Faith-Healing Parents in Oregon Convicted of Negligent Homicide

A church in Oregon has the infamous reputation of killing children in the name of faith. Now, two parents — Jeff and Marci Beagley — have been found guilty of negligent homicide. Their case was discussed in this prior column. It is a welcomed charge (often religious parents are given lesser charges in the death of their children due to faith-healing), but the likely sentence is likely to be relatively low given the history of this church and the loss of life.

They will face only 16-18 months in the death of their sixteen-year-old Neil who died from a urinary tract blockage that could have been easily addressed by doctors. I have argued that faith-healing parents are being given special and lenient treatment over other neglectful parents, here.

The Followers of Christ church rejects conventional medicine in favor of faith-healing.

For the full story, click here and here and here.

537 thoughts on “Faith-Healing Parents in Oregon Convicted of Negligent Homicide”

  1. Bdaman,

    That is about as Half Baked as you can get and still function. As I said yesterday, I think you are ok. An antagonist and a very good one as well. I should know, I do it well. But to take a dead horse that has already been called a sock puppet and to get this thing going again, really is not needed.

    You are funny and the many non de plumes you fan are as creative as can be. So for today, I am declining the invitation.

  2. A Y

    I am surprised, and amused, that you think my comment is clever enough to be the Devil’s (or the Devil’s own disciple’s). But, personality aspersions aside, what do you think of the argument presented?

  3. Half Wit,

    Stay out of this. You are much smarter than that aren’t you? Buckeye, you sound like bdaman. Is this you? I remember from lessons learned that the Devil takes many forms. Are you the Devil?

    1. Once again, we need to avoid the personal stuff on these threads, folks. Let’s direct our passions and energy at the arguments and not the personalities. As I am entombed in snow, I want to remember everyone fondly.

  4. If that is the case, and if the constitution is the basis for your laws, then technically these parents should not be. Canadian Eh

    Perhaps you’re not familiar with our Supreme Court Canadian.

    It is a branch of the govt known as the Judiciary and it decides on the constitutionality of a given issue or law.

    The Supreme Court ruled that the religion clause does not give a citizen the right to violate the laws of the state in which they reside. While some minor offenses may go unpunished, KILLING YOUR CHILDREN is not one of them.

    So you are technically incorrect from a legal basis.

    The courts opinion noted that if religious freedom was a valid excuse for breaking a law then citizens would be free to commit any crime they wanted, as long as they claimed religious freedom.

    Obviously only a complete moron would argue such a case.

    The courts ruled that religious freedom protected by the Constitution does NOT give one the right to commit crimes or break the laws UNLESS the law is created to address a religious practice that it seeks to prohibit.

    Got it?

    And since CHILD NEGLECT, CHILD ENDANGERMENT, and CHILD ABUSE are illegal in our country no one can argue that the religious clause protects the parents in denying their kids basic medical treatment.

    So not only is it morally reprehensible (now you know why most people hate lawyers) to argue such a point, it is technically incorrect as well.

    Freedom of religion does not give you the right to commit child abuse.

  5. No, please don’t anyone respond to this Buckeye. I don’t think that the blogging would support this type of drama again. AY, don’t you even touch it. Don’t go. Fool’s rush in where angles fear to tread. Got new rubber on your soles?

  6. Not a lawyer, just a citizen. As such I would like to see anyone who could have saved their child and didn’t receive the same sentence as anyone who fatally abused their child.

    Religious practicess as pertains to oneself should be respected – even a religious practice that might lead to ones own death. Adults choose to refuse life prolonging medical procedures all the time, especially the elderly. Adults choose to practice religious rites, like a local phenomenon – snake handling, that can lead to death and they should be free to practice those rites.

    Children do not have the maturity to make those choices and therefore must be protected by the state from parental decisions that will lead to their death, whether from a religious practice or a religious prohibiton of a medical practice.

    I am free to choose for myself, but I am not free to choose for another, especially a child.

  7. Yeah, I understand. It is a lot warmer here and if I need clod I can always go to it.

  8. Well AY, as I looked out my frosted windows to see the thermometer reading -20 on this sunny morning, I would give up peacekeeping ways for Texas heat and sunshine in a flash!

  9. I wasn’t lol. Not as civilized as I could be. After all, I was blessed to have been born in Texas.

  10. AY,
    You’re Welcome….I call it as I see it…we Canadians are typically born with that peacekeeping rationale!

  11. Wow what’s happened in here today???? When I last read this thread I was in complete agreement with 30%er, however must concede that AY has made several very good points in terms of how the law ignores many religious practices that in fact are not legal. While I still do not agree that parents should be able to deny their children anything that would preverve their lives ( as AY also conceded several times ), I can now see how there could be a viable defence in court in such a case.
    Early in the discussion, AY clearly stated that he did not know what he would do…….

    AY…..Feb 4 2010 @ 4:25 pm….
    “Do I think it is correct to not feed a child and you have the ability to feed the child. Of course it should be criminal. I think that we are talking apples to oranges.

    I am speaking of concept of religion. For those that are not in the mainstream of society.
    I am saying that there is no easy answer. ”

    AY’s answer was a logical and honest one. While I would certainly not deny my child an anti-biotic to treat a simple UTI, I may question my motives in putting one of my children through ongoing painful procudures to treat an untreatable illness simply to buy an extra month with them. Truth is, no parent can, with complete certainty, ever answer that question without having lived through the situation. That being said, I also do not hold enough faith to believe that any God would take the time out to cure an illness based on prayer alone….obviously the parents in this article did. Does that make what they did wrong…to me, yes it does, to them and to the others who share their religious convictions, it does not.

    This brings me back to the original question….should they be guilty of murder? If I understand corresctly, the American constitution allows for ‘ Freedom of Religion ‘. If that is the case, and if the constitution is the basis for your laws, then technically these parents should not be.

    I simply can’t believe the tangent that resulted in what started as a debate, which, by definition, is a discussion, of a public question in an assembly, involving opposing viewpoints! I must point out 30%er that your continued pokes at AY to agree with your argument was unnecessary. Your further attacks on other bloggers who disagreed with your tactics, ridiculous! BIL, Byron, Mespo and EC are regular posters on here who always make intellegent and seemingly well thought out points on topics posted and in no way demonstrate symptoms of the mental illnesses as you suggested. You made several pleas that you were being attacked but it is clear that it was you doing the attacking. Being the mental health professional, I can clearly see who has the issues and who does not. That is not an attack, simply an observation.

    Hence it was AY who acted like the lawyer in this debate. Siding with law rather than his own personal beliefs. Based on that, I’d hire him!!

  12. yes, it was previous to the previous recipes. I did not get too much of a snicker but did not think it was worth a 100 grand.

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