Dear God

Oct. 18th, 2011 02:46 pm
strange_raptors: Ellipsis (wtf?)
[personal profile] strange_raptors
 On the BBC news website today, there was this story (a brief summary: some Evangelical Christian pastors have been telling their congregations to stop taking their antiretroviral drugs because God will heal them. This has so far resulted in the predictable deaths of three women who did indeed stop taking their drugs). In the article there is, of course, condemnation:

Lord Fowler said, "It's just wrong, bad advice that should be confronted.".

Prof. Jane Anderson said, "We see patients quite often who will come having expressed the belief that if they pray frequently enough, their HIV will somehow be cured," she added. "We have seen people who choose not to take the tablets at all so sometimes die." 

A recent House of Lords committee report on HIV awareness stated, "It is essential that faith leaders engage with HIV as an issue and provide effective and truthful support and communication around the subject."

To me, this is not enough. As a direct result of these people's actions, people died. Nowhere in this article is there mention of any police involvement or illegality. Do we not have a consequentalist basis of law in this country? If, say, a pastor told their congregation, "Go out and shoot these people," and the people did, would they not be responsible for their actions? Would not the pastor also be implicated in murder? So, why, in the HIV case (and similar cases like this) are these misguided religious leaders not held to account? Why hasn't the Catholic Church been held to account for its condom policy in countries with high HIV rates? I can understand that in some cases there might be doubts over the causality links, but when it seems so cut and dried?  

When are people, religious or otherwise, going to start accepting responsibility for their actions? And why isn't the law making them face this?

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