Monday, June 22, 2009

God not at fault.

A religious couple are going to trial for manslaughter and criminal mistreatment relating to the death of their 15 month old baby. The doctors say that the child could have been saved with antibiotics. The couple refused medical aid and held to the idea that God would intervene. Most parents would do "anything" to save the life of their child. Few of them would let the child die for an opinion. The Worthingtons did.

From a religious point of view, what was going on there? Were the couple testing the power of God to heal their child? Or were they testing their opinion that God could be prevailed upon by their beliefs and actions to heal their child? Anybody who believes in God posits God's power to do anything. So, presumably, these parents were not testing the ability of God to heal their child. The test they were making was of their religious opinions - and whether they were sufficiently strong to persuade God to heal the baby. To believe that is not standard religion but belief in magic.

So,then, from a parental,legal point of view, what was going on there? How does depriving their child of needed medicine compare with other parental neglects? Let us say that it comes into the parents' heads that, though they have food, it would be a test of their opinions to leave the provision of food for their baby to God. Or, let's say their child tears out the seat of his trousers at school and comes to his parents to have them mended. Or, if they see their child suspended over an abyss with only a weakening thread preventing his death. Or if the child takes up a dangerous habit like smoking. Or, as a toddler, their child is trying to run out into traffic. Would they also leave these ordinary necessary parental actions to God?

The Doser considers them to be, at least, guilty of manslaughter and criminal mistreatment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

HI, JIM!!! I made it safely home for R&R.

Unfortunately there are those in all religions that take something too literally.

They put responsibility for their lives on God's shoulders, ignoring the outcomes of their own choices in life. Just another way of ignoring one's responsibility for our actions or failure to take action.

Must be nice going through life without having to accept responsibilty for the course of our lives... Blame it on God or God's will, and you are just a victim...