An Oregon jury has committed an unusual act of sanity and ruled in favor of child welfare (posthumously) and modern science over religious freedom.
Two irresponsible, psychopathic morons used Jesus in an attempt to beat a murder rap but an American jury actually did not buy into the Christian defense that religious freedom gives parents the right to substitute faith healing for modern medicine. The two anti-parents were found guilty of negligent homicide.
Tragically, the child had to die before the courts and the physicians could legally intervene. But it is a good start. The next step should be a legal definition of child abuse that expands to embrace reparative therapy as a real and criminal threat to a child's mental and physical health. How many teen suicides and how many thousands of homeless gay children do the courts and the medical community need to witness before they come to the same logical and humane conclusion as this Oregon jury?
Dare we hope that the incompetents at Lamba will wake up from their coma and put some work into pushing legal and medical standards that draw a strong and clear line between the mental and physical health of children and the wholesale cruelty still allowed in the name of religious freedom?
The only difference between reparative therapy and faith healing is that homosexuality unlike bacterial and viral infection is not a disease. In fact, one could argue that reparative therapy takes the idiocy and criminal nature of imposed faith healing on children up quite a few notches.
This despicable Oregon couple who practice faith healing testified they did everything they could for their 16-year-old son before he died. Tragically, this was their second murder having buried their granddaughter just a few months earlier under similar circumstances.
Jeff and Marci Beagley were convicted of criminally negligent homicide after prosecutors argued they failed in their duty to get medical help for their son, Neil, in June 2008.
The teenager died of complications from a congenital urinary tract blockage that doctors testified could have been treated up until the day he died.
The Beagleys' 15-month-old granddaughter, Ava Worthington, died in March 2008 of pneumonia and a blood infection that also could have been treated.
Instead, Neil and Ava were anointed with oil while the family prayed and laid on hands.
The toddler's Christian monster-parents, Raylene and Carl Brent Worthington, were acquitted of manslaughter last year after a trial that tested a change in Oregon law in 1999 resulting from a public outcry over a series of child deaths among members of the Followers of Christ Church.
The Beagleys and their daughter, Raylene, and son-in-law, Brent, are all members of the small church with roots in Kansas but now is based in Oregon City.
Followers of Christ avoid doctors in favor of faith healing.
Family and church members packed the small courtroom where Clackamas County Presiding Judge Steven Maurer read the guilty verdicts delivered after less than two full days of deliberations. Some gasped and others held back tears while Marci Beagley cried quietly. Now she and her husband face a possible 16 to 18 months in prison under state sentencing guidelines, although defense attorneys plan to ask for probation. The Beagleys remain free pending their sentencing on Feb. 18.
Brent Worthington said just after the verdicts that the family had no plans to comment on the trial. But one of the defense attorneys, Wayne Mackeson, insisted the trial was about the care they provided as parents, not about their beliefs. "It's never been a referendum on the church. This case involves parents who didn't understand how sick their child was," he said. Mackeson and fellow defense attorney Steve Lindsey argued during the two-week trial that Neil Beagley had symptoms more like a cold or the flu, and his parents responded by making sure he rested, was fed and drank plenty of fluids. But doctors testified the urinary tract blockage let those fluids and toxic waste build up inside the teenager's body, virtually destroying his kidneys and eventually causing his heart to stop.
Doctors, including a deputy state medical examiner, said it was the first such death in their experience because the problem is usually spotted before a child is born, or shortly afterward. But Neil Beagley had never been taken to a doctor, and his mother did not see any doctors before he was born. Maurer ruled early in the Beagleys' trial that prosecutors could introduce some evidence from the previous trial of the Worthingtons, and prosecutors frequently referred to the death of Ava Worthington. In closing arguments, Greg Horner, the chief deputy district attorney who also prosecuted the Worthingtons, said the Beagleys "ignored the lesson that cost their granddaughter her life." District Attorney John Foote said his office would have no comment until after sentencing. "The jury's verdicts of guilty are extremely important for this community," he said. "However, the cases are still not complete."
To hell with the Beagleys and their Christian community--in fact if there is a hell surely these folks will end up there. The question is when will this nation put a stop to child abuse and murder in the name of Jesus and come to the rescue of the tens of thousands of gay children who are at this very moment being tortured, abused and even murdered by their parents in the name of some dark and evil mythological demon that drives men and women to murder their own children?