In which Drek remarks on religion and then wanders off in a different direction entirely
A father charged with killing his daughter by praying instead of taking her to a doctor read from the Bible while testifying Thursday that he couldn't seek medical help without disobeying God.
Dale Neumann told the jury he didn't seek medical help for his child because "I can't do that because Biblically, I cannot find that is the way people are healed."
He added: "If I go to the doctor, I am putting the doctor before God. I am not believing what he said he would do."
Neumann, 47, is charged with second-degree reckless homicide in the March 23, 2003, death of his 11-year-old daughter, Madeline, from undiagnosed diabetes. Prosecutors say he should have taken the girl to a hospital because she couldn't walk, talk, eat or speak.
Instead, Madeline died on the floor of the family's rural Weston home as people surrounded her and prayed.
This is not, of course, the only time this has happened, or even the first time I've mentioned it. As with every other time, however, it makes me sad. There are those who believe- and insist to me- that religion is a force for good in this world. There are also those- like Richard Dawkins- who insist equally firmly that it is a force for evil. Dawkins, for example, has gone so far as to refer to religion as a "mind virus," a sort of parasitic meme that harms mankind more than it helps. I don't know if I agree with him on that or not, but I often find myself thinking that religion is not unlike the bacteria that live in our intestines. Often they help us by performing useful functions but if allowed to get out of control can kill their host. Perhaps religion can be modeled as though it is a virus but, even so, maybe it is only religious extremism that constitutes the disease.
And on a mostly unrelated note- at the bottom of the article I quote above I noticed something curious:
Neumann's wife, Leilani, testified earlier that she noticed her daughter had been weaker and drank a lot of water — some early symptoms of diabetes — about two weeks before she died. Leilani Neumann was convicted of second-degree reckless homicide this spring and faces up to 25 years in prison when sentenced Oct. 6.
The prosecutions of the mother and father were separated so that each could be called upon to testify in the case against the other. [emphasis added]
So, my understanding is that since these two people are married, they cannot be compelled to testify against each other because of spousal privilege. Or is it acceptable in this case since other people- who were outside of that relationship- were present and, therefore, certain things are not covered? Anyone have an idea?