Parents Charged With Murder Because They Prayed for Their Sick Baby

Faith-Healing parents Catherine Schaible Herbert SchaibleWhenever religion and the justice system tangle, you can expect things to get pretty hairy. Now that a couple of parents who practice "faith-healing" have been charged with murder, you can expect sparks will fly. But from the sounds of it, Catherine and Herbert Schaible did exactly that to their 7-month-old baby.

Baby Brandon died April 18 from dehydration and bacterial pneumonia. Cops say when the little boy began showing symptoms of illness several days before his death, his parents decided to pray for him instead of calling a doctor.

Sounds like murder to me, how about you?


The Schaibles may not have purposely gotten Brandon sick. And they may not have killed him with a weapon of some sort. At first glance, their story might even sound more like manslaughter than murder.

But manslaughter generally indicates a criminal didn't know what they were doing.

In 2009, the Schaibles' 2-year-old son Kent died of bacterial pneumonia as his parents prayed over him rather than calling on a doctor. They were convicted of involuntary manslaughter but given only probation, leaving them to go home and continue making babies.

They knew what would happen if they didn't call a doctor.

They'd seen it happen.

And cops say they did it anyway.

When we talk about wrongful death in this country, we need to look at the whys as much as we do the hows.

Technically this baby died because he got an infection. But he also died because his faith-healing parents allegedly skipped out on getting him medical care. They didn't have to pull a trigger or dig a knife into him to kill him. Inaction was enough.

We live in a society where people are so quick to pull back, throw their hands up, and say, "Hey, not me, man." No one wants to get involved in anything -- that way when things go south, as they inevitably do, they can claim it wasn't their fault because they weren't involved.

But it doesn't work that way.

Sometimes not getting involved is the very worst thing you can do.

Sometimes not getting involved is murder.

Do you think the charges being levied against the Schaibles are right here? Do you feel any sympathy for them?


Image via Philadelphia Police Department

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