A tragic example of how religion harms the people closest to it's most ardent followers has been brought to light recently. A couple in Wisconsin decided to pray to god when their 11 year old daughter started showing signs of a physical illness. They believed that physical illness is caused by sin and the cure was to pray and repent to god. Friends and family members pleaded with the couple to seek medical attention, and instead the father sent out an email plea begging everyone to help pray for this child.
The parents do not belong to a organized religion and instead lead their own bible study. They have no problem with medical attention, they just didn't feel it was warranted and that it was a test from god. The bible teaches that prayer can heal, and these parents believed that. They were horribly mistaken.
Easter Sunday the girl's grandmother contacted a daughter in law in California about the situation when she learned that the child could no longer walk or talk and it was this daughter in law who had the mindset to call the police and get someone out to this child. Unfortunately it was too late and the girl was dead before they arrived.
When the parents were told that the child's body was going to be transported for autopsy to be performed the next day, the parents told them that the child would be alive before then. The autopsy showed the girl died of diabetes. Can you believe that a child here in America could die from undiagnosed diabetes?
The bible encourages this type of behavior with it's dangerous teachings. By claiming that god will test your faith, or will heal you with prayer, or even that the possibility of resurrection being real all can contribute to people's delusions that in the end it will all turn out alright. These parents were actually shocked that their child died. I'm shocked no one called the police prior to Easter Sunday.
Thankfully charges have been filed against these people. Their faith can't save them from the justice department. What they did was criminal child abuse and should be treated as such. They face 25 years in prison for this and I feel that's a justifiable sentence.
But punishing these people isn't enough. This ignores the underlying problem here. The real problem is there are thousands of buildings around the country that teach this type of mindset. This type of thing actually should be expected from these theists, as this is exactly what the bible teaches them. If one believes in the literal interpretation of the bible than of course they're going to believe that simply closing your eyes and imagining yourself asking for help is all that needs to be done. Since before the advent of modern science and medical care people died from just about everything and infant mortality rate was up to 50%, I'd say that is clearly not the case.
A doctor can cure, talking to yourself can't. Learn it before you kill someone.