Herbert and Catherine Schaible asked God to heal their 8-month-old baby son with magic while he spent days struggling to breathe. He died last week. They were still on probation for manslaughter after letting their two-year-old son die of pneumonia in 2009 under similar circumstances: they sought the aid of supernatural beings with magical powers rather than doctors with medical degrees. 

Imagine Herbert and Catherine Schaible had killed a toddler in 2009 with a savage beating or by neglecting it in favor of watching Star Trek DVDs for a week straight while it coughed itself to death. Would they have gotten probation for that or would they still be sitting in prison today? How likely is it that, once placed in the hands of a jury, Herbert and Catherine Schaible will ever spend time in prison for killing the second of two small children with religiously motivated medical neglect?

You might want to Google similar cases before you post your thoughts on the matter.

Tags: medical, motivated, neglect, religiously

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All I can wonder is how their faith still stands.  Stories like these sure are a testament to the virulent nature of cult indoctrination - an intellectual infection for which their is no anti-body.  Even the death of their own children is just a 'test' of their faith, in their demented minds.  It sends shivers down my spine.

I am sure they will "explain" it all away.  After all isn't it god's will?  (Sarcasm mode on)

come on, they were praying for him .. may be they weren't believing enough :P

Hahaha. Praying themselves into oblivion! Love it!

When people ask me about what I've got against religion, there couldn't be a better example.  There have been numerous cases of parents getting off entirely for murdering their children, for no other reason but the fact that Americans are expected to offer exceptional respect to religion because it IS religion.  

Let me amend that: Muslims who commit "honor killings" in the U.S. are prosecuted and punished to the full extent of the law.

Let's be careful not to classify all religious people in the same group as the tiny minority who are this deluded.  Of course this choice by parents is abhorrent. 

Most religion tries to teach a moral position: love and care for your children, always.  That means get them medical help when they need it as well as praying for them; work hard to provide for them and prepare for risks; be open to the Creator when a child comes because loving children should not be limited to when they are perfect or only when we have planned to.

Morality, of course, only addresses the choices we would want to encourage parents to make.  It's an interesting and different social question when we consider how much we want the state to intervene in those parental choices.  If we are willing to intervene in this, should we also intervene when parents choose not to pay for health insurance (potentially subjecting a seriously ill or injured child to death or long-term disability)?  Should we intervene when parents don't want a handicapped child, or a girl, or the economic burden, and choose to terminate the child in the third trimester?  

Let's be careful not to classify all religious people in the same group as the tiny minority who are this deluded.

You are directing these words of caution at atheists? Don't be absurd, Robert.

Religion tells you that God requires a human sacrifice to atone for sins, that Mohammad flew to heaven on a winged horse, and that Shiva has five heads. 

Religion also tells you to bomb the Boston Marathon, blow up school buses in Israel, slam fully loaded passenger planes into the World Trade Center, saw heads off with dull swords for converting to Christianity from Islam, and jabber incantations while babies die of neglect.

All religious people are deluded, Robert. You're all in the same deluded group, inflicting the same deluded harm. The rest is simply a matter of degrees.

Most religion tries to teach a moral position: love and care for your children, always.  That means get them medical help when they need it as well as praying for them [...]

Ridiculous. Millions of times per year, all over the world, religion means slicing off clitorises or foreskins with knives and sharp rocks in a superstitious (and futile) attempt to eradicate future "sinful" sexual desires in children. Even in the US it means parents allow thousands of children to suffer and even die rather than be immunized against common diseases or seek life-saving medical treatment for everything from bee stings to the measles.

If we are willing to intervene in this, should we also intervene when parents choose not to pay for health insurance (potentially subjecting a seriously ill or injured child to death or long-term disability)? 

Hospitals are required to provide emergency medical care for children. If a child dies due to parental neglect-- which can include refusing to provide medical care-- put the parent in prison for manslaughter. They do for practically any other reason of neglect. Why does hocus pocus get special consideration? 

Crackpot: "Well, your honor, my baby was dying. He lay there for a week struggling to breathe. Those doctors at the hospital down the block don't know jack squat. I asked the Leprechauns to heal him with their marshmallow magic instead. I asked them every single day. I even lay 12 bags of magically delicious marshmallows all around his crib. The purple kind, I mean. But my baby died anyway. Now I'm all busted up inside. *Sobbing*" 

Judge: "Jeepers, buddy. I just want you to know I'm a Leprechaun believer too. You did everything you could. I mean, 12 bags of the super purple? It doesn't get any more magically delicious than that. You're free to go. Probation for seven years." 

Should we intervene when parents don't want a handicapped child, or a girl, or the economic burden, and choose to terminate the child in the third trimester? 

Are you actually trying to change the subject to abortion? Why not bestiality or plural marriage? Why not get really diversionary and try both at once?

Hey gang! Should the state intervene when three men, eight women, a dog, four cats, and a ferret all want to get married? I'm fairly sure it's legal in Utah already anyway. Well, if not marriage then some kind of civil union thing.

Religion also tells you to bomb the Boston Marathon, blow up school buses in Israel, slam fully loaded passenger planes into the World Trade Center, saw heads off with dull swords for converting to Christianity from Islam, and jabber incantations while babies die of neglect.

Good heavens, what a shallow argument.  Does atheism tell you to launch the Cultural Revolution, hustle millions of people off to Stalin's gulags, or engage in eugenics experiments on human populations, just because those were actions that happened to be taken by vociferous atheists?

People make choices due to a complex interplay of competing ideas and pressures.  Some cultural, some religious, some economic, some social, some personal.   Attempting to treat the cause of any particular decision as though it is univariate is remarkably naive.  To then take one variable, religion, and treat it as dichotomous when there is in fact a range of religious teaching on a topic is really quite irrational.

I would agree with you vis a vis manslaughter charges for parental neglect of this type, at least on an emotional level.   But then I might also support manslaughter charges for terminating a 3rd trimester pregnancy while claiming superstitious nonsense like "a fetus isn't human". 

What I was really suggesting, though, was that there are two levels of decision.  One is the moral level, what we want to teach others.  The second is the public policy question, what we want the state to punish.  We can teach others that smoking weed is bad while at the same time be opposed to the public policy of punishing people for possessing small quantities of pot.  We can also teach others to get their kids medical treatment while at the same time believing that the pain of losing a child might be more punishment than any prison term.  We can teach others that abortion is wrong without necessarily demanding laws that punish women for making that choice.

Good heavens, what a shallow argument.  Does atheism tell you to launch the Cultural Revolution, hustle millions of people off to Stalin's gulags, or engage in eugenics experiments on human populations, just because those were actions that happened to be taken by vociferous atheists?

None of these people did the things they did because they were atheists, Robert.

In contrast, the extensive list of terrorist attacks, medical neglect, genital mutilation, and subsequent turning of heads to excuse them afterwards DO occur specifically because those who do them are religious.

Stalin, by the way, had hymns composed to himself, wore white suits in public, and made writers and poets create art glorifying him as a God-like figure. Cults of personality and religions of state are still religions. 

The Nazis, who were overwhelmingly religious, cited Buck v. Bell at Nuremberg. That was the ruling, made by an overwhelmingly religious Supreme Court, which started the eugenics movement in an overwhelmingly religious United States in 1927, not Nazi Germany.

Besides, if religiosity is supposed to prevent death due to warfare, mass starvation and mass epidemics-- the latter two of which caused most of the deaths under Mao-- then religion is light years ahead of atheism in terms of the death toll, even if you do count Stalin and Mao. Hitler, I'm afraid, is all yours.

People make choices due to a complex interplay of competing ideas and pressures.  Some cultural, some religious, some economic, some social, some personal.   Attempting to treat the cause of any particular decision as though it is univariate is remarkably naive.  To then take one variable, religion, and treat it as dichotomous when there is in fact a range of religious teaching on a topic is really quite irrational.

You opened by attacking me falsely for presenting a shallow argument, then presented one yourself that has no basis in the facts or in reality.

Religious people time and again tell us the reasons why they commit their crimes. God told me to blow up that bus. God wanted me to pray while my baby died. God wanted me to transfer that rapist priest to another parish.

Whatever "range" of reasons you're referring to, religion is the common denominator. Or are you suggesting these people would still do these things without religion?

I would agree with you vis a vis manslaughter charges for parental neglect of this type, at least on an emotional level.   But then I might also support manslaughter charges for terminating a 3rd trimester pregnancy while claiming superstitious nonsense like "a fetus isn't human". 

Once there are structures present that support the higher brain functions (human consciousness) as supported by medical science I might be inclined to agree. This happens somewhere around 28 weeks. I think this is already the law in most (if not all) US states anyway except in cases where the mother's life is in danger.

We can also teach others to get their kids medical treatment while at the same time believing that the pain of losing a child might be more punishment than any prison term. 

Obviously it wasn't, Robert. They killed one kid, a 2-year-old, in 2009. They walked. No prison. Then they had another kid and killed that one too. He was 8 months old. The punishment of their "pain" didn't teach them a thing.

None of these people did the things they did because they were atheists, Robert.

Sure, a few of them did.  That's why religionists were the target of the persecutions.  Look at the persecutions China still commits against religious people.

You want to make a case that there were other factors besides atheism in play: culture, economics, politics.  You want to say that Stalin was not a "real" atheist, because he encouraged cults of personality.  I would agree with that.  I would not condemn or dismiss atheism because of the many historical evils committed by its more loony adherents.

The same applies in reverse, of course.  You have to allow the possibility that there were other factors besides religion that can affect things, and that some people who profess religion might properly be considered not "real" adherents, but rather people using cultural religion for self-serving ends or personal aggrandizement or who are just plain ignorant.

So absolutely I'm suggesting that the same people would do the same things without religion.  In fact, when they're atheists put in power, they DO do the same things without religion.

Sure, a few of them did.  That's why religionists were the target of the persecutions.  Look at the persecutions China still commits against religious people.

Evidence, Robert. Specifics. Provide an example (with citations) of a modern or historical state that declares 'there is no God therefor we do XYZ'. Note this does not mean you get to extract something anecdotal from your backside which frames motivations as you please (as you did above).

You want to make a case that there were other factors besides atheism in play: culture, economics, politics.  You want to say that Stalin was not a "real" atheist, because he encouraged cults of personality.  I would agree with that. 

I did not say Stalin was not a "real" atheist. I said he did not do the things he did because he was an atheist.

Who acts on the basis of disbelief? Was Stalin also motivated by his lack of belief in leprechauns? Did Mao's a-unicorn-ism drive him to do what he did? Were the Boston Marathon Bombers acting on their lack of faith in bigfoot?

Your position is ridiculous, Robert. People behave based on beliefs, not on the absence of beliefs.

I would not condemn or dismiss atheism because of the many historical evils committed by its more loony adherents.

Atheism has no adherents. There is nothing to adhere to. Atheism is not a belief system. One can no more adhere to disbelief in God than one can adhere to disbelief in the Tooth Fairy or disbelief in the colony of gnomes living in your large intestine.

The same applies in reverse, of course. 

No, it doesn't.

When a suicide bomber blows up a school bus and leaves a video behind proclaiming he did it for Allah, he did it because he was religious.

When a man throws a baby girl into a bonfire and says he did it because she was the anti-Christ, he did it because he was religious.

You see the difference there, Robert?

You have to allow the possibility that there were other factors besides religion that can affect things, and that some people who profess religion might properly be considered not "real" adherents, but rather people using cultural religion for self-serving ends or personal aggrandizement or who are just plain ignorant.

Your 'No True Scotsman' bullshit is really getting tiresome, Robert. These people themselves say they do what they do because of their religious beliefs. You say that's not "real" but when the bombs go off that's as real as it gets.

So absolutely I'm suggesting that the same people would do the same things without religion.  In fact, when they're atheists put in power, they DO do the same things without religion.

Which is either completely irrelevant or total rubbish because, as I've demonstrated repeatedly, the atheists you cited as examples were either not atheists at all or did not behave as they did because they were atheists.

Just one more thing that gets glossed over.  You would also think that child molestation would cause a much bigger noise too, if not the complete downfall.  Fuckin scary shit.  Makes me think how far away is any thiest from this kind of behavior?  Could some kind of event suddenly push a  large mass of them towards this kind of shit? 

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