Having reported on the news most of my professional career, it’s truly the last thing I want to encounter in my life as a civilian. I am blissfully unaware of most current events. The story your about to read unfolded throughout most of 2008, but I only recently found out about it.
Here’s the story:
Wisconsin father, Dale Nuemann, charged last October with reckless homicide for not taking his dying daughter to a doctor, told police that he believed God would heal her. He went on to say that when she lapsed into a coma, he merely thought she was sleeping.
Eleven-year-old Madeline Neumann lost a battle with undiagnosed diabetes in March of 2008 at her family’s rural Wisconsin home. She lying on the floor, surrounded by people who’d been praying for healing. It wasn’t until she stopped breathing that someone finally called 911.
Prosecutors say her father, Dale Neumann, had a legal obligation take his dying daughter to a doctor or a hospital.
Neumann told investigators that in the weeks leading up to Madeline’s death, he noticed that was a “little weak and a little slower,” something he attributed to puberty. Her condition deteriorated, and the day before her death, Madeline could no longer walk or talk.
“We just trusted the Lord for complete healing,” he said. “We didn’t really sense it was like a life-and-death situation. We figured there was something really fighting in her body. We asked people to join with us in prayer agreement.”
Neumann said it never crossed his mind that his daughter might have lost consciousness.
According to Neumann, “I didn’t believe at all that the Lord would even allow her to pass.”
Neumann also told detectives that even though he’s convinced “sickness is a result of sin”, his daughter’s death hasn’t shaken his faith or belief system.
The family does not belong to an organized religion, and Neumann’s wife, Leilani testified that she and her husband have nothing against doctors. But, she said, she viewed Madeline’s illness as “something spiritual.”
Leilani Neumann was convicted of second-degree reckless homicide this spring and faces up to 25 years in prison..
Dr. Joseph Monaco, who worked on Madeline in the hospital emergency room, said she was “very, very emaciated and wasted physically.”
I hear stories like this and I get very angry. And not only that, people like this make me angry. I’m talking about those who believe God will handle everything in a flash, like one of Samantha Stevens’ (TV’s “Bewitched”) magical finger snaps.
As if even Almighty God can take someone in the latent stages of Level 4 Cancer; when the death rattle has begun, that suddenly He/She will make that poor emaciated creature well, then hope on out of their one-time death bed ready to dance a hula.
I wonder when people (even those who are limited in scope as the Nuemanns) will understand that God isn’t this better-than-a Vegas-act magician!! Sure, mmiraculous events still happen these days. Granted, they’re not as convincing as the Bible would have us believe, but miracles still occur. The problem is people aren’t aware of them, or take them for granted. It’s hard not to witness childbirth or a massive suspended bridge connecting two land masses across a huge body of water and not marvel at the miracle of technology.
But technology isn’t magic. It’s applied science. Therefore, I suppose my question at this point is when will people understand that God isn’t magic? And when we people understand the role they play in their own survival?
I’m not an incredibly Godly woman. While I believe in a very defined higher power that works for me, I also believe in the power we have within us. God given power, one could say. I believe in our power to affect change and that covers an extremely broad scope.
The Nuemanns are what I called “literalists”. They can’t see beyond the words of the Bible that they firmly believe are ccompletely infallible.
OK, cool whatever floats your boat, but if they would have chosen to educate themselves to what exists beyond the scope of this book’s text (and sorry people, but we’re talking about a book here, that no matter how you slice it, was physcially written by man) they wouldn’t both be facing lengthy jail sentences.. They are guilty of ignorance, extreme provincial thinking and misappropriation of faith. In my opinion, they’re faith is wrong. It’s oddly scoped. They are entitled to believe as they see fit, but where has it gotten them? Jail time and a daughter who’s dead. I pity them them for thinking that all illnesses are the result of sin. That speaks volumes about these people.
Sadly, they were looking for a miracle; one of those Lazarus type resurrection deals. At the time that happened and if that ever happened in the first place, that could have been described as such solely for the benefit of an even more ignorant and unenlightened group of people…..early man.
You know, the needed the magic to believe.
What the Nuemanns failed to realize in their own (and yes, I’ll say it) STUPIDITY is that had they taken their daughter to a hospital, she would probably still be alive. And if anyone would like to take that further and split hairs, we can do that: That said, one then could argue that God paved the way for medical technology to be as cutting edge as it is today. He gave people the drive and the intellect to invent these mmiraculous processes, such as dialysis, tumor removal and neurosurgery. The list is endless.
Go have a mole removed by laser surgery and then argue that point with me.
I don’t have more to say about the subject other than it reminds of a parable I’ve heard for years.
A man was caught in a terrible flash flood.
He prayed, “Lord, save me!”
Shortly after his prayer, a boat paddled towards him and the people urged the man to get in.
“No thank-you”, said the man, “The Lord is going to save me”.
An hour later, a motor boat drove by and the people urged the man to get in.
“No thank you”, said the man, “The Lord is going to save me”.
The water continued to rise; so much so that the rescue efforts were significantly hampered. The man, at this point, was clinging to the roof-top; floodwaters were about to completely engulf him. He knew his life stood in the balance. Then suddenly, a helicopter flew overhead and lowered a rope ladder next to him as he clung to the roof for life.
“Don’t worry about me. The Lord is going to save me”.
Shortly after that, the man drowned.
As he stood before God in Heaven, he asked Him, “Lord, I trusted in You–Why didn’t You save?”
“Save you???”, replied God, “I sent you two boats and a helicopter! What else did you expect?”
Well, there you go.
Maybe it’s just me, but I do believe that sometimes we haveto make the effort to see the ecclesiastical forest for the trees. As this case perfectly exemplifies, do the alternatives really give us much of an option otherwise?l