Thursday, May 21, 2009

Faith Healing = Epic FAIL

It's rainy season here in Florida and for me that can only mean one thing - hip pain. I dislocated my hip 12 years ago. At the time my family and I were members/followers of my grandmother's faith-healing sect, and so my mother and I didn't seek medical treatment. I spent my Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior years of high school walking with a cane, in pretty constant physical agony. The recurring pain I still suffer after extensive physical therapy is a personal reminder of the costs of faith and the failures of prayer. It got me thinking about my all-time "Big Issue" with religion - medical neglect of children.

About a month after my hip first fell out of joint, a 2-year-old boy I babysat was stung by 432 yellow jackets. He and his parents were visiting with staff of Home In Zion Ministries, my grandmother's group. She was also there, and told his parents he didn't need medical attention. So they prayed, gave him a bath and a glass of milk, set him in front of the TV. Seven hours later they called 9-1-1, after he'd been dead for half an hour. The parents were charged with

In the news right now is the story of Daniel Hauser. He is a 13-year-old boy with a learning disorder and a cancerous lymphoma. He was diagnosed in January and recommended 6 rounds of chemotherapy. After a single treatment, his mother stopped getting him medical attention. She insists she can treat him through "natural cures" such as herbs and vitamins, and cites religion as her reason. A Minnesota judge ordered her and her husband to treat the child with chemotherapy (as doctors say he has a 95% chance of recovery with it, and only a 5% chance of life without it). Now? She's skipped town and took her cancer-ridden, mentally challenged son with her. The FBI is looking for her across this country, and has issued a warrant for her arrest.

Man, when is this crap gonna end? I'm so sick of kids dying for their parents' faith. These children aren't martyrs - they're victims.


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