The Church of Christ Sadist (2) 73

Another sadistic Christian sect (see our post immediately below, The Church of Christ Sadist) lets children die in agony. It calls itself the Church of Christ Scientist (an oxymoron).

No date is given for the report we quote from here. These horrors were allowed to happen decades ago. Has legal action stopped them from ever happening again?

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

Christian Science began in 1875 with the publication of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health. About the same time the organization of “Chris­tian Scientists,” an association of Mrs. Eddy’s students, formed to learn the finer points of her mind cure techniques. In 1879 the organization incorporated under its official name — The Church of Christ, Scientist.

Although 44 states have enacted laws to prevent prose­cution of Christian Scientists on the basis of religious beliefs, a growing number of prosecutors are going after parents on the basis of child abuse statutes. Child abuse is not directly allud­ed to in most of the statutes pro­tecting Christian Scientists.

The Massachusetts law pro­tecting Christian Scientists passed by the state legislature in 1971 is similar to that of other states. Prosecutors argue that although it shields parents from charges of child neglect, it does not deal with child abuse.

A child is not deemed to have been abused if prevented by parents from being medically treated:

It reads:A child shall not be deemed to be neglected or lack proper physical care for the sole reason that he is being provided remedial treatment by spiritual means alone.”

These cases are cited:

Robin Twitchell, 2, died on April 3, 1986, after suffering for five days from a congenital bowel obstruction. [Painful beyond description - JB]

Mr. Twitchell said he blamed him­self for his son’s death, not for failing to seek a doctor, but because he “failed” in his “belief”. He said he prayed over his baby every night. …

William and Christine Her­manson of Sarasota, Florida, are accused of killing their dia­betic daughter [Amy, 7] by denying her insulin injections. …

The door for the above and other cases to be prosecuted was opened by a recent ruling by the California Supreme Court involving … three active cases in its jurisdiction. The same ruling also opened the door for potential legal action generally against religious groups accused of child abuse. That recent ruling stated that Christian Science parents who attempt spiritual healing and fail to the loss of life can be tried for manslaughter. In all three cases the children involved died of the same ailment — bacterial meningitis; and the parents were all charged with felony child endangerment and invol­untary manslaughter. [All too voluntary in reality - JB.]

The parents charged includ­ed Laurie Walker of Sacramen­to, whose four-year-old daugh­ter Shauntay died in March 1984; Elliot and Lisa Glaser of Santa Monica, whose 16-month son Seth died in March 1984; and Mark and Susan Rippberger of Santa Rosa, whose 8-year-old daughter Natalie died in December 1964.

The most recent case to be publicized is perhaps the most gruesome. Elizabeth Ashley King died of bone cancer near Phoenix, Arizona, on June 5, 1988. At the time of her death, the 12-year-old girl, who had been out of school for seven months, had a 42-inch-round tumor on her leg that had eaten through her bones and genital area.

Elizabeth’s parents, John and Katherine King, were charged with child abuse for let­ting her die. Prosecutor K. C. Scull said he recommended that manslaughter charges also be filed against the Kings, but the county Grand Jury would not go along with it after hear­ing tearful testimony from them.

How mysterious that the merciful God, for all the praying, did not save the children.

Any explanations?