the Vatican and show there is no god.

  • Where did I say that death is fine, or that this particular death is fine?

    I said that death is natural, and that evolution is advanced by death. I said that there is nothing “disgusting” about the process of natural selection (which isn’t the same as saying that the circumstances of an individual death- as in this case- can’t be disgusting).

  • Patterrssonn

    The history of medicine? As an RN extensive palliative care experience, I know what happens when pts are in need of symptom control medication, and don’t receive it. The idea that CS ‘healers’ have some special dispensation to perform magic is beyond ridiculous.

    So unless you have proof that the CS church is able to continuously perform miracles then grand guignol it is.

  • PraiseHim

    Not relevant. The imoral things Christians have done does not excuse immoral atheist behavior. 

  • Patterrssonn

    “Hitler was that smug about his own superiority, we all know how that turned out.”

    Yes a lot of people suffering and dying for pointless dogma just like Zach.

  • I don’t agree with your assessment that most deaths improve the species by freeing up resources. Each individual consumes resources, but each individual also contributes value- be it useful genes or useful memes. You could, presumably, construct some sort of balance sheet and determine if an individual was a net asset or a net liability to our species. I think if you did that, you’d find that those with positive value extend far wider than the sort of obvious players you’ve identified.

    I think we should make the effort to save anybody at risk. I think that what the parents of this kid did should be illegal, and that they should be held criminally accountable for their actions. The fact that you could infer something else from anything I’ve said simply demonstrates that you either haven’t read my comments, or you haven’t thought about them.

  • I don’t think I’ve said anything that should lead anybody to think I don’t care about people. I think there is good evidence that some people, including you, have jerked out responses without reading or thinking about what I’ve said, however.

  •  I didn’t say that, either.

  • PraiseHim

    Peterson should feel bad about the death because it would show that he cares about people’s lives. By not feeling bad, Peterson reveals that he doesn’t care about human life. If he could get away with it, he’d murder someone who he determined was bad for the species. You don’t think this is a problem?

    My personal beliefs are irrelevant to my disgust with Peterson because I’m operating off of Peterson’s atheist assumptions. I know he doesn’t believe in an afterlife, therefore it makes his acceptance of preventable death all the more disgusting. My beliefs do allow me to take some solace in the teen’s death (because heaven), but Peterson has no excuse.

  • Patterrssonn

    Sorry but an atheist is someone who doesn’t believe in the existence of god, it doesn’t matter how reprehensible their behavior is. Likewise a true Christian is someone who uses the new testament as their religious text.

  • Mythblstr

    I find it somewhat amusing how any particular  Christian defines who is and who isn’t a “Christian” Just in case you are too delusional to recognize it the definition of who is a Christian is purely subjective. Most Christians definition of who a real Christian is people that have belief systems like their own. They ignore 99.9% of the Bible and cherry pick parts of it that conform to their own lifestyle and wa-la your a real Christian. I have no idea how you compare an Atheist rapist to you deciding who is a real Christian based on your own subjective belief system. It seems like the most supreme kind of narcissism their is….

  • Patterrssonn

    And perhaps the weather is controlled by invisible unicorns on mars geez.

  • Ray

    But you said that the death was good for the species. Why would you say that criminal charges should be pressed? You should be rejoicing, but for some reason in all of your comments you’re not.

  • Fsq

    That is where your mind goes? That says more about you then it does about anyone else.

    Your default assumption is that given the right circumstances you are going to go on a rape spree?

    The only thing keeping you from going on a rape spree is god’s law? Wow. Just, well…

  • Fsq

    There is no Hippocratic Oath. That is a myth.

  • Ray

    “I take solace in the fact that today the human gene pool is just a little bit cleaner than it was before.”

    “we’re still better off without those genes contaminating our species.”

    “I’ll not mourn this loss.”

    “I also recognize that there are deaths, which when they occur, leave us better off as a species, and I’ll not mourn those.”

    Stop playing the fool. You only care about people who are efficacious. Which means you don’t care about a large proportion of society. 

  • Fsq


    Let’s play a game.

    You MUST kill someone (there is no out in this game, this is what must happen, there is no wriggling out or trying to be a weasel), and are given a handgun with one bullet. Let’s say that in order to save all of humanity you have to kill someone – and no, you cannot opt to kill yourself.

    Okay, you are then put into a room where there is a degenerate/meth addict/three-time violent felon who abuses kids and never pays child support for his eight kids.

    On the other side of the room is a Nobel Poet Laureate, Rhodes Scholar who has discovered a cure for ____ diseases, pays his taxes, donates time to soup kitchens, saves money and spends most of his spare time with this family.

    Who are you going to kill and why?

    Facts are, there are some deaths that benefit a culture. We make these value judgements daily. We may not always act on them, but if we are honest, we know there are lives that are more valuable then others.

  • Patterrssonn

    You really don’t get American politics do you.

  • Ray

    “if we are honest, we know there are lives that are more valuable then others.”

    I don’t believe that, and it’s horrible that you do. Someone’s right to life is dependent on their value to society? It’s shit like this that made me self-hate all throughout secondary school. My worth, and everybody else’s, comes from being human, not from being useful. 

  • Stop calling me “Shakes”.

  •  You’ve never had a pinched nerve, have you? Those things hit a 12/10 on the pain scale.

  • Mythblstr

    I’m glad we now know what a true Christian is. Did you make that up yourself or did God define that for you? And these true Christians actually “use” the new testament text? How Quaint!

  • Yeah, but at least I’m curious enough to actually look things up and LEARN…

  • Atheos

    So this article, about a child dying—in the twenty-first century—because
    of very
    bad, archaic beliefs being exalted over the individual, is “just here to
    aid it’s [sic] readers in feeling smarter than everyone else”?

    Surely, you’re not offended by the ridiculing of this couple’s
    “missinterpretation [sic] of God’s word.” Maybe you’re smart enough to clarify
    God’s word and where we can all find it. You know, the “real” word: King
    James, New World Translations, the Torah, the Qur’an or the Hadith, the
    Vedas. I’m just so confused. I don’t know if sending my kid off to blow
    something up or just letting him die in lieu life-saving blood
    transfusion will ensure his eternal . . . what is it, soul or thetan or

    And just share your trick to knowing which is the “true” word so that we can show those others why we’re right and they’re wrong.

    Thank you so much. This is going to be great!

  • Atheos

     So this article, about a child dying—in the twenty-first century—because
    of very
    bad, archaic beliefs being exalted over the individual, is “just here to
    aid it’s [sic] readers in feeling smarter than everyone else”?

    Surely, you’re not offended by the ridiculing of this couple’s
    “missinterpretation [sic] of God’s word.” Maybe you’re smart enough to clarify
    God’s word and where we can all find it. You know, the “real” word: King
    James, New World Translations, the Torah, the Qur’an or the Hadith, the
    Vedas. I’m just so confused. I don’t know if sending my kid off to blow
    something up or just letting him die in lieu life-saving blood
    transfusion will ensure his eternal . . . what is it, soul or thetan or

    And just share your trick to knowing which is the “true” word so that we
    can show those others why we’re right and they’re wrong.

    Thank you so much. This is going to be great!

  • If he knows it bugs you, he’ll keep calling you shakes.  The only thing you can do is not let it bother you.  Fsq loves to get a rise out of people.

    I mean, honestly, ‘shakes’?  For someone with CP?  Can’t a journalist come up with anything better than that?  Something around slobber or drool?  Perhaps ‘robotvoice’?  Oh, no, wouldn’t want to bring up Hawkings, since we’re trying to infer that brain damage means lack of intelligence.

    It all reminds me of

  • Atheos

     Great video. Thanks for sharing!

  • Ray

    The only thing keeping you from going on a rape spree is god’s law? Wow. Just, well… ”

    You’ve demonstrated that you support the deaths of people who aren’t as useful to society. So I’m guessing it’s the police that keep you from mass murdering those people. So in reality you’re both quite similar. The law is the only thing holding you back.

  • Ray

    Better look at some of his other replies. He thinks a person’s right to life is dependent on their achievements. It therefore seems very like that he supports mass murder of “useless” people.

  • A death can be tragic and wrong, and still be good for the species. Do you think that death, or anything else, can’t be simultaneously good and bad, depending on how you evaluate it?

    On a personal scale, nearly every death is sad. Some are wrong. But as a species, we could not exist without it.

  • Not a single one of those comments argues against my caring about people in the way humanists generally do.

  • I do feel bad about the death. That doesn’t stop me from taking solace in the possibility that the species incurred an incremental improvement as a result of it, however.

  •  Eh, I’m mostly just rolling my eyes at his lack of creativity.

  • And this post proves nothing pro or con about the effectiveness of Christian Science care since the couple were not Christian Scientists.

    It also doesn’t prove anything pro or con about Unicorns.  Doesn’t need to, since Unicorns are bullshit!

  • Ray

    ? “I’ll not mourn this loss” = I don’t care about this person. It seems straightforward. 

  • no chick likes the sensitive guy

    Really?  That is good news!  Then maybe I won’t have to take care of the chickens my wife is planning on getting!

  • I think citing that monstrosity of a law is reason enough for hanging.

    (no, not literal hanging, figurative.  The 2nd worst thing about this case is that they’re not appealing, so we don’t have a chance to challenge the constitutionality of that law)

  • Fsq


    You are being deliberatly vague and not answering the test question.

    Who would you kill?

    Don’t be disingenuous, you know as well as I do that the Rhodes Scholar who takes care of his/her family, bills, etcx…and contributes versus acts like a felon is more valuable, and you know as well as I do that you would clip the meth addict.

  • Fsq

    And where has the athesist shown immorality (according to your book of myths) here?

    And please, do tell why your myths are some sort of guiding light by which we must ALL follow.

    Fill me with your wisdom Ray, fill me up Daddy….oooh baby ooh baby yes.

  • I like sensitive guys.

  • The fact that they thought prayer was an effective remedy against the flu, or even wanted to associate themselves with that law condemns them in my view.  They could have said “We fucked up, we didn’t think he was that sick”, but instead they (or their lawyer) decided to invoke the “Religious Exemption” card.  I’m interested in the facts, but so far the other side of the story doesn’t change my opinion.

    And I’m going back to not liking the lawyer either, although I do understand the need to provide a vigorous defense of anyone.

    And lastly, this ctcss Apologist sure isn’t helping. 

  • Fsq

    I have never been to an Alchemist’s lab, but based on scientific knowledge, empirical evidenceand common fucking sense, I don’t need to visit to know it is pure bullshit.

    If CS nursing facilities are so miraculous in their healing, why doesn’t CS have more followers?

    Has a CS center ever grown back a limb for an aputee through faith healing? Has it ever cured cancer or moved a mountain? The answers are No, No, and No.

  • @Fsq — Dude, your life must be empty if you have nothing better to do than mock the disabled.

  • Fsq

    says the broad who worships a cat-goddess…..

  • As humans, we have a close group of people we identify with- family, friends, and a few famous people. Estimates place it at no more than a few hundred, often less than one hundred. We are not really capable of connecting strongly with those outside this small group. We do not mourn for strangers. We are not devastated by the loss of strangers.

    I think this kid died a needless death. It would not have occurred but for the criminal foolishness of his parents. I’m sorry he died. But mourn him? No. I cannot do that, and that doesn’t make me less a humanist. The suggestion that as humanists we should mourn every death is absurd in the extreme.

  • Glasofruix

    Uh you better learn to read, “we’re better off without him” does not mean “we’d better kill people like him”

  • Fsq

    no no, that eye rolling is the palsy, not my prose.

  • Yeah, yeah, keep flapping yer lips, maybe you’ll come up with something original.

  • Fsq

    Even the Janes didn’t mourn every loss of life. The Janes would mourn those lives they took, even an insect, but not all because that is idiotic.

    Statistically speaking, during the time we have all spent here on this post, someone in Seattle just died in a car crash, and someone commited suicide in LA. Are we now going to go and have mourning ceremonies for them? No, you know why? They are faceless and meaningless to our lives.

    And currently, there are Syrians being

  • You really are a nasty piece of work. Keep going, I’m waiting for you to hang yourself with your own words.

  • Fsq

    …being horribly slaughtered. I feel more for thier collective loss than this kids. Why? Because they have no control. An oppresive government is slaughtering its own citizens and they are basiclly helpless. But I cannot mounr each individual life, however, collectively I mourn for their loss and what is happening. I am also trying to do something about it, probably in vain, but I am trying.

    I have tried using my contacts and resources through my work to help other journalists get into the country to cover the slaughter so the world may react. THIS, I work for but the kid, sorry, no.

    And if you are so worreid about life, why are you not doing everything you can to stop the Syrian slaughter? Call your Congressmen, Senators and write the President. Send money to relief organizations….DO SOMETHING. But you won’t. Because ‘them damnb SYrians isn’t Christian…”

  • Ray

    I would flip a coin to decide who to kill. Do you realize the implications your beliefs have? You must support destruction of the “degenerates” to fuel the wealth of the successful according to your views.Not to get dramatic, but I contemplated suicide when I was younger due to low grades which gave me a feeling of worthlessness. According to your beliefs, this is a view that we should encourage in struggling children. You’re hearless.

  • Ray

    Why are you spending resources to help the syrian people? They are not curing cancer or coming up with revolutionary discoveries. Your money should go to NASA. Going by your own beliefs NASA scientists are far more important than those useless syrians.

  • Ray

    I guess we define mourning differently. I view mourning as simply being sad that someone died. I don’t think you need to cry or anything. So I guess you do care. It was just a misunderstanding. 

  • Fsq

    well, I know that if I did spend one day in your life, the pulp in my OJ would never

  • I am faithful in god, but even he needs a little help. What they did was monstrous and full blown murder. 

  • Fsq

    So, you would not care if you lived in a neighb orhood full of felons, meth addicts and child abusers? Or would you rather live in a neighborhood of educated, successful and smart people who are responsible and care for their children and surroundings? What neighborhood you going to live in?

    The reality is that not all life is equal. We may all have equal right TO life, but by no means is all life equal.

  • Fsq

    Ray, Bubala, did you have a bowl of “Illogic-Os” for breakfast this morning, because that little non-sequitor gem made NO sense at all and was just way out there!

  • Fsq

    Pity you haven’t learned how to behave like a lady.

  • Fsq

    I’m not mocking the disabled. Just you, who happens to be disabled, but mocking the disabled as a group, no.

    (and sweetheart, I was once the director for an Adaptive Ski and Outdoor Rec program, so I have worked and given my time to the population)

  • Ray

    I would rather live in the neighborhood with educated non-violent people. But this does not mean that I value them over felons. I just prefer to be with them because I like their actions better. But I do not think their lives are more valuable. All lives are equal to me, but I do prefer some actions over others. 

    So now answer my questions. Do you support fostering feeling of worthlessness in children who achieve less than their peers? When you meet someone who has accomplished less than you do you treat them poorly? And finally, do you support the murder of people who are a drain on society’s resources so that these resources can be redistributed to scientists and the like?

  • Ray

    Sorry, I’ll try to clarify. You value the lives of people who accomplish much for society over the lives of people who don’t. Most Syrian citizens do not help humanity much. NASA scientists do greatly help humanity. Therefore, you value the lives of NASA scientists over the lives of most Syrian people. It would make sense for you to invest resources with the people you value more. Therefore, you should invest your resources in NASA and not in Syria’s people.

    If you reject my proposition that you should invest resources with the people you values more, why?

  •  Well, then — why aren’t you worshipping Horus.  He was the first deity conceived of virgin birth,  according to… you know — HISTORY.  If it’s all REAL, you just proved my point that its ALL B.S. — Christ wouldn’t have even been born or even close (give or take an EON) — so how could the stories be true if they were written a 1,000 years plus before “his” birth.  You whackjobs are all the same.

  • gallowaygrumblefield

    If you truly have faith in God, you will sit on a bench with your thumb up your ass and take no action whatsoever, because everything is in God’s hands! Obviously having a brain and mobility was the devil’s handiwork.

  • Lafsge

    religion is the true evil , and stupidity is just the result of brainwashing. 

  • Samskaria

    you have no idea what christianity stands for…this story is an unfortunate incident of how people have misunderstood the bible n did what they thought was the right application..while in reality they were wrong to interpret the verses that way…what do u have to say for christians who take their kids to the hosp n take care of them….if u hate someone…keep it to urself instead of posting such empty comments…

  • Matthew D

    Yeah…blind trust? Who has better training to heal the sick…a church, or a medical facility?

  •  I assume “behave like a lady” means “sit down, shut up, and don’t worry your tiny little lady-brains — the men are talking.”

    Fuck that shit.

    I wouldn’t take that bullshit from my ex, and I am NOT going to take it from YOU.

  • You need to leave. NOW.

  •  I think we can all clearly see the answers to those questions. Just look at how he’s treated me…

  • Smorg Smorg

     I can play this game, too, and say that you are confirming my (and other atheists’) bias that theists – Christians in particular- only look for every bitty things that support their idea/preconception and totally ignore the huge mountains of things that contradicts it… You only register the number of ‘likes’ on that idiot’s comment, while failing to notice the many atheists who immediately called her out for it (and the likes number on our rebuttals).

    You were doing fine before calling cpeterson out for her inhumane comment, but you shot yourself in the foot when you presumed to lump all atheists in with the bad apple. Take care…. the bad apples in your own lot aren’t so savory either.

  •  I remember this bloke in the bible.. jesus or something, who said that if you love anyone on this planet (including your own children) better than jesus or god then you won’t be accepted to heaven.

    So I’d say that god’s word (Sentencing people to eternal anguish in hell for LOVING THEIR CHILDREN BETTER THAN GOD) is pure evil.

    You see, Mr. Cavemanben, if a christian’s love for his fellow human beings is inferior compared to his love towards god then I’m pretty sure you can’t say that these parents loved their kid as much as anyone else loves their children.

    Also, have you ever contemplated how is it possible to misinterpret an omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving god’s words? It should be impossible, by definition.

  • C

    I’m completely disgusted by what these parents did to their child, (and all these examples of children dying due to idiot parents with severely skewed beliefs). I am a Christian and I am close to God. Under NO circumstance is it ”OK” to sit by and watch your child die. Prayer does not substitute physical treatment, nor taking action where necessary, especially when it comes to serious issues like this one. 
    God helps those who help themselves… not those who sit idly by and let their children die. If these so called ‘faith healers’ really knew what God was all about, they would have fought tirelessly to save their child, and there… then, he would have been saved by the grace of God working THROUGH the parents, giving them strength and courage!! All they did by watching the child die is PREVENT and BLOCK God from working! When it comes to results like this, you know that the Enemy has confused and deceived them to believe that what they did was right before God. Sorry!  God does not work that way! I think the parents have a nice place reserved in Hell, so enjoy your ”freedom” in this lifetime …

  • ctcss

     I am more than willing to hear some specifics about this particular instance of a state legislature somehow being convinced to pass a provision in law granting an exemption to Christian Scientists who, politically as a group, have very little influence because of their small numbers, money, or just about any other form of influence.

    Do you have some specifics about this instance that you can provide, or are you simply making a cynical assumption here?

  • ctcss

     I am very sorry to hear that you feel that way. I have talked to some nurses (in fact, the head of medical nursing practice of my state) who seem far more opened minded about such care than you seem to be.

    Also, you may want to consider the fact that Christian Science nursing facilities are licensed and subject to initial and ongoing inspection by the health departments of the state they are in. I have never heard of such a facility being cited, placed on probation, or shut down because they were failing to provide quality care to their patients. (I daresay that any such reports are available for review in state health department records should someone be so inclined to look into such things.) So, based on that fact, your assumption about the “horror show” that must be going on inside Christian Science nursing facilities seems rather ill-informed and, once again, rather cynical.

    I thought skeptics were supposed to actually check things out before dismissing them?

  • ctcss

    1.  I am not trying to act as an apologist here, but I would like to see a more measured take on this tragic situation. Other than you, no one here (including Claudia) even tried to find out more in other news articles  before rushing to judgement. To me, that is never a good sign.

    2. I think long before the constitutionality of the law was judged, the applicability of the law to the plaintiff’s case would be judged and found to be inapplicable because it’s use as well as the restrictions under which it was to be used were narrowly defined. The legislature obviously considered the ramifications of passing such a law, and had been convinced to whatever degree that the Christian Science residents of the state had made an effective case for their practice to be allowed with explicit restrictions as to its allowed defense in abuse or neglect cases.  Thus, with the law crafted as it was, no one could simply say “I am a Christian Scientist” or “I prayed” and therefore be exempt from charges of neglect. They would actually have to prove that they had followed the explicit provisions of the law that the legislature felt were necessary to ensure that specific  effort was made on the patient’s behalf.  So even though an outside observer might question the law itself, they could not say that the law did not adequately describe the conditions under which it was to be used.

    3. The plaintiffs were probably not even aware of the law when they were caring for their son the way they did. Their lawyer probably found the law while crafting their defense and tried to use it.

    4. Even though the plea bargain brings an end to this particular case, there is nothing stopping residents of the state of Washington from making a petition to have this specific law amended or repealed. The same constitutional provision that allowed Christian Scientists in Washington state to seek relief for their practices through petition is also available to any other residents of Washington state to petition to seek to have it removed.

    5. Christian Scientists, as a group, are law abiding and try their best to work within the scope of the laws of the areas in which they live and practice. If local laws seem to restrict their practice, they will seek, through open, legal means, to ask for an exemption or an accommodation in the law. This means that the normal give and take of the legislative process (including input by other interested parties) is available during the entire time that a provision might be under consideration. If the exemption or provision passes, Christian Scientists will then have the option to use such provisions. If, however, a provision cannot be made, Christian Scientists will follow the law as it exists. Thus if vaccinations for any diseases are required, and no provision exists to be exempt, Christian Scientists will undergo vaccination. If a quarantine and notification of the board of health is required in case of infectious diseases is called for, Christian Scientists will obey such directives. Christian Scientists live among the general population (they are not isolated) and thus are very much aware of the need to be good neighbors and law-abiding citizens.

  • Ksrhoad

    Such stupidity and what BS that they basically got off for not seeking medical assistance for their sick and dying son due to their religious beliefs…….again what BS!!!!!!

  • Lemmy Kilmister

    Hitler intentionally massacred hundreds of Jews. These parents basically just stood by their  son, loving him as much as parents do, but not willing to do the one thing that would save him.

    What Hitler did was a planned genocide.

    What these parents did was stubborn unwillingness to catch up with the times and take their dear child to medical experts who could have saved his life.

    My little sister had appendicitis just like the boy in the article above. My mom took her to the hospital. And ya know what? SHE WAS FINE AND FUCKING DANDY 3 DAYS LATER!

  • Msbabypug

    It occurs to me that blaming Christianity for this tragedy is exactly the same as blaming Islam for 9/11. Misguided people do terrible things, evil things. Please remember it’s the people who interpret the teachings with malice that cause these tragedies, not the teachings themselves.

  • Fsq

    You know what? I think you love being the victim. I think you wallow in it. In almost every post by you, there is an element of “oh woe is me” and victimhood. Even this little gem suggests you are a victim, yet if you go back to our original exchanges, not in the post, but the first exchanges made on this blog, you WILL find you attacked me and started with ad homs and attacks.

    But NOW, all of the sudden you become the victim.

    Sister, you are one sick little puppy.

  • Fsq

    wahh wahh wahh….it is like a mosquito in the night “bzzz buzzz buzzzy buzz buzz”….annoying, and in the end, it really just comes down to a little prick.

  • Weregerbil2

     He’s just trolling, so far all of your comments have been very articulate

  •  Dawn take you, and be stone to you.

  • Frankly, as long as the planet is overpopulated with people, especially religious people, I have no problem with letting nature take its course. The preciousness of life is a term I’d like to see removed entirely from our language, and also remove some medical power over  our personal choices. I’m a third generation atheist, a biologist, an activist, but Homo sapiens is a plague to the ecosystem.

  •  Science should require the lack of dogma, but unfortunately, lots of scientists are not dogma-free, and the medical/pharmaceutical industries are entirely enshrined in the dogma of the “preciousness of life”, which makes them oodles of profits.
    I think the world would be a better place had the Hippocratic Oath never happened.

  • Yeah, you’d know all about little pricks, wouldn’t you…

  • Someone Smart

    Christianity or any “faith” of any kind is absurd. There is NO science in religion.

  • Who the hell are you to talk about the way God works? I would be embaressed to call myself a christian. Christianity and religion is the true evil here, when you tell people their is an all powerfull, all knowing God  and a special infinate life after you die these are the kind of things that are bound to happen. And your mental terrorist organization that you support “christianty” is fully resposnsible for the dumbness and ingnorance in so many sectors of our lifes. I only hope that you reach a state of enlightenment to realize the evil cult you are a part of.

  • Christopher Carr

    Very happy we’ve fixed these laws in Oregon. 

  • Someone

     Since you brought him up, hitler was a christian, specifically catholic (the proof is in his own writings) and almost all his henchmen were ether catholics or lutherans.

  • Someone

     “Life begins at conception” – So does cancer and we cut that out regularly.
    And forcing a woman to give birth against her will is SLAVERY!

  • Brwneydaerochica

    They deserve to go to jail

  • Don’t be such a pessimist, I’m a second generation atheist (Which means **** all). I look at solutions to the energy crisis the world faces, I don’t turn a blind eye and call us humans a virus. My point been that with time and determination we can solve all issues, its only the start that is hard. Stop whining and make some changes in your life that will better the world.

  • Michelle Pereira

    This is not BLATNATLY Christian….I know MANY MANY Christians, am I Christian myself and none of them, or me, would deny our children or ourselves medical treatment.  

  • Cowalker

    Well worth viewing

  • Cowalker

    So sad. Americans should be receiving educations that militate against the “God’ll fixit” perspective. I’m further interested because my sister was hospitalized a while ago for appendicitis and was not treated at all, because the inflamed appendix encapsulated itself and no surgery was necessary. A miracle? No.  She was monitored and the doctors concluded that the episode had resulted in a situation where appendicitis had been contained and dealt with by her own body.  IT’S A MIRACLE! No, it’s not. But it would have looked like one in a faith-healer community.  Please, don’t rely on the faith-healer community. You have the right to refuse treatment by the medical community, and never forgot that, but DON’T IGNORE THEIR INPUT!

  • Patterrssonn

    Don’t be silly, is there anything more Christian than sacrificing others to your religion?

  • Patterrssonn

    Sorry blstr, just saw your post, wondering if you have a point. If so perhaps you could tell me what it is.

  • Rolo12

     It’s not an oxymoron. Science  is actually the proving of the Christian believe in God and His power. But faith healing isn’t a real thing like how they’re using it. They believe God will just heal a person because they pray and while God can reach His hand down and heal if He chooses, the Bible is full of stories of us taking the first step in the right direction. Like we shouldn’t eat if we have the ability to get a job or somehow earn our meal if we are physically fit to do so and so on. But it’s not the Christian Healing that’s the problem, it’s stupid people doing stupid things and being so lazy and such idiots to not help their flesh and blood.

  • avelworldcreator

    Last I heard the First Article of Amendment to the United States Constitution forbids laws respecting a religion. It looks like this statute definitely respects a specific religion. It would be nice to find someone with sufficient standing and inclination to challenge such laws in Federal court.

  • ctcss

     The first amendment  actually reads “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
    or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
    speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to
    assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The Washington State law does nothing to establish Christian Science as a religion. It does (and should), however allow for the free exercise of Christian Science since, in its original form, it would have placed an unfair restriction on that free exercise and place its adherents legally at risk for doing so. (The law narrows that risk by making very specific provisos regarding what needs to be done  by Christian Scientists in order to avoid running afoul of the law.) I have written several posts in this thread regarding the idea you are referring to. Sort the comments by newest first and you will find the relevant ones in the first 50 (or so) posts that show up. The one following Julie Harmon’s post is probably the most relevant, but they all speak to this area since the first amendment is more than just about religion, and the legal process by which laws are proposed, commented on, debated, evaluated, and passed means that legislative thought as well as public thought is meant to be fully engaged before any such exemptions even have a chance at being codified as law.

  • avelworldcreator

    Since you referred me to your earlier postings on this subject in your response to my first posting on this subject, I’m going to reply to your first as well.

    You directly referred to the specific language of the 1st Amendment. In fact you quoted it in full. 

    Let’s go over your arguments. 

     “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of  religion,…”. What does that mean? Thanks to Everson v. Board of Education (1947), this means that no state or Federal statute can refer to a specific religion, or it’s practices.  They can in no way promote such faiths, or the lack thereof. Creating an exception to in law for a specific religion is indeed a “law respecting an establishment of religion”. I suspect this statute, and similar ones in other states, may have been written before that court decision. This is a dangerous statute for the Christian Scientist faith, because it also implies that the state legislature can define what its practices are under law. Really. 

    “…or prohibiting the free practice thereof,…” What does this mean? Actually this part is made redundant by the previous, but it’s intended to reinforce it. The Supreme Court has made it quite clear that the peaceable practice of any religion (or lack thereof) cannot be unreasonably hindered by any public authority. An couple of immediate examples come to mind concerning human sacrifice, or of prisoners still being able to go to their regular church after incarceration.  “Freedom of religion” is not a license to disregard public order and safety.

    “…and to petition the Government for the redress of grievances.” You suggested such a petition could lead to statutory exception. Only if the granting of such an exception does not conflict with higher law (such as the U.S. Constitution).

    The otherwise peaceful nature of Christian Scientists is not an argument to granting an exception to their practices. The “equivalent care” is also not a compelling argument for such (and is questionable for other legal reasons).

  • avelworldcreator

    I replied to your first post in this forum. I think it was more appropriate. FYI, I’m a former U.S. Federal employee and officer, an U.S. and international compliance/certification specialist (among other areas of training). I’m quite familiar with legislative process and U.S. Constitutional law and court rulings. 

  • avelworldcreator

    It is discouraged under the 1st Amendment. In fact it’s prohibited. “Respecting” does not simply imply only establishment, but any direct reference.  Any religious reference must be very, very general in nature.

  • anonymous

    Just to play devil’s advocate: The Separation of Church and State must be considered here! If the exemption is allowed to stand, it must be changed to “all religious beliefs that oppose scientific medicine” rather than just “Christian Science” – which is unconstitutional as the government is not allowed to show preference for one religion or religious sect over another.
    I will admit that I do not like the idea that children are dying because of this… however…. would it not be intrusion upon religion by the state to require that those who do not believe in secular medicine use it in the private sphere? 

  • avelworldcreator

    Actually, it still would not be a tenable law. A child lacks the ability to consent to participation in a specific religious practice. The parents here violated HIS 1st Amendment rights.

  • ctcss

     Actually, a child lacks the ability to participate in most things of its own free will. Children rely on their parents judgement to help shepherd them safely through to adulthood and maturity.  For instance, I don’t think there are many (if any courts) that would seek to tell Jewish parents that they would not be allowed to circumcise their baby boys and raise them in the Jewish faith despite the fact that the child had not given his consent to be raised in this manner. The state has to show compelling reason in order to interfere.

    And that was what I was trying to say in my earlier post to you. The Washington State legislature must have given some serious thought to this matter in order to consider this request for exemption for Christian Scientists under this statute. (And it was not a blanket exemption for Christian Scientists but rather was a very narrow exemption that demanded specific actions from them in this statute. The statute  was about neglect and abandonment, after all! Hardly a no-brainer for legislators to simply issue an exemption for.) The point is, the state would seem to have very compelling reasons to want to interfere for this reason.

    However, despite this compelling state need, the Christian Science community must have presented sufficiently convincing evidence to the legislature in order for them to consider Christian Science practice to be safe enough to allow them this very narrow exemption. (Simply asking for it because it was a religious belief (even a Christian Science belief) would not have been enough.)

    And therein lies the tricky problem. If the Christian Science community gave sufficient evidence in order to reassure the legislature that their practice was safe enough to give an exemption for, then it was that specific evidence that the legislature was relying on, not just a generic religion-based exemption for reasons of rejecting medical treatment. Thus (and I made this point in another of my posts in this thread), any other religious group which also sought their own exemption from this statute would also need to supply their own body of convincing evidence. Otherwise, any group could ask for the benefit of this same exemption without actually adhering to the specific demands laid out by the legislature in order to reassure the state that the group in question was not being neglectful.

    The legislature absolutely needed something solid (whatever that convincing evidence was) from Christian Scientists. They would thus need something equally convincing from other groups.

    (And please note that, once again, the court case here was not about Christian Science parents, but rather was about another group’s parents whose lawyer was somehow hoping to be able to claim the Christian Scientist’s specific exemption for his client’s benefit.)

  • ctcss

     BTW, thanks for your response to my first post. Very informative.

  • avelworldcreator

    You are most welcome.

  • avelworldcreator

    Interestingly enough I know of one nation at least that prohibits that specific religious practice for the very reason I cited. (Norway or one of the other Scandinavian countries – I’ll have to go look it up again). Circumcision has been exempted not for religious reasons, but for health and hygiene reasons. There is a lot of criticism about this recently, but that’s the purpose for the exemption. 

    Without examining the legislative record for that state government at the time the law was enacted it is difficult, if not impossible, to evaluate their reasoning behind a specific exemption to a statute.  Anything else is speculative. But their “good reasons” does not carve an exemption to their obligation to U.S. Constitutional law. They all took an oath (as I did) under Article VI, Clause 3, of the Constitution in support of it. That same clause also gives very specific instruction to the judiciary at the state and Federal levels. Additionally, the preceding clause is known as the “Supremacy Clause” which identifies the Constitution and all lawfully entered treaties as overriding any other state or Federal statute. 

    Not a knock on the faith, but in the political climate at the time (and, unfortunately, even now), religious groups managing to lobby for specific legislation successfully, despite legal conflicts, has happened all too often – and without any actual compelling argument. It’s been a long-time complaint. Members of the legislature are all too quick to act based on personal prejudice or political expediency in enacting law. They just leave it to the courts to clean up the mess. Often after many years and much harm later. What you state is the ideal, but not the documented political reality. Needed something solid? Nope. Just needed no objections in any sufficient number when it came up to vote, and its sad commentary that a lot of state and Federal legislatures don’t often read what they are actually voting for in any great detail. 

    That exemption is scary though. It meant that that state legislature also gave themselves discretion to regulate Christian Science practitioners. By identifying certain persons as having an exemption, the government was also giving themselves the ability to limit who those people could be – and that doesn’t mean who the Christian Science community thinks it should be. That’s not something ANY religions group can want if they wish to be able to fully exercise their freedom of conscience. 

    I sympathize with parents trying to instill their most cherished values in their children. But such desire does not override their essential duty to protect the health and safety of any dependent persons in their care (not just children, but the elderly or other similar persons).  Even though they weren’t Christian Scientists, they should have taken their son to even one of those care facilities that you have mentioned if possible at the very least. 

  •  For instance, I don’t think there are many (if any courts) that would seek to tell Jewish parents that they would not be allowed to circumcise their baby boys and raise them in the Jewish faith despite the fact that the child had not given his consent to be raised in this manner.

    No.  However a court would block Muslim parents from performing any type of religiously motivated surgery on a girl’s genitalia.  It’s a federal law.

    You go on about convincing evidence of safety.  No, all they need to do is convince legislators to pass it.  If they can stir up enough “Freedom Of Religion” they can do it that way.  The law doesn’t need to be sane to pass, it just needs to get votes.  It seems like you’re trying to push some kind of idea that since legislators vetted it, it must be ok.  On the contrary, I think we should look at the actual law, and I think it’s extremely not-ok.

  • ctcss

     Thanks for the comments avel. I especially appreciated your comments warning of the dangers of inadvertently placing the state in charge of religious practices. It’s not the first time I have heard that, but it is nice to have someone from the skeptic community point it out as well.

    Speaking of which, I still note skepticism or cynicism (or maybe just honest dismay) regarding how the Washington State law might have possibly have been rushed through or forced through or manipulated through without any serious consideration by the legislators. I agree, it certainly is possible for this to have happened, but from what I know regarding the Christian Science community’s view of things, local Christian Scientists don’t, to the best of my knowledge, try to use such such tactics when proposing changes or legislative accommodation in their state’s laws. (The whole point of being granted an exemption is to have it be a solid legislative achievement that the community can rely on for the long term, not to have it slip through by stealth or manipulation so that it will be ripe for removal by those who may have opposed it but could not stop it for other reasons.) The practice, as I have witnessed it, is to notify the local members of upcoming legislation so that they can have an opportunity to support the proposed changes by writing letters or giving testimony regarding their own experience relying on Christian Science for their family’s health care to the sponsor of the bill or to the committee considering the bill. Other than performing this simple and straight forward task (and praying about it, obviously), there is very little wheeling and dealing going on. (Remember, the Christian Science community is very small compared to just about any other group out there in any particular state and thus do not wield any sort of political power.) And from what I have seen over the years, there is no guarantee that the viewpoint of the Christian Science community will be given a friendly response. The whole legislature may not read every detail of a change, but committees usually try to make sure that they can recommend a bill to the entire assembly and there is no guarantee that anyone in the committee other than the sponsor will back the proposed changes. And if the changes seem contentious or highly questionable or dangerous, push-back is likely to occur.

    “I sympathize with parents trying to instill their most cherished values in their children. But such desire does not override their essential duty to protect the health and safety of any dependent persons in their care (not just children, but the elderly or other similar persons).  Even though they weren’t Christian Scientists, they should have taken their son to even one of those care facilities that you have mentioned if possible at the very least.”

    This is an interesting paragraph because, according to the news article cited by Rich, the parents didn’t seem to be aware of the serious nature of the illness facing their son, nor did their son realize it until it was too late and tragedy struck. According to them, they thought their son had the flu. And a doctor testifying for the prosecution apparently admitted that it was possible for the son’s inherent physical strength to have been able to mask the real problem until it became too severe. So yes, they were praying, but initially that seemed reasonable even to the prosecutor. The problematic moment seemed to revolve around the question, what should the parents have done when the condition became very severe? And based on what I am reading into this, I don’t think the parents even knew about the law regarding Christian Science treatment, nor had they ever heard of it until their lawyer found the statute. I am pretty sure they had never even heard of the Christian Science religion until the trial. Thus they were very unlikely to have taken advantage of what the law offered to them.

    But even supposing that they had taken their son to a Christian Science nursing facility, even there the healing method to be used would be to rely on prayer from a Christian Science practitioner. Thus the familiy would have told to contact a practitioner by phone before their son would have been admitted. (The nursing facilities are there to offer practical sick room care for a person while they are being treated by a practitioner, but they do not administer anything to the patient themselves. And medical treatment or diagnosing is never used in such a facility.)

    The interesting thing is, reading this thread inspired me to research cases of acute appendicitis being treated through Christian Science. There are quite a few of them listed in testimonies of healing in The Christian Science Journal, The Christian Science Sentinel, and The Christian Science Herald. (Bound volumes of these are often available in local Christian Science Reading Rooms.) You might be interested in reading one or more of these incidents if you are curious as to the effectiveness of the treatment that Christian Scientists rely on since you appear to be asking an honest question regarding the health and safety of patients relying on such treatment. I have included a few references to some that I found particularly interesting. (Note that because Christian Science is a religion, these are religious testimonies expressing gratitude for the help received and thus are not medically oriented nor do they contain highly detailed descriptions of the illness or its symptoms. The condition of acute appendicitis was diagnosed by medical professionals in each of these cases, however and the narratives describe the situations the person found themselves in, what was done to address the situation, and what its outcome was.)

    (May 1991 Journal pp. 36-37 (adult on cruise ship),  July 23 1955 Sentinel pp. 1314-1315 (former medical nurse), August 1959 Journal pp. 444-445 (non-CS teenage student, burst appendix removed by surgery, gangrene had set in, doctor recommended CS), December 28, 1940 Sentinel pp. 335-336 (7 month pregnant woman), July 30 1955 Sentinel pp. 1358-1359 (adult with interesting comment by doctor), March 8 1969 Sentinel pp. 422-423 (male student reminiscent of the case being discussed in this thread), September 24 1967 Sentinel pp. 1656-1658 (4 year old child in Capetown), January 21 1950 Sentinel pp.127-129 (student at college)).

  • avelworldcreator

    I’ll have to see direct sources and evaluate them. Current data does not support the efficacy of prayer in medical practice. The titles of the references you cite are incomplete. I’d have to see the origin of that list.

    I think that the CS community’s asking for an exemption is done in good faith. It’s the politicians actions that are suspect. No offense intended, but by it’s very nature the CS community is less likely to be aware of the details of laws and legal practice. It’s a small group and their focus is more on their practices and faith – they have to direct their limited resources to those areas more.  Also, there have been several periods in U.S. history where legislatures were even more inattentive to Constitutional conflicts than they are now.  My cynicism is based on that history.

    As far as the family in this case is concerned, I’m suspicious of their claims. This is based on professional training and study. Given the severity of the pain and symptoms of acute appendicitis, I really doubt an average, reasonable, person would dismiss the boy’s reactions as anything other than a medical emergency unless they were in the habit of disregarding the physical complaints of their children.

  • ThatMinisterGuy

    It’s sad that people will go to great lengths to disprove Christianity/God when they could be doing something more useful…like feeding the hungry or helping build homes and give jobs to the homeless so they can get their lives together. But no..apparently we have to spend time, money, and energy trying to disprove the existence of a deity (which, is impossible if you actually know what a deity really is {ya know, supernatural..not bound by the limitations of time/space/nature})…

  • a) none of us are silly enough to try to disprove any deities.  We get that it’s futile.  We do expend energy countering the damaging effect of other people believing in deities.  Like, for example, this kid who died needlessly.

    b) your argument goes both ways.  Why aren’t you out feeding homeless people right now!.

  • ctcss

    “I’ll have to see direct sources and evaluate them. Current data does not support the efficacy of prayer in medical practice. The titles of the references you cite are incomplete. I’d have to see the origin of that list.”

    Actually, there usually are no titles assigned to testimonies of healing in any of the Christian Science publications I cited. (Articles and editorials in the publication do have titles, however.) Typically there is a section in each periodical that has a a series of testimony narratives, each followed by the person’s full name and their city and state of residence at the time the testimony was submitted. (In order for the testimony to be considered for publication, the testifier needs to supply the names of 3 people who can verify the veracity of the healing’s details, or who can vouch for the integrity of the testifier. The Christian Science Publishing Society edits the testimony and sends a copy of its final form to all 4 people who then have to sign a statement as to the accuracy of the text and also that nothing has occurred in the meantime to bring into question the permanence of the healing. Also, a sufficient time period must have passed before submitting the testimony to verify to the testifier (and anyone else) that the healing is solid. The healings are often also confirmed by medical examination requirements when the person who was healed entered the armed forces, applied for insurance or employment, etc.) Although each bound volume comprises one annual volume number of the publication, the spines of the actual books list the title of the publication and the year(s) covered within the volume. (The Christian Science Journal, for instance, was started mid year in 1883, so volume I of that publication would have a date on the spine saying 1883-1884 and volume II would say 1884-1885, etc.) The page numbers and the dates I gave are accurate for each of the instances I listed and obviously I shortened the name of each publication to its main name (Journal, Sentinel.) The text in the parenthesis is simply my own quick personal annotation regarding the case, and obviously would not appear in the publication itself. You should have no problem looking up these testimonies when (and if) you visit a Christian Science Reading Room.

    As to the efficacy of prayer in medical practice, I have pointed out in other threads elsewhere that the mixed results for tests of prayer actually just test a single instance of a hypothesis (what an experiment designer’s thoughts as to what prayer might be, how it might work, and the methodology of how it might be engaged in, etc.), rather than testing everything there is to know (or that might be known) regarding prayer.  Long story short, while I applaud the general notion of scientists trying to understand such a thing, I am not at all impressed by how it was attempted in the studies I have read. There are simply too many vaguely defined pieces (starting with “prayer” itself) for me to feel like these experiments were well designed and therefore produced useful results. Furthermore, I do not think it is even possible to “test prayer” since the whole notion is (theologically speaking) an attempt to test God. And since God is presumed to be intelligent (rather than a blindly operating, mechanistic force), it would seem that God could choose not to participate in such an effort (even as the individuals participating in the experiment could also choose not to be part of it). And without the explicit and verified presence of the main actor, how could anyone seriously presume that any test would ever produce valid results? (Just my thoughts.)

    “As far as the family in this case is concerned, I’m suspicious of their claims.”

    I also do not have any solid knowledge of their claim. However, that’s why I included the citation of a testimony regarding a similar teenage student in my list of Christian Science testimonies. His experience with the ailment seemed to match the description put forth in the news article. In essence, it strikes me that if the condition of appendicitis developed slowly in a particular individual, with symptoms not especially painful or frightening, the person experiencing them might not give the matter too much serious thought until there was a sudden, rapid change in the condition (acute appendicitis) that brought about a crisis. But up until that time, nothing super serious seemed to be going on and the whole episode (a relatively lengthy buildup with a rapid, critical conclusion) might strike someone unfamiliar with the cause as all one (up until the end) not very deadly condition.

    Thanks, once again, for the courteous, thoughtful replies.

  • I am a christian.  I believe in Prayer, and do pray for my kids when they get sick.  However if my kids need medical attention THEY GET IT.  I have a son that has survived a brain tumor.  I attribute that to prayer and good medical care…..   I see no conflict of interest in using both avenues of care for my kids.  The kind of care most who call themselves Christians provide for their kids.  The people listed in this article are in no way representative of the majority of “people of faith”.  

  • Paulaolufsen

    The commands given by Jesus Christ is ‘to love God with all your heart, soul and mind and to love your neighbour as you love yourself’ – He Himself laid down His life for us.   Medicine is a gift from God and to deny a person treatment is ungodly.  To stand by and watch a person die is contradictory to what Jesus Christ taught.  It is unjust to hate God or even deny Him based on the errors of fallible human beings.   God remains true, just and Holy and those who love Him and do His will, not man’s will are His true church. 

  • Hulababe5

    i got appendisitis or however you spell it when i was 16. the pain sucked but my parents AND me thought i just had the flu or something. so its understandable to an extent that they didnt necessarily know that it was a life threatening thing HOWEVER, eventually my parents were like, ok lets go to the er so they can give you something to help yu get over it, and i had it, they fixed it, no big deal. My daughter got it 2 months ago and even after having it, I had no idea what it was, and once again, the only reason i took her to the dr was to see if they could give her something to stop puking. those people are dumb, but theyre not the worst people on earth because they didnt know their son actually had a life threatening ailment. What if they just thought it was a bad flu? I mean, it goes both ways, if your kids in that much pain, take them to the dr just to be sure, but i know some people who have never even heard of appendisitis, so… its a difficult thing to judge…

  • That fucking sucks. Idiot parents, idiot legal system. People say justice is blind, I say find out who blinded her and burn them alive.

  • Crimsonidol2012

    Creationism (Or Intelligent Design, as they called it then) was put up against Evolution in 2005 in Dover, Penn. God vs Science…TKO. Creationism (I.D.)  never stood a chance, and 2 Creatards were guilty of perjury. LMAO! 

  • Crimsonidol2012

    BTW, Apologist Creatard Pres.George Bush himself handpicked Judge J.Jones. 

  • Ignorance is not YOUR bliss

    completely true! Its the right winged cults who refuse to get their childen the medical care the need. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!! 

  • tumbleweed

    It is human to want to intervene on behalf of the suffering of any other animal.  It is human to react in frustrated anger against those who exhibit no sense of human justice but justice is a human concept evidenced nowhere else in the cosmos in which we exist. This story bears witness to evolutionary survival of the fittest, tragically from the perspective of those of us who are rationalists.

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