Faith Healing and Never Learning

When you believe in something religiously, you are considered to have “faith”.

I spoke about it earlier, the difference between a delusion and religion is merely what we believe in. A god due to it’s wide acceptance is considered “normal” rather than weird.

The problem with a delusion is that evidence against the delusion is twisted in order to fit into supporting the delusion. 

If you have a delusion that your dog is about to kill you, and I say “that cannot be possible for x, y and z reasons” then you won’t believe me and will say that I don’t know your dog. Or worse. Believe that I am in league with your dog.

We may be seeing this kind of “logic” here.

Herbert and Catherine Schaible were and still are by all accounts loving parents. God fearing ones.

The Schaibles grew up in the First Century Gospel Church in northeast Philadelphia and have served as teachers there. The church’s website has a sermon titled “Healing — From God or Medicine?” that quotes Bible verses purportedly forbidding Christians from visiting doctors or taking medicine.

Four years ago their son died from bacterial pneumonia. The Schaibles prayed over their son and did not take him to the hospital and he died due to his disease. And last week they lost their 8 month old son after he suffered for a week from diarrhoea and breathing difficulties.

At the moment prosecutors are still waiting for the autopsy before they decide to place charges.

After the death of their first son they were not jailed but sentenced to 10 years of probation which they are in breach of. At a hearing on Monday they were told by a judge that they are in violation of the terms due to praying to god to heal their son rather than seek medical attention.

Their other seven children have been placed in foster care but they are still free for the moment. They are not a danger to the community but to their own children. However until the autopsy result comes in they are free.

“It is a definite sin to trust in medical help and pills; and it is real faith to trust on the Name of Jesus for healing,”

Was their statement.

The family have only received health from a lay midwife and the forced medical check ups as required by their probation. The 8 Month old only saw a doctor aged 10 days.

These are loving, nurturing parents. Terrible ones, but what role has religion played in the death of this child as it did in the first?

Well until the report comes in we won’t know.

The child is a victim and so is the family. The entire problem here is that someone has taken a stance that’s protected by the Bible and that the religious beliefs they have are what has killed the first child and may have killed the second. You have to remember that these people genuinely believe that this is the only true way to heal and that by not healing their children by this way they damn them to a real hell. So it is in the child’s best interest to be prayed over rather than taken to a hospital. To them they haven’t killed their child but saved him from a fate worse than death. And for which they traded their happiness.

To this day they still think that “a god” took their child away due to a mystical plan rather than the actual truth of the situation.

That their children died due to diseases that could have been easily treated and prevented. All religious belief shares the same properties as a delusion. We may consider these parents as delusional but they are no different from the Muslim who would rather believe in elaborate plots than accept the reality of Islamic Fundementalism or the Christian who would rather believe in satanic misdirection than evolution or the Hindus who espouse the benefits of random diets rather than the reality of a balanced meal.

The worst bit is you cannot even call it “evil” because everyone involved in it is a victim. It’s ignorance and it’s the price of rigid adherence to ignorance. The parents will never realise the value of medicine and will forever live thinking they couldn’t save their children.

The faith is what is poison. Not the parents. And the faith will keep killing until we keep educating and slowly eroding the power of the church that is the protector of this faith.


  1. intergalacticmedium says

    Just wanted to say I really enjoy your writing and commentary Avicenna keep up the good work!

  2. miles says

    I can’t imagine loving a fable more than a child.

    Really, it seems like that’s what is required. I could totally see certain members of my family trying to rely on The Jesus to heal them instead of wicked worldly sinful “edumacated” doctors, but when it comes to their kids… no way. Any and all help – doctor first, then get on facebook and beg for prayers. Because they love their children more than their imaginary friend.

    It must have taken an enormous amount of brainwashing to produce the poor poor parents in this story.

  3. says

    And this is why I say that religion must be destroyed altogether; it’s no more possible to keep just the “nice” bits and get rid of the “nasty” bits, than to punch a hole through one side of a coin.

    Because once a person believes even just one thing that is not true, they are already irretrievably broken in that they can be persuaded to believe other things that are not true. It’s not what people believe about their Gods that is the problem. It is that they believe there is a God at all that is the problem.

    It’s fine to throw out a dead baby with the bathwater.

  4. says

    cannot even call it “evil”

    Great, though depressing posting.
    I’m not sure that you are right when you say that it can’t be called evil.
    Is there any significant difference between what they did and, say, a ‘Satanist’ believing that they have to slaughter their child on an altar to their god?

  5. says

    The parents are NOT victims. Not the first time and for damn sure not the second. They let two of their children die slow, painful, easily preventable deaths. To continue richardelguru’s analogy, noone would ever consider that satanist to be a victim. And these parents are not victims.

  6. says

    Why don’t schools teach critical thinking? It’s not really that hard – there’s a process that can be followed to arrive at truth (or at least weed out obviously questionable things) My high school chapel teacher taught us the basics of skepticism, ironically…

  7. thumper1990 says


    Is there any significant difference between what they did and, say, a ‘Satanist’ believing that they have to slaughter their child on an altar to their god?

    No, but I wouldn’t call the Satanist evil either. Disturbed, lied to, ignorant, gullible, murderous scum, certainly… but I’d call these parents that too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>