183 child-sized coffins were carried in a procession to the Idaho State Capitol on Monday. Protesters stacked the tiny coffins on the Statehouse steps and demanded Republican lawmakers repeal the state’s cult inspired faith healing exemption. The law allows protection from civil and criminal charges if parents deny children lifesaving healthcare. Translation: religious nut jobs in a powerful local cult let their children suffer and die and the Republican lawmakers in their pocket don’t protect the kids.
Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue testified last year that as children die in his county, “My hands are tied as a law enforcement officer... it’s an embarrassment to our state.“ After lawmakers have ignored such testimony for years, protesters from ‘Protect Idaho Kids’ chose the stark visual of 183 coffins to shock lawmakers into action. Other like minded groups even dropped out of the protest because of the morbid, and truthful image.
Republican lawmakers who support Followers of Christ, a secretive collection of faith healing cults, have blocked repeal of the law as a First Amendment issue. Republican Rep Christy Perry defended the cult saying, “Children do die. I’m not trying to sound callous, but (reformers) want to act as if death is an anomaly. But it’s not — it’s a way of life.” Speaking in a legislative hearing cult members said that they consider medicine to be a sin akin to “witchcraft and sorcery.“
By Being Liberal contributor: Sarah Ficca
To learn more read, “These small coffins carried a message: ‘One child’s death is too many’” by Betsy Russell for The Idaho Statesman on February 20, 2018 and "183 Coffins For Idaho Children Killed By Faith Healing Parents" by Michael Stone for Patheos on February 20, 2018.