Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Power of Prayer

          There is not a lot that really upsets me in so much a way that it makes me nauseous and angry to think about it, but this type of story is one of those things that do. I'm speaking of an article from, that I got a link to from a post on the Swift Blog, on the JREF website. The article was concerning the trial of Jeff and Marci Beagley, who are facing charges for the Negligent death of their 16 year old son, Neil. Neil died in June of 2008 with complications that arose from a urinary tract blockage that doctors are saying could have been easily treated.
          The Beagley's are followers of Christ Church, Oregon City, a fundamentalist church who teaches the literal interpretation of scripture, which includes denying medical treatments, and instead turning to prayer and faith healing. And Neil's parents just allowed him to die from a commonly treatable ailment, without ever seeking medical attention. As Alison Smith stated in her Swift Blog post concerning this case:
"Neil Beagley didn't die in a hospital. He didn't die surrounded by doctors who were stumped regarding his next stage of treatment. Sixteen-year-old Neil Beagley didn't die peacefully with an IV in his arm pumping in morphine to lessen what must have been excruciating pain. He died in his grandmother's bed, without having received any medical treatment of any kind. Doctors say that Neil's illness was treatable right up until the day he died."
          Furthermore, this is not the first time this family has been responsible for this type of negligent death of a child! Their grandchild, 15-month-old Ava Worthington (the daughter of their daughter, Raylene Worthington) died in March 2008 as well from an easily treatable combination of pneumonia and a blood infection. It is amazing that the family learned nothing from this first death, only 3 months earlier. And, the worst part about Ava Worlington's case, is that her father (Carl Worthington) spent less than two months in jail for the death of his daughter!
          Now, the Beagley's have been found guilty and sentenced to 16 to 18 months in prison. This, in my opinion, is far to small of a sentence for two parents who let their child die in excruciating pain, with no medical attention, "as his body filled with urine".
          And this is something that we hear about all the time, like the case of Estelle Walker, convicted earlier this month for starving her four children, and telling them that "God would provide". As the article (linked above) stated: " At one point, they said, they went 11 days without food. By July of that year, when a neighbor called police, an 8-year-old daughter was down to 34 pounds". Furthermore, it pains me to say that I know that I could probably find many more recent cases like this with a quick ten minute google search. It puts tears in my eyes right now just thinking of all of the children that have been practically tortured, many times to death, by parents who refused to get their children medical treatment for commonly treatable ailments. All this because they think that there is some magic man in the sky who will wiggle his ears or something and make all the bad stuff go away. I mean, are you kidding me?? What the F%#K is going through these people's heads as they watch their children die?!?!? Oh yeah, God will provide, God will provide, God will provide. Yeah, well, I could only say one thing to those type of people...."If there was some chance that I am wrong, and your god does exist, then he doesn't give a shit! Now stop reaching to the sky, like some kind of schizophrenic person talking to a lightbulb, and start dealing with reality."
          All I know is that these religious zealots allowed their children to die painful deaths while they just watched and hoped that an imaginary magic man in the sky would make it all go away, when they could have helped their child at any time by getting him medical attention. These types of people don't deserve to have children, and they should be locked up for far longer than the few months that they get sentenced to.
          And they say that religion doesn't hurt anybody................


  1. I really like your blog. This story really pissed me off too. Incidentally, I'm an Outpatient Psychotherapist and see cases involving child abuse fairly often. People like this should be given very harsh legal consequences in my opinion. I hope the trend is in that direction. Keep up the good work with the blog!

  2. Thank you for the compliments, they are very much appreciated. I consider myself a wanna be blogger at the moment, but I'm trying. And yes, this type of child abuse really gets to me, partly because I spent around 12 years of my life in a fanatical cult group just like this while growing up, which, maybe I'll go into in a blog post one of these days. The point is, I've seen this type of abuse happen first hand, and I sincerely agree that I hope the trend is moving toward holding people more accountable for this sort of thing.

    Anywaqys, thanks again for the compliments. I read your blog, and I like your writing style as well....I'm following your blog now as well.

    See you around...

  3. It's a sad state of affairs. Here's a more recent example:

  4. Damn Britta, that one is horrible! Thanks for posting that, I may actually write something about it later because it reminds me of the group of children that those missionaries were caught trying to sneak out of haiti. The missionaries say that they were trying to help the kids, but who knows if they would have ended up in a household like this. It really makes me sick at my stomach to think of how often this type of thing is happening......