Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This has gotta stop.

We have brains. We can make sense of things.

We can evaluate a situation, figure out a solution to it, and act upon it properly. Can't we?

Mom of dead girl: Sickness was test of faith
11-year-old died of undiagnosed diabetes as the family prayed for her

WAUSAU, Wisc. — The mother of an 11-year-old girl who died of undiagnosed diabetes as the family prayed for her to get better testified Tuesday that she believes sickness is caused by sin and can be cured by God.

Leilani Neumann told the jury in her husband's trial that she thought her daughter's March 2008 illness was a test of her religious faith and she didn't take the girl to a doctor because that would have been "complete disobedience to what we believe."

Dale Neumann, 47, is charged with second-degree reckless homicide in the 2008 death of his daughter Madeline Neumann, called Kara by her parents. His wife was convicted of the same charge this spring and faces up to 25 years in prison when sentenced Oct. 6.
Full story here.

Alright, folks. If you know me — and if you're reading this thing, you probably do, right? — I'm no fan of religion. But hey, you want to believe in transsubstantiation? You think that a guy in Saudi Arabia a dozen centuries ago was inspired by a divine being to write a book? You want to have a statue of a round-bellied Chinese guy that you rub for good luck? Think that maybe there's just a ghost in the sky who made everything and has your back? Knock yourself out.

This kid, Madeline "Kara" Neumann, had no choice but to believe the stories that her parents told her to believe. Do you know an 11-year-old that can make a sound decision about accepting or rejecting a ready-made set of morals and tales and characters, which sounds pretty complete to a large number of adults, let alone a pre-teen? I don't, and I doubt you do, either.

If she was born in Israel, she would've had a different set of stories which made sense. Different again if she was born in Côte d'Ivoire, Turkmenistan, North Korea or the jungles of Papua New Guinea. And yet, all those places seem to (a.) have a culturally-dominant set of stories which (b.) all claim to be true, yet because they're all different, (c.) all but one (or maybe zero) have to be right.

If she'd been born in some other place, or even just had parents in Wausau who had themselves believed in a different set of stories, Madeleine Neumann would still be alive today.

And that's fucked up.

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