Woman sues her Mormon parents to get medical care

One of the most horrible and damaging aspects of religion is the tendency of some faiths to refuse medical care to children, relying instead on prayer and “faith healing.” The most famous such faith is Christian Science, but many sects do the same thing. As I recall (and I’m in the airport without my figures), something like 42 states confer civil or criminal immunity on parents who injure or kill their children by withholding medical care on religious grounds. If you withhold medical care on other grounds, of course, you’re liable to prosecution. Such is the unwarranted and harmful privilege of religion in America.

I wasn’t aware that Mormons were guilty of these crimes, but as The Guardian reported (and this is several months old), Mariah Walton, a young woman in Idaho, was permanently disabled because her fundamentalist Mormon parents refused to give her surgery for a hole in her heart when she was born, and so she’s left permanently disabled with pulmonary hypertension. This is what she looks like now:

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-10-10-36-am

Photograph: Jason Wilson for The Guardian

Mariah, sadly. lived in Idaho, where parents are immune from prosecution for this kind of neglect. (The last chapter of Faith Versus Fact discusses the execrable religious-exemption laws.)

Mariah, along with others injured in this way, are campaigning for an end to Idaho’s exemption laws. Amazingly, some state legislators (Republicans, of course), oppose the laws’ repeal because parents should have the right to treat their kids with faith-based medicine: it’s “freedom of religion.”

There should be no freedom of religion that allows parents to hurt their children in the name of their god. It’s bad enough that they indoctrinate their kids (which really should be illegal, too), but it’s out of bounds to withhold scientific medicine in the name of a fairy tale.

It appears that the bill to deep-six the exemption laws is still under consideration, so that children are still being injured (the Followers of Christ are notorious for this). There’s a Change.org petition to the Idaho governor to remove religious exemptions from prosecution, but, sadly, it has only 1,207 signers. It’s time to eliminate all religious exemptions for medical treatment: not just for deformities and diseases, but for vaccinations, too: 47 states allow religious exemptions for the requirement for school children to get vaccinated.

81 Comments

  1. Posted October 6, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Makes my blood boil. This sort of crap is very common in Oregon too.

    • tomh
      Posted October 6, 2016 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      Not any more. Oregon has removed laws which provided exemptions from prosecution to parents who fail to provide medical care for their sick children based on religion.

      • Posted October 7, 2016 at 7:32 am | Permalink

        Great news, I had not heard that.

  2. Leslie
    Posted October 6, 2016 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Yet these people proudly claim they’re “pro life”.

    • Posted October 6, 2016 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      As I heard someone recently quip (I’m sure it’s much older):

      “Republicans are pro-life: They care about you before you’re born (before you have life) and after you die (after you’ve lost life). But in between? You’re on your own!”

  3. Claudia Baker
    Posted October 6, 2016 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    What kind of a moron denies their child surgery for a heart defect?! Oh, that’s right, a Mormon moron.

    What my parents wouldn’t have given, back in ’46, to have had such a surgery available to them for their baby, who was born with 2 holes in his heart. He died at 3 months of age, and my parents “donated” his little, frail body to medical science.

    They always said that they could bear it only in the knowledge that the science gleaned would help future “blue babies”, as they were called. Which it did, of course. And then you get these idiotic, as JAC said, “Followers of Christ”, who do this kind of crap. It boggles the mind.

  4. Carl
    Posted October 6, 2016 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I really hate the way “liberal” has been turned into a pejorative. Likewise, lumping all Republicans together is unworthy and the sort of thing done by the SJW crowd.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted October 6, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately, in order to stay in office, reasonable Republicans, of which I acknowledge there are many, are forced to pander to the extremes of their party. Until Republican politicians who don’t believe in this crap stand up for what’s right, they’re going to continue to get tarred with the same brush as the extremists.

      There are also Democratic politicians who do the same thing, Hillary Clinton being the most obvious example. Personally I’d rather she pandered to the far left to get them to vote for her than see a Trump presidency.

      As long as the US has such a binary and broken political system, this sort of thing is going to continue to happen.

      • Carl
        Posted October 6, 2016 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        I can only hope both major political parties reform their primary systems and we get an attractive, meaningful choice for the replacement of Hilary Clinton in 2020.

        I’ve never particularly liked President Obama, but would gladly take him for another term over any of the last 10 or so standing in the recent primaries.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted October 6, 2016 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

          I often wonder if Obama’s favourability ratings are so high recently at the moment because people are appreciating how lucky they are to have him compared to what could be coming.

        • Filippo
          Posted October 8, 2016 at 6:57 am | Permalink

          “I’ve never particularly liked President Obama . . . .”

          “You’re likeable-enough, Hillary.”

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 6, 2016 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

        “Until Republican politicians who don’t believe in this crap stand up for what’s right, they’re going to continue to get tarred with the same brush as the extremists.”

        A bit like Islam really, then.

        cr

  5. Posted October 6, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    yeah…Go Mitt Romney GO

  6. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted October 6, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    And if you refuse vaccination, you are endangering others as well as yourself!!

    Smallpox is BOTH

    a) hyper-contagious: If someone with smallpox sneezes outdoors and leaves the area, someone in the area two hours later can contract it.

    b) potentially fatal!

    A patently clear-cut case for a government mandate to compel vaccination, overriding cultural/religious proclivities to the contrary.

    =-=-=

    Incidentally, it was semi-deist & occasional scientist Benjamin Franklin, not any Christian, who coined the phrase “God helps those who help themselves.”
    Many decades ago I ran that one past a fundamentalist Christian and he yelled “THAT’s not in the Bible”.

    I had to concede it was not, but I have recently learned it was Ben Frank (founder of my alma mater, University of Pennsylvania- the very first non-church-affiliated school in the USA) who coined the phrase.

    • GBJames
      Posted October 6, 2016 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      “Smallpox is was BOTH”.

      Fixed it for you. 😉

      • JonLynnHarvey
        Posted October 6, 2016 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        I had confused the recent measles outbreak in Disneyland with a smallpox one.

        Thanks.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted October 6, 2016 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

          Yes I was wondering about that…

          cr

  7. Carl
    Posted October 6, 2016 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    It’s interesting that in Ben’s day, some Christian divines preached against smallpox inoculation on the grounds it represented an arrogation of God’s unalienable right to deal death to sinners.

    The Reverend Timothy Dwight allegedly sermonized that if death by disease was in the cards for any certain person, “it would be a frightful sin to avoid and annul that decree by the trick of vaccination.”

    Stewart, Matthew. Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic (p. 40). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted October 6, 2016 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      That Stewart book is a marvelous one that I recommend to all rationists.

      • JonLynnHarvey
        Posted October 6, 2016 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        rationALists. 😦

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted October 6, 2016 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      If God is so Great, I don’t see how a mere trifle like a vaccine will Stop the Smite.

      • Flemur
        Posted October 7, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        It was on the second page of the “20 Commandments”, which the dog ate: “Thou shalt get vaccinated.”

  8. Tom
    Posted October 6, 2016 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Trusting their children’s health to the will of god is barbaric, no better than the beasts of the field and certainly not what they would do with their money.

  9. Posted October 6, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  10. Lincoln
    Posted October 6, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    I am a physician and have been a Mormon my entire life.
    There is nothing in our faith or teachings that would encourage parents to deny their children medical treatment. On the contrary, we believe that medical advancements are inspired by God himself. This article is very biased against Mormons specifically, and religion in general. Are their religious zealots who make unsafe decisions for themselves and their children? Of course. But this is true of many religions (Christian Scientists, Jehovah’s Witness, and even Catholics) as well as parents who are not religious at all.
    Please don’t judge an entire group of people based in the irrational decisions of a few individuals.

    • Posted October 6, 2016 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t say that all Mormons adhere to faith-healing, for they learly don’t. But the FLDS does, at least in part. And who said I was judging all Mormons.

      But as long as you brought it up, allow me to say that you do adhere to one of the more dubious and delusional religions, founded by a con man who says he found golden plates pointed out by an Angel, and that Native Americans came from the Middle East, which is clearly wrong.

      I will judge Mormons as credulous and superstitious based solely on their adherence to the book of Mormon and the doctrine of its discovery. All religious are in some sense farcical, but Mormonism is more farcical than most. And what’s with the underwear?

      • Posted October 6, 2016 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        I like Sam Harris’s comments on Mormonism, that can be found here:

        I have said on more than one occasion that Mormonism is objectively less credible than Christianity, because Mormons are committed to believing nearly all the implausible things that Christians believe plus many additional implausible things. It is mathematically true to say that whatever probability one assigns to Jesus’ returning to earth to judge the living and the dead, one must assign a lesser probability to his doing so from Jackson County, Missouri. The glare of history is likewise unkind to Mormonism, for we simply know much more about Joseph Smith than we do about the twelve Apostles, and we have very good reasons to believe that he was a gifted con man. It is not a sign of bigotry against Mormons as people to honestly discuss these things. And I believe that atheists, secularists, and humanists do the world no favors by insisting that all religions be criticized in precisely the same terms and to the same degree.

    • GBJames
      Posted October 6, 2016 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      The “no true Mormon” gambit. It has been tried before. Never turns out to make sense though.

    • Lee
      Posted October 6, 2016 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      I was also raised Mormon, although my current status is “nonbelieving”, and I know of no particular religious rationale for denying life-saving or life-improving medical intervention to a child. I wonder if the girl’s parents couldn’t afford it or didn’t way to pay up, and played the religion card because their lawyer recommended it as the only rationale that might legally stick?

      • Lee
        Posted October 6, 2016 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

        Okay- I read a little further and got the gist of the matter. Calling the parents “FLDS” rather than “Mormon” would have caused less confusion, I think. By en large, “Mormons” don’t proscribe medical interventions for children, and reading an article that says they do, because a smallish splinter group does, is confusing. Kind of like saying “mammals lay eggs”.

    • Dower-House
      Posted October 7, 2016 at 6:16 am | Permalink

      If you are a physician then I assume that you follow Evidenc B ased Medicine (EBM).

      It amazes me that anyone who has a grasp of EBM is incapable of applying the same techniques to religion, especially Mormonism.

  11. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 6, 2016 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    It’s bad enough that they indoctrinate their kids (which really should be illegal, too) …

    What would a law making religious indoctrination look like? Would it apply to all ideological indoctrination, or just the ecclesiastical?

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 6, 2016 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      … making religious indoctrination illegal

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 6, 2016 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      My concern is, as much as I dislike living in a society where parents routinely subject their children to religious indoctrination, I might dislike even more living in a society that arrogates to itself the authority to prohibit parents from doing so.

      • Carl
        Posted October 6, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        You will never be a true social justice warrior with clear thinking like this.

  12. Heather
    Posted October 6, 2016 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    FLDS is not the same thing as LDS. Her parents are not Mormons. It’s a different religion with the same origin. Probably should’ve fact-checked this article :/

    • Posted October 6, 2016 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t say they were mainstream Mormons, but they are Mormons! Read the Wiki article on FLDS, which begins:

      The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church) is one of the largest Mormon fundamentalist denominations[5][6] and one of the largest organizations in the United States whose members practice polygamy.[7]

      So don’t go telling me that I was misrepresenting the religion here. I could have said that the Followers of Christ are “Christians” and that would have been equally accurate.

      • Heather
        Posted October 6, 2016 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        The Fundamentalist Mormon parents referred to in your article are followers of the FLDS religion. Every time you use the word Mormons without clarifying that you actually mean Fundamentalist Mormons, you’re misleading your readers into believing that these parents follow the LDS religion.

        I get it, it’s an easy mistake to make but it’s still a mistake.

        • Posted October 6, 2016 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

          Yes, yes, the same old litany. Every time a religious person does something bad in the name of their religion, other persons in the same faith, though of different sects (in this case, other delusional Mormons who really believe that the angel Moroni pointed out the Golden Plates to a con man) rush in to assure everyone that that bad person was not a “true” [insert name of religion here].

          Here’s the thing: you are sending your emails to the wrong address. You need to get in touch with the “bad” Mormons out there that are making your own brand of Mormonism look bad. Please, go fight out with the FLDS the issue of whether being a Mormon means you can withhold medical care from their children. Are you doing that? I didn’t think so.

          You’ve made your point–now if you really care about this issue, go battle with the FLDS members. You needn’t repeat your “no true Scotsman” claim further on this site.

  13. Heather
    Posted October 6, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    FLDS is not the same thing as LDS. Her parents aren’t mormons.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted October 6, 2016 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      FLDS are Mormons, just not mainstream Mormons. Jerry made it clear he was referring to the FLDS in his post, and people who read this site DO understand the difference.

      And while I’ve always personally found mainstream Mormons to be really nice and good people, I also think their religion is wrong about many things (such as their negative attitude to LGBT people) and clearly founded by a con man who took advantage of those who followed him.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted October 7, 2016 at 7:42 am | Permalink

        “Jerry made it clear he was referring to the FLDS in his post”

        Actually, he didn’t. He says ‘fundamentalist Mormon’ (with a small F). I wasn’t aware that there was a group that called itself ‘Fundamentalist LDS’ till I read the comments. (And boy, if they actually describe themselves as ‘Fundamentalist’ then they’ve gotta be real hardcore fundies. I can see why other Mormons might be a bit sensitive about it).

        cr

  14. Sudan
    Posted October 6, 2016 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    It is NOT part of the Mormon faith to withhold medical treatment in favor of faith healing. We believe in the healing power of faith, but we also believe in good doctors and modern medicine.

    • Posted October 6, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      I refer you to my answer to the other Mormons: the FLDS is recognized widely as a sect of Mormonism, and they withhold medical treatment. Instead of berating me here in an attempt to validate your bizarre religion (cf. golden plates shown to con man), you should be fighting with members of the FLDS, who are MORMONS, to get them to give their children scientifically based medical care.

      Don’t you care that they are besmirching the “good” name of Mormons?

      • Carl
        Posted October 6, 2016 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, I think the criticism of your article by mainstream Mormons is fair. Lumping a subset into the whole is misleading. After all, FLDS are Mormons, Christians, Idahoans, and Americans, and it should be clear that while technically accurate, it would not be appropriate to substitute any of these larger groups for “Mormons” in your article. Eschewing modern medicine is not a problem with mainstream Mormons – there are plenty of those without this.

        • Posted October 7, 2016 at 6:32 am | Permalink

          The point you missed is that it’s not the Americanism or Idahoism of these people who made them refuse medical care–it was their RELIGION, their Mormonism.

          • Carl
            Posted October 7, 2016 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

            If you can grant that, then why can’t you see it was their FLDSism and not their Mormonism that had them refuse medical care for their daughter?

        • Posted October 7, 2016 at 7:27 am | Permalink

          The repetition of the “No True Scotsman” trope in this thread is pretty astonishing (and boring and annoying).

          The only question is: Are they are are they not Mormons. They are. Members of a subset to be sure; but Mormons nonetheless.

          Should we refrain from calling Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Amish, etc. “Christians” because they are all splinter sects of Xianity (that believe very different things)?

          As Sam Harris constantly reiterates: Religion (believing things for which you have no good evidence) promotes bad thinking and bad thinking habits. Events like this unfortunate young woman’s plight result from such bad thinking habits.

          I’m happy that most Mormons do not eschew modern medicine. But they still believe nonsense.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted October 7, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

            I think the ‘Fundamentalist’ tag (which they apparently actually call themselves, FFS, holy cow) is possibly more significant than the ‘Mormon’ one. Can you think of *any* fundamentalist group, of any religion, that you would want to touch with a ten-foot pole? ‘cos I can’t.

            cr

          • Carl
            Posted October 7, 2016 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

            I am not committing the “no true Scotsman” fallacy. Please follow my logic.

            The egregious act under discussion is withholding medical care.

            “Mainstream Mormons” are probably as disgusted by this attitude toward medicine as you and I.

            It is FLDS that doesn’t believe in modern medicine.

            The NTS fallacy in the case would be to claim Mormons don’t believe in withholding medical care. That’s not what I’m claiming. A subset of Mormons does believe this. But honesty and honor demand we recognize a bright line between the FLDS and mainstream Mormons for the issue under discussion.

            I’ll put a finer point on it by close analogy. Yes Baptists and Catholics are Christians. To say Christians believe the pope in Rome is infallible is technically true, since *some* Christians certainly do. But a more accurate statement is that papal infallibility is Catholic dogma. Honest demands we recognize this particular foolishness does not apply to Baptists.

            • Posted October 7, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

              I’ll sharpen that a bit more for you:

              Catholics are Christians and they believe the pope is infallible.

              The parents of Mariah are Mormons and they believe in withholding modern medical care from their children.

              Jerry made it quite clear they were fundamentalists.

              He made no statement about the official stance of the LDS church.

              • Carl
                Posted October 7, 2016 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

                Jerry did not make clear in the article that the girl’s parents were from an offshoot of Mormonism. As other commentors have pointed out, it was only through the reader comments that this became clear.

                Your “sharpening” reflects badly on you, but I hope not on atheists in general. You’ve already admitted withholding medical care is an FLDS problem, not one for mainstream Mormons. Can you see the dishonesty in your argument if you substitute “Christians” or “Americans” for “Mormons” in your second statement?

                A believer using your tactics could say: “See, atheists are dishonest” when they should only be applying this to jblilie and those in agreement.

              • GBJames
                Posted October 7, 2016 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

                The point, Carl, that you and other defenders of the faith are missing the point. Religion, in this case a form of Mormonism, is the motivation behind this dreadful behavior. Not all religious people fall subjec to this particular variation. But those who do are motivated by faith.

                And, as someone else wondered, why have none of he defenders of the LDS mentioned laws allowing this kind of child abuse should be repealed?

              • Carl
                Posted October 7, 2016 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

                To GBJames (the indentation limits of the web site don’t allow a direct reply to your message.)

                I am not a “defender of the faith.” My comments are actually in service of defending and strengthening anti-theism. My (our?) side is better served by honesty and accuracy in our arguments. Where a distinction is relevant, we should not blur it. In this case, reliance on doctors is a distinction that should be made between mainstream Mormons and the FLDS offshoot.

                When it comes to ridiculing Mormonism as a religion founded by a convicted con man with his conveniently now missing golden plates – have at it, I’m with you.

              • GBJames
                Posted October 7, 2016 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

                Carl, one need not be a member of the faith to be a defender of the faith. The rush to defend “true” Mormons here is flawed, for reasons that have been pointed out already and really shouldn’t need repeating. These parents are Mormons. They acted according to their version of the faith. I’m sure they are convinced that they have the real, authentic, version. That there are other Mormons who don’t align on this particular detail doesn’t remove them from the list of how poisonous religion can be.

                Most Muslims aren’t members of ISIS. That doesn’t make those jihadists any less Muslim. Nor does it allow you to conclude that their jihad isn’t motivated by religion.

            • tomh
              Posted October 7, 2016 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

              “The NTS fallacy in the case would be to claim Mormons don’t believe in withholding medical care.”

              No, the NTS fallacy in the case is to claim that the FLDS folks are not “true Mormons.” The same way that some Christians claim that Christian Scientists are not “true Christians.” Or moderate Muslims claim that ISIS followers are not “true Muslims.” So what? They claim they’re Muslims, they claim they’re Christians, they claim they’re Mormons. Who gets to decide who the true ones are?

              • Carl
                Posted October 7, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

                Thank you, you have a correct reading of what the No True Scotsman fallacy would be in this case.

                I am not claiming FLDS are not true Mormons. I am claiming that there is a distinct difference between mainstream Mormons and the FLDS sect. That difference is the sect believes in withholding modern medical care while the mainstream thinks it stupid not to use doctors. Since withholding medical care is the the central topic of this discussion, that distinction should be relevant – we are not talking about golden tablets or con man founders.

                My intent here is not to argue in favor of Mormonism. I want atheists to use the best and most honest arguments against religion.

              • GBJames
                Posted October 7, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

                If your point is that there are differences between religious sects then you are crashing through an open door. Sects are defined by their differences.

  15. Christopher
    Posted October 6, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Signed, and shared, for all the good it will do. I doubt good ol’ Butch Otter will give two sh*ts about kids dying from religious neglect and abuse. When dead and dying children can contribute to election campaigns, then, maybe, he and other politicians will pretend to care.

    Perhaps Ms. Walton, and a few other “lucky” ones who survive this vile abuse can turn a few hearts, but I see a long road ahead, strewn with the corpses of children who died in “jesus’ name”.

  16. SiR Wats
    Posted October 6, 2016 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    It should be noted that this is not Mormon doctrine nor common practice. Brigham Young, for example, when he encountered someone who was relying on healing by faith instead of medical care, “That is very inconsistent […]. It appears consistent to me to apply every remedy that comes within the range of my knowledge, and [then] to ask my Father in heaven … to sanctify that application to the healing of my body.” (Discourses of Brigham Young, 1954, 163)

    • Posted October 6, 2016 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      From Wikipedia:

      Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

      The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church) is one of the largest Mormon fundamentalist denominations[5][6] and one of the largest organizations in the United States whose members practice polygamy.[7] The FLDS Church emerged in the early 20th century when its founding members left The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The split occurred largely because of the LDS Church’s suspension of the practice of polygamy and its decision to excommunicate its members who would continue the practice.

      They consider themselves Mormons, just like ISIS considers themselves Muslim. You just don’t like them so you say they’re not Mormons. Sorry, but you’ll have to fight it out with the FLDS over whether they’re “true” Mormons. I find this vastly amusing, as when Episcopalians call fundamentalist Baptists “not real Christians.” I suggest you tell the FLDS to stop giving the word “Mormon” a bad name.

  17. Wendy
    Posted October 6, 2016 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    This is not even a Mormon belief. I am an active member and have never seen another member deny anyone medical care. This is false information. Members of the church are never taught not to seek medical care.

    • Posted October 6, 2016 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      From Wikipedia:

      Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

      The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church) is one of the largest Mormon fundamentalist denominations[5][6] and one of the largest organizations in the United States whose members practice polygamy.[7] The FLDS Church emerged in the early 20th century when its founding members left The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The split occurred largely because of the LDS Church’s suspension of the practice of polygamy and its decision to excommunicate its members who would continue the practice.

      They consider themselves Mormons, just like ISIS considers themselves Muslim. You just don’t like them so you say they’re not Mormons. Sorry, but you’ll have to fight it out with the FLDS over whether they’re “true” Mormons. I find this vastly amusing, as when Episcopalians call fundamentalist Baptists “not real Christians.” I suggest you tell the FLDS to stop giving the word “Mormon” a bad name.

      • Chris
        Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

        Your argument is a bit ridiculous and makes you look silly. Even though you can point to a reference in such a respected source as Wikipedia that refers to the FLDS as a branch of Mormonism, the fact is when you use the term “Mormon” that is taken in common parlance to mean the mainstream Mormon church so calling this family Mormon is misleading. You should have the intellectual honesty to admit that. if you can’t it makes you look silly and if you disagree and keep pointing to Wikipedia as the end of the discussion it makes you look stupid.

        • Carl
          Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

          Harsh words, but dead right. It truly surprises me that so many readers here don’t grasp this argument.

        • GBJames
          Posted October 8, 2016 at 6:47 am | Permalink

          The wise commentor pays closer attention to Da Roolz.

    • GBJames
      Posted October 6, 2016 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      Once you and the FLDS people agree on which of you are true Mormons, please get back to the rest of us.

  18. Posted October 6, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Signed as well. Is there no end to the madness?

    Carl Kruse

  19. Jordan
    Posted October 6, 2016 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Fundamentalist Mormons are NOT members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latrer-Day Saints (aka “Mormons”). You do both yourself and Latter-Day Saints a disservice by failing to know such a basic truth as you share your thoughts with the world at large.

    • Posted October 6, 2016 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      From Wikipedia:

      Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

      The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church) is one of the largest Mormon fundamentalist denominations[5][6] and one of the largest organizations in the United States whose members practice polygamy.[7] The FLDS Church emerged in the early 20th century when its founding members left The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The split occurred largely because of the LDS Church’s suspension of the practice of polygamy and its decision to excommunicate its members who would continue the practice.

      They consider themselves Mormons, just like ISIS considers themselves Muslim. You just don’t like them so you say they’re not Mormons. Sorry, but you’ll have to fight it out with the FLDS over whether they’re “true” Mormons. I find this vastly amusing, as when Episcopalians call fundamentalist Baptists “not real Christians.” I suggest you tell the FLDS to stop giving the word “Mormon” a bad name.

      • Chris
        Posted October 8, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        Wow. Again thanks for the Wikipedia reference, but again this is just making you look stupid. The issue isn’t whether or not FLDS are Mormon. Let’s assume for sake of this discussion that is true. FLDS are Mormons. Your statement that “Mormons are guilty of this” is misleading when it is only a small subset “approximately 0.06%) of all Moons that agreee. That is what is making you look silly. If I found a group of atheists that represented 0.06% of the entire totals population that believed Hitler did a good thing in killing Jews according to you it would be a true statement to say “atheists believe Hitler was right to kill Jews”. Of course that statement (even though it meets your definition of accuracy) is stupid, but not any more than your statement that Mormons believe in avoiding medical care for children.

  20. Andrea Kenner
    Posted October 6, 2016 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    1,258 now, but still a pitifully small number.

  21. eric
    Posted October 6, 2016 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    some state legislators (Republicans, of course), oppose the laws’ repeal because parents should have the right to treat their kids with faith-based medicine: it’s “freedom of religion.”

    I will happily protect people’s rights perform (most*) faith-based healings. But IMO the believer can do that along with mainstream medicine. This should not be a legal either-or, the law should protect the child by ensuring they get the best mainstream treatment, and the parents by ensuring they can pray over the child while doctors are treating them.

    I also have a hard time seeing any theological justification for saying no. Its not your sin if the state is coercing you to do it, so the parents (and the child) are off the hook there. And any theology that states God can’t act if the doctors act is denying God’s omnipotence, and in fact saying that their God is like a circus bear, dancing to the tune of human doctors.

  22. Posted October 6, 2016 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    This is horrible. I recall calling a judge to place a child with acute lymphocytic leukemia into wardship of the state because her Christian Science parents thought prayer was all she needed. There should be a federal law mandating this.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  23. somer
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    I have to say this is an aspect of religion I find totally evil. And the crap by too many disparaging vaccines, fluoridation etc, the openness to con men and listening to the odd conspiracy theory about science. My mum used to threaten to set the dog on Jehovahs witnesses because they don’t believe in allowing children blood transfusion even to save life.

  24. Tom
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    I notice that none of the mormon objectors to your post said that the law in question should be changed.

  25. Chris
    Posted October 7, 2016 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    This article confuses Mormons and “fundamentalist ” Mormons. Fundamentalists have nothing to do with the Mormon church. The Mormon church in no way teaches that anyone should avoid medical care. In fact they teach the opposite. The church does believe that God can help in the healing process and does believe that miracles can happen, but also teaches we should do all physically possible to get the best care possible.

  26. Posted October 7, 2016 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    My newfound religion says we should deport all parents who indoctrinate their children into nonsense and leave them psychologically scarred well into adulthood.

    Wait, what’s that you say? I don’t have the freedom to impose my beliefs on you? Good, now teach that to your children.

  27. Posted October 12, 2016 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    It does raise an interesting question, though: how fringe (how many believers) does something have to be to not count as an offshoot?

    (Leibniz was a Christian, or at least would have said he was, for example, but was he a believer in any denomination save his own? Arguably not.)


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