Family only prays for daughter; daughter dies

A wholly ignorant couple did nothing but uselessly pray for their daughter. God’s apparent response was, as has often been the case, murder.

Kara Neumann, 11, had grown so weak that she could not walk or speak. Her parents, who believe that God alone has the ability to heal the sick, prayed for her recovery but did not take her to a doctor.

After an aunt from California called the sheriff’s department here, frantically pleading that the sick child be rescued, an ambulance arrived at the Neumann’s rural home on the outskirts of Wausau and rushed Kara to the hospital. She was pronounced dead on arrival.

The county coroner ruled that she had died from diabetic ketoacidosis resulting from undiagnosed and untreated juvenile diabetes. The condition occurs when the body fails to produce insulin, which leads to severe dehydration and impairment of muscle, lung and heart function.

People like the aunt of this little girl should be praised as heroes. Her actions were unfortunately too late, but they were done with rationality and unselfishness. The parents of this little girl, on the other hand, acted without regard to reason and sensibilities. Rather than care for their daughter, they endangered her in a selfish effort to ensure themselves a place in the fictional land of heaven. People like that should be shunned from society. They are nothing but socially irresponsible. Unfortunately, it comes as no surprise that there are those who actually support such stupid actions.

A link from the site, helptheneumanns.com, asserts that the couple is being persecuted and “charged with the crime of praying.” The site also allows people to contribute to a legal fund for the Neumanns.

The Neumanns are not being “charged with the crime of praying”. They have all the freedom they could possibly desire to pray, as should be the case. What they are being charged with is the crime of indirectly causing their child’s death when they should have known better and known enough to take proper action. They do not have the freedom to be negligent parents. It just so happens their negligence came in the form of prayer.

Hopefully the other three children the article mentions the Neumanns having will not be subjected to possible death as a result of such poor parenting.

Chris Goebel, 30, a shipping department worker for a window maker, said many people in the area felt strongly that the parents should be punished.

“That little girl wasn’t old enough to make the decision about going to a doctor,” Mr. Goebel said. “And now, because some religious extremists went too far, she’s gone.”

This quote pretty much nails down the issue. These people are religious extremists. They have no right torturing their children by withholding medical care. Their actions deserve severe punishment. More importantly, their actions deserve to be recognized as activity which is to be derided and condemned as fundamentally ignorant and harmful.

Einstein on religion

I came across a quote from Einstein regarding religion and thought I’d post it here. I’ve discussed Einsteinian religion in the past.

You will hardly find one among the profounder sort of scientific minds without a religious feeling of his own. But it is different from the religiosity of the naive man. For the latter, God is a being from whose care one hopes to benefit and whose punishment one fears; a sublimation of a feeling similar to that of a child for its father, a being to whom one stands, so to speak, in a personal relation, however deeply it may be tinged with awe. But the scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation… There is nothing divine about morality; it is a purely human affair. His religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection… It is beyond question closely akin to that which has possessed the religious geniuses of all ages.

~ Albert Einstein, Mein Weltbild, Amsterdam: Querido Verlag, 1934

Emphasis mine.