Statement by Annie Laurie Gaylor, Foundation Co-President

Repeal Faith Exemption, Place Humanity over Dogma

Annie Laurie Gaylor, Foundation Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor, Foundation Co-President

Statement by Annie Laurie Gaylor, Foundation Co-President

The sentencing of the parents of 11-year-old Madeline “Kara” Neumann for their role in Kara's tragic death should galvanize our state legislature to ensure no other child will die needlessly in the name of dogma. Repeal the dangerous faith exemption shielding faith-healing parents from responsibility for the deaths of their children.

Unrepentant Dale and Leilani Neumann, of Weston, Wis., insist it would have been “disobedience to God” to seek medical evaluation for their acutely ill, diabetic daughter. It is fortunate the Marathon County District Attorney found an avenue to prosecute them for second-degree reckless homicide, but the exemption will be the basis for their appeal.

A simple repeal proposed by Wis. State Rep. Terese Berceau, D-Madison, (known as LRB2190), has stalled due to attacks by the Christian Science lobby. The lobby is promoting a sham repeal by Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee that could result in Wisconsin adopting the worst law in the nation to shield parents.

Our state should not countenance child sacrifice as a so-called "accommodation" of parental religion. Prayers are no substitute for insulin. Kara could have been saved until the end, had her parents had the decency to take Kara to a doctor as she slipped into a coma after long, painful months of intense weight loss, sickness, and decline.

Place humanity over dogma. The only meaningful memorial to Kara Neumann is to repeal the faith exemption that killed her.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity, is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), and has been working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate.

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