A year ago we posted Another Child of Faith-Healing Creationists Dies. That was the second child of Pennsylvania creationist parents, Herbert and Catherine Schaible, to die in their care.
A few years earlier we wrote about the earlier death of one of their children, which occurred when the Schaibles turned to prayer instead of medicine. Herbert had said to police at the time: “We tried to fight the devil, but in the end the devil won.”
They were found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for that first death, but were given no jail time — just probation and an order to provide medical care for their remaining children. We also dug up some information about their church — First Century Gospel Church — where Herbert was a teacher. The church’s website has been revised and cleaned up, but at the time it was clear that in addition to faith healing, they also believe in creationism.
Now they’re being sentenced for the death of another of their children. The story appears at the website of WCAU, the NBC station in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, and this is the headline: Faith-Healing Parents Get Up to 7 Years for Infant Son’s Death. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
A Pennsylvania couple who believe in faith-healing rather than modern medicine will each spend the next three and half to seven years behind bars for the death of their 8-month-old son, the second time one of their ill children died without seeing a doctor.
This is the sentence they should have received after the first of their children died. Ah well, the story continues:
Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner told Herbert and Catherine Schaible on Wednesday that it wasn’t 8-month-old Brandon’s time to die. He said: “You’ve killed two of your children… not God, not your church, not religious devotion — you.”
We imagine the Schaibles were thinking: No, judge, it was the devil! Let’s read on:
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 prosecution [this time] asked for a sentence of eight to 16 years.
They’re finally learning to take this stuff seriously. We continue:
Both expressed remorse and apologized for violating a court order to seek medical care for their children following the 2009 death of a 2-year-old son of untreated pneumonia.
Oh yeah, remorse. However:
“We believe in divine healing, that Jesus shed blood for our healing and that he died on the cross to break the devil’s power,” Herbert Schaible said in a 2013 police statement. Medicine, he said, “is against our religious beliefs.”
Can’t blame him, really. After all, ya gotta have faith. Here’s one last excerpt, and it’s a winner:
Their pastor, Nelson Clark, has said the Schaibles lost their sons because of a “spiritual lack” in their lives and insisted they would not seek medical care even if another child appeared near death.
The story also mentions that their six surviving minor children are now in foster care. For them, it’s a happy ending.
You may be wondering why we post about those people. It’s because creationists are always claiming how evil evolution is, and how it leads to Hitler, school shootings, etc. They’re lying, of course. So when we come across a genuine case of death caused by belief in a creationist cult, we think it’s worthy of mention.
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