I honestly cannot believe that anyone with half a brain in their head supports churches like this, or defends their right to condemn innocent children to death because of the primitive and irrational beliefs of their parents. Religion is dangerous, and in the hands of illogical loons, it can be deadly.
There are at least two churches in Philadelphia which have a long and deadly history of killing children because they favor faith over modern medicine. Faith Tabernacle Congregation in North Philadelphia and First Century Gospel Church in Juniata Park have directly contributed to the deaths of over 2 dozen children since 1971. Herbert and Catherine Schaible were among those parishioners and I’ve talked about them before. They were found guilty of third degree murder in the faith healing death of their 7-month old son Brandon, who died of the easily treatable disease bacterial pneumonia back in April. They are members of the First Century Gospel Church, which has lost a total of 22 children because of their Bible-thumping ways.
Dean and Susan Heilman cost their 22-month old son Dean his life when he bled to death due to hemophilia. They were charged with involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to probation in 1997. Annemarie and Daniel Foster were charged with neglect in 1997 for refusing to provide treatment for a tumor in their 2-year old son Patrick. While he was eventually forcibly provided treatment, it cost him his life in 2007. It is suggested that had he received treatment early on, he could have been saved.
Dr. Paul Offit, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia believes that Philadelphia has major problems in their laws with regard to religion. “Although, you are allowed to martyr yourself to your religion, you are not allowed to martyr your child to your religion,” he said. “In the State of Pennsylvania, there are religious exemptions to child abuse and neglect laws, we are backward in that sense, I think we need to eliminate those exemptions.”
Yet it’s not just Philadelphia that has these problems, they are widespread across the country. There are faith-healing churches in Oregon which share a high childhood mortality. There are faith healing churches around the world, like this one in Sierra Leone, which boasts other centers in Liberia, Gambia, Nigeria and Canada.
So why do they get away with it? Because religion gets a pass. You couldn’t claim that your sewing circle teaches that medical science is a sin, therefore you’re not going to treat your children, you’d end up in jail, but as soon as you rubber stamp religion on your claims, they become hands-off for many people. This is a problem.
We need to eliminate preferential treatment for religion, especially where it comes to parents condemning their own children to a short, painful life because they’re too busy talking to an imaginary friend in the sky. Parenthood comes with expectations and religion simply cannot be allowed to get in the way of them. Believe whatever you want, but when it comes to your children’s health and well being, fuck your idiotic religion.
That’s why this ends up on Horror Show Sunday.