Whom God Will Protect

It is not unknown for certain religious communities to avoid seeking medical attention, trusting instead in prayer alone. Dale and Leilani Neumann subscribed to such a belief. So when their daughter Madeline’s condition deteriorated and she suffered from symptoms of untreated diabetes, Leilani Neumann declared that her daughter was under a “spiritual attack.”

Dale and Leilani Neumann, proprietors of the astutely-named Monkey Mo Coffee Shop in Weston, Wisconsin, were breakaway members of the Lighthouse Pentecostal Church. They believed that physical illness was due to sin, and that the cure was prayer and asking God for forgiveness.

Madeline (11) grew pale and weak over a period of months. Her parents thought that her weakness over her last two weeks was due to impending puberty. I suppose puberty is the greatest sin of all.

Even when Madeline could neither walk nor talk on March 22, the parents refused to take her to a doctor. The father suggested a doctor, and the mother urged him to pray. Leilani Neumann wanted to set up her own ministry, and blamed the devil for interfering with her work by making Madeline sick. Relatives and friends begged them to seek medical help. On March 22, Dale sent an email saying Madeline was “very weak and pale at the moment with hardly any strength.” They still did not go to a doctor.

On March 23, Easter Sunday, Madeline stopped breathing.

Dale and Leilani Neumann have been charged with second degree reckless homicide. And now, despite their trust in Divine intervention, the two have since acquired an attorney to protect themselves from the law. One wonders why they do not place their trust in the Lord for their own lives and safety. Or is the Lord only in charge of helpless children?

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