A dozen kids's death in four years is not big deal, what makes it a big deal for me is that
- They were avoidable deaths
- They weren't avoided not because their parents couldn't get/pay the treatments but because they didn't want them
- They're not being charged with child neglect or murder because their faith tells them to let those children die
The first thing that I think about saying is "Your son. Your daughter.", but that wouldn't make sense because if you feel as horrified as I do towards this, you treat your children more responsibly that this kind of parents. What I'm going to say is "Imagine it's your nephew, and that you sister lets him die. And then you have to put up a smile and tell her she did right letting him die."
The linked article says that actually most states has some kind of exemption to damage to children. Half a dozen of them have no religious exemption to crimes against children. Six from fifty? The rest go from "you can go to jail, but we can't save your children from your care" to "If it's by your religion, you can do to your children as you want"
The point I keep waiting for anyone to make is that children are their parents' responsibility, not their property. The freedom of religion of the parents is that they can let themselves die, but to allow them to decide whether their children receive proper medical care is to acknowledge children are property.
For a country so proud of Lincoln's anti-slavery (thought there's something to be said about that, too), children are still considered property by having laws as these.
And now, let's widen the scenery, shall we?
Is this too soon to remember that Islam allows marriage as soon as the bride has her first period? She has to give her consent, even when saying nothing is considered consent.
I don't see too many activist saying that is right for parents to punish her 12-year-old daughter (for disobedience) because she doesn't want to be wed - and deflowered - just yet, but exemptions like the ones allowing a couple to let their children die just set right that kind of girl-selling.
I'd like to bring attention to another point: please, look at that map of USA and look for the black states - the ones which exempts criminal and civil penalties from negligent homicide, manslaughter and capital murder: Idaho, Iowa, Ohio, West Virginia, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Religious exemption from capital murder. To emphasize what that kind of laws allow, I'd like to point out that, in these states it's legal (you're criminally and civilly exempt), if you're Jewish or Christian:
- To kill a gay men just because he's gay (Leviticus)
- To kill Woody Allen and/or Soon-Yin (Leviticus again, she was his son's sister, and since he had sex with her mother, she's his daughter)
- To kill anyone who contradicts your beliefs (Leviticus attacks again, blasphemy) This one's specially ironic because A can kill B for contradicting A, and then B's brother can kill A because A contradicted B and his brother.
- To enslave anyone that doesn't share your faith (Leviticus is a gold mine of this sh*t)
And this is just a handful of (nowadays considered) bad things that some people can get away with by claiming "freedom of religion". Now that I've cleared a few things about Bible, I think I can give a couple more about Islam, because, by those "freedom of religion" laws:
- If I were a Muslim and I met an ex-Muslim, I can kill him (4:89)
- Suicide attacks are legal (4:74) Remember the Twin Towers?
What is really ironic about all this "freedom of religion" stuff is that, if the government can't enforce their laws against religious people, then the most violent religions' followers are free - by the government - to kill everyone, until there's only one sect left. Kind like Iran.