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Madeline Neumann update

March 30, 2008

The siblings of Madeline Neumann, the 11-year-old girl left to die while her parents prayed, have been removed from their home while an investigation of the death proceeds. While I think that it’s commendable that these kids, aged 13 to 16, are being moved to safety, there are still some things that concern me.

The parents and social services experts agreed the move would be best for everyone, Everest Metro Police Chief Dan Vergin said. The children are staying with other relatives, though they were not in danger, he said.

Some might argue that the possibility of neglect resulting in death is a danger.

“There is no intent. They didn’t want their child to die. They thought what they were doing was the right thing,” he said. “They believed up to the time she stopped breathing she was going to get better. They just thought it was a spiritual attack. They believed if they prayed enough she would get through it.”

Gee, if only there was some kind of charge, like murder, but without intent that could be brought up against these parents-of-the-year.

Everything in my mind and heart screams that these people need to go straight to jail, and that their children deserve a more stable home than they can provide. Let’s hope that the law does not let us down.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. AL Gennari permalink
    March 31, 2008 8:52 pm

    I am truly appalled by the fact that criminal charges were not
    immediately filed against the parents of this poor girl. I can only
    imagine the suffering she must have endured for days or weeks before
    finally succumbing to a readily treatable condition.

    Oh, but let’s not forget, they prayed really hard! I suppose if I watched somebody drowning and instead of throwing them a readily available life preserver I just watched them go under and then prayed that God would lift them from the water and revive them, I’d be helping them, right?

    Apparently a religiously motivated crime is judged differently than a
    secular one. These people killed their daughter by neglect and
    calculated stupidity as surely as if they had smuthered her to death
    with a pillow, yet somehow because God and the Bible are involved they
    receive special consideration. Unbelievable.

    We don’t live in a theocracy (at least not yet) and children
    are not the chattel of their parents – subject to abuse, neglect and
    death in the name of their deluded religious interpretations. If these
    people had believed “healing rays from Mars” would save their daughter
    they’d be in jail or a mental institution right now. But, substitute “prayer” and
    “faith” and we’re supposed to excuse them.

    If I as an individual I choose not to seek medical help for my illnesses
    because I believe God will cure me, that’s my business. But, I have no
    right to foist that delusion upon another, especially a sick and
    helpless child with no power to resist.

    I feel truly sorry for this country when God becomes a defense for
    murder. We revile the religiously spawned atrocities of our enemies in
    the Middle East, but killing our own children in the name of God is just
    fine, I guess.

  2. Chris Barnhart permalink
    April 1, 2008 12:46 pm

    I totally agree with AL Gennari. These types of actions, or in this case inactions, are inexcusable. God can’t be a witness, and therefore can’t be a defense. That child was murdered. At the very least it should be Involuntary Manslaughter. And the other children should be permanently removed for their protection.

    How about we carry forth apunishment that allows them the same opportunity that they set forth for their daughter. We take them out into the desert and chain them to a tree. They will be allowed only prayer to save them. If God chooses to bring them food and release them from their chains, they are free to go. If reality prevails, they too can die a slow, agonizing death.

  3. Barbara Smedley permalink
    May 5, 2008 10:03 am

    I know the family personally. I was married to Leilani’s brother for ten years. Yes the entire family is very religious i dont know that any of her aunts or uncles mom or dad that would not have taken one of their children to the Dr. Also i understand that there are religious fanatics out there that totally rely on their faith but i question her actions and her true faith, she had a breast enlargement. How can someone alter the body God gave them and not take her daughter to the Dr. I remember holding Kara when she was a newborn and i personally feel that the real reason is that like always money is what was the most important thing to them and with them beign new buisness owners they most likely did not have health insurance and was NOT going to pay out of their pockets.

  4. May 11, 2008 2:46 pm

    That’s a pretty grim view of the Neumanns that didn’t really come across in the news articles Barbara. How long ago was your last contact with them, and what makes you think they would let their child die to save a buck?

    If you like, please contact me privately: jmadjeski_@_gmail_._com

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