When ‘Religious Freedom’ Leaves Children Dead

Oct 8, 2016

By Emma Green

Jessica Crank had a swollen shoulder. Not just swollen: In May 2002, when the teenager’s mother, Jacqueline, finally took her to a walk-in clinic in Lenoir City, Tennessee, the nurse practitioner found signs of bone disintegration and “other indications of a serious medical condition” on the x-ray. She called the University of Tennessee emergency room and had them prepare for Jessica’s arrival and urgent treatment.

But Jessica never made it to the E.R., just as she and her mother didn’t show up at the hospital when a chiropractor had urged them to seek medical care earlier in February. Instead, as Jaqueline Crank later testified in court, she chose to turn to “Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Savior, my Healer, Defender, for [Jessica’s] healing.”

Crank “knew there was a problem” with the “grapefruit-sized tumor” on her daughter’s shoulder. But she believed Jesus “was the only Healer,” she said, “and through that belief we took it in our hands to pray for her, to heal her with prayer.”


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2 comments on “When ‘Religious Freedom’ Leaves Children Dead

  • @OP – as Jaqueline Crank later testified in court, she chose to turn to “Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Savior, my Healer, Defender, for [Jessica’s] healing.”

    MMmmmm! The introspective know-it-all pseudo-knowledge, provided by religious belief, and religious thinking, can be damaging or fatal – as it has been throughout history!

    But Jessica never made it to the E.R., just as she and her mother didn’t show up at the hospital when a chiropractor had urged them to seek medical care earlier in February.

    Even the quacks told them to get professional treatment, but apparently their “faith” in quackery, was not enough to persuade them to listen to advice.



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  • Interactions between faith-thinking religious fervour and reality, can also be injurious or fatal in other ways! – as we saw in reports of the earlier Muslim Saudi Hajj stampedes.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-33518240

    At least 27 pilgrims have died in a stampede on the banks of a holy river in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, local officials say.

    Nearly 24 million pilgrims are expected to take part in the 12-day festival. Pilgrims believe that taking a bath in the river will rid them of their sins.

    “The incident happened as the first set of worshippers were coming out of the river after taking a dip and then got in the way of others who wanted to be in the water at an auspicious time,” AFP news agency quoted senior police official A Srinivasan Rao as saying.

    V Satyanarayana, a pilgrim who was at the site, said the stampede lasted nearly 20 minutes.

    “It was a frightening situation, with women and children crying for help,” he told Associated Press. “The policemen on duty were helpless and it took more than an hour to bring the situation under control.”

    Deadly stampedes during religious gatherings are fairly common in India.

    In October 2013, 115 people died during a stampede at a Hindu festival in the central state of Madhya Pradesh. Most were crushed after panic broke out on a bridge near the Ratangarh temple. Others drowned when they jumped from the bridge into river waters below.



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