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Chirstian Couple Neglect Medical Treatment for Their Child

by Noah Lugeons

If you follow these things closely, you’ve probably heard of the “Followers of Christ”. This extreme sect of medicine-denying faith healers has made news several times in the past few years over their policy of neglecting the medical needs of their children up to the point of death.

As far back as 98, authorities were citing statistics that suggested as many as 21 children within their sect had died from treatable and easily-survivable diseases. Laws were passed in Oregon to combat the clear danger that such a group presented, but apparently the laws weren’t enough to stop them.

Timothy and Rebecca Wyland were recently charged with criminal neglect and child abuse for choosing to treat their infant daughter’s tumor with prayers and the laying on of hands instead of genuine medicine. By the time authorities became aware of the situation, the six month old child had a tumor the size of a baseball on her face. It had grown to the point that it threatened her eyesight by dislodging one of her eyeballs.

Like many of the stories that we cover on this blog, this is a tragedy that does not remotely reflect the average religious believer. No doubt I will be accused of needlessly dredging up the worst examples of religion and ignoring the best. But that misses the point altogether.

Altruism can be obtained through simple observation. Charity is, ultimately, in one’s own best interest. The “good” side effects of religion can easily come from secular sources. But only faith can convince you to ignore a tumor that threatens the life of your child.