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Idaho Republican opposes law aimed at stopping ‘faith-healing’ child deaths

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A Republican lawmaker in Idaho is trying to stop a law aimed at preventing the deaths of children whose parents eschew medical treatment in favor of prayer. The Associated Press reported that state Rep. Christy Perry (R) believes that a law proposed by Democratic Rep. John Gannon violates religious freedom of families who believe God’s will supercedes modern medicine.

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“This is about religious beliefs, the belief God is in charge of whether they live, and God is in charge of whether they die,” said Perry of the Followers of Christ, an extremist group who have let at least four children die of treatable illnesses in the last three years.

“This is about where they go for eternity,” she insisted.

Gannon proposed the law after a string of deaths in Marsing, Idaho among the congregation of the Followers of Christ church. Autopsy reports of multiple children showed that their deaths could have been prevented by medical intervention. Instead, their bodies now lie in a cemetery overlooking the Snake River.

In June of 2012, 15-year-old Arrian Jade Granden contracted food poisoning. Her autopsy showed that three days of vomiting ruptured her esophagus, causing her to hemorrhage to death.

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Toddler Preston John Bowers died at age 22 months of pneumonia in March of 2011. That same month, 14-year-old Rockwell Alexander Sevy died of a respiratory infection that blossomed into pneumonia, according to Canyon County Coroner Vicki Degeus-Morris.

Linda Martin, a former Followers of Christ member, lent her voice to Gannon’s campaign to narrow Idaho’s religious exemptions to its injury-to-a-child laws.

“These children need a chance to grow up,” said Martin to the AP.

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Followers of Christ operates in Idaho, Oregon and California. Oregon public officials have passed their own laws ordering parents to seek help for their children.

Parents in Idaho risk arrest and imprisonment for child neglect. The current law, however, includes a faith exemption that says, “Treatment by prayer or spiritual means alone shall not for that reason alone be construed to have violated the duty of care to such child.”

Gannon hopes to narrow that loophole, “whenever a child’s medical condition may cause death or permanent disability.”

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The Democratic state representative told the AP that above all, “Medical treatment for physical harm to a child should supersede every other consideration.”

[image of Bible and stethoscope via Shutterstock.com]

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Trump supporters cry bitter tears after bus company they never bothered paying leaves them stranded

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Hundreds of Trump supporters this week were left stranded by bus company U.S. Coachways after the organizers for a "March for Trump" rally in Washington D.C. failed to pay them.

The Daily Beast's Will Sommer reports that the Trump supporters had expected U.S. Coachways to pick them up and bring them to D.C. where they were set to rally against House Democrats' impeachment inquiry. After the buses never showed up, however, Trump supporters claimed that the bus company was part of a "deep state" conspiracy aimed at silencing their voices.

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Mick Mulvaney is Trump’s new fall guy on corruption — and Republicans just play along

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It's getting increasingly more difficult to keep track of all the new impeachable acts President Trump commits every day. And perhaps even more difficult to imagine the most outrageous thing he can do that the Republican Party would still defend.

This article first appeared in Salon.

It took almost two weeks, but the White House has finally admitting what everyone knew from day one: Trump demanded a quid pro quo from the Ukrainian government before releasing military aid authorized by Congress. Republicans have been denying the obvious, remaining willfully blind to a brazen scheme. That suddenly seems quaint, now that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has confessed on live television that there was a quid pro quo.

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The week Donald Trump’s presidency crashed and burned — and Republicans noticed

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It feels as though every week during the Trump administration is a year and every year a decade. Every day there is a crisis or an outrage or a revelation that takes your breath away. But the underlying dynamics always seem to be the same no matter what. The press reports the story, the Democrats get outraged, the pundits analyze it, the president rages and then Fox and the Republicans all line up like a bunch of robots and salute smartly. Then we reset until the next crisis, outrage or revelation. It's an exhausting cycle that never seems to get us anywhere and it's bred a fatalistic response in many of us: "Nothing matters."

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