Idaho is up for even more children dying from religious medical neglect

A legislative committee in Idaho is about to consider a bill that would endanger the lives of countless children in that state. Senate Bill 1182, filed by Sen. Dan Johnson, aims to change the laws that provide religious exemptions to parents who deny their children needed medical care. Already, more children die of “faith healing” […]

What if there was a way to protect children from being harmed in the name of faith?

There are different ways to go about trying to end religious child maltreatment. The problem is, none have been too successful. It’s time for a new approach.   I’ve looked at this problem…a lot. Is the plan to hope that religion just one day goes away? Not going to happen. The best way to protect children in faith communities […]

What can non-believing child advocates learn from the grandson of the Rev. Billy Graham?

Click the video to find out!   Boz Tchividjian is an Evangelical Christian, a law professor at Liberty University, and the grandson of the Rev. Billy Graham. What could he possibly have to say that would resonate with atheists, agnostics, humanists, and freethinkers? Well, plenty, when it comes to protecting children from abuse and neglect. Boz […]

Justice for Hana and Immanuel

I usually don’t follow criminal trials very closely, but I did in the case of Hana and Immanuel Williams. In 2008, the two had been adopted from Ethiopia by Larry and Carri Williams. The couple brought the girl and boy to live with them and their seven biological children in their gated-community home in Sedro-Woolley, Washington. […]

More than she could bear

By now you’ve probably heard about the case of Nina Koistinen. The 36-year-old mother from Phoenix has been charged with first-degree murder, after she confessed to suffocating her 6-day-old baby, Maya. Koistinen reportedly told authorities that she killed the child, because she “had too many kids already” and was jealous of the attention her husband […]

No Refuge

In Breaking Their Will, I write about the polygamous, religious sect known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or FLDS. Around 2003, the group’s leader, Warren Jeffs, moved hundreds of followers from Utah and Arizona to West Texas, hoping to set up what he called a “place of refuge.” Five years later, […]

Imam: Shafia murders were “unbelievable.” Really?

Last week in Montreal, three Muslims from Afghanistan were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for killing four family members, including three teenage girls. According to prosecutors, Hamed Shafia killed his three sisters—Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13—upon orders by his father, Mohammad. Hamed’s mother, Tooba Yahya, was also convicted […]

Religious patriarchy does not harm only women

It’s hard to believe that women in a family would not do all they could to come to the aid of a dying infant. But that is what happened in the case of David Hickman. The infant was born two months premature and died nearly nine hours after birth in 2009. The cause of death […]

A Child Is Killed and Jewish Community Leaders Fail Abuse Victims Yet Again

The world was shocked upon learning that eight-year-old Leiby Kletzky had been kidnapped, murdered, and dismembered, and that the suspect was a man who lived in the child’s Orthodox Jewish community of Brooklyn. Members of that community were devastated beyond words. One of their own had brutally killed a helpless child—a child who had also been […]

What Price Religious “Freedom”?

The state of Oregon stands poised to end a dangerous practice. If a bill that has passed both the House and Senate becomes law, parents who allow their sick children to die after refusing them medical care on religious grounds would no longer be granted prosecutorial immunity. Passing this bill sends an important message: Parents […]