Pharyngula

Religion kills

So this young man, Dennis Lindberg, refused a blood transfusion and died. This was a completely useless, futile death; it wasn’t a sacrifice that helped someone, and it was avoidable by a routine medical procedure. So what could possibly have driven him to this behavior?

Earlier Wednesday, Skagit County Superior Court Judge John Meyer had denied a motion by the state to force the boy to have a blood transfusion. The judge said the eighth-grader knew “he’s basically giving himself a death sentence.”

“I don’t believe Dennis’ decision is the result of any coercion. He is mature and understands the consequences of his decision,” the judge said during the hearing.

“I don’t think Dennis is trying to commit suicide. This isn’t something Dennis just came upon, and he believes with the transfusion he would be unclean and unworthy.”

So he wasn’t coerced; he was mature and capable of rational thought; he wasn’t suicidal; this wasn’t an expensive treatment his family couldn’t afford; he did not make the world a better place by dying. He simply calmly decided on the basis of certain premises that were planted in his brain at an early age by an aunt who was a Jehovah’s Witness that he had to do something both lethal and stupid. His head was filled with garbage, and this is the end result.

Religion is child abuse. It strips kids of the critical reasoning abilities that can save their lives. His crazy aunt killed him as surely as if she had beat him to death with a baseball bat.

Comments

  1. #1 David Marjanovi?, OM
    December 2, 2007

    How do you deal with the very similar issues of right to die for adults? Would the European system force Terry Schiavo to stay a vegtable? Does Europe deny adults the right to chose not to be recessitated (sp)?

    In Europe, are all minors absolutely denied all autonomy over their bodies? For example, can a raped 15 year old get an abortion over the objections of her parents?

    I bet not all of this is the same throughout Europe, not even throughout the 27 countries of the EU.

    However, Terry Schiavo had no brain cortex anymore. She’d have been declared dead as soon as that became known. On the other hand, “forcing” doesn’t apply to someone without a brain cortex anyway…

    New Clackamas County District Attorney Terry Gustafson wants to file charges, but has concluded that Oregon laws providing religious immunity to charges of homicide by abuse or neglect and manslaughter, enacted in 1995 and 1997, prevent her from doing so.”

    Religious immunity to charges of hom[in]icide by abuse or neglect and manslaughter? Can I believe my eyes?

    This is absolutely incredible.

    They have a propositional faith about what God is about, what God is like, how God works, why God works that way (all of these are, in Quaker speak, “notions”–things one can never know and shouldn’t spend much time thinking about)

    Whether God exists in the first place is a “notion”, too…

    Science is a verb

    I cannot resist pointing out that it isn’t. “Verb” itself isn’t a verb either.* The rest of your comment is spot-on, though!

    * Except in the joke about polysynthetic languages: “Why noun when you can verb?”

  2. #2 John C. Randolph
    August 4, 2008

    As a child I was healed of an asthmatic condition through reliance on Christian Science alone.

    No, you weren’t.

    Your asthma went away on its own, as childhood asthma sometimes does, and you chose to give the credit to your superstitions.

    -jcr

  3. #3 Simon
    March 3, 2009

    Religion kills, but Jesus saves.