A moment ago I read this story about a devout Christian couple in Wisconsin that for a month knew that their 11-year old daughter was showing symptoms of illness from diabetes and chose to do nothing about it but pray. Madeline Kara Neumann had a treatable form of the disease and was visibly ill for at least a week prior to her death. The police are investigating the matter and the DA will then decide whether to press charges. When asked about her potential complicity in criminal activity, the girl’s mother said “our lives are in God’s hands. We know we did not do anything criminal. We know we did the best for our daughter we knew how to do.”
Pardon me if I sound skeptical, but this reminds me of an old joke where a rabbi is trapped on the roof of his house during a flood and turns down being rescued by a boat and a helicopter, claiming that God will save him; when he drowns and goes to heaven, he asks God why he did not help only to be called an idiot for not realizing that the boat and the helicopter were exactly that. This is not even about the old faith vs. reason argument that has been dragging on for centuries. Neither is it a matter of belonging to a strict religious sect that prevents certain things, like Jehovah’s Witnesses or Christian Scientists, because these parents claim they do not identify with any particular group. So it is a matter of simple common sense.
Let’s face it: stupid people exist no matter if they are religious or not. What is appalling, though, is that an innocent child had to die because of their ignorance. When that girl’s mother is deathly ill, she can experiment with prayer all she wants and see what happens. But this is a senseless death if I’ve ever seen one. Here’s hoping they get prosecuted and have to face the consequences of their actions.