Another Child of Faith-Healing Creationists Dies

Some of you may remember this from a couple of years ago: Creationist Parents Guilty in Child’s Death. That was about Herbert and Catherine Schaible, Pennsylvania parents who turned to prayer instead of medicine as their son died of bacteria pneumonia. They were found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

In that same post we also provided information about their church — First Century Gospel Church — where Herbert was a teacher. You guessed it — in addition to faith healing, they also believed in creationism. In for a penny, in for a pound.

A couple of months later we posted Creationist Faith-Killing Parents to be Sentenced, in which we reported:

Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore declined to tell the Philadelphia Daily News whether she will seek prison time but said she will ask that the couple be required to take their other six children for regular medical checkups.

It’s disquieting to read what we said in response to that:

That prosecutor seems every bit as creepy as the creationist parents. If the state doesn’t make a serious effort to lock those parents up for a long time, the prosecutor would be almost an accomplice if there should be another faith-killing in that family.

They were given no jail time — just probation and an order to provide medical care for their remaining children. End of story, right? No, unfortunately that’s not right.

We now report what we found at the website of the Fox TV station in Kansas City: Second child dies after parents choose prayer over doctors. Yeah — it happened again. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Philadelphia couple who turned to prayer instead of doctors has lost a second child — violating their probation. Herbert and Catherine Schaible were serving 10 years probation after the 2009 death of their 2-year-old son — who died from pneumonia — when their 8-month-old son died after suffering for days with diarrhea and breathing problems.

Their son suffered for days with diarrhea and breathing problems — and they prayed. Look on the bright side — they didn’t succumb to the false doctrines of science and Darwinism. Let’s read on:

Charges may be filed once the baby’s cause of death has been determined. The Schaibles pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in 2011 for the death of their first son.

There’s another story on this at the Philadelphia Inquirer website: A second child of doctor-shunning couple dies. They say:

When a judge sentenced Herbert and Catherine Schaible to probation in 2011 for praying over their gravely ill toddler son instead of taking him to a doctor, Herbert Schaible offered a few brief words of remorse and grief, then entrusted his family’s fate to a higher power. “With God’s help, this will never happen again,” Schaible told the court.

He had a good plan. What went wrong? The story continues:

On Monday, a different judge said that it did happen again, that the Schaibles – members of a Juniata Park church that shuns medical care – admitted to police that they once again chose prayer over medicine for a dying child.

Gotta stay with a winning formula. Here’s more:

The Schaibles, as members of the First Century Gospel Church, believe medical care is a sin that shows a lack of faith in God.

There’s not much we can say here. Well, there is, but we said it when we posted about an earlier case similar to this one: Damn You! Damn You All To Hell!

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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13 responses to “Another Child of Faith-Healing Creationists Dies

  1. Every time I think we are slowly moving towards a more civilized age I see something like this. I just hope the next generation handles superstition more wisely than ours did.

  2. I think the authorities are afraid of touching religious parents. Religious people get a “kill kids fer free” card.

  3. “The Schaibles, as members of the First Century Gospel Church, believe medical care is a sin that shows a lack of faith in God.”

    Seems the Schaibles don’t put any stock in “God helps those who help themselves.” Not only that, but outwardly it would seem they are raising the children in septic conditions — One child dies from bacterial pneumonia, the other from diarrhea. Where is Child Protective Services? Their religious beliefs notwithstanding, these deaths should have never occurred. Some were not doing their jobs.

  4. @Diogenes: I suspect the authorities are simply religious and realize that the beliefs of the parents, who are demonstrating great faith, are too similar to their own for them to criticize. Remember, God is always watching and he favors the most blind of his flock

  5. Really too sad a case for my usual flippancy, I admit.

    And I don’t know the answer to an age-old conundrum here: how does one guarantee the highest possible degree of freedom for people, but without allowing the inherent ‘right to be blindingly stupid’ to trample on other rights?

  6. A rabbi and a priest decide they want to get to know each other better. If they spend time together, they reckon, they’ll learn more about each other’s religion. One night, the two go to a boxing match. As one of the boxers is announced, he makes the sign of the cross. The rabbi asks, “what does that mean?” The priest answers, “not a damn thing if he doesn’t know how to fight.”

  7. Megalonyx, I don’t see the conundrum in this case. The Shaibles have every right to be as stupid as they like. They do not have the right to inflict their stupidity on others, namely their child. This is no different than if they’d starved, beaten or abused their child. The reasons are immaterial; it is the outcome of their actions that matter. IANAL, but this appears to be a clear case of manslaughter, they deliberately caused the death of another by their refusal to seek medical help.

  8. Ceteris Paribus

    Just yesterday in Brownbackistan Kansas, Governor Sam Brownback signed the “Pro-Life Protections Act” which defines life as starting at the moment of conception. Ostensibly any pregnant woman who slips in a ice storm and loses the fetus will be charged with murder.

    One wonders why in the wisdom of of the legislature it doesn’t also say parents shall be charged with manslaughter for neglecting to change an infant’s pampers as needed.

    But it was noted that on the Governor’s talking points memo for the signing, Brownback had written at the top of the page “Jesus and Mary”

    http://tinyurl.com/Brownback-notes

  9. @Megalonyx: As adults, the parents have every right to refuse medical care for themselves. Their children, on the other hand, are dependent upon their parents to make the right decisions to safeguard their well-being until they are old enough to decide for themselves what their religious beliefs are going to be.

    In other words, the parents must be held responsible for their children’s welfare until the children reach the age of consent.

    And with regard to Kansas’ “Pro-Life Protections Act”, you could safely bet your entire net worth that the Schaibles would identify themselves as pro-life. Ironic, no?

  10. “But it was noted that on the Governor’s talking points memo for the signing, Brownback had written at the top of the page “Jesus and Mary” ”

    In GIANT letters.

    At the bottom: “This is building a culture of life. All life is SACRED…” Uh, not where the 2nd amendment or Medicaid are concerned…

  11. Religion should be no excuse for parental neglect. Can’t Social Services step in & place any children remaining to these idiots in a safe environment?

  12. Techreseller

    Please do not judge me too harshly for this comment. This is evolution in action. As these people’s children die, the ability for these genes to pass on is eliminated. Necessary for evolution yes? With that said, I pity the child. Perhaps the child would have grown up to reject the parent’s religion and chosen to live in reality.