Don’t let people murder helpless little kids based on religious belief- is that too much to ask?
Religion enjoys this perch in most societies, largely unearned- of having special privileges no other sphere holds. Whether it be tax free churches, or the numerous kind of exceptions granted to people on religious grounds (think Kim Davis).
Somehow, it extends to parents being allowed to deny their children healthcare due to sincerely held beliefs. It is even worse in the US, where a parent who does this can escape jail because in parts of the country- the law says sending your child to a practitioner of an accepted faith is equivalent to sending them to the doctor.
It is absurd, really- because every scientist worth their salt would tell you there is no evidence for the existence of most of the gods we hear about. There sure as hell is no evidence that prayer ever works. And any parent who relies on prayer over medcine when their child is near death is committing gross negligence and deserves to be tried for homicide if that child passes on.
First though, we need to get rid of the ideologies which lead people to such absurd behaviours. We got another example of that Friday night, didn’t we?
A UK court has sentenced Brian and Precious Kandare to nine and a half and eight years in prison respectively after their eight month old daughter, Rebecca- died of pneumonia due to being denied medical care.
Rebecca contracted a terrible case of rickets, but the couple could not send her to hospital due to their religious beliefs. According to the BBC:
The pair attended the Apostolic Church of God in Wolverhampton which had strict views on modern healthcare.
Members of the 20-strong congregation, who held prayers in a converted garage in the garden of a house, were encouraged to speak to the church’s midwife with medical problems before seeking further help.
Members could also be excluded from certain church activities if they went to a doctor without permission, the court heard.
The Kandares handed over responsibility of the care of their sick daughter to a church midwife three days before she died, believing in her “supernatural healing powers”, the court heard.
Mr Hankin said Rebecca’s death was “a direct consequence of a prolonged course of wilful neglect” which involved failing to provide nutritious food and denying medical aid.
He told the court the “symptoms of wasting and malnutrition developed over time” and by early January the baby was feverish with a serious chest infection.
Despite “an obvious risk that she might die”, the defendants denied her medical help.
“Her illness was treatable and her death was preventable,” the barrister said.
If that is not murder, then pardon me but I do not know what is. As mentioned earlier, religion continues to enjoy this perch in modern discourse, which it really should not. Religion has nothing to say in the domain of science, which continually makes our lives better with technologies, improvements in health care. etc. It seems incredulous that in certain instances, a totally unproven thing like faith is allowed to hold sway over it.
The state has to protect everyone, and those instances where people of faith are given a free pass to hold harmful beliefs, as if they were matters of virtue- has to end. It is crazy to have to come back and repeat these same concerns over and over again- after another zealot murders their kid.