Questions of liberty (3) 6

This is from an undated article. We quote it here in order to raise a question.

Authorities in four states are prosecuting Chris­tian Science parents on manslaughter, murder, or child abuse charges for refusing medical care to their dying chil­dren. The cases — six of them in all, including three in California — represent the largest assault in history against Christian Science reliance on prayer instead of medical treatment to cure dis­ease.

Are such prosecutions against the Constitutional principle of the separation of church and state?

If so, should the state not interfere in any way in such cases?

Should the state never interfere in any religious practice whatsoever, even if – for instance – it included human sacrifice?

Debate is invited.

  • George

    The next thing you know we will have the sharia law jihadists claiming we’re violating their right to engage in “honor killings ” of their wives and daughters  and then saying we’re violating their religious practices.  Then we’ll have the Voodo priests claiming we’re violating their religious practices when we protest sacrifices and torture . We’ll then hear from the Santaria followers who claim their sacrifices of animals (chickens ) are violating their religious practices.   Then all the wacko cults will come crawling from out of the woodworks claiming we  secular freethinkers are not letting them  teach people to drink poison punch like Jim Jones in Guyana or the group that worshipped the Hale Bop comet.   Then we’ll have the trekkies saying we should allow the prayers of “The Force”  as taught by Luke Skywalker and his Lordship Darth Vader and  OB1KNOBE be taught in our public schools ( ok , ok , I’m being jokingly sarcastic —-but you get the idea ).

    • Liz

      Yes, and if Romney gets elected, how much you want to bet the polygamists will be coming out from under their rocks claiming that it violates their religion to ban polygamy or marrying your 10 year old cousin?

      • TyS

         not necessarily – the Mormon Church outlawed polygamy

  • TyS

    I’d argue to let them go forth with their “Christian (Anti)Science” – a little chlorine in the gene pool is necessary from time to time, and when it is self-imposed, it’s a win/win situation

  • Ralph

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. The founders meant to establish a government to deal with matters of this world and only this world while granting freedom of religion to deal with matters of the supposed afterlife. Nowhere in the constitution are theists exempted from secular law.

  • Liz

    I can think of one example that would support the case for interfering – you could consider “jihad” a “religious practice”.  This has harmed more people than anything else in recent memory.  Also circumcision, which is forced on children and can result in serious mutilation and death.  Any religious practice that harms other people shouldn’t fall under the protection of any principle of religious liberty.