U.S. couple face prison after two sons’ prayer deaths

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A Pennsylvania couple who believe in faith-healing face 20 years or more in prison in the death of a second child who died without seeing a doctor.

Herbert and Catherine Schaible are being sentenced Wednesday in the death last year of their 8-month-old son, Brandon.

At the time, they were under court orders to seek medical care for their children after their 2-year-old son Kent died of untreated pneumonia in 2009.The Schaibles are third-generation members of a small Pentecostal community, the First Century Gospel Church in northeast Philadelphia.

A lawyer for Catherine Schaible, 44, plans to explore their religious beliefs at the sentencing. Her 45-year-old husband's lawyer argues that no malice was involved.

Written By: MaryClaire Dale
continue to source article at ctvnews.ca

33 COMMENTS

  1. lawyer argues that no malice was involved

    And that’s the best defence he comes up with?

    It’s negligence, not malice, stooopid

  2. The sad thing of course is that nothing will really happen. The parents will probably go to prison for a long time, but the root of this evil will prevail. Imagine if this was about practitioners of new age medicine. If there was people out there saying that their magic crystals can heal any disease or health problem. Would there not be a criminal investigation if some of their practitioners refused to get their child real health care and that child died as a direct consequence of believing in magic crystals? Surely, the people promoting such nonsense would be banned and most likely receive criminal charges.

    To be honest, these people really just followed the same advice millions of Christians get from their pastors every Sunday. Just pray and you will be healed. God can heal you if you truly believe in him. Surrender your life to God. These are quite common Christian teachings. Even moderate and liberal Christians often use these catch phrases. The bible is full of verses supporting these beliefs. Nonetheless when people actually live by these beliefs, as these two parents did, it’s labelled bad parenting. All the “good and sensible” Christians condemn these people as lunatics and fundamentalists. But, all they really did was follow the beliefs that pastors all over the country preach to their congregations every Sunday. Do any of these pastors receive criminal charges? Of course not. But, aren’t they the very reason this happened in first place? The fact that religious leaders are allowed to preach this nonsense in churches all over the world.

    Or, are all these moderate Christians really saying that they know what their pastors are saying is bullshit?

  3. In reply to #1 by Fritz:

    lawyer argues that no malice was involved

    And that’s the best defence he comes up with?

    It’s negligence, not malice, stooopid

    That kind of reasoning is very relevant for sentencing. A lot of questions about the character of the defendant their rationale for doing what they did aren’t even admissible during the trial itself but they are admissible and very relevant as the judge decides how many years to send them away for.

  4. In reply to #1 by Fritz:

    lawyer argues that no malice was involved

    And that’s the best defence he comes up with?

    It’s negligence, not malice, stooopid

    Under the circumstances, it’s probably the best he can do.

  5. Not only does religion poison everything, but it has the ability to murder small children as well. Is there no end to its talents?

  6. This pair of biblical ignoramuses should have listened to their God: Whosoever shall hurt one of these little ones, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and that he was drowned in the depth of the sea (Matthew 18:6).

  7. Fool me once, shame on religion. Fool me twice, shame on religion. Fool me three times, shame on religion. Fools.

  8. In reply to #3 by Red Dog:

    In reply to #1 by Fritz:

    It’s negligence, not malice, stooopid

    That kind of reasoning is very relevant for sentencing. A lot of questions about the character of the defendant their rationale for doing what they did aren’t even admissible during the trial itself but they are admissible and very relevant as the judge decides how many years to send them away for.

    . . . . . Or if they should be sent to a prison or a mental institution perhaps!

  9. In reply to #9 by PeteGriggs:

    Didn’t God give humans the ability to use science to heal?

    No. God is imaginary.

    Steve

  10. In reply to #7 by aquilacane:

    Fool me once, shame on religion. Fool me twice, shame on religion. Fool me three times, shame on religion. Fools.

    George? Is that you ?

  11. In reply to The Article:

    The Schaibles are third-generation members of a small Pentecostal community, the First Century Gospel Church in northeast Philadelphia.

    Why would it come as a surprise to anyone that members of the “First Century Gospel Church” also prefer to use “First Century” medicine?

  12. Some people hang on to their pet theories too long. The demon theory of disease and its weak principle the power of prayer is one of them.

  13. At the time, they were under court orders to seek medical care for their children after their 2-year-old son Kent died of untreated pneumonia in 2009.

    I think the authorities failed here. If they had not committed a crime in allowing their first som to die due to such ignorance they should still have had their children taken into care. perents who can’t be trusted to take a child to the doctor when they’re sick can’t be expected to understand a court order.

    I accept some parents are well-meaning and honestly beleive they’re doing what god tells them but society needs to look after their children, not them. I think any parents known to believe in faith healing should automatcally have their children put on an at-risk register

  14. Actually, and slightly appallingly, they only got 7 years at sentencing. Their other children are in care.

    But is it not sensible to take into care at birth all children of all members of these loony sects?

    Then these sects would die out within a generation…

  15. Again the innocents pay the price of ignorant. Whatever their prison terms are it’s not enough to keep the other children safe.

  16. In reply to #10 by Agrajag:

    In reply to #9 by PeteGriggs:

    Didn’t God give humans the ability to use science to heal?

    No. God is imaginary.

    I know gods are imaginary, but if they were not, they would have enabled us with healing powers. To ignore them would be blasphemy.
    >

    Steve

  17. This couple will probably be a representation to other fairy believers that faith healing ( and silly alternative medicine) is ridiculous !
    Freedom of faith should be discouraged when the life of an innocent child is threatened!
    Several people have died unnecessarily due to lack of blood transfusion ;as dictated by Christian Scientists and JWs?

  18. So according to their beliefs, it’s okay to let your children, of any age, die of preventable illnesses or injuries, but abortions are wrong?

  19. And the rest of the church, will refer at this issue, as a persecution act against it. And they will pray for Herbert and Catherine to god, to give them strength facing the evil mean world.

  20. I think perhaps loosing a child the second time will open their eyes to the religious stupidity. There is no point in punishing them, it will have no preventive function and will not bring their children back. But the authorities certainly should have a word or two with their religious organisation. That is where the root of evil lies.

  21. No. There is no god that watches over man. In reply to #9 by PeteGriggs:

    Didn’t God give humans the ability to use science to heal?

  22. “are all these moderate Christians really saying that they know what their pastors are saying is bullshit?”

    Yes. I believe that most people that call themselves christians know it is all fake. How can any sensible person believe in a sky daddy?

  23. Clearly they didn’t pray hard enough and God doesn’t love them or the child.

    It’s a shame when this harms the child who has no say in the matter, but I’m all for them not seeking medical for themselves. Darwinian evolution in action

  24. They both belong in some sort of institution, at a minimum. This is what happens when you are not educated.

  25. Faith at its worst. These fools have not only killed two of their children, they have doomed the other seven to foster care. Imagine growing up with the knowledge that you were taken away from parents you loved because they were so ignorant they killed your brothers.

  26. So have this couple now realised that prayer doesn’t work ? Or do they think that it is “the will of god “, who must be a really nice guy then.

  27. Hold on a minute… this is the second child they killed? What are they doing still walking about?

    Actually Pennsylvania retains the death sentence I believe… now you can scream “Ohh we thought praying would work” the first time around and plead stupidity… but after that you are now guilty of ‘murder one’ on any subsequent deaths from this sort of thing…

    Last time I looked that was a trip to the executioner in Pennsylvania…and these are exactly the crimes that the right wing fundies claim the death sentence was invented for.

    No you can argue there was no malice… but murder is murder. This time a second murder under the same circumstances… If they argued that Aliens told them to do it then they would get the death sentence regardless of their malicious position.

  28. In reply to #14 by Stafford Gordon:

    Unspeakable.

    And there are seven more children in peril.

    Not for long is my guess….

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