Should faith-healing couple, who let teenage son die of ruptured appendix, go to jail?

When does your faith stop being just about you?

Generally speaking, in America, we believe that people should be permitted to live the way they want so long as their actions don’t impinge on the freedom of others.  That’s why anti-gay bigots who claim that same-sex marriage must be stopped, “or else,” don’t have much of a leg to stand on – they’re completely unable to point to any ill-consequences from permitting gay couples to marry.

But when your religious choices kill your own child, at what point does it stop being “freedom” and start being “murder”?

What if your religion says you can let your children handle poisonous snakes?  After all, God will provide.

In many ways, the religious right is very much like the faith healing parents who killed their teenage son.  They believe that they should be able to do anything, harm anyone, impinge on the rights of anyone, with impunity.  What they say goes, what you say doesn’t count.

America has long given parents broad rights in how to raise their own children.  And, understandably, a judge doesn’t want to get into the business of deciding which religions are “real” and which are child abuse.  But at some point, you have to decide, or else everything will be permitted in the name of religion from discrimination to murder.

What do you think?  Should these parents have been sent to jail for killing their child and believing God would save him?

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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