Laws exist to protect children from the behavior of parents who are intoxicated by alcohol. Likewise, laws need to exist to protect children from parents intoxicated by dangerous religious beliefs.
My siblings and I were raised by fundamentalist Christian Scientists. Absolutely no medicinal items were allowed in our household, and neither pain nor illness was acknowledged. I saw a doctor the day I was born and then not again until I was 18. My father was a convert to the religion, but my mother was raised in a very fundamentalist Christian Science household. She firmly believed Christian Science was the one and only true religion and that its word was the law.
Given the tenacious and often dangerous hold that ingrained religious beliefs have on generations of parents, it is imperative that laws be enacted to protect children. Can a caregiver withhold needed medical attention from an elderly person and then cite their own religious beliefs as justification? Wouldn’t the law see it as neglect? It simply makes sense that children be given the same consideration. This is not about infringing on the right to practice religion, but rather about protecting the rights of children in need of medical care.
Laura J. McCarthy, Eagle
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