How Far Does God Push The Faithful?

sad-puppyApparently Abraham is the role model for how far god can push the faithful. Only in real cases, sometimes someone innocent actually dies. It seems that parents kill their children through denial of medical attention all too frequently these days. Often I don't blog about these sad stories because I am so enraged I don't feel I can do it without copious amounts of profanity and vitriol.

We have all heard about the Neumanns. They were both convicted of 2nd degree reckless homicide in the death of their 11 year old daughter Madeline. She had diabetes but it was undiagnosed. She died a horrible death at home, surrounded by praying sheeple who refused to call an ambulance until she stopped breathing. Doctors testified that Madeline could have been saved if she had received simple medical care like insulin and fluids before she stopped breathing.
The mother said that she and her husband believed their daughter's deteriorating condition may have been the result of a falling out with another couple, and called them once the girl was unconscious and persuaded them to come pray for the girl.

"I asked her if she loved Jesus," the mother testified. "She might have said yes. I know for sure she was acknowledging it. What sounds came out, I don't remember. She was making noises. ... My focus definitely was to pray."

Their lawyer told the jury that Neumann sincerely believed praying would heal his daughter and he did nothing criminally wrong.
"Dale Neumann was doing what he thought would work for his daughter. He was administering faith healing. He thought it was working."

What god would punish a young girl because her parents had a fight with another couple? Oh, right. The christian god. Of course. Dale Neumann had studied to be a pentecostal minister, but at the time of Madeline's death the family didn't belong to any organized religion. The mother said she didn't have anything against doctors either. Then why is her daughter dead? Oh, right, because it was a spiritual illness. Yeah, the prayer really was helping. I see why they decided to hold off on the tried and true medical care in favor of pleas to an invisible man in the sky. Go with what (doesn't) work, and keep doing it till your daughter is dead. Smart thinking.Dale NeumannThis is beyond reprehensible to me. I never wanted children of my own. But I feel that if you have a child, that is the most important responsibility in your life. You are obligated, as a human being, to do your very best to raise that child to become a healthy, happy adult. You created it, you take care of it and make sure it's in good health. This means you must educate yourself, sometimes compromise your own comforts for that child, and so on.

Nothing is more important if you decide to create a life. If you can't handle the responsibility, then don't get pregnant, get an abortion, or put the baby up for adoption. It's that freaking simple.

Why is the charge so minor for such a horrid crime? This girl could not walk, talk, drink or eat. People sat around and watched her die. In 2008. In America. And the worst they get is up to 25 years?

In Oregon a man was convicted of misdemeanor criminal mistreatment for praying instead of seeking medical treatment for his 15 month old daughter who died of pneumonia and a blood infection in 2008. Both of the girl's parents were acquitted of manslaughter charges. Why?

How criminal is it to let your own child die a horrible death while you watch and pray? What the hell is wrong with someone to be so detached from reality under such awful circumstances?

Two years ago, at 5:15 am, my husky, Stazi, came to the door after being outside for a few minutes. Her face was swollen horribly and I freaked out. She had eaten a bee! I called the emergency vet and waited for 2 minutes in a panic for the return call. The vet calmly told me to give her benadryl, and told me not to panic. Now, Stazi is my dog, not my baby, but I would have rushed her to the vet in a heartbeat if it had been serious and she needed medical care.

If it's so simple for me to make a decision about my dog, how divorced from reality and common sense does a person have to be to forgo medical attention for their daughter or son? How devout and brainwashed do you have to be to think that god is testing you?

Madeline NeumannThat's what the Neumanns thought, that god was testing them and all they needed to do was pray. They never changed their story, even during the trial. Never said they were guilty of anything, and plan to appeal their sentences. That's appalling. So I guess they failed that test though. Or did god?

Would you let your child die as a test of faith? Would you even let your dog or cat die as a test of faith? And if your dog or child did die, would you feel remorse? If you didn't, wouldn't you then be a heartless monster? Would a loving god push you that far, to the point of killing your own child?

No. Definitely not. But there is no god at all. The christian god is made up, as are all the others. Created by superstitious men and women who don't understand the way the world works so they fill it with flawed gods. Gods that punish children for their parents' sins. Gods that kill babies. Gods that breed hatred and fear.

I for one am glad to be god-free. Can I hear an amen?

From Here, Here and Here


  1. Eric,
    You hit the nail on the head! I like your use of "scripture".;)
    I think news like this is abhorent, it should of been publisized more. These are the types of stories that raise many qusetions. My question is why wasn't more questions asked? People need to understand the absurdity in murders of this nature. What mentality does one "choose" to subjugate maternal instinct for blind belief??? Also, can this be excused as a "TEST" from the big sky daddy??? (Sorry but now I'm starting to rant.) The sad part is that this not the last time something like this will happen. It will happen again, and again, unless more people become more vocal on issues like this..

  2. Why do they always wait till after the kid dies? It's what they do. And some don't even do that - they just bury the kid and don't tell anyone.

  3. Thanks Eric. Yes, people do take the quotes quite literally, don't they? Even though there's zero evidence of prayer working. Then again most people happily rely on weak anecdotal evidence and cherry picking/selective remembering of events.
    I agree. It's sickening.

  4. Hi Pete. I understand your need and desire to rant over such an abhorrent story. You're right. This will happen again. It's disgusting. Do you think even being more vocal makes a difference to "true believers"? How easy it must be to think that one's prayers are superior to another's when that other's prayers have failed. It all makes me sick. I'll stick to reason and science, thank you very much.

  5. It's pretty horrible, isn't it, Angie. Personally I think the parents should be taken from the courtroom and immediately killed. There is no way a person that heinous is going to ever be rational and a healthy, contributing member of society.

  6. I gotta disagree with you there. I've known parents who lost their kids to religious ignorance and blind faith. There are so many people to blame in these situations, not just the individual parents whose kids don't survive the environment (like I did). As hard as it is to believe that someone could both love their child and see them suffer, I know my mom would have done it to me. I walked with a cane for three years in high school because of a dislocated hip. If it had been disease instead of pain, I would have died. I know my medical needs were ignored and it's lucky I don't catch anything fatal because no one would've taken my ass to the hospital.

    And yet, you know, she's my mom. She's not an evil person; she loves me. She's smart as hell, has a PhD. She just got sucked in by a cult. That's really all it takes to make you do the most evil things in the world. But you can make it out of a cult and you can get better and you can change. You can't bring prayer killed kids back to life though.

  7. I guess it matters on the case. And yes, blind faith and religious ignorance, combined with copious amounts of brainwashing can make people do stupid things, I guess. Not that the Neumanns should be let off the hook for that. There are consequences to your actions and they should at least spend the rest of their lives in jail for killing their daughter with medical neglect.

  8. I absolutely agree with you. I always hope parents in these cases (1-5 per month in the US!) give parents the maximum sentence possible in their state. I've been thinking of how to explain this in my book and I think that basically religious freedoms are treated as supreme in this country; I think religious freedoms should be secondary to secular rights (right to physical safety, right to lack of bodily harm, right to access to medical care, right to an education, etc.)

    All too often I saw families put the secular rights of their children LAST and their god delusion first. In addition to the little boy who died from stings, I used to babysit a lot of my grandma's followers' kids and these were 9 and 10 year olds who couldn't read because they'd never been to school.

    But ultimately, if we won't allow the defense to use "I was just following orders" in Nuremberg Trials, we shouldn't allow it from these parents either.

  9. For prayer to have any efficacy you need to sacrifice a small animal. You see, to get god's attention he needs to smell blood and burning flesh.

  10. As I said in my own post on the matter; put the parents away for the maximum sentence and let them pray to be released earlier.

  11. I agree Buffy. That's excellent!

  12. Holy Roller, that is a great point! LOL! If I recall, god particularly loves the smell of burning goat flesh. What he has against goats, I have no idea. They're actually quite personable animals. Then again, god is an asshole, so I guess he doesn't need a reason to hate goats. Not that he exists.... Wait! That must be why he hates goats, because they DO exist, when he doesn't! HAHAHAHA!

  13. I find it all completely disgusting, Angie. I really do. Thanks for your thoughts on this.

  14. That certainly makes the punishment fit the crime.

  15. Sure thing. I've got a unique perspective lol

  16. [...] are still in anguish because of their lack of faith in your God? When will you realize that your religious faith is not enough to save someone’s life? It has been tested over and over, but yet, prayer without science doesn’t [...]

  17. Don't be such fools. the only reason why prayer isn't working/or what use would say (failing) for use is because use are lacking in faith instead of beliveing in Gods maraculous powers. If use want to see evidence whatch a Christian Chanell on other; foxtel or via the enternet, I would recomend watching Benny Hin ministries or other Christian ministries online.

    By the way I have witnessed Gods healing powers in real life

    God Bless use all

  18. the same situation happened with my sister she was 12 years old i was 6 she was dying.. my parents refused to take her to the hospital believing god would fix this illness. She unknowingly had diabetes also. She was to the point she could not move couldn't walk throwing up non stop all she would eat was watermelon for a while then it got to the point she couldn't eat at all. She was slowly dying a long brutal death because her life was the hands of a god that does not exist. I remember my dad carying her around because she was too weak to move she was pale and didnt talk.. People need to get over the fact that there is nothing more then a dark casket filled with dirt and bones, no soul, no afterlife, no god. Plain and simple im sorry to be so brutally honest. But i guess youd like to know my my dad argued with my mom then finally gave in and took her to the hospital. She lived she is 23 today and happy with two kids of her own. The doctors told my parents if they had waited so much as another hour she would have died without the insulin she needed.

  19. so to the first line of this, i thought job got the blunt of pushing how much his faith could sustain, way more than abraham

  20. Here's some "brutal honesty." Stop hiding behind the veil of anger and resentment. Take charge of your life and don't blame others for their roles. Only you can determine what to believe and what not to believe but answer for yourself, this: Where does "love" come from? How is it measured and why does it matter? Why should someone care about you if you don't even care about them? What reasons does ANYONE have to care for anyone if life does not matter because death does not matter? What are you doing to make the world a better place besides complaining? Is it okay to forgive someone their belief system if it is out of ignorance? Who are YOU to say that GOD does not exist? Why not use your art skills to express your views or your torment or your love. Whay does art even matter? The answer is - nothing matters without a mind empowering it.