Dale and Shannon Hickman of Oregon City, Ore., who prayed for their ailing prematurely born son rather than seeking medical care, have been found guilty of felony manslaughter.
Prosecutors claimed Shannon Hickman never sought prenatal care and the couple never considered taking the premature infant to the hospital.
The child was born with a bacterial infection and underdeveloped lungs and died within nine hours after he had trouble breathing.
The Hickmans’ attorney claimed religious persecution and said there was no evidence that medical care would have saved the baby.
Faith healing is one of those areas where I can ignore it as a so long as it’s affecting themselves. But it’s very sad when parents are making reckless choices for their kids. I am happy to see this case worked out and hopefully it will cause some religious groups to do some critical thinking.
Some believe this case illustrates how evil religion is. I wavered on posting the article because that is not the point I wanted to make. More to the point, I believe the Church of FSM is not just another anti-religion club. A lot of us have the view that religion is harmful and antiquated, but a lot of us also accept that a huge number of people feel they get something positive out of their faith and their religious communities.
So I am cautious about posting things that promote the idea that the world would be better off without religion. Because, more than anything, I don’t believe it’s in the scope of the Church of FSM to make that statement.
The point I want to make is this: instead of drawing the line between the religious and non-religious, let’s draw the line between the reasonable and unreasonable. Let’s criticize a culture that values faith over reason, rather than religion itself.
Why? We know plenty of religious people and we realize that the majority of Christians do not reject modern medicine for their children. We personally know people who get something positive from their religious communities and yet still act with reason.
These are the people who might believe in some scripture, but they also realize that their faith does a poor job of explaining the natural world. They are not blinded by faith, they are reasonable. We need these people to promote the value of reason within their communities.