Saturday, January 18, 2014

Idaho Republican lawmaker fights law aimed at curbing deaths that result from faith healing. Because you know, Jesus.

Courtesy of Raw Story: 

A Republican lawmaker in Idaho is trying to stop a law aimed at preventing the deaths of children whose parents eschew medical treatment in favor of prayer. The Associated Press reported that state Rep. Christy Perry (R) believes that a law proposed by Democratic Rep. John Gannon violates religious freedom of families who believe God’s will supercedes modern medicine. 

“This is about religious beliefs, the belief God is in charge of whether they live, and God is in charge of whether they die,” said Perry of the Followers of Christ, an extremist group who have let at least four children die of treatable illnesses in the last three years. 

“This is about where they go for eternity,” she insisted. 

Gannon proposed the law after a string of deaths in Marsing, Idaho among the congregation of the Followers of Christ church. Autopsy reports of multiple children showed that their deaths could have been prevented by medical intervention. Instead, their bodies now lie in a cemetery overlooking the Snake River. 

In June of 2012, 15-year-old Arrian Jade Granden contracted food poisoning. Her autopsy showed that three days of vomiting ruptured her esophagus, causing her to hemorrhage to death. 

Toddler Preston John Bowers died at age 22 months of pneumonia in March of 2011. That same month, 14-year-old Rockwell Alexander Sevy died of a respiratory infection that blossomed into pneumonia, according to Canyon County Coroner Vicki Degeus-Morris. 

Linda Martin, a former Followers of Christ member, lent her voice to Gannon’s campaign to narrow Idaho’s religious exemptions to its injury-to-a-child laws.

"This is about where they go for eternity." That essentially places more importance on access to a fairytale life after death scenario, than it does on keeping the child around for the one life we know for a fact they have available to them.

That is insane!

Every parent should prioritize protecting their children in THIS life, over concerns about what happens to them in the next. If religion interferes with that, then it meets the definition of evil in my mind.

This kind of thinking angers me to my very core. And parents who eschew modern medicine in favor of superstitious nonsense should have their children removed from their home.

Just saying. 


  1. Anonymous10:11 AM

    No child should die because their parents are ignorant. As a former nurse those boys dying gasping for air is not a quick, pleasant, no painless death. It makes me sick that with common antibiotics all those examples given would be alive and healthy today. Those parents deserve nothing less than prison for life and their pastors need to be culpable also.

  2. fromthediagonal10:28 AM

    Another case of Fast Forward into the Past!
    Will this insanity for political profit ever end?

  3. Anonymous10:30 AM

    >>This kind of thinking angers me to my very core. And parents who eschew modern medicine in favor of superstitious nonsense should have their children removed from their home.

    Yes, yes, a thousand times YES! I agree completely, it's just a form of child abuse that is couched in religious belief. The child is the one that is paying the price for this insanity, NOT the parents. Why is this 'pro life' asshole willing to see LIVING TODAY children die needlessly, and yet fight tooth and nail for an unformed fetus? It's more of the twisted thinking of radically religious people and it needs to stop.

    >>Those parents deserve nothing less than prison for life and their pastors need to be culpable also.

    Again, YES, YES, YES! Those parents should be put through a rehabilitation from their cult and then made to serve time for their murderous behavior. And the churches should be shut down permanently if there is ANY preacher that encourages this abominable behavior. Those children deserve to have the chance to live their lives and not die for some idiots' indoctrinations.

    I'm with you Gryph, it puts me in a rage to read about these horrific parents.

  4. Anonymous10:41 AM

    That's why when they invoke "God's Will," or "Jesus Take the Wheel," it's the ultimate cop-out for responsibility. Personal Responsibility, the sung trait of conservatives that make up the Republican Party.

  5. Anonymous10:45 AM

    Does this apply to people who think aliens will cure their children, or Odin? What about people who think they can treat their children with home remedies (ex., meth cures cancer)?

  6. Anonymous11:02 AM

    Those parents are killers, pure and simple. Any other children that are under their 'care' need to be removed and checked completely for health issues, and then never returned to those 'killers in the name of jesus'. Further, that 'mother' needs to lose her capability to EVER conceive and bear a child again. Same with the father, they are unfit parents. There must be a stop to this insanity!

    And now....
    Ha! The plot thickens and Christie's thug tactics are seeing the light. I hope she's paid up on her security detail and life insurance, because she just declared war on a nasty bully that doesn't hesitate to strong arm and intimidate his perceived enemies. All I can say is GOOD ON HER! I hope she survives this.

    Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer spilled the beans on the Christie administration’s tactics today by claiming that the governor is holding over $100 in Sandy relief funds hostage because she refuses to refuse a project for a private developer in her city. Zimmer said, “The fact is, the Lt. Gov came to Hoboken, and she pulled me aside in the parking lot and she said, ‘I know that it’s not right, I know that this thing should not be connected, but they are. And if you tell anyone, I’ll deny it.’ the bottom line is that it’s not fair for the governor to hold Sandy funds for the city of Hoboken because he wants me to give back to one private developer, and it’s important that I know it’s really complicated to publicly understand all of this, but I have a legal obligation to follow the law, to bring balanced development to Hoboken. We have one square mile. We have the fourth largest densely populated city in the country so we look very carefully at these things. The Rockefeller group they own four acres. Another property owner owns nine acres, so I cannot give a windfall to one property owner because the governor wants me to in exchange for the Sandy funds.”

    ...The mishandling and ransoming of Sandy funds could end up being a much bigger scandal than Bridgegate. All of these incidents put together are painting a picture for the nation of the kind of tactics that Chris Christie uses to get his way. Add all of the pieces together, and the picture that emerges is that of an ambitious, vindictive, power mad bully. The reason why more mayors and others didn’t speak out sooner New Jersey is that they likely feared retribution from the Christie administration. The governor of New Jersey is one of the most power governors in the country. Christie holds a ton of executive power in the state, and from the looks of it, he wasn’t afraid to use it against anyone who he thought crossed him.

    Gov. Christie’s image as a straight talking populist man in charge who is getting things done has been blown to smithereens. Each new allegation is another nail in the coffin for his 2016 presidential hopes. That isn’t to say that can’t win the Republican nomination, but that he will be virtually unelectable if he is the GOP’s 2016 nominee.

    The scandals are now building on top of one another, and Chris Christie’s presidential hopes are being buried beneath a pile of his own misdeeds.

  7. Anonymous11:04 AM

    Amazing. A round of antibiotics and that child would still be alive and well. How can these people justify this wanton disregard for a child's life? It violates the very soul of that child to be left to die without any help that is IMMEDIATELY available and commonplace in the 21st Century. These people seem to live in the dark ages and their poor children are doomed.

  8. Anonymous11:39 AM

    At least they're intellectually honest about it. It's usually all about god's will and denial of science until one of theirs is sick. I say let god take care of their health care, single payer for the rest of us.

  9. eclecticsandra11:49 AM

    We've had some cases with this in Oregon. The courts seem to uphold the rights of the children to have access to medical care. A person can make up any religious belief they want to, but they cannot make that endanger anyone else, even their own children. It would be similar to parents allowing their children to play with live ammunition or run loose in traffic. They are endangering someone else.

  10. I became interested in the Followers several years ago when I lived/worked in Oregon City and followed the trials of some of the parents prosecuted here for allowing their children to die.

    If you want to follow the fight to change the law regarding "faith healing" from some of the people right in the thick of it, join the facebook page Silent Cries The Faces Of Religious Abuse.
    Linda Martin started the group and several key people in the fight against these so-called churches are members, including Dan Tilkin, a reporter from the ABC affiliate in Portland, who has done a fantastic job exposing the horror stories.

    I would also recommend reading Cameron Stauth's excellent book, "In the Name of God: The True Story of the Fight to Save Children from Faith-Healing Homicide."

  11. Anonymous12:36 PM

    There needs to be some sort of test administered before people are allowed to breed.

  12. Anonymous12:54 PM

    Ask John Bitney about Idaho and a certain degree and skinhead population. Isn't that where Glenn Beck is building "Independence USA?"or did that go by the wayside?

  13. Randall1:25 PM

    I just wonder if any of those parents wear glasses or have fillings in their teeth?

    1. Anonymous2:00 PM

      Don't you mean "tooth?"

  14. Anonymous2:57 PM

    Dumb me.... One would think that a child's right to continue to live would always trump a parent's right to kill them.

  15. Ignia5:50 PM

    I don't know. I'm kinda of the opinion anymore that it's time to let Natural Selection run it's course.

    At some point, we have to stop "forcing" help. Because when we force it, it's not help anymore. A lot like America's "Recovery efforts" in Afghanistan.

    To me, this is similar moral logic to the right to have euthanasia. I understand the "for religious reasons"- but I think most of the outrage of this article comes from the assumption the child desperately wanted help, and the parents denied it. That's not always true, I suspect.

    The surge of religion in this country is a measure of the integrity of country- we are literally witnessing the last throes of America fighting the slide into a third world country. This is our final warning.

    And the first step to stop the slide- I think- is to remove the name recognition from politics. This cuts many ties and holds that corporations and large money interests have over our politics- they can give ad campaigns on issues, but can't effectively sell names. By the time the average voter gets to the polls, unless it's really outrageous (h/t to Aikens), they're just trying to remember how each party stands on the issues compared to them and looking for whichever one has the corresponding letter next to their name.

    We need to select candidates based on policy, not celebrity.

    And I think that the answer to this is heart-breakingly simple. If we introduced online voting, I think it would solve many of these problems. For a few reasons:

    1.) That brings the "working" people into politics. The ones that can't take off and leave someone else to "run the store" while they go cast their ballot, and are too damned tired when they get home from work and remember it's voting day to go back out and stand in line to vote.

    2.) Voter Registration linked to an online account, with, upon access, an "I Side With"-esque quiz, and the candidate's stances. Also for an incumbent, include % agreed with on actual voting record. State and people get precise data of what voting people want.

    3.) Can use an anonymous key number to differentiate general data on viewpoints, and can then actually publish the voting lists using only the anonymous key. That way people could determine openly if there was any "number swapping" as has been accused of in the past, and voting would retain its anonymity.

    4.) The government literally knows exactly what the people want, instead of extrapolating "well this guy won, so the people must want everything he stands for." We will then know exactly what the people want, and how important it is to them. And that would sharpen general interest in individual votes, because then we would know, very well, what *exactly* the constituents of that senator wanted. Poison pills would become more effective legislatively as individual bill metrics would have to be explored to properly expand the system, but it would also make it very difficult for a politician to run from his/her past.

    5.) Most importantly, It also allows the casual political practitioner to cast a better-informed vote on the views of their selected candidate than a vague name recognition or along general party lines. This brings voting back to what the founding fathers felt was important in a voter- informed awareness of how their representatives stood on policies.

  16. Anita Winecooler7:30 PM

    If there weren't innocent children involved, I'd actually agree with him.


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