and we are in agreement in all of thisYou are your child's guardian, and thus you are responsible for raising that child, providing for their needs, and making decisions for that child that is in the child's best interest.
the parent guardians are responsible for caring for their children in the way THEY view best
in this instance THEY chose to follow prayer as the healing mechanism, consistent with THEIR religious convictions
and consistent with THEIR religious beliefs, the parents chose prayer as the way to effect healingThere is a lot of leeway in this, we all have known terrible parents that still managed to raise their kids. However, because you are your kid's guardian and not your kid's owner, you cannot deny them lifesaving care.
food was NOT deniedYou cannot deny them food.
they were NOT denied shelterYou cannot deny them proper shelter
and in the parents' religious view, they did not deny their children life saving/preserving attention. they offered what THE PARENTS believed to be best for their children. they chose the healing of religious prayer... or other life saving / preserving needs.
not what you or i would have chosen, but we are not of the parents' faith. they have a right to choose their faith and to live by the tenants of their own religion. and that called for the healing powers of prayer
and the parents acted within that lineThat is where the line is drawn.
THEY did what they believed was best for their children, consistent with their personal beliefs
yes, but unlike you, these parents did not choose to starve their children. they did choose to follow the articles of their faithIf I were to quite feeding my kids, it would certainly be appropriate for the state to step in, and if necessary either remove custody from me or even prosecute me for my negligence.
and these children did not face starvationThis way my kids would not face the horrendous death of slow starvation.
but if your religious faith directed you to choose prayer instead of medicine, that would be the course of action directed by a higher power, your G_dSimilarly, if I had a child that developed cancer, and I refused to get my child any medical treatment for that cancer, it would be perfectly appropriate for the state to step in and thus save my child, that cannot legally consent themselves yet, from probably dying a slow and extremely painful death.
and that was the circumstance in extant circumstance
if you were a religious person who obeyed the directives of G_d as you understood them to be, and if those directives were to apply prayer rather than medicine, then you would choose prayerMy motivations for doing this would be irrelevant as it would have no impact on the results of my actions either way.
this assumes prayer would not helpEven if I thought I could pray away my kid's cancer, it would not change the fact that my denying them medical care would result in their dying a slow and extremely painful death.
you cannot offer any assurance that would not be the result
it is not difficult to grasp for those who choose to recognize the right to live by one's religious edictsI am not sure why this is such a difficult concept to grasp. Its not even controversial.
it becomes controversial when that choice is other than what would be prevalent, as in this instance
There's a role for government, and there's a role for parents. Unfortunately not all parents are spectacular. Same can be said for governments. I still don't like mixing the roles.