Thursday, March 27, 2008

Freaky Fundamentalists: Girl Dies After Parents Pray for Healing


WESTON, Wis. — An 11-year-old girl died after her parents prayed for healing rather than seek medical help for a treatable form of diabetes, police said Tuesday.

Everest Metro Police Chief Dan Vergin said Madeline Neumann died Sunday.

"She got sicker and sicker until she was dead," he said.

Vergin said an autopsy determined the girl died from diabetic ketoacidosis, an ailment that left her with too little insulin in her body, and she had probably been ill for about 30 days, suffering symptoms like nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst, loss of appetite and weakness.

The girl's parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, attributed the death to "apparently they didn't have enough faith," the police chief said.

They believed the key to healing "was it was better to keep praying. Call more people to help pray," he said.

The mother believes the girl could still be resurrected, the police chief said.

Telephone messages left at the Neumann home by The Associated Press were not immediately returned.

The family does not attend an organized church or participate in an organized religion, Vergin said. "They have a little Bible study of a few people."

Foolish fundamentalists again. They are seemingly everywhere you look, but are especially dangerous in the political arena as I have pointed out many times on this blog.

Apparently fundamentalists live in an altered state of reality, somewhere between the real world and the world of fantasy- much like a child. I'm not sure what goes on inside of their heads; I can only surmise from stories like this and from reading fundamentalist Christian websites and blogs. Yet, I think that the phrase, altered state of reality might be as close to 'it' as I can get.

I have watched my grandchildren at play, the luxury not easily afforded me when their parents were growing up. They seem to vacillate between 'here and there' and they move between each state with ease. I'm beginning to realize that this is what it may be like for a fundamentalist.

Fundamentalists across the world, as we all sadly know, exhibit pathological bipolar behavior. We see them praying in their houses of worship and then blowing themselves up killing scores in their suicide. Or we see them pray and then take up guns to smite their enemies. Here in America, we have prayer breakfasts and then they go to the Pentagon to plan a bombing run.

On this blog I have been scolded by self-proclaimed fundamentalists for exposing their foolish and hypocritical statements. I was even recently associated with Satan. I am easily called an atheist and am scorned for my 'liberal' Catholic faith, as if that were the path to the Devil.

I'm thinking of bipolar disorder in my non-professional analysis of people like the Neumanns in the story above or in the righteous rantings of the fundamentalist Christians here in America. People with bipolar disorder live in two worlds, don't they? The mania half expresses itself in unusual thought patterns not unlike the parents of the 11-year-old girl. Or, I'd imagine, when on some 'spiritual high' not unlike a 'chemical high' experienced by the chemically dependent.

Do these fundamentalists have visions of 'God?' Is their altered state, their mania, accompanied by visions, voices, and songs of God, heaven, Jesus, and the figures in the Bible? How often? When did they first notice these visions or voices from God? Since childhood or when they were 'born again?'

After the mania, the mood swings to depression. Perhaps this is where I see the hypocrisy. This is where the ugliness, the righteousness, the scorn for others creep into their words. I've used the word, hypocrisy quite often when I challenge these people. But now, in this eureka moment, perhaps they are really not capable of hypocrisy at all. Maybe it is all part of the mania/depression of which they suffer.

Did 11-year-old Madeline Neumann understand what her parents were doing as she lay in bed with prayers mumbled around her? Did she, besides her diabetes, suffer from bipolar disorder? The genetic link is quite strong. Maybe the prayers and incantations kept her in the mania state long enough to ameliorate those painful physical symptoms of her diabetic ketoacidosis. We can only hope so.

I am trying to teach myself to tone down my use of the word hypocrisy when I refer to fundamentalist rantings. The term should only be applied to mentally stable individuals who deliberately act in bipolar fashion.

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