Dr. Seth Asser spoke at TAM 3 about how religious beliefs can kill children through lack of vaccination. He's asked me to share this with you:
MEDICAL NEGLECT IS CHILD ABUSE! JOIN VICTIMS IN PROTEST!!!
June 8, 2009 from 11:30-4 PM
200 Mass Ave., Boston, Mary Baker Eddy Library & CS Church HQImagine you are a 7-year-old child awakening in the night with sharp abdominal pains. Your parents arrive at your side, feel your fever and look concerned. Then they tell you not to worry, that it’s all in your head, and they will pray with you to correct your illusion of illness. The next day you’re much worse and a woman from your church comes to pray with you, too. But you can no longer, doubled-up in pain, vomiting, unable to eat, crying and screaming in pain. Rather than taking you to a hospital, your parents tell you to be quiet, that if you believed in your prayers then all would be well. After you slip into a coma, you die the next morning….of a ruptured appendix. Your brother and sister are told not to cry, that you have merely passed into the next plane of existence and this episode is not to be spoken of again.
This and similarly gruesome experiences have been the fate of hundreds, perhaps thousands of children whose parents stubborn reliance on 19th century forms of faith healing to the exclusion of modern, responsible medical care. Many others have been permanently disabled with deafness, amputations, mental retardation and other sequelae of easily treatable childhood conditions and illnesses.
This horrific form of human sacrifice must be stopped. We invite you to join members of Children’s Healthcare is a Legal Duty (CHILD), Inc., the RI Skeptics Society, The Boston Area Atheists, the RI Atheists Society and many other secular and religious participants as we tell the followers of Mary Baker Eddy (the call themselves Christian Scientists, but they are neither) that the world will not ignore their indifference to the well being of their children, their elderly, even themselves and will not allow them to get a free pass just because they call what they do a religious activity.
We will march in front of their opulent church HQ on June 8th and hold a mock funeral to memorialize the children who have been so horribly mistreated. We will be joined by adult survivors and siblings of the non-survivors of this inhumane cult. As Nobel laureate Elie Weisel has said, “only the victims can speak for the victims.” We will help them amplify their voices.
With just a few weeks left, now is the time to email and network to get the word out. Additional information is below. Send all your friends and families links to this page and ask them to join the group online and plan to come out on June 8th. People from all over New England and as far as New Jersey or farther will be car-pooling and joining in. Weather is typically very pleasant in early June in Boston.
The main session of the church’s annual meeting is from 1:30 to 3.
We begin picketing at 11:30 starting point, 200 Massachusetts Ave.
We will dress in black and carry signs and child-sized coffins with names and photos.
At 12:30, we will hold a press conference where our victim guests will have a chance to tell the world about their experiences at the hands of these medieval villains.
As they file in for their meeting, the members may approach you to tell you all about their stories of healing. You may not fully understand how deluded some of them are until you hear it from their own mouths.
It gets quiet on the plaza during the meeting, so we’ll break for lunch It’s a great chance to meet and appreciate the many freethinkers from around the region.
We will return just before 3 to “greet” the members as they file out, for about an hour.
Several adults who were neglected and traumatized by this cult will join us. Coming from Ithaca NY will be Liz Heywood and her daughters and friends (see photo). We’ll let Liz tell her story in her own words:
I was a third-generation Christian Scientist who grew up fifteen miles from The Mother Church in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1975 when I was thirteen, a bone disease developed in my left knee overnight. At the time it was legal in Massachusetts to treat a child through prayer alone, and my parents viewed my knee's infection as "a challenge to demonstrate my true spiritual being." Consequently, although I could not get out of bed for almost a year, I had no medicine or painkillers while my infected leg drained. I spent another six months in a wheelchair and eighteen months on crutches and eventually my knee fused itself. My family and I had followed the instructions of our Christian Science practitioner--a man well-regarded by the church who later became a Teacher of practitioners--to the letter, but my leg was scarred, deformed and frozen at an angle of about eighty degrees. There was no "science" involved in the ordeal whatsoever. My practitioner later told me that I had been healed because I didn't die. At fifteen I was left limping, ashamed of my failure to "manifest my perfection" and depressed to the point of considering suicide. I was told by my practitioner, church and family that my "complete" healing would happen eventually.It was twenty years before I left Christian Science, when recurring mental breakdowns finally caused me to find a therapist. In 1995 I was diagnosed me with severe post-traumatic stress disorder; my infection had been osteomyelitis, a bone disease caused by a strep bacteria and medically treated with antibiotics. Recovering mentally was difficult; I had to re-learn how to think. My years of hard emotional work paid off: in 2007, when my physical health had become jeopardized by thirty years of limping, I was prepared to make the decision to have my leg amputated above the knee. Today I lead an active life free from shame.Most Christian Scientists never face extremely serious conditions in their children, and this has allowed the church to claim it has a viable method of treatment. But Christian Scientists do everything in their power to deny and remain unimpressed by human pain. And refusing to believe in the pain--any pain--felt by a child is pure negligence.
For more information (contact any of us if you would like to be on this list)
HYPERLINK "http://www.childrenshealthcare.org" www.childrenshealthcare.org
HYPERLINK "http://www.riathest.com" www.riathest.com
HYPERLINK "http://www.bostonatheists.org" www.bostonatheists.org
CHILD, Inc website:
RI Atheist Society:
An "Atlantic" article from a Christian Scientist: