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Thread: Prayer healing case convicted of homicide

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    Re: Prayer healing case convicted of homicide

    As a Christian, I believe in the power of prayer. I also believe that we are supposed to make every "mundane" effort that we are capable of even as we call on God for aid. I won't go into a lot of detail at this point, since that would involve a lot of Scripture and get rather theological, but my church teaches that God expects us to do all we can do, at the same time understanding that it is all in His hands.

    We don't sit around the house and not work, expecting God to provide us with all the necessities of life out of thin air, now do we? No. We pray for God to help us be able to work and provide for our needs, and then we go out and actually work.
    When a car swerves toward us on the road, do we move out of the way or stand there expecting God to perform an overt miracle and stop the speeding car? We move out of way, and when we can breathe again we say "thanks Lord" that we didn't get squished.
    Likewise when we get sick, we're supposed to do all that we are able to get well, while calling on God to aid our efforts. This includes going to the Doctor, taking your meds, calling an ambulance if need be. I believe that God does sometimes provide miraculous healings because I've seen it happen; I also believe that He is offended when we sit on our butts and demand an overt miracle. "It is written, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."

    Now, having said that... I think 25 years in prison is very harsh, given that there was no malice or ill intentions here. In many states 2nd degree murder and voluntary manslaughter do not carry that much time; some 1st Degree murderers get out in 15 or less. I think anything over 2 years would be overkill, because they very much wanted her to live...they just made a questionable choice as to method. I think the loss of their daughter, the shame of being arrested and convicted, have probably knocked some sense into them; I'd probably give them five years probation and time served if I were the judge.

    I have to say this also: I notice that those who are pro-choice on abortion are also among the harshest critics of these people. Not to restart the "it's a person/it's not a person" debate (I've heard enough of that ad-nauseum), but you realize that supporting an absolute and unfettered right-to-choose of a pregnant mother to end what half of America believes is at least arguably a human life, on the one hand....while at the same time being so harshly critical of these parents who chose to rely on one method of healing they believed in rather than another...could be construed as a little ironic yes? I know you'll say an 11 year old girl is inarguably a human being and a fetus "isn't", but you're aware that roughly half of the country considers that point debateable?


    Okay, forget about that then: I have some sincere and serious questions for those who believe these parents should get the full 25 years in prison:
    If their daughter had died because they chose to attempt to use "alternative" or "holistic" medical practices on her, perhaps aided by a doctor who supported such therapy, would you still give them 25 years?
    If their daughter had died in an automobile accident, caused by the other driver, but her parents had chosen not to make her buckle her seatbelt, would you still give them 25 years?

    I think these are relevant questions and comparable situations.

    G.
    Last edited by Goshin; 08-02-09 at 11:40 AM.

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    Re: Prayer healing case convicted of homicide

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Okay, forget about that then: I have some sincere and serious questions for those who believe these parents should get the full 25 years in prison:
    If their daughter had died because they chose to attempt to use "alternative" or "holistic" medical practices on her, perhaps aided by a doctor who supported such therapy, would you still give them 25 years?
    If their daughter had died in an automobile accident, caused by the other driver, but her parents had chosen not to make her buckle her seatbelt, would you still give them 25 years?

    I think these are relevant questions and comparable situations.

    G.
    To the first question, yes, absolutely. The second example, in my opinion, shows the parents as having less responsibility for the child's misfortune. Yes, she'd have come to less harm with a seatbelt on, but this exaple does not show her parents declining to access needed medical treatment for her. I'd say the latter example is negligence, but not to the extent that the former example is.
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    Re: Prayer healing case convicted of homicide

    Quote Originally Posted by Councilman View Post
    Being a diabetic I can assure you that treatment is not mysterious, miraculous, or even complicated. It's simple straight forward and from what I have seen almost always effective in prolonging life.
    The power of prayer is mysterious and unquantifiable when it appears that they are at the center of a miraculous recovery Doctors are often baffled, but there are most likely just as many unexplained recoveries where there is no claim that prayer was involved at all. People who believe the only power to heal is in Gods hands need to be taught that the knowledge Doctors have and the medicine the was made possible because God deemed it so and that he imparted that knowledge so that man will benefit from it. All prayers are answered but some times the answer is no. but it his will that everything he made available be used and if in the end a child passes on know that children are without sin and will be welcomed into Gods kingdom with open arms.
    All people of Faith need to know the story of the Flood. As the flood neared a religious man sent his family to higher ground but he remained behind to protect his property telling his wife God will protect him. As the water reached 3' he was setting on the porch when a big National Guard truck came by and an officer said get on mister the main part of the flood will be here soon. No thank you said the man I'll be fine God will protect me. The truck drove on. Shortly after that the water was 6' deep and the man moved to the second floor as rescue boat came by. Get in mister the main flood is on it's way. No thank you sad the man God will look after me. After the boat went away the water got even deeper and the man moved to the roof, and in a short time a helicopter flew over and the pilot said over a loud speaker climb up the rope ladder mister the main part of the flood will be here in minutes. No thank you said the man God will save me. The chopper flew off. It was only minutes that the water covered the roof and the man died in the flood. As he arrived in Heaven God ask the man, why are you here it wasn't your time. The man said I stayed behind because I thought you would save me. God shook his head and said. I sent a truck, a boat, and a helicopter what more could I do?
    God didn't let this couple down they let God down.
    Prosecutors said the girl couldn't walk, talk, eat or speak.

    Sounds like she was beyond help.
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    Re: Prayer healing case convicted of homicide

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post

    Now, having said that... I think 25 years in prison is very harsh, given that there was no malice or ill intentions here. In many states 2nd degree murder and voluntary manslaughter do not carry that much time; some 1st Degree murderers get out in 15 or less. I think anything over 2 years would be overkill, because they very much wanted her to live...they just made a questionable choice as to method. I think the loss of their daughter, the shame of being arrested and convicted, have probably knocked some sense into them; I'd probably give them five years probation and time served if I were the judge.
    I am not certain that malice is the most dangerous quality a person can possess. The prosecuting attorney stated in his closing argument that the thing that the father was guilty of, aside from the actual crime, was pride. From a societal standpoint, much harm comes from pride, especially that of the religious sort. Likewise, if you need God to back up your stances, he seems to be especially aggrieved by it , if memory serves. In fact, I am surprised that the God-fearing aren't calling for the death penalty, frankly. It's as if they feel some kinship with this guy even though his apparently bizarre theology led him to aid the destruction of his daughter.

    Admittedly, malice also causes much harm, obviously. I am just not sure that it is necessary to establish malice in order to ask for harsh sentences.

    Addressing the matter of a criminal's immediate reactions to being charged, found guilty and sentenced: Arguments could be made that other criminals have probably already had 'sense knocked into them' by the time they are sentenced, and yet no one makes those arguments for those criminals. I would argue that most criminals are starting to very much regret their decisions by the time their first year in prison is up. However, I am happy that such regret is reinforced by (much) longer prison sentences.

    Another thing I find odd is that the conservative religious don't usually make arguments for leniency based on rehabilitation. This seems to be because they are usually asking society to consider retribution for the crime over all other considerations. Retribution satisfies the notion of Justice, and conservatives most often even argue for it in cases where the person is insane or the person is still a minor.

    Finally, I don't think it is a given that the parent's utmost concern was the survival of their daughter. In fact, I would argue that it was probably something else, and that the survival of the daughter was of nominal concern.

    I have some sincere and serious questions for those who believe these parents should get the full 25 years in prison:
    If their daughter had died because they chose to attempt to use "alternative" or "holistic" medical practices on her, perhaps aided by a doctor who supported such therapy, would you still give them 25 years?
    If the parents were aided by a doctor who misled them, then I would have a hard time punishing these people. When someone with credibility is involved, it greatly reduces the notion that the parents involved were engaging in some kind of self-satisfying hubris. This, I think, is the characteristic that makes it criminal. Such a state of mind makes the act nearly sociopathic.


    If their daughter had died in an automobile accident, caused by the other driver, but her parents had chosen not to make her buckle her seatbelt, would you still give them 25 years?
    This would depend, I think, on a lot of other facts. Was it because the parent forgot, this time? Was it because the kids have frayed their last nerve, and they just don't want to fight about it this time? Was it because the parent didn't actually know what was going on in the back seat?

    Or was it because the parent doesn't believe in the guvment telling them how to live their lives and raise their children and they are proving their libertarian independence by endangering their children's lives?

    I actually don't wear a seatbelt myself, if I can help it. Nevertheless, child passengers in my car always do.

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    Re: Prayer healing case convicted of homicide

    Quote Originally Posted by Dezaad View Post
    From a societal standpoint, much harm comes from pride, especially that of the religious sort.
    Intresting assertion. I would counter that more harm comes from many non-religious forms of hubris, such as the hubris of the non-personhood of the unborn, but that's probably an argument for another time.


    Admittedly, malice also causes much harm, obviously. I am just not sure that it is necessary to establish malice in order to ask for harsh sentences.
    If I'm not mistaken, malice or a lack thereof is often considered in criminal proceedings. In this case, it is an assumption, but a reasonable one, that there was no malice and that their intentions were for the best.



    Finally, I don't think it is a given that the parent's utmost concern was the survival of their daughter. In fact, I would argue that it was probably something else, and that the survival of the daughter was of nominal concern.
    Now we're delving into deeper motivations, into the territory of the "thought police". Granted that I opened that can of worms when I asserted that they had no malice and didn't want their daughter to die, but this is a reasonable supposition that all caring parents want their sick child to live. To assume that their child's survival was a side-issue compared to their hubris is a much larger and more dubious assumption, imo. Without some very specific evidence, such as a statement by the parents that seemed to indicate they were thinking that way, I'd be hesitant to accept that assertion.


    If the parents were aided by a doctor who misled them, then I would have a hard time punishing these people. When someone with credibility is involved, it greatly reduces the notion that the parents involved were engaging in some kind of self-satisfying hubris. This, I think, is the characteristic that makes it criminal. Such a state of mind makes the act nearly sociopathic.
    Let's say there was no doctor. The parents were among that crowd who thinks "big pharma" and "big healthcare" is all a sham and that there is a "natural cure" for everything, and proceeded to treat their daughter with honey and aromatherapy, because they read it in some book on "holistic medicine". Now what?




    This would depend, I think, on a lot of other facts. Was it because the parent forgot, this time? Was it because the kids have frayed their last nerve, and they just don't want to fight about it this time? Was it because the parent didn't actually know what was going on in the back seat?

    Or was it because the parent doesn't believe in the guvment telling them how to live their lives and raise their children and they are proving their libertarian independence by endangering their children's lives?
    Let's say the parents are ignorant wretches who believe, against all evidence, that wearing seatbelts doensn't save lives, because Uncle Ernie once survived a wreck only because he was thrown clear from not wearing a belt, and Cousin Fred was trapped by his seatbelt in a burning car. Now what?

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    Re: Prayer healing case convicted of homicide

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    Prosecutors said the girl couldn't walk, talk, eat or speak.

    Sounds like she was beyond help.
    I see the point goes over your head, yet again.

    Unless you're a doctor, what you think it sounds like doesn't matter. As long as she was alive and was brought to a hospital, there was a chance that something could have been done.

    Again, I invite you to prove with peer reviewed sources that prayer healing works better than modern medicine, and that this family was therefore justified in using their "medical technique". Stop avoiding my request.

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    Re: Prayer healing case convicted of homicide

    Prosecutors said the girl couldn't walk, talk, eat or speak.
    Uh, yeah, Type 1 diabetics get that way after awhile when they need insulin.
    Then you give them an insulin shot and *poof*, they're all better. Jeesh.
    Their pancreas is kaput, and produces no insulin.
    Type 2 diabetes is less severe; the pancreas still produces insulin, just not enough, so it needs to be supplemented. A Type 2 diabetic could live for a long, long time without insulin, and merely not feel well. A Type 1 diabetic, deprived of insulin, will be dead in a day or two. At any time up to the point that she's actually dead, though, she could be saved, simply be giving her insulin. Many if not most Type 1 diabetics have an incident like this sooner or later, where they forget their insulin or can't take it for some reason, and fall into an altered state, a stupor, or even a diabetic coma. They only need their insulin in order to be saved. That's why they wear those med-alert bracelets, to warn others that if they fall out for no apparent reason, they need to be given insulin at once or else they will die imminently.

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    Re: Prayer healing case convicted of homicide

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    If I'm not mistaken, malice or a lack thereof is often considered in criminal proceedings. In this case, it is an assumption, but a reasonable one, that there was no malice and that their intentions were for the best.
    I agree that malice is often considered, because it is admittedly often the motivation. Considering malice is, as you admit later, opening up the matter to the thought police. I will just assert, now, that I see no reason why considering pride is any more a matter for thought police than malice is.


    Now we're delving into deeper motivations, into the territory of the "thought police". Granted that I opened that can of worms when I asserted that they had no malice and didn't want their daughter to die, but this is a reasonable supposition that all caring parents want their sick child to live. To assume that their child's survival was a side-issue compared to their hubris is a much larger and more dubious assumption, imo. Without some very specific evidence, such as a statement by the parents that seemed to indicate they were thinking that way, I'd be hesitant to accept that assertion.
    I really don't think it is that great a leap. They were either ignorant, idiots or hubristic (there are other possibilities, I suppose, but I can't think of any just now). Now, admittedly in this case, there is a fine line. But, I do believe the distinction is important. It is easier for me to believe that they wilfully ignored evidence that contravened their beliefs than it is to believe that they simply were unaware of that evidence or were unable to apprehend it's significance. Therefore, I arrive at the conclusion that the assumption being made is greater when one decides that the care of their daughter was utmost in their mind.




    Let's say there was no doctor. The parents were among that crowd who thinks "big pharma" and "big healthcare" is all a sham and that there is a "natural cure" for everything, and proceeded to treat their daughter with honey and aromatherapy, because they read it in some book on "holistic medicine". Now what?
    I believe I would be just as appalled at this person's behavior as I am at the people who tried to get God to heal their daughter. Or at least almost.



    Let's say the parents are ignorant wretches who believe, against all evidence, that wearing seatbelts doensn't save lives, because Uncle Ernie once survived a wreck only because he was thrown clear from not wearing a belt, and Cousin Fred was trapped by his seatbelt in a burning car. Now what?
    Then they are ignorant wretches. Ignorant wretches are still capable of caring, and their attorney will, somewhat ironically, likely have the opportunity to show how stupid their clients are while defending them. I am sure that opportunity was afforded the person in the case under discussion, and I am assuming that the jury decided that the defendant was guilty of an egregious crime after being presented all of the facts.

    We don't have all of the facts, so, until I do, I am deferring to the jury's decision while presenting plausible reasons why they can and should convict such people as being guilty of the most heinous of crimes.

    It is quite possible that they didn't have an Uncle Lemming to point to who was miraculously healed of cancer with any treatment or anything similar. Quite possible indeed.

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    Re: Prayer healing case convicted of homicide

    Quote Originally Posted by Dezaad View Post
    I believe I would be just as appalled at this person's behavior as I am at the people who tried to get God to heal their daughter. Or at least almost.
    .
    Okay, you're reasonably consistent. May I ask why the qualifier, however?

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    Re: Prayer healing case convicted of homicide

    Dale Neumann, 47, was convicted in the 2003 death of his daughter, Madeline, from undiagnosed diabetes
    Good. He should be in jail.
    I hope he realises in jail God does not make house calls


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