On June 8th, 2018 Carly Ann Harris of Wales drowned her four year-old daughter Amelia, then burned her body in her back yard. Harris claims she did it on God’s orders to “save all Mankind.” She has been declared not guilty by way of insanity and will likely spend the rest of her life in an asylum. This is by no means the first time a child has died at the hands of parents trying to please “God.”
In Idaho (where I am while writing this post), hundreds of children have died because their parents have the right to skip proper medical care in favor of faith healing. You know, because religious freedom is just so damn important.
Another Heart Breaker… In the case of 11 year-old Madeline Kara Neumann back in 2008, her Pentecostal parents refused to treat her with anything other than prayer, resulting in the child’s death. She died of ketoacidosis resulting from undiagnosed diabetes on March 23, 2008, after her parents, Leilani and Dale Neumann, prayed for their dying daughter instead of seeking medical help. They had obtained medical care in the past, but had come to believe that there are spiritual root causes to sickness and that prayer and strong religious beliefs will cure any health problems. They decided not to go to doctors for treatment anymore, out of a belief that they would be “putting the doctor before God”, amounting to idolatry and sin.
Still more Heart Breakers… In Africa children are being hunted down and killed because people think they’re witches. Due to African immigrants this is also happening in the UK. Young children being tortured and killed because some asshole accuses him / her of being a witch. Praise the Lord!
Over time there have been countless other child deaths in which parents claimed they were doing God’s will. Doubtlessly in some of these crimes the parent(s) made the claim of religious reasons as a convenient excuse to escape prosecution. But not all of them were. Many of these people truly believed they were doing God’s will. And that’s just plain scary. Regardless of their beliefs / motives it’s still murder.
And let’s not forget the biblical stories of Abraham and Jephthah. God “spoke” to Abraham and demanded he sacrifice his son Isaac to prove his obedience. God supposedly spared Isaac at the penultimate moment, but Abraham had placed his son on a homemade altar and was about to slit his throat. Jephthah was a warrior who promised to sacrifice the first thing that exited his home if he was allowed to defeat the Ammonites in battle. Imagine his horror when his daughter came out to greet her daddy. Lurid tales such as these serve to glorify absolute obedience to God, and give nut sacks like those above the “courage and conviction” to murder their children in the name of Almighty God.
But what leads these true believers to commit such terrible acts? Were they crazy before they embraced religion, or did their faith lead them down the rabbit hole? Probably some of both but religious faith played a role in all of them. Even more frightening is the simple fact that no matter what “those voices” are telling them to do, they’re not hearing the voice of God in their heads. God, like every other deity is a fairy tale. Children are dying all over the world because billions of people have been snookered by the greatest con in human history.
I’m no expert but I’d speculate that most of these folks were a few cans shy of a six-pack to begin with. Perhaps they were leaderless and rudderless and religious faith gave them an anchor to hold onto. Perhaps they felt empowered by believing that the most powerful being in the universe had their backs. But so desperate were they to be worthy of their nonexistent deity that they’d do anything to please Him. Maybe – and again I’m no expert – it is human nature to seek the approval of someone perceived as greater than we are. They are terrified of failing to gain the approval of their god. It’s the height of irrational paranoia and a frightening example of what religious indoctrination can do to the weak-minded.
God has never spoken to me, although I do often hear songs in my head. But unlike God the bands are real and I’ve never been ordered to kill anyone by Ozzie or Axl. However David Lee Roth did once inspire me to buy some sensible shoes.
Is there a point to all this?
So if you’re a Christian I have a purely hypothetical question for you. “How far will you go to please your God? If God, in your mind, tells you to kill your child, or parent, or anyone else you love, will you?” And don’t give me that old nonsense about “God wouldn’t do that.” According to your Bible, which as a Christian you are required to believe, God has already done this to others. So are you a “real” Christian? You already claim to live for Him, and you’ve likely claimed at some point that you’d die for Him. But if the voice in your head or the feeling in your heart says to kill for Him… will you?
You don’t have to answer me. Just answer for yourself. But be honest about it. It’s a binary question, Yes or No. Obey God or disobey God. If such a thing should happen to you (and I totally hope it does not), what would you do? And don’t say, “that’ll never happen to me.” You don’t know if it could or not. It’s a point worth pondering.
Sources and Related Reading