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BS: Religious freedom, or murder?

Mrrzy 27 Mar 08 - 09:32 AM
Rapparee 27 Mar 08 - 09:38 AM
Mrrzy 27 Mar 08 - 09:42 AM
jeffp 27 Mar 08 - 09:55 AM
Stilly River Sage 27 Mar 08 - 10:36 AM
wysiwyg 27 Mar 08 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Mar 08 - 11:03 AM
Midchuck 27 Mar 08 - 11:21 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 27 Mar 08 - 11:35 AM
jeffp 27 Mar 08 - 11:49 AM
Bill D 27 Mar 08 - 12:07 PM
wysiwyg 27 Mar 08 - 12:13 PM
Bee 27 Mar 08 - 12:20 PM
Amos 27 Mar 08 - 12:26 PM
Emma B 27 Mar 08 - 12:26 PM
Uncle_DaveO 27 Mar 08 - 12:27 PM
beardedbruce 27 Mar 08 - 12:34 PM
bobad 27 Mar 08 - 12:38 PM
Big Mick 27 Mar 08 - 12:55 PM
Amos 27 Mar 08 - 01:14 PM
Bee 27 Mar 08 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,PMB 27 Mar 08 - 01:30 PM
Wesley S 27 Mar 08 - 01:37 PM
Big Mick 27 Mar 08 - 01:56 PM
Ebbie 27 Mar 08 - 02:00 PM
Mrrzy 27 Mar 08 - 02:14 PM
Joe Offer 27 Mar 08 - 02:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Mar 08 - 02:22 PM
Richard Bridge 27 Mar 08 - 02:23 PM
theleveller 27 Mar 08 - 02:37 PM
Big Mick 27 Mar 08 - 02:48 PM
Emma B 27 Mar 08 - 02:50 PM
Joe Offer 27 Mar 08 - 02:52 PM
Amos 27 Mar 08 - 02:53 PM
Wesley S 27 Mar 08 - 03:12 PM
Big Mick 27 Mar 08 - 03:13 PM
Richard Bridge 27 Mar 08 - 03:45 PM
Bee 27 Mar 08 - 03:45 PM
freightdawg 27 Mar 08 - 04:16 PM
katlaughing 27 Mar 08 - 04:17 PM
Bill D 27 Mar 08 - 04:34 PM
katlaughing 27 Mar 08 - 04:42 PM
Bill D 27 Mar 08 - 04:55 PM
Amos 27 Mar 08 - 04:58 PM
Bill D 27 Mar 08 - 05:19 PM
Amos 27 Mar 08 - 05:40 PM
Bill D 27 Mar 08 - 06:02 PM
Big Mick 27 Mar 08 - 06:10 PM
Ebbie 27 Mar 08 - 06:19 PM
Bill D 27 Mar 08 - 06:34 PM

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Subject: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 09:32 AM

OK, here we are again, a family prayed over a little diabetic girl till she died. Here is a quote from the mom:

She also says she's not concerned about a police investigation, because she and her husband believe their lives are in God's hands and they did nothing criminal, only tried to do the best they could for their daughter.

So - would you prosecute?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Rapparee
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 09:38 AM

The law is well-settled on this point, at least in the US.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 09:42 AM

It is? Which way, Rapaire?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: jeffp
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 09:55 AM

They will probably be charged with child neglect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 10:36 AM

They'll probably get charged with more than than. They'll probably do prison time, both of them. The law is very clear about withholding life-saving medicine. They might as well have chained that child to a table and not fed her. People take a dim view of that kind of disregard for the suffering of their child.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 10:46 AM

I think what people fail to think about is that yes, there is religious freedom.... it's an extension of free will which is, in simplest terms, merely a description of the better side of human nature. BUT in that "freedom" there are also consequences, sometimes tragic ones, for how one exercises it. And as jeffp says, one of those consequences can be a prosecution for child neglect.

"Murder" as a legal charge must include, and prove, intent to kill. A lesser charge may be tacked onto the child neglect charge, but if the prosecution cannot prove they specifically intended their actions to result in the child's death, it can't be charged as murder.

I feel for ya, Mrr. You clearly feel and react strongly to tragic choices. But there is a legal system that supersedes the emotional need to scream "murder", and the issues are more complex and tangled than can be addressed in the grip of that strong feeling.
For instance, say the couple decided that if they sacrificed their child, they'd land in prison and thereby have a chance to "save" or convert prisoners as part of their "witness." An anti-religion person will see that as murder, but a defense lawyer will see it as legally defined insanity, and a prosecuter will see it as a set of facts to prove, one by one.

Here at Mudcat we do not have to make the legal decisions, so we can just vent away even though the venting has little to do with the realitites that are entangled in the issues, nor the faith lives of the majority of Americans whose stories are not "pressworthy."

The need to vent will poison this thread so that rational discourse about the tangled-up issues becomes unwieldy at best, and impossible in the end. The rational religionists among us will simply allocate our time elsewhere (perhaps to good works) as we often quietly do.

But I feel for ya. This is a heartbreaking case.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 11:03 AM

Once I was reading a judge's decision and came upon this thought:

'Freedom of religion involves freedom of belief, not of action.'

Important words! You can believe in anything, but are not free to break the law.

I hope they throw the book at them.

Cases like this have led me to understand what the ancient Greeks were talking about when they dealt with hubris.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Midchuck
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 11:21 AM

These people should not be punished, because by any really rational test, they're insane, and insanity is a defense to crime. Perhaps they should be shut up in a funny farm, but not as punishment, just to protect others from them.

But we can't allow the concept that devout religious belief constitutes insanity, because that would be disrespectful of the religious beliefs of others.

So they get punished because they have a form of insanity that's more institutionalized than that of some other people. Strange.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 11:35 AM

There is something to be said for the idea that religious freedom should, in fact must, be the freedom to make choices only for oneself.

I know that this idea will spark a storm of protest, but I really feel that children should be educated in morals, and ethics, (right and wrong) until they are old enough to make their own informed choice as to whether they will follow a religion, and which religion they will choose.

To choose death for one's child, for any reason must be considered reprehensible. To do so for one's own chosen faith even more so.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: jeffp
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 11:49 AM

The legal definition of insanity is a very narrow one. I seriously doubt that this couple fits that definition. I suspect that a charge of involuntary manslaughter could stick, but that's a tough call.

Remember, the parents may have freedom of religion, but that does not give them the right to cause the death of another, either through action or inaction, no matter now justified they may feel. This has been tested in courts many times, frequently involving Jehovah's Witnesses and blood transfusions or Christian Scientists and necessary surgeries. Generally the safety of the child, who has no say in the matter, is considered by the court to be paramount.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 12:07 PM

Prosecution is useless...they won't comprehend why, and it won't affect others who believe that way...the rule should be INTERFERE and save the girl. Then you can tell the family "it was God's will that we did this, and that it worked..and you have your daughter."


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 12:13 PM

So why did this child's doctor not report the situation to social services for action?

About mandating moral education.... that sounds fine until you get to the specifics, and to the specific parents who are going to decide what is taught for specific groups of other parents who may like to decide differently. It's easy to pontificate HERE on what oughtta be taught, but imagine that YOU are the parent who is about to be told what your child will learn. Trust me, that issue will suddenly look very different.

That is why we have states' rights in the US as well as federal laws, to try to keep all the rights in balance. It's a good idea, for example, to know what any given state tends to decide in these important areas of law, before moving there.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Bee
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 12:20 PM

It seems insane to me. The unfortunate thing is that this kind of event tends to make people who are very adamantly religious try to defend it on freedom of religion grounds. I understand their fears: if this religious practice (snakehandling, eschewing medical care, etc.) is made illegal, where does it stop? What religious practice of mine is next to be criminalized by the state?

But it is indefensible, IMO. The child has no choice. The parents are welcome to make their own decisions wrt refusing medical care for themselves. If they did not claim religious reasons for this neglect, there would be no question that their actions would be seen as criminal neglect.

At the very least, I think the state should have an obligation to ensure that children be allowed to grow up before having extreme religious beliefs put their lives at risk.

And yes, those of us who are not religious are sickened by faith based extremist behaviour like this, and put it in the column marked Bad Things Religion Supports. It would be nice to see some church leaders of various denominations step forward and say outright 'we think this kind of behaviour is wrong and evil, and not supported in any way by the Bible or any other teaching from God'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Amos
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 12:26 PM

I believe the technical term is manslaughter. It should be basic part of Civics 101 in 7th grade that the sphere of actions and transactions between people is not protected by religious freedom, but by civil law, and that no religious tenet can free you from the obligation of respecting another's civil rights.

I don't know if there is a Child's Bill of Rights in this country, but it would be a jolly good idea. If women can be elevated from chattelhood, so can young people.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Emma B
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 12:26 PM

I understand Winconsin law contains a
"state statute 948.03(6), against failing to act to protect children from bodily harm. It contains an exemption for what it refers to as " Treatment through prayer." To wit: "A person is not guilty of an offense under this section solely because he or she provides a child with treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone for healing in accordance with the religious method of healing … in lieu of medical or surgical treatment."
Isthmus

In the U.K......
'the General Medical Council places great importance on respecting the religious beliefs of patients, but in cases where parents refuse consent for a child's essential care, doctors can and do go to the courts. If an adult refuses a transfusion, there is nothing doctors can do other than try alternative treatments. Jane O'Brien, head of standards and ethics at the GMC, says this can lead to distressing situations for doctors. "Sometimes they have to watch people die, but you can't treat people against their wishes." '
The Guardian

When a woman in Canada gave birth to six babies last year 'it led to a battle between religion and medicine, between the children's right to life and their parents' right to practise their religious beliefs. Two of the babies, born 15 weeks early, died. The parents, who are both Jehovah's Witnesses, refused to allow blood transfusions, in accordance with their faith, and three of the babies were taken into custody by social workers so they could be given the treatment. Custody has now been returned to the parents, who have not been named, but they are angry at the intervention and have gone to court to prevent officials stepping in again'
Ibid


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 12:27 PM

I believe the relevant charge would be "negligent manslaughter" or "negligent homicide". Of course if the State they live in defines child neglect as a felony, then a death (even if not intended) resulting from the commission of a felony is defined as murder.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 12:34 PM

Can we tie this thread to the one about a Mudcatter objecting to haveing to show vaccinations of his child in order to attend school?

Are a person's beliefs about vaccinations more or less protected than one's belief about what medical treatments God wants us to use?

If the state ( general term) can mandate medical action, can it not also mandate specific actions, auch as abortions ( for mentally retarded children who have been raped, for example) that many would disagree with?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: bobad
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 12:38 PM

"Religion is a collective insanity."

Mikhail Bakunin


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Big Mick
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 12:55 PM

I find the anti religionists to be just as noisy and dogged as I do the religious fundies. This thread is another example of that, in the responses. The usual suspects come out, use the example of a fundamentalist couple (ever heard of demagoguery?) and then paint all of us that have a myriad of faiths and beliefs with the same brush.

No need to restate what others have said already, other than to say that civil society, and membership in it, has obligations to protect our young folks. People have a right here to their belief as well. When the two are in conflict, then the State has an obligation to act until the courts make a determination.

As to the idea that Don expresses, it is ludicrous. To suggest that parents don't have a right to teach the children they created their own value system and religious beliefs goes beyond the pale. Because you don't believe in these things, you believe that all folks who do should be prohibited from passing on their beliefs? What then, beyond food and clothing, is the role of the parent? Nice theory, but wholly impractical. That would be like me prohibiting you from teaching atheism until a child is old enough to make their own determinations. The facts are that people will almost always arrive at their own place, based on life experience, in matters of the soul without your interference in the rights of parents to raise their kids.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Amos
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 01:14 PM

Ach, Mick, you're right -- up to a point. The right and duty of a teacher-parent depends on whether you want to launch a clone into the world, or someone capable of independent thought. There's a world of difference, when a being is in her formative and impressionable years, between saying "Mugwump is The Way" and saying "We believe that Mugwump is The Way". Enforced opinions do not enhance anybody's level of ability, backed as they are essentially by overwhelming power. In the condition of extreme vulnerability in which a small child lives all day, she will often generate whatever thoughts are expected of her to placate the forces around her.

In the matter of the fuel system of the body, no-one would forgive a parent who fed his child cardboard with ketchup on it, just because he believed it was a sacramental dish. In the matter of the child's mind, we are much more lenient. This is not just a matter of preferred belief; it is a matter of the child's ability to think. Thus, it has a direct impact on his or her future well-being.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Bee
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 01:21 PM

Big Mick, there was nothing preventing these parents from teaching their children their beliefs about healing with prayer. But what could possibly be wrong with allowing the children to grow up before insisting that they also refuse medical care for religious reasons? Most religions do agree that children must reach a certain age before even being allowed to profess their belief by communion or confirmation or other rite of passage. Meanwhile, they freely teach and encourage their children, i.e., 'pass on their beliefs'.

None of us 'usual suspects' - note I have never referred to you or other theists so dismissively - are particularly bothered by the practices of Episcopalians or Lutherans or Roman Catholics or other mainstream denominations, even if we frankly reject those beliefs. I am bothered that you, and apparently some other 'mainstream theists' find this case defensible on religious grounds.

Sometimes the rights of parents to raise their kids must be weighed against the rights of kids to survive that raising.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: GUEST,PMB
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 01:30 PM

It's a very sad case of parents who love their religion more than they loved their child. It's why the ancient Phoenicians (at least the nobility) sacrificed their first- born children to Moloch, and why countless thousands of parents of my great-grandparent's generation kept a stiff upper lip when the telegram arrived informing them of the death of a loved son in the trenches- belief in the Greater Good. And of course there's no denying that sometimes there can be greater goods.

Our own NHS sometimes denies treatments which could prolong a sufferer's life from a belief that the cost outweighs the patient's right to life. That's a different sort of Greater Good, and I'm not sure why economic belief should be put on a different plane from religious belief.

The child is dead; the parents have been rewarded for their belief. Perhaps they will question their God, but probably not.

The case is quite different from that of vaccination, as no other child is at risk because of their actions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Wesley S
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 01:37 PM

"I am bothered that you, and apparently some other 'mainstream theists' find this case defensible on religious grounds."

Bee - I've re-read the thread and can't find any posts that come anywhere close to supporting the actions of these parents. You weren't talking about Mudcatters were you?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Big Mick
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 01:56 PM

Exactly, Wesley. Folks that always try to claim the high ground make charges without reading. I did not defend these folks. I think they are wrong, and that the authorities should have gotten involved. But that leads us to another problem, and that is the underfunding of public agencies charged with these protections, which leads to cases like this which should have never fallen through the cracks. Instead of you good folks (sincere comment)focusing on all of us with one form or another of theist philosophy, you need to be focusing (IMO)on electing officials who will step up and use our budget to fund things like this, instead of massive phony wars in Iraq.

And I do not believe there is any ground to give on the right of parents to raise their children with the belief system of the parents. Just as Amos and others have every right to teach their belief system to the children, so do the rest of us. The systems are already in place to remove children from dangerous environments for physical, and mental abuse. If one can show that the religious practices are dangerous to the health AND WELFARE of the child, then they can be removed from the home. What some of the anti-theists would like to do is remove my ability to teach my beliefs, only because they find them ridiculous, or anti-intellectual based on their beliefs. That is uncivilized and undemocratic, and amounts to repression of one of the basic tenets of our society, that being freedom to practice my religion and its beliefs. Simply put, it is none of your business what I teach my children, as long as it is not injurious to society. You good people (again a sincere comment)always teach tolerance. You should also be tolerant of my right to teach the world to my kids as I see it. You don't need to agree with my beliefs, but many of you know me. I raise good kids, I fight for worthy causes, I pay my bills, I play music, have many friends who are atheists and pagans and Hindi and Baptist and Jewish and Moslem, I help others, and I try to leave the place better than I found it. All that, and a theist, imagine that!!!

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 02:00 PM

"It's a very sad case of parents who love their religion more than they loved their child." Guest PMB

I believe that those parents and others like them would never say or even believe that. Rather, they would say that, of course, they love their God more than their child, because they accept that the child was given to them by God.

There is a big difference there. "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away" is not an idle statement to them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 02:14 PM

Teach your beliefs, yes. Allow your child to die based on demonstrably incorrect beliefs, no.

And I don't think the word Murder excludes accidental death caused by a poor choice of actions - that's called manslaughter or 3rd degree murder. You don't have to have even intent to harm, let alone to kill, to be guilty of that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 02:18 PM

Bruce's comparison to the vaccine controversy hits home for me. I'm a conventional kind of guy who more-or-less trusts the American food supply and medical system, but I'm married to a chiropractor who is tied to the natural-food, natural-medicine culture. I think my approach to medicine is very rational and scientific - but my wife may disagree with my self-assessment of my position ;-)

My 18-yr-old stepson is somewhat of a crusader, and one of the causes he espouses is the campaign against vaccines. If I want to get him going, all I have to do is mention the word "vaccine"; and he'll pull out a dogeared anti-vaccine treatise that's full of anti-vaccine factoids that he's memorized. The opposition to vaccines is almost religious in its fervor - but since it's generally NOT religious in its roots, it seems acceptable to people who condemn those who base their medical decisions partly (or completely) on religious beliefs.

So, is it OK to base medical decisions on factoids, but not if the factoids are religious?

(My personal opinion of vaccines is "cautious acceptance").

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 02:22 PM

As in a number of other cases involving children, there seems to be an eagerness to point the finger and lay down the law, in advance of actually having enough information to make those kind of judgements.

Here's a link to a editorial about this case in the local paper where this happened which seems to say some sensible things about the need to hold off making judgements.

"Step back from our shared emotional reaction to this story, though, and judgments are less clear.

While we all can agree that Kara's death is tragic and could have been prevented, there's still much we don't know -- which is why authorities still are investigating and prosecutors still must determine if any criminal charges are appropriate. "


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 02:23 PM

At present all of the (English) textbooks I have been able to come up with start the necessary mens rea for murder with "an intent to do an act" before going on to futher features of intent. In this case there was, it seems, no act done and no intent to so any act.

I am in some doubt whether that is right, but will be back after furhter reading.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: theleveller
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 02:37 PM

"The facts are that people will almost always arrive at their own place, based on life experience, in matters of the soul without your interference in the rights of parents to raise their kids."

I don't think that's necessarily true, Mick. Bigoted parents often have bigoted children who grow up into bigoted adults, in the same way that abused children often become abusers themselves. What you are saying is that parental views and values don't influence children. I know that they do and, from your later post, I know that you do, too. Yes, I bring up good children, too, and I've never imposed any religious values on them, actively encouraging them to think for themselves.

Incidentally, I wonder what would have become of the five year old child of the convicted terrorist who was teaching him how to behead people? I hope that he won't now see his father as a martyr or grow up with his values.

Of course everyone should have the right to practice their belief in as much as it does no harm to society or individuals - especially individuals who they should be protecting - and does not turn into a political issue or influence the making of laws that govern those who do not share that belief. Unfortunately, intolerance is rife amongst those with strong religious beliefs. Just look at the issue of abortion, stem cell research - even the fact that no shops were allowed to open on Easter Sunday. I wonder, if I decided to become an evangelical Satanist, how many would defend my right to spread my belief?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Big Mick
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 02:48 PM

Again, my friend, you fall to the same logic that others have tried. You pull out the most radical examples to try and uphold a general point. What if I pulled out the millions of examples of peace activists, as well as the everyday folks of faith that do countless good deeds, or just folks that go to church, synagogue, or mosque and live a good life? I think I could find far more examples of this than the radical examples you use.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Emma B
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 02:50 PM

This child was suffering from Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)

'The pathogenesis of DKA is mainly due to acidosis. Excessive production of ketone bodies lowers the pH of the blood; a blood pH below 6.7 is incompatible with life.

Onset of DKA may be fairly rapid, often within 24 hours.'

Her parents are reported to have said that they didn't know she had diabetes and that 'she was perfectly fine until the last few days' they didn't take her to a doctor but prayed for healing. There is no indication according to reports that the authorities knew of the girl's dire medical condition before her death.

Tragic? - yes certainly
Murder? - not by any humane definition surely?

I can ascertain no 'malice aforethought' here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 02:52 PM

Hmmm. Leveller, you make me think.

I'm Catholic - a very active Catholic, in fact. I sent my children to Catholic schools. I exposed them to religious beliefs and values, but I certainly didn't think I "imposed" any religious values on them. I think I did a good job of "encouraging them to think for themselves" - and I think that most American Catholic schools have a tradition of encouraging critical thinking (which is why they are condemned by Catholic fundamentalists).

When he was about 18, my son once accused me of "shoving religion down his throat." I wonder what he'd say about that now at the age of 35. He certainly doesn't set foot in a church very often, but he seems to appreciate the education he got.

As always in these religious discussions, I think it's important for us to acknowledge that there is a wide spectrum of religious belief, and it's unfair to condemn all for the misdeeds of a few. As I see it, there are two major schools of religous belief: philosophical and doctrinal. The philosophical religious people ponder the questions of life, within a spiritual context. The doctrinal ones insist they know the answers to the questions of life. That's a horse of a different color.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Amos
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 02:53 PM

Mick:

I completely honor your right to teach the world as you understand it, as informed by your own good will and observation.

I don't think you spoke to my point, which is that there are two ways to share such information with a child. One is authoritarian, and the other is open. From the former, aperson grows up with a belief he holds because he has to; from the latter, because he chooses to. One of these makes for a strong individual who can think. Passing on authoriotarian information on an enforced basis, which is NOT what you do, I hasten to add, is toxic, mentally.

I also want to make it clear, my friend, that I have no objections to theism. I do have objections to anthropomorphism and authoritarian or dogmatic versions of theism. Perhaps I am just an old Protestant. ;>)


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Wesley S
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 03:12 PM

"One is authoritarian, and the other is open. From the former, aperson grows up with a belief he holds because he has to; from the latter, because he chooses to. One of these makes for a strong individual who can think"

Amos - a serious question for you. How do we monitor the teaching of children so that they get the right education that you propose? Does someone come around to the house and check? If so - who? Would you consider that intrusive if they showed up at your house?

I've seen enough cases - and I've been one myself - where the childs views end up to be very different from the parents. Just because a view is taught does mean its going to take hold and flourish. Would you agree? Do your views differ greatly from what your family wanted you to believe?


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Big Mick
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 03:13 PM

Fair enough, Amos. And I share your concern about those same issues. Joe's point about Catholic education are important and shouldn't be glossed over. Once I had a dear friend, who was a very conservative Catholic, and we constantly argued. Once, in exasperation, he wanted to know what had screwed up my thought processes and made me so liberal. I gave him a one word answer:"Jesuits". He said, "I should have known". ****chuckle****.

My point to you, my friend, is that the assumption based on the overwhelming numbers of decent, everyday folks out there should be that we aren't imposing our thoughts on kids, and that we are raising independent thinkers. Sure there are those that use the authoritarian method. Do you think that Madalyn Murray O'Hair had any tolerance for religious teaching? I suppose that authoritarian teaching has it adherents on all sides of the "God" discussion, and in all segments of society.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 03:45 PM

Another lawyer friend has promised me some notes, building the proposition that in crime as in tort, there may be an "activity duty" where one has or adopts a duty of care, so that the withdrawal of that care or failure to provide it may be part of the actus reus of a crime, and therefore the intention not to provide may also be that relevant part of the mens rea.   Best case maybe about a tramp called Murphy who burned a building down by going to sleep smoking.

Then one would merely need to show that the intention not to provide was reckless (as to whether the consequence would be death) - I apparently need to re-read a case called "Woolley".

Said barrister is however a proselytising atheist so may be building a case here!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Bee
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 03:45 PM

Joe said: "My 18-yr-old stepson is somewhat of a crusader, and one of the causes he espouses is the campaign against vaccines. If I want to get him going, all I have to do is mention the word "vaccine"; and he'll pull out a dogeared anti-vaccine treatise that's full of anti-vaccine factoids that he's memorized. The opposition to vaccines is almost religious in its fervor - but since it's generally NOT religious in its roots, it seems acceptable to people who condemn those who base their medical decisions partly (or completely) on religious beliefs.

So, is it OK to base medical decisions on factoids, but not if the factoids are religious?"


Au contraire, Joe - I find your son's anti-vaccine campaigning every bit as distressing as the with-holding of medical care to children for religious reasons. Clearly, vaccination over the past 60 years has saved millions of children from early death and disability. Not vaccinating your children because of some very shaky and mostly debunked 'research' is wrong, not just endangering your own children, but also others. I would like to lead your son through the genealogies of most families who inevitably lost children to diseases your son has probably never seen. I would like to lead him through a thousand old graveyards full of lambs, doves, cherubs, and other markers on the tiny graves of dead children.

The anti-vac brigade is starting to have an effect, all right. I have been reading about recent outbreaks of measles, mumps and chickenpox, mostly in American schools, that are directly attributable to that campaign. Most children survive these childhood viruses just fine, but an un-necessary number will not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: freightdawg
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 04:16 PM

I find it interesting in discussions such as this (and a recent thread on whether a group of doctors in Canada should be allowed to disconnect an elderly gentleman from life support against his Jewish famiy's wishes) that there seems to be a disconnect between those who see religion strictly as a philosophy and those who see it as a philosophy which has a direct impact on life. And, as strong as our constitution is regarding the free exercise of religion, one major weakness in recent interpretation of that constitution is that the state relentlessly invades that protected area of life in the United States.

I know what I am about to say is exteme, and is about as un-American as it can be (at least in the recent PC dominated America), but I find the state to be utterly oppresive against the free exercise of religion in the US. To take just one "extreme" example, I find no justification for the prohibition of polygamy as practiced by the Mormons in the early years of their movement. Yet this is just what the state ultimately attempts to do on a regular basis: determine what is "acceptable" for a religion to teach, and then allow the acceptable and ban the unacceptable.

I disagree with the practice of polygamy. But, if the government says that there will be no laws which prohibit the free exercise of a religious belief, how can the state mandate that such a religious belief is "illegal."

Simply put, I really don't see how our constitution and the pure, unfettered exercise of religion can co-exist. Either the state will act coercively against a particular religious practice, or one (or many) religious practices must be allowed unfettered freedom in spite of and quite possibly against the view of the majority within the state.

Call me nuts, but I just do not see how a secular instrument like the constitution can exist in the same realm as pure religious freedom without there being some major disagreement on one side or the other.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 04:17 PM

McGrath, thanks for the link to the editorial. Certainly there is more to this story than first posted.

"It's a very sad case of parents who love their religion more than they loved their child." Guest PMB

"I believe that those parents and others like them would never say or even believe that. Rather, they would say that, of course, they love their God more than their child, because they accept that the child was given to them by God." Ebbie

I agree with Ebbie.

I would also say that others like them would see their prayers as an act of love for their child so it would not mean they "love religion more than their child." Their belief is prayer is the way to honour their god and the responsibility he has given them as parents.

We cannot raise children in a vacuum of no beliefs; life demands opinions, outlooks, decisions,etc. whether one is religious, spiritual, atheist, or anything in between. A small child looks to us for direction. When they get into the outer worlds of school and other outlets, they may break away and find a new belief system, but they have to have some kind of foundation, religious or not, to get them through the first six years, at least, imo.

I have just finished reading a Native American classic, Lame Deer - Seeker of Visions. I would imagine he would urge us to have compassion for the parents in doing what they believed to be right. I expect another hero of mine, the Dalai Lama, would suggest the same. Lame Deer might also suggest a healing ceremony for them and their little girl's spirit, what the Navajo would call a "blessing way." I do feel compassion for all involved.

I also agree it would be best if the authorities could step in in these types of cases, but from the sounds of it, it may be no one even knew how ill she really was.

Now, this may anger some of you, but it could be her karma was to come into this world to help her parents learn a valuable lesson through such tragedy. It is my belief we choose our parents before we come into each lifetime and we have lessons to learn, also. This I believe...doesn't mean you have to, my friends.:-)

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 04:34 PM

"It is my belief we choose our parents before we come into each lifetime..."

It is truly amazing what a wide variety of things people can 'believe', with no explanation of how any of it might be possible....or what other implications their 'beliefs' might have if they are true.
Just the debate between Jesuits and more conservative Catholics strains one to comprehend...never mind why one would believe that God, if one believes in a god in the first place, didn't want us to find drugs and medical ways to keep our children safe, so that He could get all the credit.

   You see, there are good reasons why certain ideas are called 'beliefs'...even if most 'believers' treat them as some sort of revealed truths.

♫"I believe that for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows."♫

Think about taking THAT literally.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 04:42 PM

Ah, now, Bill, I DID say it was my belief and that you do NOT have to agree.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 04:55 PM

Of course you did! But you probably realized it would set off my detectors! ;>)


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Amos
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 04:58 PM

with no explanation of how any of it might be possible

Bill:

I am sure such explanations are available. I am equally sure they would not be comprehensible to you, because of a fundamental assumption about materiality and the nature of the being.

Wes, Mick: I meant in no way to imply there should be some authority checking on how information is transmitted to the young. I live, unfortunately for me, in a world where individuals use their innate sense of ethics to choose right action, in the very way Mick describes that majority of decent folks. I think part of the culture's tragic aberration is born and nurtured in the pit of enforced illogic, where a young person is taught by force to accept things he cannot see, sense, measure or experience. That's where the risk opens up of generating a damaged mind (in a strict sense) operating on fixed ideas, unable to adapt to new conditions.

A loving and supportive environment which encourages dialogue, exploration, questions and discovery will produce a brighter, better child -- in general -- no matter which religion informs it.

(I know that is a sweeping generality. Ok, ok....!)


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 05:19 PM

"I am equally sure they would not be comprehensible to you, because of a fundamental assumption about materiality and the nature of the being."
Well...sure!
Of course, I'd maintain that they are no MORE comprehensible to the assertor/believer, but merely a linguistic convention.
The 'fundamental assumption' that is relevant is that OF the believer that such realms are possible.

(kat...I do know that if you are correct, I sure chose a strange set of parents this time around...*grin*.)

The metaphysics of multiple lives is ming-boggling enough, without adding in 'choice' and figgering out how those choices are made.

But we Taureans are easily confused & stubborn....


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Amos
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 05:40 PM

LOL!!! The stars tell all, Bill D. Yon mystic has yer number!!!



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 06:02 PM

Yep...I once told a lady who wanted to cast my horoscope.."It's May 20, but I don't really put much stock in this stuff."

So she mumbled a bit and thumbed thru some stuff and announced.."Yep...that's just what your horoscope SAYS you'd say!"

I have learned that I can never win when the definitions are adjusted to compensate for any skepticism!


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Big Mick
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 06:10 PM

*******Roaring with laughter at Bill's comment*******


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 06:19 PM

Bill, as I'm sure you would expect, I can easily, even if not clearly, imagine how one might agree to or seek to 'come back' to a specific situation. Let's assume that I learned some things this time around- and failed to learn some others. Let's assume, for instance, that upon having gained power I had been abusive to those in my care. On the 'other side' I might clearly see my failure and say "I can do better than that. Let me try that again."

Or let's assume that in this life I had been oblivious to the harm I had done- my self-chosen amends might involve taking on the karma of undergoing abuse myself.

I'll go even further: I suspect that the infants and children who have died much too soon might in actuality be 'maturing' spirits who, while waiting for their next 'assignment' might offer to live the truncated life of the doomed baby.

I can't 'prove' any such thing- but I enjoy thinking such. :) I might add that as long as it does no harm to any I enjoy eccentricity, whether mine or someone else's.


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Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 06:34 PM

"I can't 'prove' any such thing- but I enjoy thinking such. :)"

Yup! And *I* suspect..since 'suspecting' is in order... that such enjoyment1 is at the root of most of the metaphysical thinking since we began TO think and sat in caves and tried to come to terms with the scary world.

(and before Little Hawk drops by to explain that I 'merely' have a different set of 'beliefs', let me clarify that I am not believing OR denying anything...I am being **skeptical** and refusing to 'believe' without more reason than just 'liking the concept'.)








1. dare I say wishful thinking?


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