Faith healing. It is a phenomenon that is, not only accepted, but a legal exemption from laws that would normally be applicable to the case of a sick child who died from lack of medical intervention. Erin Sonnenberg, a former coroner of 36 years, wouldn’t speak of specific cases, but did say:
â€œJust from general experience, the ones I know involving faith healing, had they been to a doctor, almost all of them could have been alive.â€
Among the examples of conditions that caused these preventable deaths were appendicitis, spinal meningitis, or simple colds that developed into something more serious. He estimates that there are fewer than two cases a year on average of children who fall victim to this sort of easily preventable fate from faith “healing”. It may not be a huge number of cases, but there are a rather large number of people who embrace this very same dangerous anti-science philosophy.
One example of this is the Followers of Christ church. They’re a christian denomination based out of Oregon that will literally shun members who violate church doctrine–including those who seek medical care rather than help from the sky fairy. The reality of it is that children like fifteen-month oldÂ Ava WorthingtonÂ and eighteen-month old Alayna Wyland have had to suffer the consequences of their parents lack of action.
(18-month old Alayna Wyland)
When any parent fails to get their child critical medical treatment when needed, would we call that “religious freedom”, or would we call it “neglect”? Common sense would compel one to lean more towards the latter. However, many people apparently lack the common sense and critical thinking necessary to come to that sort of conclusion. When their child passes away due to their failure to intervene, they claim “religious freedom” in the courtroom; when in reality, they’re just refusing to take responsibility for their lack of taking action. Should parents who embrace the philosophy of faith healing be required to seek medical attention for sick children? My answer: OF COURSE THEY SHOULD!
Note from the author:
[This story really hits home to me. As someone who grew up in the bible belt, and have been unfortunate enough to become permanently ill, I can testify to having encountered plenty of people who either insisted that my illness was a result of sin, weak faith, or that it simply didn’t exist at all. I can’t even tell you how many times a large group of people lay hands and scream at the top of their lungs as they prayed over me with anointing oil, a bible held to my forehead, and all that nonsense. Nothing happened. I still persisted to get sicker (mainly due to parental neglect/abuse that had nothing to do with religion), and their prayers never worked. Not once. My hours of meditating in prayer, studying the scriptures, going to church, preaching the gospel, being actively involved in the ministry, and all that weren’t enough. Then when I begin to seek medical treatment, educate myself, and focus on what I can do to affect the situation; only then is when I began to make serious progress towards better health and quality of life. That is one factor that led to me becoming an atheist, which costed me the relationships with and support of the grand majority of religious folks that I had grown up with.]
I dedicate the song “Spiritual Healing” from the heavy metal legends, Death, to this very situation at our hands. These lyrics nail it:
Practice what you preach
Your loved one is now deceased
Knowledge is at our hands
Never to understand