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Faith healing: Intellectual incompetence and moral failure

Faith healing: Intellectual incompetence and moral failure
Faith healing: Intellectual incompetence and moral failure

Faith healing: Intellectual incompetence and moral failure. The tragic life and senseless death of 16-year-old Neil Beagley is being played out in an Oregon City courtroom this week. Beagley died last June of complications from a urinary block.

This rather mundane and very treatable condition was left untreated by Beagley and his parents, in favor of prayer and faith in the Lord. As one might expect, the Lord was no where to be found, and young Beagley paid for his parents and his own ignorance and superstition with his life.

Jeff and Marci Beagley did nothing as their 16-year-old son Neal died. Because of their reckless and blatant negligence they now stand trial for negligent homicide for failing to seek medical attention for their son.

The Beagley's are members of the Followers of Christ Church, a small but notorious congregation that makes a habit of watching their children die rather than seek medical attention. Four months prior to Neil's death, his young cousin also died at home because her parents, Carl and Raylene Worthington, refused to get her medical attention.

The Beagley's defense is that their son was 16, and had the legal right to refuse medical attention, which apparently he did. In addition, they claim they were following the advice of a state Department of Human Services worker who claimed Neal was old enough to make his own medical decisions, which apparently he was.

The Beagley's legal culpability is a matter for the court to decide. A rational person might imagine that no punishment would compare to the pain of losing a child, but these people are not rational.

The Beagley's are intellectually incompetent moral failures. Their ignorant superstition brought about the tragic death of their son. Whether or not Neil himself refused medical attention is beside the point. By forcing Neil to participate in this religious perversion, by brainwashing and indoctrinating him into this cult of insanity, they are guilty of years of child abuse. Such people should not be allowed to be parents; they should not be allowed to spoil and ruin an innocent life.

The Followers of Christ Church is but an extreme example of the intellectual incompetence and moral failure that religion breeds.

The ignorance and superstition that religion entails is simply tragic. While not all Christians are so silly as to forgo medical attention, many Christians are happy to deny the scientific theories, e.g. evolution, which makes modern medicine possible. Their self deception and denial is but another tragedy spawned by the superstition and ignorance of religion.

As for members of the congregation of the Followers of Christ Church, these people are unfit to be parents. There is now ample proof that these people are incompetent, and will gladly let their children die rather than seek medical attention. They have no right to destroy the lives of the innocent to satisfy their religious vanity, even if the innocent happen to be their own children.


  • Phil 5 years ago

    This article is too biased and therefore goes on continuous negative rants on Christian idea. I don't agree with the methods of those people, but you have to understand they ACTUALLY believed by praying they would heal their son. Wether the fact that their methods were correct or not is besides the point. Their intentions were as good as anyone seeking medical attention. However this method led to the death of their son, so they were wrong.

    My disgust is the hatred this article portrays against the Christian people. Instead of being progressive and trying to invoke growth and knowledge, this guy banters extremely negative remarks. Now tell me, how is THAT progressive?

  • Rachie 5 years ago

    Phil, you are so right. This article is completely biased and obviously unprofessional. Professional writers and journalists keep their minds open. Christians are sincere about what they believe and what they believe is true. I've seen it first hand what God can do. I've seen a man who was blind in one eye (the eye was grey and obviously life-less) be able to see because people prayed for him. Now tell me, what happened there? Do not despise something just because you've had a bad experience or have something against that thing. Keep an open mind. Experiment for yourself. And make sure you don't get your impression of Christians from the religious. Because they are not an example of Christ. If they shun you, they're wrong. If they judge you, they're wrong. If they don't accept you for who they are, they're wrong again. This is not how my Jesus is. My Jesus is the Jesus of the Bible. The Jesus who is faithful and takes you and loves you as you are. Nuff said... :)

  • Psy 5 years ago

    Phil I do understand these people actually believed, then you downplay it by playing the hate card. Faith isn't a virtue its self deception and I'm not just discussed with Christianity but all religions. Hopefully we will find a cure for religious anti-intellectualism.

    Rachie as for them man with one eye, when someone collects the million dollars from James Randi I will believe it. How do I explain it? People are gullible.

  • Réne Girard (Ft. Worth Christianity & Culture) 5 years ago

    It is a shame those people did not seek medical attention. They were sincere, but wrong.

    Science can be the same way. I have friends healed by prayer and healed by medicine. And I have friends who died at the hands of doctors and medical professionals, as well as those who recovered and pulled through because of their intervention.

    It goes both ways.

  • Felix H. Cat 5 years ago

    While this is a very opinionated article for a journalistic piece, someone needs to have the courage to declare that this ignorant superstition and culture of religious indoctrination that favours blind faith over empirical evidence and reason is wrong and damaging. I applaud the author for doing so.

  • Josie S 4 years ago

    Now for my 2 cents worth - Yes it was wrong to not seek medical attention for their son - However, we need to have more compasion and look at the bigger picture - To say they are not fit to be parents, I understand the anger behind it and at the same time I feel compassion for the parents becuase I know all too well what revealed religion can do to the mind when one loses touch with reality. Religion is the problem, not necessarily the people who live oppressed and with a mind that no longer reasons. These people accept truth that many of us know is not truth and these truths when accepted, become those mind virus's. Instead of condeming the parent's for brainwashing the son, let's discuss the religion that had brainwashed the parents. I beleive we are heading towards a great wake up call in the areas of revealed religions becoming revealed as to what they really are and the unfortunate thing is that many are suffering at the hands of awareness.