With all of the death and destruction I report on Horror Show Sunday, the stories that get me the worst are the ones involving innocent children who are injured or die at the hands of their religiously-deluded parents. In Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Jennifer Clark, 38, and Jeromie Clark, 34 were arrested and charged with criminal negligence causing death and failure to provide the necessities of life in the case of their 14-month old son John. An autopsy found that John was suffering from a staph infection, complicated by malnutrition and as a result, the infection was untreatable.
So why would these idiots starve their child? I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count. According to Staff Sgt. Doug Andrus, “We believe the family followed a strict dietary regimen based on their faith and nutritional beliefs. We have no indication that he (the infant) had seen a doctor since his birth and the child was not born in hospital, and the family took steps to conceal his condition from family members. And it was only after the realization by a family member that the infant was sick [that] they were advised to take him to hospital.
Just like the idiots in a recent story, the Clarks were members of a radical branch of the Seventh Day Adventist church which advocates strict vegetarianism. According to their pastor, Randy Barber, he hadn’t seen them recently and suspects that they had become radicalized and gone far beyond what the church teaches. “We probably have 200 kids in this church and they’re all healthy and happy and never do we tell our members what they need to eat or feed their children. That never happens,” says Barber.
Now it ought to go without saying, but a person’s religious beliefs do not give them license to kill their kids. Staff Sgt. Andrus says “In spite of any beliefs, parents and guardians are required to provide the necessities of life.” This is just common sense, but look what happens when you introduce religious irrationality into the equation. More dead kids based on ridiculous religious beliefs. I bet the Clarks don’t doubt their beliefs for a second and if given the chance again, would repeat their mistake. It’s a good thing their two other children have been removed from their care. Religion, as Christopher Hitchens once said, poisons everything. This is just one more example.