Faith Healers Given Probation

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

We have previously discussed the death of Kent Schaible, here and here. Kent Schaible, 2, died of bacterial pneumonia because his parents Herbert and Catherine Schaible, a fundamentalist Christian couple, believed in faith healing and declined to get medical attention for their child in Philadelphia. They were convicted of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment.

Common Pleas Court Judge Carolyn Engel Temin sentenced them to 10 years of probation.Terms of the probation include the requirement that the couple seek routine and emergency medical care for their seven other children, ranging in ages from 1 to 15.

What is best for the seven remaining children? Not an easy question to answer. If the parents do not comply with the above requirement, more lives could be lost. Any deterrence on other parents in a similar situation is nonexistent, putting other children at risk. If the parents go to jail, it is unlikely that the children would remain together, especially in the foster care system.

Maintaining the current family structure is far from ideal. Being raised in a fundamentalist Christian household, these children will be indoctrinated in delusional insanity. My heart goes out to them. The parents have shown their delusional insanity with their belief in an “invisible magic being” that can cure disease. It is probably true, as with many of these cases, that this belief was only reinforced with the death of Kent.

H/T: The Washington Times.

59 thoughts on “Faith Healers Given Probation

  1. This is a difficult case, in my mind. Obviously rational, normal people read about this madness and want to apply the law in the way such abuse dictates.

    But throw in the invisible sky wizard and you run right up against the history of religious freedom in America. If you say that freedom does not allow parents to deny medical care to their children where do you draw the line? How would you decide which religious ceremonies and traditions are “OK” and which are criminal? If a church professes a practice that results in a crime should the state move against that church? Who gets to decided?

  2. In this instance I’d say that justice was not abused.

    These parents were not meeting the needs of these children. But why is the law then not protecting other people from the fraud,neglect and abuse of insurance companies? The ‘law’ seems to exert itself in a most arbitrary and self serving fashion at times….

  3. I think this case sets an important new precedent – that parents have the right to kill their own children without suffering jail time. As Bill Cosby said, “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out”. Little did he know that his wisdom would become legal doctrine.

    No?

    Well, I’ll tell you what this case does illustrate. That religion is given way too much deference in this country. The idea that two adults could deliberately, openly, and without shame cause intense suffering to a child to the point of the child’s death without suffering jail time or even the loss to protective custody of other children they control is sickening to me.

    That their claim – that an invisible sky god would magically cure their child – is actually given credence today, given our understanding of science and the nature of reality, is a maddening indictment of the accommodation of religious lunacy, and the dangers of a constitutionally-protected institution devoted to the inculcation of irrational thought throughout every thread of society.

    I really do think that it is time for a national conversation about reducing the influence of religion in our country, and discussing ways to minimize its obviously over-generous constitutional protections and municipal privileges.

  4. What if the parents had said, “because we were busy that night.” What is the freaking difference?!? Any home preaching fundy mind games to a kid is a target for child protective services. Religion is not an excuse, and we must not continue to allow it to be used as a get out of jail free card.

    Religion always poisons the public debate.

  5. What if the parents had said, “because we were busy that night.” What is the freaking difference?!?
    _________________________________________

    You and many others confuse the role of the state…and law. The law is not your parent….whose actions reflect (or should anyway….) thier love for you. The state protects your RIGHTS (or should anyway….)

    If you want the letter of the law at the expense of the spirit of the law you will not be happy with what you create…

    These parents erred. You scream “Off with their heads!” like there is no better recourse. They have other children whose right to grow up in a family will be traded for the blood you scream for. Have you seen the statistics for what happens to children in 1 parent or foster care environments?
    And you obviously think losing a child is no small thing to these people. Are you assholes? The law is not there to punish as much as it is to ensure that our rights are protected. PERIOD. I hope you never have to experience the cruel vindictiveness of your own bloody selfish natures.

    Grow the F*CK up already!

  6. “Have you seen the statistics for what happens to children in 1 parent or foster care environments?”

    Have you seen the statistics of what happens to children in the Schaible family? I guarantee they are worse.

  7. Wootsy ‘s still a Cat had a nerve struck. I never said “off with their heads.” Probation is not the answer here. And to complain about foster care as the reason not to reach into a home to aid children against abusive parents is ridiculous.

    I am a product of foster care, and the foster parents were much better at it. You cannot paint all foster care situations with the same brush, not unless you are willing to take these kids on yourselves.

    When the parents do not protect the rights of their children for ANY reason, the role of the State is to step in and do so. Probation isn’t “stepping in.” It’s setting the stage for another death.

  8. Gingerbaker 1, February 12, 2011 at 11:32 am

    “Have you seen the statistics for what happens to children in 1 parent or foster care environments?”

    Have you seen the statistics of what happens to children in the Schaible family? I guarantee they are worse.
    ———————————
    The statistical (using your terminology) point of possibility has been diverted by the law. You scream for punishment….which is OCCASIONALLY appropriate when used to PREVENT FURTHER OCCURANCE OF HARMFUL EVENTS. You just like the blood I think….you are not alone….yum yum…feed your inner beastie!

  9. James in LA 1, February 12, 2011 at 11:08 am

    What if the parents had said, “because we were busy that night.” What is the freaking difference?!?
    ———————————-

    What if? In this instance they did not say that. In this instance, for all we know, they truly believed what they said they believed and were acting in what they thought was a loving and beneficial way to that child. It was a huge mistake. That does not mean the RISK of removing those other kids or causing them stigma by having the parents incarcerated is the right idea….I know probation is not perfect (and I am respnding without first-hand knowledge of that…) but it seems to me that the court has stipulated that for the rest of the other childrens dependant lifetimes there will be oversight to the parents behavior towards them regarding medical needs. And I’m sure social workers and all that…already there is impact of stigma…why add more trauma????
    ——————-
    “You cannot paint all foster care situations with the same brush, not unless you are willing to take these kids on yourselves.”

    Yes, exactly! Sounds like you were very lucky in your circumstance…good for you!
    But for children, let’s take luck out of the equation as best we can.

  10. Their god did not cure the child … end of discussion.

    So I guess the question is whether or not these parents should be placed in a situation where they will have the opportunity to harm their other children. The Judge obviously thinks so … and the only way I would agree with him is if he has arranged for weekly, in-home supervisory visits by a qualified social worker from Children Services or VNA (Visiting Nurse Association) wherein each child is seen and given a quick check (eyes, ears, throat, temp). That’s weekly, 52 times a year, every year until the youngest child turns 18. These parents lost their “right” to unsupervised religious freedom the moment they denied their son his “right” to live because of that religion.

    My opinion in this matter may sound harsh but just wait till you hear what I think of any Catholic parent who allows their child to be alone with any member of their ordained priesthood.

  11. My grandfather, a physician born just before the turn of the century, used to tell me stories of how he had to bring orders to show cause against idiots like these and would win an order to treat the patients (his practice was in Riverdale, NY).

    What changed?

  12. Disagree with you, Blouise. I have known some good priests. I don’t think there has been a single case of a Jesuit doing anything improper with a child. One does need to check the situation out though. I know a person very well who was sexually abused by the family’s pediatrician not a priest.

  13. “Religion always poisons the public debate.” ~James in LA 1, February 12, 2011 at 11:08 am
    ____________________________________________
    No James, Religion IS the public debate….

    Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  14. Wootsy, just because you are free to express religion does not make it any less B.S. Just you are free to express it, I am free to dismiss it, and seek more rational sources of solutions for what is essentially an administrative function.

    Religion always ends up calling for the death of those with whom you do not agree. Luckily, the same amendment you quote allows us to unmask religion for what it is: poison to rational debate.

    Because you, me, everyone is capable of service to one another through unconditional love without need of a deity or religion. You just have to want to do it is all.

  15. “Because you, me, everyone is capable of service to one another through unconditional love without need of a deity or religion. You just have to want to do it is all.”

    Bingo!

  16. Blouise: Having thought more about it, I think most priests avoid being alone with children now. People are on the look out. The predators that are still out there look for populations that are not well informed.

  17. Parents do not OWN their children, they are custodians. I consider religious indoctrination of children prior to them having the capacity to rationalize or weigh the truth of a thing for themselves to be a form of abuse and assault. I feel the same way about physical matters like circumcision on infants. If circumcision is to be used as a tribal totem and rite of passage, then it should be done only with the informed consent of the child after reaching puberty.

    These people literally murdered their child by denying available treatment just as surely as if they had put him in an air tight room. I don’t care if they believe that what they were doing was in the best interest of their child since the child had no input in the decision making. If a child is incapable of making such a life/death decision, then the default should be that an act of refusing treatment that could lead to his death should not be made by anyone.

    And not a question of punishment, it’s a question of justice and deterrence. Adults can believe in and practice and wacky thing they desire, but leave the kids alone.

  18. James in LA 1, February 12, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    1.Wootsy, just because you are free to express religion does not make it any less B.S. Just you are free to express it, I am free to dismiss it, and seek more rational sources of solutions for what is essentially an administrative function.

    2.Religion always ends up calling for the death of those with whom you do not agree. Luckily, the same amendment you quote allows us to unmask religion for what it is: poison to rational debate.

    3.Because you, me, everyone is capable of service to one another through unconditional love without need of a deity or religion. You just have to want to do it is all.
    ________________________________

    Wow, talk about a nerve.
    1. You are absolutely free to dismiss it in your life. Just because you say it is BS does not make it so. I do have my beliefs….they are nowhere near as fundamental as to limit ANY other persons rights whatsoever. I have every right to practice MY religion provided it does not cause harm to others.
    Administrative in what sense?

    2.horseshit The LAW is ALWAYS an ass…..

    3.mostly agree….unconditional is what I got from my Mommy….it is no longer practiced as an adult except as given to children and animals…That couple who so grievously failed thier child loved and believed thier G*d ‘unquestioningly’ and ‘unconditionally’….

  19. It is unwise for Christians to reject the discoveries of science even though scientists do lie, cheat, and deceive the public regularly about their discoveries or research and deserve to be viewed with extreme caution.

    Nonetheless, medicine is a blessing and evidence of a magnificent and merciful God. Few Christians reject modern medicine and a good deal of them serve God in the field of medicine at virtually all levels from surgeons and nurses to ancillary personnel who staff hospitals and clinics.

    And so the hysteria such cases create among the self-righteous, holier-than-thous godless members of society is nigh unto superstitious in nature and lacking in any rational scientific scrutiny. These cases are very rare especially in comparison to some really hair-raising cases only the godless could be behind.

    I do think that no one should be forced to take inoculations and that any such children opting out should have other places to go to school or be home schooled. As we are talking about the case of physically invading the bodies of healthy children with chemicals they might not need and could be harmful, and I find forcing this on anyone to be repulsive. And I think it is a not a suitable thing for a free people to do.

    Yet, the godless are not without criticism regarding science and medicine, and to be precise, regarding more criticism.

    Here is what the “invisible magic being [I am my own Alpha and Omega]” of the godless looks like when combined with science, medicine, and error:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/01/19/2011-01-19_philadelphia_abortion_doctor_kermit_gosnell_charged_with_murdering_7_infants_wit.html

    To quote:

    “Gosnell ‘induced labor, forced the live birth of viable babies in the sixth, seventh, eighth month of pregnancy and then killed those babies by cutting into the back of the neck with scissors and severing their spinal cord,’ Williams said”.

    Well of course he did. The doctor is a godless fundie liberal! He is probably an Obama supporter too. Dontcha think?

    The whole story is quite awful.

    Now, Gosnell’s alleged conduct wasn’t the result or actions of a loving parent who is simply making a bad and uninformed decision. Is it? The doctor will hopefully get what he deserves. And the intentional harm he did is not to be compared to the unintentional harm of the unfortunate Christian parents who love their children.

    But, better doctors than Gosnell get away with much more than what the parents have done. This is fully acceptable to the to the liberal and those who boast a respect for science and medicine.

    To his credit, Williams (the District Attorney) is a Democrat. Though, clearly, he is not smart enough to recognize, what might be his role in this nightmare.

    Guilt pangs perhaps? Unlikely.

    50 million lives snuffed out in the womb is a kill rate of innocent life that beats out Stalin’s. That’s Democrats and science for ya.

    Democrats sure must be proud! Did I mention that blacks have about five times the rate of abortions as whites? Did I mention that mostly white doctors have done that awful deed? Well, nowadays, things have changed a bit. We now import foreign doctors [with names like Gupta and Mohammad] to bump off Americans at a rate higher than any single mass murderer in the history of the world.

    Did I mention genocide? I digress. Maybe.

    It’s compassion, you see. It’s “medicine”. It’s “science”. It’s the godless science stuff that Christian fundies are too stupid to understand. It’s the better way.

    You can trust the doctors! No need to fear them!!!!

    There you have it, 50 million tiny little human organisms snuffed out in the womb by “compassion” and ‘science”, “medicine” and liberals. That’s something to get hysterical about.

    It’s a brutal record fully befitting the invisible magic being who dwells alone inside the dark caverns of the godless or Theophobic mind.

  20. Wootsy is still a Cat, the large majority of government is administrative. Much of it could be done by computers. For the work which requires humans, a complex, diverse world demands an approach that is rational, and not founded on reckless superstition.

    Unconditional belief in a deity is not love. In this case, it is a severe mental illness which resulted in A. the death of one child, and, B. setting the stage for future deaths in the same family.

    See: Leviticus. Just because it is no longer polite to declare in public these proscriptions for death, they still exist within the underlying dogma, and form the basis for inexplicable punishments and deliberately blind eyes.

    Luckily, we have the law to help steer through is this garbage. Too bad we don’t use it when the chips are down, either. See: O’ccomplice.

  21. Do you realize how many billions of tiny human potential organisms I have deliberately destroyed pleasuring myself over the years? I feel the same way about abortions.

  22. Woosty,

    So what if anything does the parents religion have to do with the fact that their kid is dead as a direct result of their WILLFUL actions? They made a choice, and as a direct foreseeable result of that choice their kid died.

    Most people who abuse their child claim it’s for their own good. Would you say that someone who beat a kid to death, just “made a mistake” and that we should all “grow the f*ck up” for saying that their other children should be removed from their custody? Please explain how this is any different?

    Your freedom to swing a baseball bat ends where my nose begins, and freedom to swing religion ends where a kid’s life begins.

  23. Tootie, existing law is tiered to accommodate a majority opinion on this issue that has stood for a generation, almost two.

    What I see in rhetoric such as yours is you are willing to trample the rights of an adult over some unspecified number of cells. On the other hand, existing law takes into account both the era of development, and the health and welfare of the mother to strike a balance which absolutely has to be struck.

    Because what I have not heard in your rhetoric is what punishments you intend for women who defy this intrusion into their private lives?

    Do you intend to arrest them? Fine them? Prison? Forced birth? Stoning? Be clear, now, because you will have 10s and 10s of millions of women in this country who are going to demand an exact answer.

    Given the issue is charged, likely not the only crisis the mother is facing, and most of all, none of your business, the honorable thing for you to do is withdraw and leave your fellow citizens alone.

    It will NEVER be your decision. EVER. Always hers. Pass all the laws you want, and the decision is still not yours to make.

  24. Swarthmore mom
    1, February 12, 2011 at 12:29 pm
    Blouise: Having thought more about it, I think most priests avoid being alone with children now. People are on the look out. The predators that are still out there look for populations that are not well informed.

    ========================================================

    One of my very best friends (since second grade) is a Catholic priest, a Jesuit, and you are right … he and his colleagues studiously avoid such situations. He does not bemoan the reality of the present day problems nor does he consider such precautions burdensome. (He does, however, with a wink, blame the Benedictines … ;) ) He also greatly appreciates parents who do not put him or their children in such situations.

    I made that rather incendiary comment purposely to illuminate the fact that so called established religions have done as much harm to children as the fundamentalist crack-pots.

  25. Your freedom to swing a baseball bat ends where my nose begins, and freedom to swing religion ends where a kid’s life begins.~Gyges

    Nobody’s bat is as big as the law and I think they used it appropriately in this instance.

  26. If we, as a society, want to maintain freedom of religion then we, as a society, must assume the responsibility for those who have been victimized under the guise of religious freedom. So we pass laws and enforce those laws. Tiresome perhaps, but necessary.

  27. Seems this represents the final destination of the Death Panels those Christian teabagger like Jan Brewer, Palin, Angle & Bachmann lied about. They don’t want the government deciding how and when your children die. That’s up to you to decide.

    But the primary murderer is AZ Gov. Jan Brewer who has decided to kill 100 Arizonans awaiting organ transplant by cutting $1.3 million from the budget thus denying them the critical healthcare coverage needed to pay for the operations and recovery, thus deliberately sentencing them to death.. Brewer and the AZ legislature are playing a game of chicken with the federal government over the Patients’ Protection Act and 100 (actually 98 not taking care of Arizona residents’ lives. Brewer and the AZ legislature have determined that that fight (one which AZ cannot win) and the state budget deficit are far more impoortant than these Arizonans’ lives.

    How Christianity. How teabaggers.

  28. Woosty,

    I’m honestly interested if you would treat someone who beats a child to death differently than you do this couple, and if so why?

    That was a well crafted turn of phrase, it just didn’t answer my question.

  29. Tootie-

    With you A+B= WTF.

    You rail about “50,000,000 tiny little human organisms snuffed out in the womb by “compassion” and “science”,”medicine” and liberals.”

    You also say, “Democrats sure must be proud! Did I mention that blacks have about five times the rate of abortions as whites?”

    Suppose you and your “pro life” friends had prevented those 50 million abortions.

    The Result: Population increase of approximately
    41,500,000 Black Babies
    8,500,000 White Babies

    By the definitions in your earlier post, you are now guilty of advocating the “genocide of the white race” which you define as allowing the population of brown people to outnumber the population of white people. You previously accused Obama of this crime. Therefore:

    TOOTIE = OBAMA

    QED.

  30. Gyges 1, February 12, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Woosty,

    I’m honestly interested if you would treat someone who beats a child to death differently than you do this couple, and if so why?

    That was a well crafted turn of phrase, it just didn’t answer my question.
    —————————————-
    You are kidding, right?

    Read the rest of my posts on this thread…I thought I was pretty succinct in my responses being about ‘this instance’.

    But answer me this…you are really saying that ALL transgressions be held to the strictest letter of the law, no? What would that be in this case, what would nimlify you….

  31. W=c,

    Nimlify?

    What the Hell is “nimlify” supposed to mean?

    That must be a word in Cat-onese, because it’s not English to my knowledge.

  32. Buddha you have never heard the phrase:

    I have had a sufficiency,
    any more would be a subgomency
    and I am nimlified….

    ?

    I thought it was a real word…..^..^!

  33. W=c,

    No, I haven’t.

    And it’s not a word that I’m aware of either. Neither is “subgomency”. They sound a lot like Lewis Carroll nonsense words, like “All mimsy were the borogroves”. If that was the writer’s intent, good job. Nonsense verse is much harder to write than most people would think. To be effective, it must mimic actual language in meter and timbre – more like writing music than a traditional sentence.

  34. “To be effective, it must mimic actual language in meter and timbre – more like writing music than a traditional sentence.”
    ———————–
    well it had me fooled!

    my dear friend who taught me that little phrase will get a good laugh out of this.

    Substitute the word ‘satisfy’, that should do the trick….

    (I’m all em bare assed now….)

  35. WC,
    Be sure to get your tradmark protection on those new words before Sarah Palin gets her hands on them!
    This is one more extreme example of what happens when religion takes over common sense and the rule of law. These parents should be in prison and the rest of their children should be in foster care. The parents killed their child by their negligence and stupidity.
    Blouise,
    I actually agree with you that parents should not leave their children alone with any priest or minister. Even Jesuits. Even though Jesuits have not been cited, to my knowledge, in light of the pervasive abuse, it is better to be safe than sorry.

  36. Bob,

    I am still waiting for mine to come back down…I though about putting a dog on the roof to get it……I was met with great resistance by the owner….

  37. RE: James in LA 1, February 12, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Religion always ends up calling for the death of those with whom you do not agree.

    Because you, me, everyone is capable of service to one another through unconditional love without need of a deity or religion.

    #############################

    I find:
    1. The belief that religion always calls for death of those with one disagrees is a false belief, and, being untrue as fact, is obviously just another religious belief.

    2. As some people have demonstrated being incapable of unconditional love and you claim otherwise, this belief being false, is just another religious belief

    3. I once inquired of a avowedly “anti-religion” group dealing with religious concerns what religion was regarding their concerns, and was informed that such a question was forbidden by the group, thereby satisfying my curiosity as to whether anti-religion is merely another religion.

    I am a religious scientist, and my religion is science, and I seek to avoid harm to everyone with whom I may disagree at parity with anyone (haven’t found anyone yet, other than myself) with whom I agree.

  38. You know the Irony of the issue of Slavery….You don’t work you are not supposed to eat….if you do work you are supposed to pay taxes…if you don’t pay taxes…well, you become a pampered slave….Because you do have a master……

  39. Anonymously Yours 1, February 13, 2011 at 10:01 am

    You know the Irony of the issue of Slavery….You don’t work you are not supposed to eat….if you do work you are supposed to pay taxes…if you don’t pay taxes…well, you become a pampered slave….Because you do have a master……
    ______________________________
    horse-shiite

    those are silly statements. If you are referring to the non-tax status of churches it has more to do with thier non-profit status….not every church is the RCC.

  40. “scientists do lie, cheat, and deceive the public regularly about their discoveries or research and deserve to be viewed with extreme caution”

    Funny, the very same thing can be said about clergy. The difference is that science is set up to expose the frauds, cheats and ignorant were as religion is set up to protect and further them.

  41. Fe: frank, February 13, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Over-generalization is of error.

    That some scientists regularly deceive means not that all scientists do such.

  42. Woosty,

    Still answer as to why you view it differently? If its obvious to you, it should be easy to explain.

    Look, I’m not advocating punishing the parents. I’m advocating protecting the children. The question is do you think this is the kind of behavior that can be changed by a court order?

    This couple willfully let a child die. They made a choice, one that any reasonable person would know would lead to death or serious harm. I doubt it’s the first time they’ve made that decision either. I say, counseling and supervised visits, but until they’ve demonstrated their ability to make rational decisions, protect the kids. Foster care sucks, but that’s an argument for reforming the Foster care system, not letting the kids stay with someone who values their life so little.

  43. Gyges 1, February 14, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Woosty,

    Still (no) answer as to why you view it differently? If its obvious to you, it should be easy to explain.
    ——————————————

    Good morning Gyges,
    You mean still no answer as to why I view it differently than you?

    I have seen NOTHING that shows me that these parents abused thier kids in any other fashion. What I read was that they were all pretty stellar in school, well cared for and that the parents were not only remorsefull but actively agreed to the terms of the court.[which includes supervised medical care for 10 years for the other children and probation for the parents]

    I don’t think these people WILLFULLY neglected that child….they did however MISTAKENLY neglect that child and in part because of a severe pressure from the cult they belonged to….a pressure that still exists btw if you research the event. I’d like to know why the church leader was not questioned….coercion by churches is kinda like torture by the state….it’s not nice.

    Re-read my post of Woosty’s still a Cat 1, February 12, 2011 at 11:22 am ….have you found something different to the scenario to add to the conversation???

  44. Woosty,

    I don’t care if the parents thought they were doing the right thing. People who abuse children often think it is the right thing to do. Anyone in this society can be expected to reasonably know that NOT taking a kid with pneumonia to the doctor could kill them, just like a person in this society can be expected to reasonably know that hitting a child will damage them both physically and mentally. I also don’t care if the parents were pressured into it by a cult. Just like I wouldn’t care if the parents were pressured into letting their young daughter get “married” to an older man.

    I care about exactly one thing: Are the remaining children safe?

  45. “Anyone in this society can be expected to reasonably know that NOT taking a kid with pneumonia to the doctor could kill them, just like a person in this society can be expected to reasonably know that hitting a child will damage them both physically and mentally.” Gyges
    —————-

    Gyges, where is the evidence that these people knew he had pneumonia? What I read was that they thought he was getting better and why the equation with ‘hitting’ the child? I find that to be distressingly misleading….

    http://www.cleveland.com/nation/index.ssf/2010/12/pennsylvania_couple_convicted.html

  46. Parents let their children die.

    I let my son and his wife die.

    I talked, from Oak Park, with my daughter-in-law, Shelly Dukes, on Wednesday evening, February 7, 1996, explaining in great detail why the forecast weather for Saturday, February 10, 1996 was such that neither Michael’s nor Shelly’s winter driving skills would make it as safe as I thought necessary on Saturday for the driving rhey had planned, and, having learned to drive in northern Minnesota, suggested that we change plans so I could do the driving should the weather be as predicted.

    Shelly listened, but categorically dismissed my strong concerns.

    The last thing I said to her was, “You are confusing wants with needs; and, sometimes, when people do that, bad things happen.”

    I killed my son and his wife because I failed to smash their car to bits before that Saturday morning. Yes, I had then, as I have now, a sixteen pound sledge hammer and a railroad pick, and those tools, used as I knew and yet know how to use them, would have revealed the defective welds before my failure to test the welds as needed killed them.

    Want to blame a parent for not protecting a child from an unforeseen cause of the child’s death? Go ahead.

    But first, take me to a state with the death penalty and have me condemned to death for my failure, for, unlike the parents some seek to blame for not understanding what they were not given to understand, I actually knew and understood the sort of risk that February 10, 1996 weather presented.

    If the parents who are not sufficiently aware of a risk are to be punished for their unawareness, how much more punishment do I not deserve for I both knew and understood the magnitude of the possible risk.

    And those who judge the parents who make unavoidable mistakes, how much more at fault at those who find fault without recognizing simple truths, such as, driving to see a physician contains the possibility of an automobile collision with six deaths for of which were averted by not seeking medical care.

    No one is immune to not understanding what is not understood.

    The hypothetical construct of a person who can do what cannot be done is absurd, insanely absurd.

    Consider another absurd hyupothetical:

    As an Absurd Hypothetical, I am the Risen Christ. So, as the Risen Christ, I declare, “To Hell with Absurd Hypotheticals masquerading as actual reality.

    Anyone notice the internal inconsistency therein?

    “Internal Inconsistency” identically equals “Not So.”

    Want more absurd hypotheticals? I have about as good an imagination as I suppose anyone has.

    Need more? I imagine I can imagine imagining many more. But why?

    Is it anything other than wise to give reality a chance?

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