Parents somehow avoid jail time in faith healing death of son (VIDEO)
An Oregon couple has been sentenced to five years' probation after pleading guilty to negligent homicide charges resulting from the death of their son.
Russell and Brandi Bellews' 16-year-old son suffered from a ruptured appendix earlier this year, and according to a report in New York's Daily News, instead of pursuing medical treatment the couple chose to "pray away" their son's condition. The boy died a week and a half later--police said he would have been healed had he received proper medical care.
The couple was acting in accordance with the beliefs of the General Assembly and the Church of the First Born--which opposes modern medicine. The practices and beliefs of this particular religious sect are quite controversial and it is often branded a cult by theologically-sound Christian groups.
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As a Christian woman, I can say with all confidence that God does not oppose medicine or science. I firmly believe that God has given individuals the wisdom, knowledge, and abilities to heal. It is beyond foolish--and in my opinion, prideful--to think that by avoiding proper medical care you are proving your level of faith. While I do believe in the effectiveness of prayer and I'm certain that God hears and responds to our prayers, I can't help but feel that these people are so obsessed with the idea that medicine and faith cannot coexist, that they are actually missing the answer to their prayers.
As a mother, I cannot comprehend watching my child suffer knowing that he could be healed. And honestly, I'm surprised these people aren't being given a harsher sentence. In fact, they will still retain custody of their six other children (though they are working with the Department of Human Services to set up a "safety plan"). Unbelievable!
Images via Oregon Police