Herbert and Catherine Schaible are being sentenced Wednesday in the death last year of their 8-month-old son, Brandon. At the time, they were under court orders to seek medical care for their children after their 2-year-old son, Kent, died of untreated pneumonia in 2009.
The Schaibles are third-generation members of a small Pentecostal community, the First Century Gospel Church in northeast Philadelphia. ...
"We believe in divine healing, that Jesus shed blood for our healing and that he died on the cross to break the devil's power," Herbert Schaible said in a 2013 police statement. Medicine, he said, "is against our religious beliefs."
A jury had convicted both parents of involuntary manslaughter in Kent's death, and they were put on 10 years of probation that included orders to seek medical care if any other child got sick. ...
Their pastor, Nelson Clark, has said the Schaibles lost their sons because of a "spiritual lack" in their lives and insisted they would not seek medical care even if another child appeared near death.
The problem here is faith-based thinking. Oh, you may argue that you don't believe anything this crazy, that your faith wouldn't cause you to fly passenger planes into buildings or let your children die of easily-treated diseases.
But if you believe by faith, how can you argue that you're right and someone else's faith is wrong? These people have already let two of their nine children die. Are you really going to claim that their faith isn't as strong as yours?
Evidence-based people can demonstrate why they're right. That's why scientists come to a consensus about what's true and what isn't. Indeed, that's why we have effective medical care in the first place. If we still believed by faith, children would still die like this in every family.
Evidence-based people can build on knowledge which has been demonstrated to be true, thus science advances. Thus medical care advances. Evidence-based people come to a consensus on what's true and what isn't. Meanwhile, faith-based people believe whatever they want (almost always based on whatever they were taught as children). That's why religions can't come to a consensus.
If you believe by faith - even if you believe in reasonable things - you're part of the problem. Faith is a vice, not a virtue. Faith is no way to determine the truth of anything.