Idaho Lawmaker Defends Faith-Healing Parents Who Allow Kids To Die

| by Michael Allen

The state of Idaho has refused to prosecute parents who won't allow their children to seek medical care based upon their religious beliefs, even if the kids die.

KATU reported last year on the Peaceful Valley Cemetery in Boise, Idaho, where Followers of Christ faith healers bury their dead. Twenty five percent of the graves are children.

Vocativ.com notes that 12 children have died preventable deaths since 2011, but not one faith-healing parent has been prosecuted in Idaho.

The parents are not prosecuted because the state of Idaho has religious exemption for negligent homicide, manslaughter and capital murder.

Idaho state Rep. Christy Perry (R), who represents an area that includes the Peaceful Valley Cemetery, recently defended the Followers of Christ and their deadly choices.

“They have a clear understanding of what the role of government should be,” Perry told Al Jazeera America. “[It] isn’t how to tell me how to live my life.”

“Children do die,” added Perry. “And I’m not trying to sound callous, but [people calling for reform] want to act as if death is an anomaly. But it’s not. It’s a way of life.”

“They are comforted by the fact that they know their child is in heaven,” Perry said. “If I want to let my child be with God, why is that wrong?”

Perry also questioned those who would change the state law and not allow parents to let their kids suffer and die.

“Is it really because these children are dying more so than other children? Or is this really about an attack on a religion you don’t agree with?” stated Perry.

Sources: Al Jazeera America, KATU, Vocativ.com
Image Credit: Sebastian Bergmann