Murder Charge Stands for Faith-Healing Parents

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A judge upheld murder charges Wednesday against a fundamentalist Christian couple in their infant's faith-healing death, saying things might be different if their toddler hadn't died four years ago "under strikingly similar circumstances."


Their probation in that case required Herbert and Catherine Schaible to seek immediate medical help if another child was sick or injured. But they instead prayed over 8-month-old son Brandon before he died of pneumonia in April, according to their police statements.

Defense lawyer Bobby Hoof argued that Brandon died just three days after he came down with cold and flu symptoms and said there was no evidence of malice, as required for third-degree murder. The judge disagreed.

"They learned in the worst possible way … exactly what these symptoms could lead to in a child, especially a young child, if not medically cared for," Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner said, referring to the 2009 death of 2-year-old Kent Schaible. "We've been here before … under strikingly similar circumstances."

Written By: MaryClaire Dale
continue to source article at abcnews.go.com

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  1. ” saying things might be different if their toddler hadn’t died four years ago “under strikingly similar circumstances.” “

    Things could have been a hell of a lot different if they had that second child taken away from them then! Twice with this religious insanity? Wasn’t once enough?

  2. I’m sure that most of us have heard that “the eyes are the windows to the soul”. If anyone still requires evidence as to the soul’s non-existence, just gaze into the vacuous pits on these two.

    • In reply to #2 by Alakan:

      I’m sure that most of us have heard that “the eyes are the windows to the soul”. If anyone still requires evidence as to the soul’s non-existence, just gaze into the vacuous pits on these two.

      Mugshots invariably make people look terrible. Questions as to the veracity of fatuous folk sayings regarding appearance are not needed to condemn these two; their actions, or lack thereof, are quite sufficient.

  3. According to the full story, they have SEVEN SURVIVING children who are remanded into custody. When the first kid died in 2009, they were told that part of their parole was to bring their children in for regular checkups. They never did. Oh, and their pastor’s line:

    The Schaibles’ pastor, Nelson Clark, has said the couple lost their sons because of a “spiritual lack” in their lives. He has also faulted officials for trying to force his members into “the flawed medical system.” <<<

    Yes, the crazies are running the asylum!

  4. Take away the religion factor and how would the law have treated them after the first death. If they had just stood by and watched their child die and had no “faith” would they have been allowed to keep their other children or would they have been considered at risk?

  5. Thouands (Millions?) of theists will read this article and STILL not acknowledge that prayer is bullshit. That’s what puzzles me. They engage in mental gymnastics to show that THIS case of prayer was ill advised, or that the parents were somehow doing it wrong, but there are always OTHER cases where prayer is helpful because a divine power listens. I just shake my head.

    • In reply to #6 by Reckless Monkey:

      Put the pastor in the dock with them.

      I would argue that the greatest blame attaches to the clerics and shamans. These are the only people who truly benefit from the fatuous and often dangerous bollocks they spout. They are housed, clothed and fed by its sale. Without them the energy wasting lies would naturally fade replaced by a more efficient truth.

      We won’t truly free ourselves of these hateful memes until we eliminate their vector.

      I am a staunch defender of free speech and see the risks it runs here, but if we are happy to prevent purveyors of medical treatments not to mislead their customers (chiropractors giving harmful advice or whatever) then the moral case is clear here also. Medical advice offered with authority can be policed and the actively harmful can be acted against.

  6. I have a fridge magnet with a picture of an angelic blond haired little girl, hands together in prayer, eyes closed. She’s saying “So where’s my fucking pony?”
    I sincerely wish that I realised sooner that prayer was just talking to oneself.

  7. “Put the pastor in the dock with them.”

    Agreed Reckless. If he explicitly told the parents to pray rather than take the child to the hospital, that makes him an accomplice. Even if he didn’t, at the very least he should be called into court to defend himself and set a decent precedent to all other pastors/priests/preachers/predators out there.

  8. *The Schaibles’ pastor, Nelson Clark, has said the couple lost their sons because of a “spiritual lack” in their lives. *

    Why is this clown not thrown in jail along with the parents? When I hear some religious nut say “people have the right to believe whatever they want” I say no, they don’t have the right. Because believing in b.s. has consequences, fatal in some cases, and using the religious force-field to stay out of jail should stop. People can think whatever crazy stuff they want only because society at large is too afraid to put an end to the special rights granted to the religious.

  9. One has to wonder, if they do, as they so richly deserve, end up in prison will they refuse medical treatment when another prisoner expresses his/her displeasure at their childs’ death?

  10. These unfit parents had 9 children.Seems like this crazy church they attend is also keen on a Quiverfull.And get this,their deranged pastor,who thinks the child died because of a ‘spiritual lack’ in their parents, is upset because the rest of the children are with ‘UNBELIEVERS!!”. It’s immoral.This man belongs in jail or an asylum.

  11. We know that religious fundamentalism cripples the ability to learn, but these two appear to have a horizontal learning curve, when they learned nothing and killed a second child with the same stupidity!

  12. I hope they are sentenced to a long term. I’ve heard that prison inmates, even murderers, will turn on any other prisoner who has harmed children. This is one category of criminal for whom they have no pity. I hope this pair suffers greatly at their hands. Recall how Jeffrey Dahmer was bludgeoned to death by a couple of other prisoners who were themselves murderers, while the guards turned their backs and walked out and went on their lunch breaks. Maybe, just maybe, it will impress that couple’s co-religionists.

    • In reply to #16 by 78rpm:

      I hope they are sentenced to a long term. I’ve heard that prison inmates, even murderers, will turn on any other prisoner who has harmed children. This is one category of criminal for whom they have no pity. I hope this pair suffers greatly at their hands. Recall how Jeffrey Dahmer was bludgeoned to death by a couple of other prisoners who were themselves murderers, while the guards turned their backs and walked out and went on their lunch breaks. Maybe, just maybe, it will impress that couple’s co-religionists.

      Its inevitable that for a story like this there will be comments like this, although it seems supremely hypocritical for people who claim to be devoted to reason. Its an example of what Nietzsche called “the herd mentality”.

  13. When the first death occurred, the judge should have withdrawn the right of these two individuals to take care of children. The law is partly accountable for the death of the other child. I hope this time justice will make sure these nutters have no access to more children.

    • In reply to #18 by Odalrich:

      When the first death occurred, the judge should have withdrawn the right of these two individuals to take care of children. The law is partly accountable for the death of the other child. I hope this time justice will make sure these nutters have no access to more children.

      And this is part of the problem. If the parents had said that they preferred to dance naked in the rain instead of taking the first child to the hospital, they would have ended up in jail and all the other children taken away. But if they say it’s because of their religion, then they’re given a pass (sorry, a probation that nobody enforced) and allowed to endanger and be responsible for the death of yet another child. Why is one brand of craziness allowed and others are not? I keep shaking my head at the hypocrisy.

      • In reply to #19 by korben:

        In reply to #18 by Odalrich:

        When the first death occurred, the judge should have withdrawn the right of these two individuals to take care of children. The law is partly accountable for the death of the other child. I hope this time justice will make sure these nutters have no access to more chil…

        There’s an Arab proverb that says: when a person steals your money it’s the fault of that person, but when the same person steals your money again, then it’s your fault. In this case the death of the first child was the fault of the parents, but in the death of the second child, the law is much to blame. Yes, I’m also shocked by the tolerance given to religions, when minor offences caused by non-religious people can make them land in prison.

    • In reply to #20 by Kevin Murrell:

      In every cry of every man,
      In every infant’s cry of fear,
      In every voice, in every ban,
      The mind-forged manacles I hear:

      — William Blake, London

      William Blake is not the best person to quote in this context. He was a fundamentalist before the word became fashionable.. When, in the verses from which the well known choral song “Jerusalem” derives, he speaks of “dark Satanic mills”, Blake doesn’t mean the industrial mills of England; he means secular schools and universities.

      • I thought Blake was referring to the orthodox church. Where did you get the idea about the secular schools?

        In reply to #25 by CEVA34:

        In reply to #20 by Kevin Murrell:

        In every cry of every man,
        In every infant’s cry of fear,
        In every voice, in every ban,
        The mind-forged manacles I hear:

        — William Blake, London

        William Blake is not the best person to quote in this context. He was a fundamentalist before the word became fashiona…

  14. “A reasonable parent probably would wait three days to take their child to a doctor,” said Hoof, who represents Herbert Schaible.”

    These guys need a better lawyer, if that’s his best shot.

    Given their track record, I have no sympathy, save for the other children now in care who will be left parentless for many years as a result of nothing more nor less than imbecility.

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