Oh, Idaho. Poor, sad, desperately WTF Idaho, the Florida of the part of the country you always forget exists. What the H-E-double hockey sticks are you up to now? Oh, just protecting the right of parents to let their children die, out of the most batshit possible interpretation of the words “religious freedom.” No big.
Idaho’s long history of crazy includes bringing back “legitimate rape,” trying to teach science using the Bible, making sure their school staffs are heavily armed, and beating up Jews to convince them that Jesus is just the best. We would’ve thought, however, that the state would stop short of staunchly advocating for the literal right to murder children, but HAHA NOPE.
Turns out, parents are immune from prosecution in Idaho for letting their kids die from easily treatable illnesses, because “prayer” is legally classified as a medical treatment. Politicians will also justify this inalienable right in the most dickish ways possible, as Democratic state Rep. John Gannon of Boise found out after he tried to get a bill passed in mid-February to eliminate that protection for parents who believe there’s no ailment a little “faith healing” can’t fix:
Senate Health and Welfare Chairman Lee Heider, a Twin Falls Republican, said in January he would allow a hearing on changing the law, and Rep. John Gannon, a Democrat from Boise, dropped off a bill three weeks ago to remove the exemption in the child injury law for faith-healing parents in cases where there is an imminent risk to their child of permanent physical harm or death.
Heider said Thursday, though, that Gannon never asked him to set a hearing and it’s too late in the session now.
“I would say the time has pretty well run out,” Heider said.
Heider said he would not carry the bill himself, viewing it as prosecuting people for exercising their religious beliefs … “I’m a First Amendment guy,” Heider said. “And I believe in the First Amendment, which gives people freedom of religion.”
Heider then blamed carpetbagger outsiders come to Idaho to stir up trouble for bringing attention to the needless death of children.
We’ve actually written about this before. Idaho is one of six states where letting your kids die because Jesus told you to is totally legal, but Idaho’s really in a class all to itself, as it’s the only one of those states where kids are known to have died in the past 20 years. All told, at least 12 kids have died since 2011 alone to parents who believed in faith healing, and no charges whatsoever have been filed. That is at least 12 more kids than should ever, ever, ever, EVER be allowed to legally die as a result of negligent homicide.
We expect this crap out of Oklahoma, but we want to believe you can be better than this, Idaho. What gives? Are you just really depressed and lashing out over the fact that the only things the rest of us know you for are potatoes and blue turf?
Look, we’ll make you a deal: We promise we’ll stop making potato jokes and pay a little more attention to you if you stop doing shit like vehemently defending negligent child murder. Deal?