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Pa. couple face prison after sons' prayer deaths

Prayer Death Toddler, Schaible
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Pennsylvania couple who believe in faith-healing face 20 years or more in prison in the death of a second child who died without seeing a doctor.
Herbert and Catherine Schaible are being sentenced Wednesday in the death last year of their 8-month-old son, Brandon. At the time, they were under court orders to seek medical care for their children after their 2-year-old son, Kent, died of untreated pneumonia in 2009.

The Schaibles are third-generation members of a small Pentecostal community, the First Century Gospel Church in northeast Philadelphia.

A lawyer for Catherine Schaible, 44, plans to explore their religious beliefs at the sentencing. Her 45-year-old husband's lawyer argues that no malice was involved.

The Schaibles have pleaded no contest to third-degree murder in Brandon's death. They have seven surviving children.

"We believe in divine healing, that Jesus shed blood for our healing and that he died on the cross to break the devil's power," Herbert Schaible said in a 2013 police statement. Medicine, he said, "is against our religious beliefs."

A jury had convicted both parents of involuntary manslaughter in Kent's death, and they were put on 10 years of probation that included orders to seek medical care if any other child got sick.

After Brandon's death, an irate judge found they had violated parole.

Prosecutors have described the boys' symptoms as "eerily similar," and said they included labored breathing and a refusal to eat. Catherine Schaible's lawyer, though, said her client tried to feed Brandon during his illness and applied baby powder to keep him comfortable.

Their pastor, Nelson Clark, has said the Schaibles lost their sons because of a "spiritual lack" in their lives and insisted they would not seek medical care even if another child appeared near death.

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lovekp February 20 2014 at 5:33 AM

"A jury had convicted both parents of involuntary manslaughter in Kent's death, and they were put on 10 years of probation that included orders to seek medical care if any other child got sick. After Brandon's death, an irate judge found they had violated parole."

The judge was an accessory to this crime if you ask me!

He should have put them both in prison the FIRST time they allowed thier child to die and and then taken thier children from them and placed them in foster care and this would not have happened.They have "seven surviving" children,but not for long!

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Karen February 20 2014 at 3:39 AM

I understand people's frustration with religion, and frankly, I agree, and I am a conservative republican who believes in the constitution and also am a follower of Christ.

What people fail to see is that Christ did not come to earth to form a religion, but to rescue us all from disease, death and destruction.

I also believe in faith and healing, but never in a million years would I not take my child, or for that matter, myself to the hospital when something serious was evident. I would trust God in the matter, and that would include care from doctors and hospitals, if that's what is needed.

At the same time, I also understand that trusting medicine over natural and high nutrient density eating is also a foolish way to go, as nothing can replace what God has put in greens, fruits and vegetables in concentration for the prevention of all the major and even minor deadly killing diseases.

These these people are following a dangerous ideology that causing bondage and harm to others. It is one thing to decide to not go to a hospital for oneself, but to not take your kids or spouse is definitely another.

I believe that Jesus himself would have corrected them from such rigid legalistic thinking. Legalism is where people follow traditions conforming rigidly in a kind of mental bondage. Jesus spent 3 years correcting the Pharisees, the organized religious leaders of His day, for this very same kind of thinking.

That is why He taught faith, because belief causes a letting go of our ' normal' thinking to have faith in God. The people in the article are using the 'concept of faith' to justify their selfish idealism which has nothing to do with God's love and grace.

It's men who impose their own thinking over the top of what Jesus actually taught. Such is the fallen nature of man to only see things the way that seems right to them... But Jesus came to free us from rigid thinking and showed us that with belief in our loving Father we could experience the freedom of true love, and the Grace of God.

The Spirit of God is like a warm gentle wind. He is not rigid, and teaches us to be pliable in His hand that we can be further molded into His image of love, simple and sweet...

WE NEED TO BE PLIABLE... HE IS THE POTTER. WE ARE THE CLAY...

LETTING OURSELVES BE LED BY THE SPIRIT OF LOVE...

AND NOT BY RIGID THINKING.

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pjgblg February 20 2014 at 2:17 AM

Kind of a post birth alternative method of abortion.

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girl10invegas February 20 2014 at 1:42 AM

Modern medicine has killed more people, way, way, way more people than any "prayer healing" treatment. I find it very sad that every one who has made a post stating that these people were "ignorant" has not idea of how dangerous modern medicine is and continues to be. Modern medicine is run by money plain and simple. No one has the right to tell anyone how to take care of their child. There are parents in America who should in no way be parents yet they spread their legs and thrust their hips and continue to breed like animals, but the state does not take away their children. People think that if you do not take your child to the doctor that you should go to jail? that's the same thing as telling a woman that if she has an abortion, she will go to jail. It's called freedom of religion and any judge that tries to put these people in jail will fail in appeal. Freedom of religion is a constitutional right. I may not agree with it, but it's a parents right to not seek medical care. I have single-handedly seen doctors kill people, but because people think doctors are gods, they look the other way. It's sick and sad that people run to the doctors for everything. I was raised by a parent who never once took me to the doctor and I was and continue to be extremely healthy. When my mother passed on, I had the Los Angeles coroner physically come visit me and question me about my mothers religion. He stated "I have noticed that people in your mom's religion are very healthy most of their lives and they seem to not suffer from cancers and heart disease like most of the public". The coroner told me that over his 30 years on the job, he could not believe that the people of my mom's religion seemed to not suffer from mental or physical disease and that they lived a very long and healthy life. He wanted to interrogate me to try to understand how I was raised and how this demographic of people skirted the typical disease that many suffered from in their lives.

We hear of 1 or 2 deaths like this every 10 years or so and you people on here persecute, berate, throw hatred slurs, etc.. at these parents. I bet you that the same people on here that judge these parents are the exact same people who would scream bloody murder if their gun, abortion, or free speech rights were taken away. You see, freedom of religion is exactly the same as freedom of speech. So all you people on here complaining and screaming for the government to put these people in jail, you better watch out and be very very careful what your asking for because you are 1 step away from giving away all of your rights. Stupid, stupid people.

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3 replies to girl10invegas's comment
Darla and Simon February 20 2014 at 1:34 AM

Though I agree with other posts on here, this act or lack thereof by the parents to not get medical help for their child was plain stupid and abusive; I also feel it's abusive to treat small children with toxic medications, which is what so-called modern medicine is now doing. People have too much faith in modern medicine, particularly medication, which does not heal only masks. In my opinion, both methods are wrong and full of propaganda. Oh, that magic pill :(

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nitrogoped February 20 2014 at 1:31 AM

ILL TRUST PRAYER/FAITH OVER kaiseR

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carmpence February 20 2014 at 1:25 AM

idiots. please take the kids away from them before another one dies and please make sure they can't have anymore children.

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jmenuis February 20 2014 at 1:18 AM

With thousands of religions in the world and only one of them can be true, if any, then most people will go to hell just as a matter of probability.

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madmazmazloum February 20 2014 at 1:18 AM

An acute bout of appendicitis would be the ticket for these two. Perhaps their view of medicine might have a sudden about face.

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andobeyond February 20 2014 at 1:17 AM

There has to be something mentally wrong with you to let your children die from a curable illness. To watch your child suffer day after day till it passes is horrible, especially a baby that probably cried most of the time it was alive suffering with the illness. How could one not do something to help your own child? Religions are created by men to gain power over people. The negatives of religion out way the positives mostly because religion is used as justification to kill someone who does not agree with your views. It has caused more wars and deaths than good in the world.

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