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July 25, 2009

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As Robert Frost once said, a liberal is someone who is afraid to take his own side in an argument. People who style themselves as progressives/liberals but who are quick to apologize for/excuse the killing of children by withholding medical care make me crazy.

There's no real difference between killing your kid by denying care for treatable conditions and killing them by denying them some essential nutrition -- the only difference is the speed of death.

We don't tolerate people who would mutilate their daughter's genitalia (female circumcision) just because they were following the dictates and customs of their culture. Yet we're happy to tolerate these killers because they do it in the name of their own twisted, sick culture, masquerading as "religion."

Walker, I heartily agree. I'm not sure, though, whether more progressives or conservatives are making apologies for the Worthingtons.

My suspicion -- which is just that -- is that right-wing Christians are most likely to say, "Government shouldn't stick their noses in the lives of religious believers, no matter what they believe. God's law trumps man's law."

Sometimes children need to be protected from their parents. Sad but true and religion is no excuse. There is NOTHING in the Bible that denies medical treatment. As you brought up in your other blog, if these people really believed god took care of everything, they'd have mounted no defense and left it all in god's hands. They were hypocrites. Unfortunately people who beat a child to death are never treated as seriously in the court of law as someone who murdered a full adult. That is just plain wrong.

Why is it that spanking your child can land you in court for child abuse or worse,and yet, Parents who are neglectful of their child's health to the point of the child dying can be excused because of a personal belief?

I'm not really sure I can appreciate an athiest telling me what is or is not a valid religious belief.

Don't get me wrong...the thought of letting a child die or denying them competent care is abhorrent. Most reasonable people would agree. But I try not to judge people's religious beliefs, although I do not have to approve of the outcomes.

What of those religions long ago that required sacrifices of humans and animals? Were those "valid" religious beliefs?

As you are an athiest, I question if you have the credibility on this issue to label it as simply a valid or invalid "religious" belief.

Or is it a matter of all pigs being equal...but some are more equal than others?

Dan, it doesn't seem like we disagree on the most important point: letting a child die because the parents believe Jesus heals rather than doctors is wrong, criminal, and can't be allowed by society.

That's an example of an invalid religious belief: one which harms other people who don't share that belief. (Children are under the protection of their parents, especially when 15 months old, so can't choose to forego medical treatment on their own.)

So apparently we agree that someone religious isn't allowed to inflict this particular belief on others. That's what I meant by "invalid" in the title of this post. I said that letting children die is an invalid religious belief. If someone wants to let themselves die, that's their right.

Legally, competent adults can refuse medical treatment. Adults also can choose to believe in creationism, if they like. Or the Easter Bunny. But they don't have the right to inflict their beliefs on others, such as by having creationism rather than evolution taught in public schools.

So for me (and many others) the dividing line between a valid and invalid religious belief is whether other people are unduly harmed by actions that flow from the belief. In Ava's case, she died as a result of a religious belief, so I feel absolutely justified in calling that belief "invalid."

Followers of Christ have a cemetery full of dead children. As Dr. Phil would say, "How's that workin' for ya".

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