Amish vs. the Courts: Family Speaks Out on Fleeing the U.S. to Save Daughter from Court-Mandated Chemo


Disclaimer: Amish law precludes formal interview settings, but the Hershbergers spoke with Reason TV at length about Sarah's case and allowed us to record them.

For nearly a year, 11-year-old Sarah Hershberger has simultaneously been battling cancer and a court case. Last April, she was diagnosed with lymphoblastic lymphoma, a rare cancer. Her doctor encouraged her to immediately start chemotherapy, and she quickly began her first treatment.

The side effects took their toll, and the Hershbergers feared for Sarah's well-being. They decided to discontinue treatment. "[The chemotherapy] was really good, but stopping at that point was the best investment we did," says Andy Hershberger, Sarah's father.

"We were pretty sure we were going to lose her if we kept doing the chemo," says Anna Hershberger, Sarah's mother. The Hershbergers wanted to pursue a more natural treatment, then return to the chemotherapy if necessary.

Akron Children's Hospital was not open to discussing alternative or supplemental treatments, and officials there expressed concern that Sarah would die if she discontinued treatment. The hospital eventually went on the offensive.

"Akron Children's Hospital originally tried to have Sarah Hershberger taken away from her parents and Medina County Children Services flat out refused to do that. They said these parents are suitable parents, they are high quality parents, they're loving parents," says the Hershbergers' attorney and director of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, Maurice Thompson.

The hospital continued to push the issue all the way to an appellate court, arguing that "a finding of parental 'suitability' does not end a probate court's inquiry. Parental rights, even if based upon firm belief and honest convictions can be limited in order to protect the 'best interests' of the child."

The appellate court sided with the hospital and appointed a legal guardian to make medical decisions for Sarah. The Hershbergers feared that the guardian would force Sarah back into chemotherapy, so they fled the country.

"We were in Mexico three weeks," says Sarah's uncle, Isaac Hershberger. "We had to leave because if we stayed in the U.S., any hospital in the U.S. would report right back to Akron Children's".

The Hershbergers didn't provide specifics about Sarah's "alternative" treatment, but she seems to be doing well. She may be feeling better because of the first chemotherapy treatment, or the alternative treatment, or a combination. We don't know what Sarah's future holds, but Thompson says that because the family is more than suitable, Sarah's treatment should be left entirely to their discretion.

"Having a free society means that people need to be free to take risks, including risks with their family when they are suitable and loving parents who will take those risks out of a position of love and belief," says Thompson. "It's one thing for society, government, for experts to overrule parents who are abusive, or who are neglectful or who perhaps lack the capacity to properly care for their children, and it's imperative to emphasize that none of those are the case here."

"If we could just be left alone, that's what we're asking for," says Isaac Hershberger.

It appears that this request will be fulfilled. The appellate judge recently accepted the guardian's resignation, and it looks like the Hershbergers will not have to continue this court battle. If they do, Thompson is ready to fight the "best interest of the child" standard all the way to the Supreme Court.

"Whether it's the right to refuse unwanted forced medical treatment, or whether it's the fundamental right that guarantees you to raise and bring up your child in terms of their education and their health care in the way that you see fit as a parent, it's pretty clear that the Hershbergers have strong constitutional rights that are at stake here. And that's really what we're protecting," Thompson says.

About 6:30 minutes.

Written, produced, and narrated by Tracy Oppenheimer. Camera by Josh Swain and Amanda Winkler.

Featuring "Syaba" from Ryosuke Sone's Root of Sorrow.

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  1. Any time I read a story like this, it makes me not want to have kids. I eventually swing back around to "I ain't so afraid of losing something that I ain't gonna try to have it," but it's disheartening to read stories about families already going through tough shit having to deal with this type of overstep.

  2. The Amish. The first Libertarians.

    1. Getting the short end of the stick with a lot of one-size-fits-all legislation will do that to people.

    2. There have been a number of communities in history who were "sort of" libertarians, although the Amish are outstanding examples of living without the "heavy hand of the law". Their culture could thrive splendidly with a lot less interference.

      There are cultures where the rules have been self-enforcing. In the time of the judges (book of Judges), there was no government, no police force, no king, no tribal chief. Elders might emerge esteemed for advice and counsel, Thou shalt not steal was revered as a command from the hand of God himself, so property rights were SACRED.

      Even the much-maligned laws of Moses, including the more "draconian" measures, were avoidable by simply opting to live outside of them, and many did. Plus, it was all on the honor system.

      When they were conquered, there would be a leader gather an army, kick out the invaders, then disband back to the farms. s

      But "the people" demanded a king. Prophet Samuel warned them: A king will put insufferable burdens on you, he will take your good harvests for himself, he will send your sons to war. God DOES NOT WANT A GOVERNMENT MIDDLE-MAN FOR ENFORCEMENT!

    3. What leads you to that judgement? The suffocatingly strict social codes or the beard shaving over religious disagreements?

      1. Isn't the punishment for violating those rules ostracization? Nothing unlibertarian about that.

        1. Speaking of ostracizing, please don't respond politely to the troll.

          1. Did you notice he's running yet another sock, "Spooner's Mouse" to defend himself?

            Mary and Tulpa... who's crazier?

  3. Children are not the property of their parents to be sacrificed to their beliefs and superstitions. Denying a child, someone who cannot legally make informed decisions for themselves, a potentially life-saving medical treatment because of the parents' beliefs is no different than if the parents injected lead into their child because their faith says that that is how you cure cancer.

    The state has the moral authority and the duty to step in in both situations to prevent the harm that such action or inaction will likely cause the child. If the parents choose to forego medical care for themselves because of their beliefs, then they have the right to do so because they are adults; they have the capacity to understand the consequences of their actions. Considering that children almost never question the religious indoctrination that they receive from their parents, the child's right to life in this situation trumps the parents' rights to the free exercise of their religion.

    1. Bretzky--

      I agree, but neither the video nor the article made offered evidence that medical neglect is occurring. In fact they report that the kid seems to be getting better. If true, that changes the situation significantly. Seems like seeking 2nd or 3rd opinions for doctors would be appropriate.

      It is possible the initial treating physicians could have become rigid in their prognosis and medical recommendations after making such a public statement.

      1. In fact they report that the kid seems to be getting better.

        "They" being the Amish family and their lawyer. Totally objective assessment, that.

        1. Why would anyone here care what a liar thinks?

    2. So, the child is the property of the State?

      1. If the parents are neglecting the child and pose a life threatening risk to her, the parents are violating her right to life. A moral government would protect her individual rights by stepping in. Kids are a special case, but their life is not owned by the state nor the parents--to do with as they wish if that wish means their death.

        1. "A moral government" Lots of those, eh?

        2. Obviously you don't have kids, so here's the skinny of it;
          My child = my call
          I would flee this dying country as well, kudos to them for not letting the state ruin their family

          Government in and of itself is immoral, and only used to remover individual virtue from society and impose the will of the elite as the virtue of the society it ruins

          1. My child = my call

            So if you're beating up your kids, locking them in the basement to crawl around in their own filth for the purpose of sensory deprivation, and starving them, nobody else has any right to intervene?

        3. Cancer is posing a risk.

        4. NO.

          The government has no right to decide what's best for MY child.

          The government's 'morality' is not necessarily mine. Besides, the state is amoral. I don't believe under any circumstance a bureaucrat will know what's best for my family.

          1. It's pretty clear that chemo is in the best interest of the child in this case. Even if it is the big bad eeeevil state that's saying so.

            1. It's pretty clear that no one here is going to listen to a word out of your lying mouth.

            2. "It's pretty clear that chemo is in the best interest of the child in this case. Even if it is the big bad eeeevil state that's saying so."

              Just like the Boston children's hospital that kidnapped a child because the parents wanted to follow a Tufts Children's Hospital diagnosis. The state is always an expert in medicine, right?

              The fact that you make a joke about the big bad eeeevil state, as if only lunatics believed that, says pretty much everything.

              1. The state is always an expert in medicine, right?

                Where did I say that?

            3. It's pretty clear that chemo is in the best interest of the child in this case.

              Perhaps from a physiological standpoint. What about from a moral standpoint? If the child in question thinks chemo would be a moral violation, how the fuck is it your place to assign no weight to that standard?

              1. Perhaps from a physiological standpoint.

                You mean the real world standpoint?

                If the treatment is given against her will, then neither she nor her parents bear any moral burden for it being done. If her parents' goofy beliefs are correct, it will be the hospital infidels who burn in the lake of fire for their immorality, not her. If they are incorrect, she will now have the opportunity to live life.

            4. Actually, that is not pretty clear.

              It may be LIKELY, but doctors do not give guarantees. People recover without "necessary" treatments, people die WITH the "medically best" treatment, and doctors disagree all the time.

              On the other hand, abuse, as is beat my child to physical hard, deprive my child of food, shoot my child up on coke, make a case for neglect and abuse. Government has a role in these abuse cases, but should have no role in disagreements on best medical treatment.

              Medicine is not infallible, diagnosis are frequently wrong, and treatments are sometimes counterproductive.

              1. Ding ding /end thread

        5. The child is being treated. Now the government get to choose the treatment?

        6. Again, David, the parents aren't acting as the "owners" of the child, but as the child's agents. The decision to receive medical care in this case is one that has a significant moral dimension for this family, and presumably their child. For the state to override the parents decision acting as the child's agents, is to superimpose their own moral standards on the family and on the child.

      2. Hardly. If the positions were reversed, and the state were refusing to allow the kid medical treatment that the parents recognized was necessary to save the kid, I would be on the parents' side.

        The child isn't anyone's property, she is a person currently unable to make her own decisions who somebody has to make the right decisions for. If that somebody is the state rather than the parents, so be it.

        1. Wow. What an idiot. I've met a lot of you wannabe Mensa members, but you take the cake, sir/ma'am/whatever.

          To appropriately indicate your fealty to it, you really should capitalize "State." Then get a nice big flag, and you can prostrate yourself before it and feel SUPER potent! Every confused dilettante needs a deity -- if it's the State, so be it!

      3. Tonio|3.11.14 @ 2:28PM|#

        So, the child is the property of the State?

        Their child... they didn't build it her.... But, if they like their child, they can keep it...

      4. The child is property of herself. Does she want to take chemo? Did she want to stop?

        1. Exactly! I don't think they mention her age, but in the video she looks old enough to have some say. And it's not like the parents said no chemo ever, they were willing to go back to chemo if the girl got worse. As someone who has seen the effects of aggressive chemo and the effects of (adults) choosing to forgo chemo, I would have a hard time making that call myself. Unless the child has a 100% chance of dying in the immediate future without chemo, and a 100% chance of being cured with chemo, there is room for debate.

          1. 11 years old according to the writeup.

            I have a hard time believing that someone who's too young and naive to choose to sign a 30 year mortgage agreement is old enough to decide whether she wants to die.

            1. That's because amish children have piss-poor credit beacons, Tulpa... No ones goanna contract a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with them with less than 50% down... and even then...

            2. Tulpa,

              How do you know she will die of this illness? As I noted before, doctors are often wrong.

              An example, my father died being treated for the wrong illness. It was not until he was dead that they discovered what he really had.

              At best, the medications he was given were not help, at worst they may be contributed.

              I am not angry with the doctors, they did their best, BUT let's be clear about the difference between their best and being correct. Modern medicine is fallible and doctors only THINK they are Gods.

              The STATE is not God. The STATE is not all knowing, or benevolent. The STATE is a necessary evil to be resorted to only in the most clear, extreme, cases.

            3. Do you have children?

              I have a 10-year-old daughter who is intelligent, inquisitive, and insightful. She recently attended a Anti-Keystone XL Pipeline forum with my mother (Grandma is a little into that issue :P) and apparently raised her hand during the question portion for over 15 minutes, refusing to tell Grandma what the question was. When someone finally called upon her, she reportedly asked such a clever question that people were coming up to her and complimenting her for an hour afterwards.

              I think we often underestimate the abilities of children because we forget the way we were then. I am constantly amazed at what 8-, 9-, and 10-year-olds can understand and conceptualize.

              So, it's not beyond the realm of possibility for an 11-year-old girl to decide that she would like to try alternate options for her own healthcare, especially if the chemo was particularly hard on her. Some people handle chemo less well than others and it makes them more miserable than the cancer itself. When someone feels that bad, they often want the pain to end -- even if only a child. I don't see anything here that says she wants to die or that the parents want her to die. Everyone should have the right to get other medical treatments if they desire without fear of being hunted down by the physician or hospital.

        2. The child is property of herself. Does she want to take chemo? Did she want to stop?

          Yeah, I'm fairly certain the parents have discussed this with her and taken her opinion into consideration. She's 11. That's what, fifth or sixth grade? It's not like she can't understand the options at that point, especially with some guidance.

          I remember being that age (11-13). Divorce was just becoming acceptable and there was a lot of talk about courts deciding who the children should end up with.

          I remember asking why they didn't leave it up to the child and being told a child wasn't capable of understanding the ramifications of such a decision. I remember thinking that was bullshit. I understood the variables completely at that point, and I stand by that at 49.

          1. In NC, starting at age 12, children in foster care (whose biological parents' rights have been terminated) get to decide whether or not they want to be adopted. If they don't agree to adoption as a goal, they just stay in foster care until they age out.

    3. "The state has the moral authority and the duty to step in in both situations to prevent the harm that such action or inaction will likely cause the child."

      A wonderful sentiment, but who gets to define "harm"? Is letting my 5 year old shoot a gun "harm"? Is failure to expose them to "socialization" in a public school "harm"? Is "indoctrinating" my child in my belief system and moral absolutism "harm"? Is allowing my child to climb trees likely to cause him "harm"? Is spanking "harm"?

      Who do you trust to raise children properly, the parents or the state?

      1. "The state has the moral authority..."
        No, it doesn't.

        1. A moral government protects individual rights. Parents in a free society have a broad range of activities they can engage in with their child as long as they do not permanently, physically harm the child. (Spanking is okay, breaking bones or causing an injury that leads to scars is not.) A lot of creepy people out there with kids. These kids need their rights protected sometimes. It is the proper function of the state to do this.

          1. "A moral governmen"
            That's an oxymoron.
            Government by it's definition implies taxes, which is extortion.
            " These kids need their rights protected sometimes. It is the proper function of the state to do this."
            The state does not equal society.

            1. Government by definition implies a surrendering of natural rights to another human, also known as slavery
              In Democracies they codify the most broadly acceptable average of views and impose them
              In Autocracies the viewpoint of a single individual is imposed upon all others
              taxes aren't necessarily implied, I doubt the Jews were paying a tax to the Pharaoh

              The state is anathema to society, its a result of the desire to control others (statism) not to cooperate with them (anarchism)

          2. Nope. It's not the proper function of the state. It's a clear violation of human rights. That's evil.

            I'll concede that - just maybe - it's a evil that is sometimes necessary. But it's not a "proper function", it's an extraordinary exception that must also have serious consequences for the people who carry it out.

            Like no immunity from prosecution, for example. If there's a moral imperative to kidnap a child, then the social workers and doctors involved can make that case to a jury of their peers.

          3. The problem with your position is that now you're just haggling price with the statists. If we say that it is okay for the state to mandate that people violate deeply held moral beliefs, then only the choice of which moral beliefs to throw out is up for grabs.

          4. The problem is how "protecting children's rights" is interpreted sometimes. There have been many cases where perfectly good parents lose their child temporarily because CPS is given extreme discretion in seizing children from homes. This case is not the only one where a child was taken over disagreements about medical treatment options -- look it up.

            What constitutes abuse or permanent injury? Is allowing your child to compete in a sport that causes physical injury abusive? Is permitting your child to go hunting, waterskiing, surfing, or engage in other moderate-risk activities unfit parenting? You may not think so, but a CPS agent might. You could lose your child temporarily because your son or daughter breaks bones frequently doing a sport and a social worker decides you're harming your child via not preventing injury from occurring. These things do happen.

            I agree that many children need to be saved from terrible, terrible homes, but we need to take a look at how the state decides parents are not fit for parenting. We do irreparable harm when we separate kids from their parents unnecessarily, and we shouldn't give anyone free reign to liberate kids from homes without proof of immediate danger. Nor should we drag families through the court system because someone disagrees with their parenting style or medical decisions. Someone is always going to disagree with the way you raise your children, no matter how hard you try to be perfect.

      2. Is spanking "harm"?


        1. sincerely

      3. Is "harm" not giving the kid a gazillion immunizations, including the horrible and overdone annual influenza immunization?

        Similar problems arise when Jehovah's Witnesses object to their kids getting transfused.

        Government = force and coercion.

      4. A wonderful sentiment, but who gets to define "harm"?


        The second you let the state tell the parent what to do based upon what the state thinks is best, you swing the door wide open and the state will be raising your kids.

        1. How many times have you heard libertarians summarize their philosophy as "do as you please, as long as you're not harming anyone" (or with the equally vague 'hurting' or 'violating the rights of' replacing 'harming').

          Defining things is hard, but libertarians have the same problem.

          1. Don't respond to me anymore. I choose not to associate with known liars.

            1. Don't respond to me anymore.

              Or else what?

        2. Why limit it to children. Why is the state define what constitutes harm to you? If I don't think taking all your money constitutes harm, who is the state to tell me otherwise with their "theft" laws? If I don't think killing you constitutes harm, who is the state to tell me otherwise with their "murder" laws?

      5. Conversely, if I decide that beating my child with a chain doesn't harm them, is the state unable to second guess me? If I decide that renting my child out to pedophiles doesn't harm them, is the state unable to second guess me?

        1. Why does it have to be the state? There are plenty of family, neighbors, business associates, school teachers, etc. that can exert social pressure on people.

          Might it be more moral for an individual vigilante to kidnap a child from abusive parents than for the state to take over?

          1. So lack of trust in bureaucrats leads you to trust of random vigilante kidnappers?

            1. I guess I failed to make the connection between "family, neighbors" etc. to the "vigilante". Sorry that I confused you.

              1. That doesn't really make a difference. If the kid was kidnapped by a teacher or business associate or family member, there would be no opportunity for appeal to a higher court or elected officials or public opinion to determine whether there was really abuse.

                I get pilloried for loving authority; but it is not authority that I support, it is checks and balances on authority. Vigilante justice has no checks and balances, it's might makes right.

                1. Really? You don't love authority?

                  How about the concept of "voting with your feet"? Did this family not simply leave for another place where they could exercise their own beliefs? On what basis do you assert this is kidnapping? Who did they take the child from?

                  I love my children more that I can describe and want the best for them. If you came to take them from me to substitute your "care" for my love the consequences for you will be simple. I will kill you.

                  Maybe that is the real problem. We are so used to a STATE that shields the actions of it's agents that we no longer impose consequences on individual action.

                  Do we have to actually kill the Tulpa's of the nation to make them leave us alone? I hope there is another alternative.

        2. Perfect analogy. Action is the same as inaction. Not giving is taking. Not taking is giving, etc etc.

          1. So reverse it. Parents decide the kid doesn't need to eat.

            1. My point being that there is a threshold where it falls within the mandate of the State to protect the individual rights of the child. I haven't seen anyone define that threshold.

              Perhaps the correct question is what the rights of the child actually are. Do they have positive rights in regards to the parents?

              1. The child has the right not to be harmed.

                This case would be, at least arguable, if the parents were providing NO treatment. You could equate treatment to food, perhaps (and I'm still not all the way there on that).

                But in this case the child is getting treatment. It's a matter of the state dictating what's the best treatment. Different matter IMO.

                1. Different matter

                  It is. I was attempting to clarify where the line is. Now we just need a definition of "harm".

                    1. Spanking and circumcision?

                  1. Now we just need a definition of "harm".

                    Do we?

                    Why not just go with Potter Stewart's obscenity definition?

                    1. Because vague definitions get filled in by the elite and powerful.

                2. But in this case the child is getting treatment. It's a matter of the state dictating what's the best treatment.

                  What are the standards for "treatment" here? Would the parents wiping guano on the kid's forehead and saying "booga booga" seven times count as treatment? Cause that's probably as efficacious as what they're doing.

                  1. Tulpa, how do you know that the hospital isn't covering something up--like doctor malpractice--by trying to get this little girl killed? It happens all the time on TV.

                    Which raises another question: why are you so interested in having the little girl returned to the evil clown doctors?

                  2. Fuck your condescension Tulpa.

                  3. based on what?

    4. The State does not have the "moral authority", dammit. If the parents make an appalling decision, that is a tragedy, but if The State makes a mistake - with the best intentions in the world - then the busybodies have involved ME. Saying that The State has the "moral authority" leads to crap like Irish children being taken from their immigrant parents and given to Protestant families, so they won't be raised Catholic.

      Happened in New York.

      1. Obviously the states and the busybodies good intentions are more proper and more "good" than yours as a citizen.

      2. Forget orchestrated political intervention, there's just plain old incompetence too. Here in IL, *right now* the state does a good job of investigating cases of abuse reported by neighbors, finding nothing, and then arresting someone once a child has been neglected or beaten to death;

      3. I think the actual point is that the state cannot have moral authority because the state is not a person. The government and judicial system is made up of people with flaws, agendas, and preconceived beliefs just like everyone else, and there's no reason to believe they or their agents are more right than we are. That is the entire premise behind a representative democracy.

        I've always believed that people who enjoy having lives dictated and regulated by the government are people who are scared of what happens if they don't have any "protection". The irony is that government isn't a protection in the function they desire, it's a tyranny. You also can't save every child or person from their actions, whether we agree with them or not. People die every day of something and that is the natural order of things. As long as parents aren't being outright abusive or neglectful there should be no reason for the law to step in and take over parenting duties.

    5. As is typical of tyrannical moralizers, you've completely glossed over the uncertainty inherent in medical decisions such as this. There is significant risk to undergoing chemo, as it can shorten lives as well as extend them. Even when successful, there are also significant physical and emotional costs, which is why many choose to stop the treatment and accept their fate. There is no moral authority for you, doctors, or the state to assert that your/their assessment of the risks involved is so obviously superior to that of the parents that they should lose the rights to parent their own child.

      1. Even when successful, there are also significant physical and emotional costs, which is why many choose to stop the treatment and accept their fate.

        Old people do -- we're talking about a child here. A child with a long life ahead of her if the treatments are given.

        In this case it's glaringly obvious that the state and the doctors are correct and the parents are wrong. If it weren't a matter of life and death I would say we need to trust (and attempt to persuade) the parents, but that's not an option here. Children have a right to life the state is bound to protect, which still applies even against the parents.

        1. What's "glaringly obvious", tulip (or is it "Rollo"?), is that you're a statist fuck. As a parent of three, My wife and I made the decisions for them until they were old enough to decide. Period. Not the gummint, not you, not anyone else.

          Children have a right to life the state is bound to protect - so that's why the US govt protects women's "right to choose", right? Cause that kid growing inside her need protection, right? Oh, wait...

          Yeah - 'scuse me for not trusting these decisions to the government or assholes like you. Fuck off, slaver.

          1. As a parent of three, My wife and I made the decisions for them until they were old enough to decide. Period. Not the gummint, not you, not anyone else.

            And I absolutely and totally support that, EXCEPT when we're talking about a decision that is probably going to lead to the kid's death (or rape, kidnapping, mutilation, amputation, etc, but let's stick to the content of this situation).

            1. Sorry guy, your history says I'm forced to assume anything you say is a lie.

              You did that to yourself rollo.

              1. So if I agree with what you think, you have to change your position too?

            2. guys, you said something stupid, and Tulpa corrected you. Just deal with it/admit it

              Clearly there is nothing libertarian about parents having COMPLETE CONTROL over their kids without regards any consideration whatsoever. In situations where like Christian Scientists or whatever (not this situation) want to refuse treatment for a kid based solely on their religious belief, and said treatment is clearly necessary and definitely not worse for the kid, and the kid is too young to really consent to a religions, then clearly there is nothing un-libertarian about using force to administer the treatment against the parents' will.

              Sorry but children are not parents' property.

              In the situation in the article there's a legitimate concern that the chemo is worse than the cancer, and it's worth it to TRY other treatments (i.e., the crux of the situation is the uncertainty of all this, so the parents have the right to weigh the options).
              But some stupid Christian Scientist refusing to take a kid with a broken leg to a doctor to have it put in a cast, and then ending up lame the rest of his life, just because "Jesus said so" is clearly NOT OK (story I heard once from a guy about his friend)

        2. No one cares about your opinion Tulpa, as you are most likely arguing in bad faith.


        3. I imagine that not only do you not have children, you also haven't had any serious medical issues.

          I have a rare form of Spina Bifida and have been in the medical system pretty much my entire life. I'm currently undergoing testing to get a surgery done that should have been done 15 years ago... but wasn't because of poor decisions by doctors while I was a minor.

          Doctors are not always right, not infallible by any means, and they do have their own benefit in mind when they approach problems. There are some selfless doctors who consider the patient above all, but doctors are also overworked and get tired like anyone else does. This can lead to making decisions based on their desire to help someone (or not). They aren't gods.

          You can't guarantee the child has a long life ahead of her. Cancer recurs in people of all ages, and chemo itself can cause fatal health problems. The treatment for cancer isn't 100% successful or no one would be terrified at the diagnosis. 😛 And as I well know, doctors do not always correctly create treatment plans because they either aren't educated on other methods or they have a bias towards a certain type of treatment.

    6. Bretzky--

      "Children are not the property of their parents"

      Nor are they the property of the state.

      "The state has the moral authority"

      What do you base that statement on? Can the state justify any action it deems to be moral based on this "authority"?

      You've essentially stated that children have no right to freely exercise their religion. I find that an obtuse and ignorant statement.

      No matter what we may think of their decisions or would wish them to do instead of their alternatives the governments first responsibility is to guarantee the constitutional protections not second guess individuals in matters that do not or at least should not involve the state in the first place.

    7. Bretzky must be one of those "socially tolerant" types I keep hearing so much about.

      1. its not socially tolerant... its socialist tolerant

    8. Tell it to the Pelitzer Family whose daughter is being slowly killed by government intervention.
      and fuck off, slaver

      1. R-thbard? How dare you invoke that dead Neo-Confederate! The cosmotarians will have to wash their eyes off with soap, now!

    9. Trusting in the morality of the state is to trust in the morality of politicians and bureaucrats. That should be enough to kill the moral authority argument.

    10. Ok. A 16 year old Catholic girl is pregnant. After talking it over with her parents, the girl decides to carry the fetus to term.

      Until a routine prenatal exam finds an abnormality that may lead to complications. The doctors send the state to remove the girl from her home, and forcibly administer a "potentially life-saving" abortion.

      Why not?

      1. Poor analogy. Lymphoma is not "potentially" deadly, it's a certainty.

        1. Another lie from the liar.

          "Many low-grade lymphomas remain indolent for many years. In these lymphomas, metastases are very likely. For this reason, treatment of the non-symptomatic patient is often avoided."

          Again, you are caught lying.

          1. Oh, let's give Tulpa the Statist the benefit of the doubt. He may not have been lying, he could be ignorant.

            Ignorance is a common state among the Statists, after all there is no need to learn anything since the State will tell you what to do anyway.

    11. Children are not the property of their parents to be sacrificed to their beliefs and superstitions.

      No, but parents are properly considered the child's agents. In that regard, they are properly justified in making decisions on the balance of morality, health and convenience on behalf of their children. By overriding the parents' decision in that regard, the government assigns itself the right to make that decision when no agency has been assigned. In that case, you make everyone the property of the state.

    12. read the article, dopey. Treatment wasn't being withdrawan for weird religious reasons; the couple actually gave their daughter the chemo. They just recognized that chemo can ALSO kill your kid as god damned bad as cancer itself.

      Gee, a crude therapy that literally involves KILLING AS MANY CELLS IN THE BODY AS POSSIBLE as a way to also kill the cancer might be bad for you, and possibly even worse than the cancer itself? Huh, who'd'a thunk?

    13. So you are saying that since the chemo is POTENTIALLY life saving she should be forced to take it and the parents should be held responsible if she dies as a consequence of not having it. According to that logic, would you then hold the doctor responsible if she dies because of the chemo? You are aware that there is a high chance of death just from taking the chemo? Nevermind the terrible side effects that can last the rest of your life. The parents were giving her what they believed was her best shot. Doctors do not know everything, especially when they are closed minded to ideas other than their own. This had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with a parent's right to do what they believe is best for their child and not be trumped. I can't believe how many people there are like you who actually believe that someone else knows what is best for you and your family. Who will follow anyone with a little authority like sheep. I feel sorry for you. Why do you think you have the right to tell me what to do just because you don't agree with me? Do you like being told what to do? BTW: People die sometimes, including children. No matter how hard you try or how many "right" things you do.

  4. In true free market medical care, not the obscene ACA or state-reguated HMO system, this issue would go away.

    Simple questions like"Is the tumor gone?", and relevant actions voluntarily taken in response to simple questions, etc.

  5. I have a relative that they claimed had stage 4 cancer and the hospital wanted to start radiation treatments. She said no, she just had a baby and has gone the holistic route. Four months latter she is better, 2 of the 3 markers are gone. So either the hospital screwed up or the holistic approach is working. I think its the hospital, its a military hospital and they wouldn't let her get a second opinion. Always get a second opinion. Because what they wanted to do would have scarred her for life.

  6. "Having a free society means that people need to be free to take risks, including risks with their family when they are suitable and loving parents who will take those risks out of a position of love and belief,"

    What do you mean by "suitable"? I am pretty sure that denying child cancer treatment DOES NOT meet a definition of "suitabe" or would denying a diabetic child insulin be "suitable" because it may be out of love and belief?

    Perhaps, children could be sold to pedophiles for some fun, as long as, its based on belief (Islam) and a degree of "love" exisits

    1. You assume the doctors are always right, the tests are infalable, the treatments always work, and no other option exists able to cure the patient. It is the parent, not the doctor, who makes the decisions for the child. When that rule is violated we get the reports of parents arrested for spanking their unruley children in public because someone else knows what is best for the children. It is their responsibility, and their authority, which should rule the day.

      1. Spanking is hitting.

        1. spanking is hitting where it hurts but causes no physical harm. sometimes it is needed to get the message across.

        2. and?

      2. You assume that there are alternative treatments that work.

        Clearly there are limits to what a parent is entitled to decide for their child. If a parent believes that eating more than once a week is evil, can they deny the child food? Can they deny antibiotics and just try to scare the bad humors away?

        1. Nice strawmen bro
          let me know when there's a mass problem in society of this happening
          but currently the cancer we are all suffering from is the vile tumors of the state

      3. There's a big difference between spanking and refusing life-saving treatment. People who think in black and white might be uncomfortable with putting a somewhat arbitrary line somewhere between the two, but reality isn't black and white.

        Children are NOT property.

    2. What do you mean by "suitable"? I am pretty sure that denying child cancer treatment DOES NOT meet a definition of "suitabe" [sic]...

      The family IS NOT denying her treatment.

  7. I've been following this case of Sarah Hershberger's parents who refused chemotherapy treatment for a cancer which has an 80 % cure rate, following a two year treatment.

    There is more, a whole lot more, information about this case, which a science blogger, who is a breast cancer surgeon and breast cancer researcher, has posted about.

    I suggest you open up the link to read about Sarah and her treatment which would have given her an 80 % chance of long term survival/cure, rather than concentrating on bogus unproven *treatments/cures* that are offered by Mexican clinics.

    1. Between this, the hunter-gatherer love-in below, and Bayed Linnekin's pro-raw milk garbage, it looks like Alabaster Native and the Godeskites have triumphed even after registration at Reason.

      1. Well, you're still here running socks and poisoning the discussion.

      2. What the hell is wrong with raw milk? It's healthy and people drank it for centuries. Do you even think about the positions you spew?

        1. It's no healthier than pasteurized milk, and can carry infectious bacteria in it. It usually doesn't, of course, but that doesn't make it a good idea to consume, and certainly not a good idea to force your children to consume.

          1. "..and certainly not a good idea to force your children to consume."

            Well, they'll be pistol-whipped if they don't drink it, I bet it's healthier than being pistol-whipped...

          2. And it's my decision if I want to drink raw milk or not. I'm not too stupid to know what's bad for me, nor are you so smart that you know what's best for me. Raw milk was actually maligned during a period of time when cows were fed rancid grain, poisoning the supply, so when pasteurization came along we switched to pasteurized milk. It was indeed safer then, but now raw milk is just as good, if not better, than store-bought milk. Not only are the bacteria beneficial to humans, people with lactose intolerance can drink it generally, and you can trace the source directly in case of any problems, unlike commercial dairy farms which pool milk from hundreds or thousands of cows. Your position is based on propaganda, not science.

        2. It offends tulpa's delicate sensibilities and goes around the law of the land. Can't be doing that or we'll have anarchy or something.

    2. My comment is being held in moderation, so presumably the opposition can lookee, but can't touchee.

      So, in the event you care to respond, I'll reproduce it here:

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      We can argue about what age children become sufficiently competent to make such decisions, but few would argue that an 11 or 12 year old is competent to make health decisions like deciding whether to do chemotherapy or not. That's the parents' job.

      So far, so good. But what happens when the parents fail, which is what is happening now?

      Shorter version: The decision is the parents' responsibility, unless I disagree with their preferred course of action.

      Tell me this: you state that given the prescribed treatment, the chance of the child's recovery would be 85%. Given that your position is essentially that you should be able to overrule the parent's authority in making treatment decisions for their child, would you also be willing to be held legally liable should you enforce your preferred form of treatment and the child dies anyway? I submit that those who demand authority are also obliged to bear responsibility ? and associated consequences.

      1. I submit that those who demand authority are also obliged to bear responsibility ? and associated consequences.

        Since the parents are demanding authority here, how do you propose we hold them responsible if (more likely when) the kid dies of cancer?

        1. Go away lying troll, you're pathetic.

        2. The parents ALREADY have authority. That's part of that whole parent thing.

          Oh and if you think you, or society, have any kind say in how I raise or take care of my child (short of actually abusing her), I will welcome your financial contributions. Till then you can kindly fuck off.

          1. Refusing necessary medical treatment to the child is abuse. Same as witholding food or sanitation would be.

            We're not talking about the state forcing parents to have her learn how to type or play soccer here.

        3. Conversely, what if the state decides to override the parents of any child (not just this one) and the treatment ends up killing the child as feared? Will the state pony up money to half-assedly recompense for their mistake or simply issue a statement of no-guilt? Can an apology or a check make up for the dead of a beloved child, especially when the fault lies with the government sworn to protect its citizens? No one asks that question when deciding the state has the right to interfere with family medical decisions.

    3. I suggest you open up the link to read about Sarah...

      Great Snot, the person writing that blog loves Big Brother with an unrestrained and unconditional love, and believes it with a childlike faith that any SoCon could envy..

    4. I suggest you take what you read with a grain of salt.

      First, they did not refuse chemo, they did chemo until they were afraid the chemo itself was going to kill her. And that happens.

      Second, they left it open to resume chemo if her condition worsened.

      Because they love her, they sought out another treatment to try in hopes that resumption of the chemo would not be needed.

      I don't know that I would make the same decision her parents have made. As an engineer I would want to understand all the alternatives, risks, and consequences. But it would have to be my wife and I making the decision. The doctor is an advisor, and ONLY an advisor.

      As painful as it would be to chose wrong for my child, I would never just hand the authority over to the doctor. I have seen too many mistakes made, to many arrogant decisions made.

      1. //Because they love her, they sought out another treatment to try in hopes that resumption of the chemo would not be needed.

        This doesn't need to be part of the parents' decision for it to be valid. The fact that the chemo can kill, or even that it's AWFUL is sufficient, granted that it comes along with the fact that the cancer could simply go away. Some things do just heal sometimes, espcially with kids.

        And make no mistake about it, it does happen, a lot. SHit just goes away. Doctors like to paint everything as a childish black-and-white, but there's plenty of wiggle room made up of weird stories of stuff that actually happens to not stick solely to confirmed n=1000 studies. I mean, doctors will regularly cite "There is no medical evidence that BLANK works, and it can be deadly", OK, but that's because NO ONE HAS STUDIED IT. I was recently watching a thingy where a woman decided to undergo trepanation to treat her lack of energy and depression. The doctor said that line. Yeah no shit it can be dangerous, and of course the medical community hasn't studied it, but there's plenty of reason to believe such a treatment COULD work; significantly changing the brain's bloodflow and relieving some possibly-there pressure could cure the problem. And of course it did for the lady. Didn't stop the doctor from acting like he knew everything

  8. Thats amazing..Start working at home with Google! Just work for few hours and have more time with friends and family. I earn up to $500 per week. It's a great work at home opportunity. I can't believe how easy it was once I tried it out.

    1. Totally appropriate, spambot.

  9. They must save the best topics for Sunday.

  10. I wonder if Reason will do a sympathetic-to-the-Luddite-parents followup article when the kid dies due to lack of treatment in a couple of years.

    1. sup rollo

    2. "I wonder if Reason will do a sympathetic-to-the-Luddite-parents follow-up article when the kid dies due to lack of treatment in a couple of years."

      Because... the high-tech science of injecting some poisonous shit into the child periodically, and forcing her to live in abject mystery from session to session is absolutely guaranteed to cure her of her rare ailment? The prospect of making peace with the fact that she probably going to die, regardless, and trying to find what little joy she can as well as live out what's left of her life with a little dignity is the realm of rubes and "Luddites"? I'm sure you'll vindicated..

      1. My younger brother got a lymphoma when he was 12. The chemo was two years of hell for him.

        He turned 35 a few months ago.

        1. Life has no warranty, nor guarantees. Cancer is unpredictable, to say the least, so I'm glad to hear that he didn't spend two miserable years on chemo, to pass on shortly after anyway..

          1. My point is there's no nobility in "making peace" with death when you don't have to die. Even if he had died in the end, he'd have died fighting.

            1. And my point is that their is no guarantees, and my aunt fought, and died sick and hairless, Precious time squandered..

            2. But why is that your decision to make for other people?

              1. And why is the government's decision to make for anyone?

                1. because the child isn't old enough to make that decision, and "try to survive" is a pretty good standard for decision making for children. So when jacksses like Christian Scientists or Scientologists want to refuse medical treatment outright, it's OK to administer it to their kids against their will

      2. 85% recovery rate with chemo.

        the high-tech science of injecting some poisonous shit into the child periodically,

        The point of science is to selectively correct for human thinking errors. Sometimes injecting poison, or injecting germs, really does help a person recover from a medical problem, or prevent one.

        1. right, but it's also liable to kill them. Whereas with kids this kind of stuff frequently just heals up by itself.* Given the RISK OF DEATH of chemo, or even just the suffering, it's a reasonable decision to back off the chemo for a little while.

          *Please don't tell me it doesn't, because it does. Doctors may act like aspberger-like robots who don't understand that the world doesn't follow set bureaucratic rules, but lots of varied shit happens all the time.

    3. If the state manages to kidnap this girl, and force her back into chemo, and she dies in less than two years, would you reconsider your stance on this?

      1. No. Chemo is the right decision for this kind of situation, regardless of what happens in this particular case.

        If someone plays russian roulette with 5 loaded chambers and "wins", does that mean it was a good decision?

        1. Oh, I see; you're a doctor in this case.

          1. Amazing how quickly you switched from anti-credentialism (in support of the parents' refusal to follow medical advice) to credentialism...

            1. For my next trick...

              I was pointing out that you are not involved in the case, and yet you immediately jump to the conclusion that the doctors were all correct in their diagnosis.

        2. no it isn't. Chemo can kill you. The parents never even said they were outright refusing chemo. They ouright said they would try other stuff and hope and see if it wouldn't be necessary in the future. But if the cancer stayed the same size, they would go back to the chemo.

          You're being a spazzoid. The parents didn't do anything outlandish in theis situation

        3. "No. Chemo is the right decision for this kind of situation, regardless of what happens in this particular case."

          So basically, you've decided the state is correct because you also believe that chemo is the only viable option, regardless of if the child dies or not? Ridiculous. You don't know if chemo is the right decision -- couldn't possibly know, really -- because you aren't the doctor, the parents, or the child. The fact that you believe you can determine the correct course of action for people with no medical training or intimate knowledge of the case is terrifying and I honestly hope you consider how you would feel under these same circumstances if someone tried to dictate your own medical treatment.

  11. Amish law precludes formal interview settings

    Huh? Is there some little-known clause in the Bible about that?

    1. Amish law =/= "the Bible"

    2. The Amish follow the "Ordnung" (Order), which can vary from community to community slightly. Any Amish who has committed to the church after their Rumspringa generally will not allow direct participation in photographs or video of themselves (though they may allow distant or side-shots in some cases) because they feel it is prideful to pose for a photo or look directly into a camera. I do believe they allow voice recording during interviews for the most part, but overall they primarily only take photos of their land, shops, goods, and children. I think the Amish community is fascinating; though I am not religious, I appreciate their conviction to embrace the more generous precepts of Christianity. Highly recommend reading up on their lifestyle and watching some documentaries. It's fun learning. 🙂

  12. Smart fish just watch the spoon spin by.

  13. Akron Children's Hospital was not open to discussing alternative or supplemental treatments, and officials there expressed concern that Sarah would die if she discontinued treatment. The hospital eventually went on the offensive.

    I'm confused. When did hospitals, who are really nothing more than hired service providers, acquire an ownership interest in their patients?

    1. We've allowed the control freaks and busy bodies to take over because their meddling is never punished. The folks at Akron Hospital behind this shouldn't just be stopped, they should be penalized, probably imprisoned.

  14. Someone's hit the Jaemeson's a bit too early.

  15. Archduke-

    I caught the last ten or twelve laps of Australia; what was that godawful grinding noise coming out of my teevee?

    They'd be better off running 1.8 tdis in those cars.

    1. Those are the new "power units"
      awful awful awful.

      Red Bull got a DSQ for illegal fuel consumption.

      1. Bernie is trying to make it 'relevant'!

  16. Red Bull got a DSQ for illegal fuel consumption.

    Saw that.

    Just what I want, in the "premier" auto racing series; a ceiling on power output. What next, speed limits, and passing/ no passing zones? Oh, wait- I think they have those already.

  17. Ruth Marcuse writes hilariously pearl clutching nonsense about the Duke porn star.

    To read about the Duke University freshman turned adult-film star is to feel nostalgic for the bygone age of dormitory parietals that barred the opposite sex from visiting the rooms of well-brought-up young ladies.

    Holy fuck.

    Of course, such rules are an outmoded relic. Yet their demise exposes a truth about college students. They may no longer be minors but they remain more chrysalis than butterfly, not yet fully formed adults.

    15 year olds used to work twelve hour days in barley fields. Now 20 year olds aren't technically adults.

    Even more heartbreaking is listening to Knox's still little-girlish voice describing how she'll tell her parents. "I don't want to," she told the Duke Chronicle last month, in the whiny tone of a child told to go to bed. "I mean, I was thinking I might just tell my mom, 'Mom, I do modeling where I take my clothes off.' I might not tell her the whole sex part."

    An adult woman choosing what to tell her parents about her personal life? The horror!

    1. Ruth Marcuse doesn't understand: porn, strippers, escorts, etc.? All good.

      But NOT my daughters!

      /father of two princesses


    3. Letting a man ejaculate on your face is not empowering under anyone's definition of the term. It's debasing.

      Jaiya needs to choke a bitch.

      1. anyone's definition? Huh.

  18. The point of science is to selectively correct for human thinking errors.

    Authoritarianism; now with a shimmering veneer of Science.

    what will they think of next?

    1. "Authoritarianism; now with a shimmering veneer of Science.

      what will they think of next?"

      Global cooling? Global warming? Climate change?...

  19. What the fuck is with this weekend?

    1. I think the weather is decent for the first time in much of the US.
      Mary has had a chance to find a new library and register under 3 or 4 new handles. And Mike prolly figured he could enjoy the day.

  20. They may no longer be minors but they remain more chrysalis than butterfly, not yet fully formed adults.

    This pisses me off more and more every time I hear it.

    Young, undeveloped brains! Inappropriate stimuli! How the fuck will those immature squishy little brains ever become fully developed if we shield them from every stimulus, inappropriate or not?

    Get out there and run and jump and play, little brains! Fall out of a tree. Get drunk. Get laid. Get fooled. Learn a lesson the hard way.

    1. That was a much more feasible attitude when everyone had 7 kids. If 4 of them die and the other 3 grow up and reproduce, that's a win evolutionarily speaking.

      1. Yes, clearly raising children who are incapable of functioning in the real world is the best way to insure that they thrive and reproduce.

        A full grown adult who behaves like a 15 year old is bound for success.

        1. I agree that there's a tradeoff. We probably have gone too far in the overprotection direction.

          Just pointing out that what a lot of people who long for the days of free-range children growing into tough adults seem to forget that a lot of free-range children didn't make it to adulthood at all.

          1. The human race endeavors to persevere..

        2. I think the problem is the culture encourages being a juvenile, and endless years of "school" is seen as the only way to a decent living, which adds to the endless-youth idea

      2. Based on this comment I'm pretty sure you don't have kids, thank goodness...

  21. Seeing Duke get their asses kicked and Coach K pouting like a little child will never, ever get old.

  22. If 4 of them die and the other 3 grow up and reproduce, that's a win evolutionarily speaking.

    How very scientific of you.

  23. Trollo and Mary in the same thread. A presence I've not felt since...

  24. Breaking news: 'Fanatical' missing airliner pilot pictured wearing political slogan T-shirt.

    Jesus H. motherfucking Christ, the article shows a clear picture of this whackjob Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah wearing a "DEMOCRACY IS DEAD" t-shirt. He looks like he would fit in perfectly with the Daily Kos moonbats! Thank goodness for the British media, because the America media today is absolutely worthless when it comes to investigative reporting.

    Yep, this asshole pilot hijacked his own damn plane, or tried to at least. His own family knew it was coming too, because they disappeared the day before the hijacking, and nobody knows where they are! The article says that this guy was an obsessive supporter of some guy named Anwar Ibrahim, who apparently was the political opposition leader in Malaysia and was recently sentenced to five years in prison.

    No word at all yet about Shah's religious beliefs, but this Ibrahim guy is a Muslim, and a radical Muslim according to some. So I'm thinking that we probably don't have to strain our brains too hard to figure out what Shah's beliefs are.

    I just hope this piece of shit failed in his attempt to go wherever the hell he was trying to take the plane to and is dead.

    1. I dunno if Ibrahim is a "radical" Muslim but the ruling party did throw him in jail on made-up charges of "sodomy" just before the last election. You did notice the article was about Malaysia, right? "Democracy is dead" is pretty accurate description of the situation there.

      1. And your point is... what exactly?

        Because I know it certainly can't be that this guy Ibrahim being thrown in prison justifies one of his supporters hijacking a plane full of innocent people and trying to take it to God knows where.

        1. My point is you shouldn't jump to conclusions especially based on anything you read in the Daily Mail.

          1. Yeah, OK. Thank you very much for the sage advice.

    2. "No word at all yet about Shah's religious beliefs, but this Ibrahim guy is a Muslim, and a radical Muslim according to some."

      Um, where are you getting this from? Granted I don't know much about Malaysia, but reading an overview of Ibrahim's political party, it seems that they're focused on social justice, anti-corruption efforts, etc. Unless there's a massive omission, religion doesn't seem to be a significant part of their platform, and they certainly don't seem to be anywhere near radical or fundamentalist.

      Ibrahim is Muslim, but again, doesn't seem to be particularly radical at all.

      1. A simple Google search brings up many stories online that say that Ibrahim is a prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

        I know that many dopey western "top men" still believe that the Muslim Brotherhood consists mostly of moderate Muslims. But their opinion means absolutely nothing to me, being as overcredentialed and easily duped as most of them are these days.

        1. None of that refutes anything I said. I'm not saying Ibrahim has views that are by any means good by Western standards. I'm saying that by the standards of Malaysia and the Islamic world, he doesn't seem to be particularly radical by any means. His political party is far less religious than the UMNO (which is the ruling party) or the overtly Islamic Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party. Does a guy who thinks homosexuality shouldn't be punished as long as it's in private and is attacked by his opponents for being too pro-Israel strike you as a relatively radical Muslim (even if his views aren't all that impressive by Western standards)?

          I'm not saying there is zero possibility that Shah, if he did hijack the plane, was not motivated by religion. I'm saying that based on all available evidence, if he did hijack it, it seems far more likely to have been politically, rather than religiously, motivated and the fact that you immediately jumped to the religious conclusion without evidence suggests a bias on your part.

            1. Good link. Ibrahim probably holds views that may be onerous, but you can't ignore how he stacks up compared to his opponents when considering the likelihood of a supporter of his being inspired to commit Islamist-motivated terrorism.

              1. One doesn't even have to go that far. In the Daily Mail article, the picture of the pilot wearing that "scary" t-shirt is captioned "Peter Chong (left) with best friend Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah". I'm guessing Mr. Chong enjoys himself a nice plate of Chinese Red Pork (Char Siu) with Rice.

                Yeah, he just doesn't fit the profile. *shrugs* But who knows?

    3. Here are his views on gay marriage and homosexuality:

      "In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Anwar stated that he opposed gay marriage as he upholds the sanctity of marriage between men and women but the laws on sodomy in Malaysia must be changed as they are "archaic".[80]

      In an interview with British Broadcasting Corporation, Anwar said Malaysia's laws concerning homosexuality ? which imprison anyone found guilty of sodomy for up to 20 years, and also potentially expose them to strokes of the cane and a fine ? are "archaic," though he maintained he supports the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. He earlier was asked by an interviewer on BBC whether he plans to abolish the set of laws penalizing sodomy in Malaysia after he had been targeted by the laws twice. Clarifying his comments to the Wall Street Journal, Anwar maintained that he does not advocate legalizing homosexuality or making gay marriage permissible ? only that the laws should be amended to ensure private affairs are not penalized. "It is not my business to attack people or arrest people based on their sexual orientation," he said. "Morality is in the public sphere, not beyond that."[81"

    4. Those hardly seem like the words of a radical fundamentalist, and he was just sentenced to prison for sodomy (though whether he's actually guilty of it is dubious). On the Israeli-Palestinian issue, he's been attacked by both sides, and for a politican in a Muslim-dominated country, certainly doesn't seem to be radically pro-Palestinian by any means (granted that's a low bar, but it's nonetheless a relevant point). If Shah did hijack the plane for political reasons, it seems highly unlikely that his or Ibrahim's religious piety were the motivation.

      1. Yeah, Mike M. is so wrong it's not even funny. If you told me the pilot was a fanatical follower of Najib Razak or Mahathir Mohammed, then yeah, I could see the "martyr myself while killing hundreds of infidel Chinese" angle. But Anwar Ibrahim? Give me a break!

        1. Yeah, the tale doesn't make a whole lot of sense, does it. Unless you're a British tabloid that likes screaming headlines even when they're being fed to you by the Malayasian government.

        2. Isn't one of Ibrahim's top issues equal treatment for non-ethnic Malays?

          1. Well, his party, the PKR, does reject ketuanan Melayu, the state ideology of Malay supremacy, but seeing as Ibrahim was originally a member of UMNO and fled to the PKR, it could be argued that we don't know for certain if he truly disagrees with ketuanan Melayu or if its just politically convenient for him to do so.

            1. Valid point, but it nonetheless seems unlikely that someone who was a rabid supporter of his would be motivated to, as you said, "kill infidel Chinese"

    5. Thank goodness for the British media, because the America media today is absolutely worthless when it comes to investigative reporting.

      Says the guy who doesn't bother finding out who Anwar Ibrahim was, and boils every conflict and motivation to whether someone is Muslim or not.

    6. I would think if this was terrorists related, there would be some sort of demands, a note...

      Doesn't make any sense to steal a jet in protest and not tell the world what you are protesting against.

      I'm still going with an electrical fire, although I am at a loss for the last two known turns.

      1. There wasn't a formal demand or note from 9/11. Sometimes all a terrorist org needs is to give a nudge.

        1. There was still chatter from Bin Laden afterwards.

      2. Found this:

        KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) ? When someone at the controls calmly said the last words heard from the missing Malaysian jetliner, one of the Boeing 777's communications systems had already been disabled, authorities said Sunday, adding to suspicions that one or both of the pilots were involved in disappearance of the flight.

        Seeming more likely to be terrorism/suicide.

        1. I heard that too. I don't put too much stock in that because if the transponder was off the controller would have asked/notified the pilot of it. He certainly wouldn't have handed him off in that condition.

          Someone got the story wrong there, I suspect.

          I may be wrong.

    7. and a radical Muslim according to some

      All Muslims are radical according to some. Is he a radical Muslim according to someone credible, or just to the Pam Geller's of the world?

  25. And she's gone. Like magic.

    All hail the Webmasters of Reason, deleters of the mentally disturbed.

    Busy day.

    1. Hmm, I would have sworn both that one and Tootmaker were Mary sockpuppets. But Tootmaker remains...somebody else's sockpuppet?

    2. Ah; I was a bit confused by Totmacher's posts. I take it that he was responding to posts that have subsequently been deleted.

      1. There's been a lot of that going around lately.

        1. It looks like Totmacher is responding to FdA, calling him Tulpa's sock puppet, which would be interesting, if true, and would make me wonder if I'm the only non-sock puppet on the board (as far a you know).

          1. Totmacher was responding to Mary, who he thought was a Tulpa sock. At first, it did appear like the Mary character might have been Tulpa, until it went full up bat-shit crazy Mary.

            1. It's sockpuppets all the way down.

            2. I do not have, nor have I ever had, socks.

              1. Another lie.

                You know Tulpa, it's a lot easier to lie when there isn't incontrovertible proof to the contrary.

                1. Not a lie at all. You and I just have a different definition of sockpuppet.

                  If every comment made under a different name from the one you usually use is a sockpuppet, then most people here have engaged in sockpuppetry.

                  My definition (and it's the original one) includes only aliases that are used to advance one's own viewpoint, or attack opponents of one's own viewpoint. Rollo did neither (except when attacked himself, and that only to preserve credibility).

                  1. You disgust me.

                    You claimed to be drug counselor.

                    Rollo|3.2.14 @ 5:14PM|#|?|filternamelinkcustom

                    What about the costs of drug abuse for the abusers themselves? And their families?

                    As a court-sanctioned drug abuse counsellor, I see examples every day of people who would never have come to me voluntarily if they weren't forced to by the courts and law enforcement. Nobody seeks counselling for something they enjoy doing and feel good about, even if it's sapping their brain fluids every time they indulge. You talk about 'freedom' but what kind of freedom is that, where you don't want to do what's necessary to live your life without addiction? Sometimes you have to force people to become free.

                    You are a lying pig.

                    1. That wasn't me, that was a fictional character I created.

                    2. IOW...

                      A Sockpuppet

                      You could have argued your point as yourself, Instead, you claimed to be someone you weren't in order to gain credibility.

                      You are a deceitful pig.

                    3. That point was certainly not mine. I'm totally against WoD.

                  2. most people here have engaged in sockpuppetry

                    Proof? It was "fun" before registration was required and then only for humorous effect. Now you have to register multiple names and log in and out to keep up the game. Normal people - i.e. people who argue in good faith - don't do that.

                    1. You could, in theory, register only one additional account and just change the name on it when you wished.

            3. And if Tootmaker is a sock (which seems a good bet given that if he/she is 'real', they've been posting for one day yet has a rich relationship with me), it's probably the same person responsible for "So very tired".

          2. It's easier if you just pay attention to arguments and logic rather than the names. Something most people here are unwilling to do.

            1. Tulpa's correct. You should all just listen to me.

            2. You know people may not agree with your arguments either right?

              1. In that case they should say so and make their own arguments.

                1. Well some people need a crutch. Maybe even a friend to back them up.

                  1. If you're talking about "Rollo", he was not backing me up at all. He was blooming in his own thread.

                    1. Doing it for attention is even sadder.

                    2. He continued to lie after being caught. He claimed he did it once for a couple hours and the commentariat dug up multiple examples of Rollo, dating back years.

                      What a miserable human being.

  26. would make me wonder if I'm the only non-sock puppet on the board

    That's just what they want you to think.

    It's sockpuppets all the way down.

    1. Solipsistic sockpuppets, too.

  27. It's memes all the way down.

  28. Is hating Duke the new Hating Duke?

  29. The hospital continued to push the issue all the way to an appellate court, arguing that "a finding of parental 'suitability' does not end a probate court's inquiry. Parental rights, even if based upon firm belief and honest convictions can be limited in order to protect the 'best interests' of the child."

    It's easy to engage in moralizing whenever these extreme cases are reported by the mainstream media (or sensationalized by them, take your pick) but the policies derived from such displays of outrage do create many more problems and frank violations of individual rights in the misguided quest to "protect the best interests" of children.

  30. OT: Fred Phelps is almost dead.

    How many protesters do you think will show up as his funeral?

    1. INIGO
      He's dead. He can't talk.

      Look who knows so much. Well, it just so happens that your friend here is only mostly dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Please open his mouth.

      Inigo does. Max inserts the bellows in Westley's mouth and starts to pump.

      Now, mostly dead is slightly alive. Now, all dead... well, with all dead, there's usually only one thing that you can do.

      What's that?

      He stops pumping.

      Go through his clothes and look for loose change.

  31. How many protesters do you think will show up as his funeral?

    "Protester" was not the first description to come to mind.

    1. I've got my "LOGIC HATES JEEBUS" sign ready to go.

  32. I do not have, nor have I ever had, socks.

    We know. You like to feel the shit squishing between your toes.

  33. Akron Children's Hospital originally tried to have Sarah Hershberger taken away from her parents and Medina County Children Services flat out refused to do that.

    What the fuck kind of bizarro world is this where CPS doesn't strip children away from their parents when given the green light? Scandalous, I say!

  34. First off parents have the best interest of their child not the state. WE ARE NOT THE UNITED NATIONS AND SURE IN THE HELL DON'T NEED THE GOVERNMENT TELL US HOW TO RAISE OUR CHILDREN. protect children by empowering parents. I am sorry but there are To to many people in families business. Why don't you have your own kids or worry about your kids instead of picking on good hardworking parents. Oh search YouTube on cps corruption and maybe you will see the truth.

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