Prayer does not work any more than any other magic incantation works. Most people know this, including the religious, which is why prayer is only seriously relied upon exclusively when there is no practical solution available. But some fundamentalists have been so thoroughly taken in by the anti-science faction that they opt for prayer alone and refuse medical treatment even when circumstances become dire. If they do that for themselves, well, they’re just fatally ignorant. When that willful ignorance causes the needless suffering and death of someone under their care, it’s homicide. At least that’s how the Wisconsin Supreme Court decided in one tragic case:
USA Today — Eleven-year-old Madeline Kara Neumann died of undiagnosed diabetes on Easter Sunday in March 2008 at her parents’ home in the central Wisconsin village of Weston. Prosecutors said her parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, ignored obvious symptoms of severe illness as their daughter became too weak to speak, eat, drink or walk, choosing to pray rather than take her to a doctor.
After the girl died, Leilani Neumann told police God would raise the child from the dead.
A simple regimen of insulin probably would have saved this girls life. As she weakened, a single dose might have had an immediate and dramatic effect.
My initial reaction is to despise these parents. But they didn’t think this insanity up on their own. There is a whole community of fundamentalist grifters who prey on people like the Neumanns. They spew this dangerous nonsense from venues the faithful inherently trust, many make a tidy living off of it. I despise them far more than the parents.