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.