Horror Show Sunday: Choke on It!

Not a good candidate for babysitter.

In a case out of England, six-week old Faith Lovemore was murdered by her mother, Julia, who stuffed pages from the Bible in her mouth, poured white spirits over her body and jumped up and down on her.  The worst part is NHS, who had visited the house earlier in the day, should have caught on that something was seriously wrong when Faith’s father, David, was in the midst of a psychotic episode, screaming for God to force the devil out of his wife.

Of course, the government should have known better, three years earlier, she had tried to smother an older child for crying, but instead of taking the child out of the house, they were simply conducting random home inspections.  It was earlier in the month that the Lovemores requested an end to home visits, usually a sign of trouble, and a big red flag should have been David Lovemore’s statement that, should there be trouble, he would pray instead of calling for help.  The extended family had contacted authorities, worried over Julia’s “religious fervor” and the fact that she had cut off contact with family members after calling them “heathens”.

An hour after the murder of Faith, David Lovemore carried the lifeless body of the 6-week old and the critically injured older child into a local hospital.  Officials are shocked at how this case fell through the cracks since it’s clear they were aware there were problems in the home.  In an independent report by the Cambridgeshire Local Safeguarding Children Board, they found that the couple’s religious beliefs, which included the insistence their eldest daughter was “immortal”, were only “partially understood”, according to chairman Geoff Heathcock.

What should have been very well understood is the state of mind of Julia Lovemore, who had been repeatedly institutionalized since 1995.  Mental health experts universally agreed that she suffered from delusional beliefs and, over the years, those beliefs became more devout and extreme, according to family members.

And they say that religion is harmless.


4 thoughts on “Horror Show Sunday: Choke on It!”

    1. Of course they do, but that's the problem. We have a theological blind spot, people who would be sent to prison for the same type of crime are magically overlooked by society as soon as you attach religion to it. In fact, they authorities often, purposely or otherwise, overlook religiously motivated crimes because they fear retribution and criticism from the religious public. In this case, had these people just been crazy, they would have been put in a home and their children taken away from them in a second, but introduce religion and suddenly, they're free to murder their kids before any action is taken. It's ridiculous.

      1. I'm not arguing the validity of your point, I'm just saying I don't think religious blinders were the issue here. It's true that religion is getting crazier and crazier to the point where it may be difficult for a layperson to distinguish regular old crazy religion from seriously dangerous crazy hyper-religion, but a trained professional charged with the safety of children should have been able to see the difference.

        This woman didn't kill because of religion, she killed because she was mentally ill. This is different from Christian Scientists or Jehovah's Witnesses who withhold medical care. Religion in this case was just the vehicle for the crazy. If there was no religion, it could just as easily have been Doctor Who or Absolutely Fabulous.

        The people in the system who were already aware that problems existed, ignored the obvious warning signs of hyper-religion and didn't remove the children are now responsible. If we make the case that they ignored the crazy because it was dressed up as religion, then I would say they weren't very well trained for their jobs, since crazy is often dressed up as religion. But it also seems that they just weren't doing their job very well, since NHS had been there THAT DAY and left without seeing the mother.

        Everyone involved in this case needs to be held personally and publicly responsible and criminally prosecuted, if such is possible in the UK. Now – if this doesn't happen because of some sort of religious freedom nonsense or privilege, then I guess we'll have to revisit the issue.

        OTOH, had this happened in the US I would be right there with you. I've seen the "mental illness = demonic possession" crowd in full effect down here.

        1. I think you miss my point. Clearly these people were out of their mind and perhaps if it hadn't been God, it would have been Davros ordering his Dalek hordes to stuff sonic screwdrivers into the mouths of the heathens. However, and I'm just hoping here, that if they had presented symptoms like that, they would have been put into observation, their children would have been taken away and put into foster care, etc. Presenting as a clear wacko-loon tends to get you put away and rightfully so. However, when that wacko-loon's insanity is in the form of religious fanaticism, they usually get an extra degree of latitude, even if unknowingly, because the authorities are largely religious and their superiors who make the decisions have to decide if risking the ire of the religious community is worth doing their job.

          In the U.S., at least, I'm positive that they would have been more likely to have been left alone as religious lunatics than if the father had said he wouldn't call the authorities, he'd have prayed to Tom Baker instead. They'd have found themselves on the crazy bus so fast it would have made their heads spin.

          Religion gets special consideration and respect that it simply does not deserve. In this case, that special consideration got an innocent child killed.

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